Moran motion gets full support from LifeWay
SAN ANTONIO—LifeWay Christian Resources “has reviewed and fully supports” a motion made in 2006 by Roger Moran, a messenger from First Baptist Church, Troy, regarding a growing body of research identifying various forms of danger concerning cultural forces of influence—and LifeWay’s work is not done.
Messengers to the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center received a report June 12 indicating that more research is to come on the sweeping motion that aims to promote more victorious and holy Christian living.
Moran’s motion requested that LifeWay investigate and report findings that: the overwhelming majority of children from evangelical families are leaving the church as they enter adulthood; the vast majority of evangelical Christians do not hold to a clearly defined biblical worldview; a growing carnality within evangelical churches has ignited new concerns about the percentage of unregenerate church members; and how these issues are affecting Southern Baptists specifically.
Messengers in San Antonio were presented with a report that affirmed initial findings by LifeWay Research, which was launched in October 2006, concerning the formerly churched mentioned in the first part of the motion. More research in the final months of 2007 “will help shed light on all of the other aspects of the motion,” according to the report. Insights and solutions will most often be disseminated through the official LifeWay Research Web site, according to the report.
Thom S. Rainer, LifeWay president and CEO, explained to messengers June 12 one aspect of the disturbing set of trends exposed by Moran’s language.
“Frankly what is happening is not that we are not impacting culture alone,” Rainer said. “It is that we are not reaching our own children in Christian homes.”
Moran, who has rotated off the SBC Executive Committee, expressed hope that LifeWay Research is now going to do the heavy lifting that will pack more muscle onto the Southern Baptist body.
“This is going to be the test of leadership,” he said. “Thom Rainer now has the opportunity to help Southern Baptists see and understand what is happening in Southern Baptist life – why we are seeing (these) problems.”
Moran noted that LifeWay has no objection to the spirit behind his language, which is to spur Southern Baptists toward a higher standard of biblical sanctification.
“I think that it is exactly what Thom Rainer has wanted because I think that all three of these (points in the motion) go to the heart of what’s happening in Southern Baptist life,” he said. “We are losing our own children, and if we’re losing our own children to the culture, then what does that say about our so-called passion for evangelism?”
One statistic that Moran likes to quote in support of his motion is from the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life, which reported to the 2002 annual meeting of the SBC that 88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at age 18, never to return.
“I am confident that Thom Rainer is going to take this (the 2006 motion) and confirm the accuracy of the studies that are already out there,” Moran said.