Two Southern Baptist organizations have partnered to create a curriculum designed to equip local churches with what they call a “more informed” understanding of religious liberty.
The six-week long curriculum, called “Religious Liberty: How the Gospel Shapes Our First Freedom,” was released online by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and LifeWay Christian Resources.
“Our goal in producing this curriculum is to equip churches to see religious liberty as it is — grounded in the gospel,” said ERLC’s president Russell Moore in a statement.
The introduction to the study states two main reasons that religious liberty is to be studied.
“First, the Bible teaches that individuals each possess a conscience. Allowing someone to live faithfully to their conscience — even when a person is wrong — protects the integrity of their religious choice. Even more so, being wrong is why we need a Savior,” the study states.
“Secondly, religious liberty is often misunderstood, so educating ourselves about this historic principle will benefit you and the society we live in,” it continues.”
The study is designed to take place in a small group setting for one hour in each setting. It includes discussion questions, video clips of some 70 pastors and scholars who were interviewed on the topic, individual studies, journal spaces with questions, and articles that have been written on religious liberty.
Videos include interviews with pastors and leaders such as Mark Dever, the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church; Matt Chandler, the lead pastor for teaching at The Village Church; and Robert George, professor at Princeton University.
Religious liberty as it relates to the culture, the Bible, mission, and the common good are among the topics explored in the study. Objections to religious liberty are also discussed.