Criticism from an insider should be heard with greater consideration. There is no ulterior motive. No partisan loyalties at work.

Such is the case with Russell Moore’s excellent critique — titled “God, the Gospel and Glenn Beck” — of the Fox News commentator’s big rally in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.

Moore has his full credentials as a conservative Evangelical and Southern Baptist Convention insider. A protege of Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler, Moore serves his mentor and alma mater as dean.

Yet Moore is sounding a warning that the masses of conservative Christians who so easily follow the loudest voices shouting “God and country” need to hear. The confusing of Christianity with nationalism is a present and constant danger.

All warnings against the murky mixture of civil religion need attention. Perhaps this one will receive a good hearing.

Among the pointed things Moore expressed about the ease with which some Evangelical Christians will follow the noise and nonsense of Beck is this statement:

“In order to be this gullible, American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined ‘revival’ and ‘turning America back to God’ that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.”

Indeed. Indeed.

[My thanks to Baylor doctoral student Aaron Weaver, who blogs at, for pointing me to Moore’s critique.]

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