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To protect and project

"To protect and project" Continued...

Issue: "Tidings of discomfort and joy," Dec. 28, 2013

STANDING FOR CHRIST: Moore and Archbishop William E. Lori (left) following a press conference announcing an open letter asking the Obama administration and Congress to expand conscience protections in the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.
Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times/Landov
STANDING FOR CHRIST: Moore and Archbishop William E. Lori (left) following a press conference announcing an open letter asking the Obama administration and Congress to expand conscience protections in the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.
To connect with young believers, Moore may have to expand his musical library beyond his love of “old, outlaw country.” Moore grew up with songs by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, and Merle Haggard. He hosts a podcast, The Cross and the Jukebox, where he plays a country song and talks about its meaning and what the Bible says about how Christians should respond to those life situations. Moore already has branched out: This year he wrote an article on Christian hip-hop.

It is vital for mature believers to be “training up a new generation of children to know what it is like to live among a people who will see Christianity as very strange.” Without them, no amount of testifying before Congress, filing briefs for Supreme Court cases, and meeting with sitting presidents will do much long-range good.

He wants his own children to embrace versus abandon the strangeness of Christianity because “the strangeness of Christianity is what saves.” He wants them to have the same sense of belonging to the body of Christ that he did when he was a boy who picked up and pocketed a shard of glass from the window of the church he called home.

Russian rescue

The Moore family
Handout photo
The Moore family

Moore’s plea for living a value- and cross-centered life is more than just words. In 2002 Moore and his wife, Maria, adopted two Russian boys. Both were a year old, having spent their first year with little human contact. When the Moores came to the Russian orphanage in a little mining community near the Black Sea, the couple noticed how the orphanage was quiet despite being filled with children.

“Is this silence normal?” Moore asked a worker.

“Yes,” said the worker, explaining that the orphans do not have someone to answer their cries, so they eventually stop crying. Every day for 10 days the Moores visited the boys. Each day the boys stayed silent when the Moores walked in and silent when they departed.

On the last day of their visit, Moore laid his hands on the boys’ heads. “I will not leave you as orphans,” he prayed aloud. “I will come back to you.” As the couple walked out of the room, one of the boys began crying. “That was the most beautiful sound I ever heard,” Moore recalls. “He knew he had parents. He knew someone was going to hear him.”

Ben and Timothy, are now 12 years old (the Moores have since had three more boys). The early years were difficult due to their past. For instance, the boys had not eaten solid food, so the Moores had to teach them how to eat without choking. Through Ben and Timothy, however, Moore has better grasped the teaching in Romans 8 and Galatians 4 about believers being adopted into the family of God. And the entire experience has further fired his advocacy work.

“I had been an advocate for all sorts of ideas,” says Moore, who has written a book on adoption. “After that experience, I became more of an advocate for people.” —E.L.P.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee is WORLD's Washington Bureau chief. As a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he was embedded with a National Guard unit in Iraq. He also once worked in the press office of Sen. Lamar Alexander.

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