Seth Udinski, FISM News
Several months ago, FISM News reported on a brewing lawsuit between two high-profile Christian leaders, both with connections to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Pastor Mike Stone of Georgia had filed a defamation suit against former head of the SBC Ethics and Religious Committee Russell Moore, who now works on the staff of Christianity Today. Stone claimed Moore had damaged the pastor’s opportunity to run for SBC president by accusing him of attempting to conceal the denomination’s now-public sexual abuse scandal when Stone was head of the denomination’s Executive Committee.
On Friday, Stone officially the dropped the lawsuit against Moore. According to Religion News Service, Moore had only a week to file a response of his own to Stone’s original claim from earlier this fall.
Moore has been a public critic of the SBC since he left the denomination in light of the scandal, leading some to wonder if he was intentionally divisive in his actions. There are others, however, who feel Moore was completely justified to not only step away from his position in the SBC and the denomination itself, but to criticize it publicly for its handling of the abuse allegations. In September of this year, Moore spoke about his decision to leave the denomination:
I could have won the conflict that needed to be fought. But I realized I would have to have a conflict. And I didn’t want to be the kind of person I would be on the other side of that.
Hopefully, these two men, brothers in Christ despite their conflict, we will be able to truly reconcile as they step away from a potentially devastating legal battle.