(The Resurgent) On Tuesday, a group of Southern Baptist pastors from around the country published their “Southern Baptist Resolution on Abolishing Abortion” to be introduced at the 2021 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The announcement came by way of a 10-minute video montage of eight Southern Baptist pastors reading the resolution, and the corresponding launch of SouthernBaptistsAbolishingAbortion.com and the Southern Baptists for Abolishing Abortion facebook page.
The resolution would be far from the first anti-abortion resolution passed by the SBC, but it would be the first of its kind in two important aspects according to John Smith, pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church in Cashmere, WA. “All other resolutions have stopped short of calling abortion for what it is, the murder of our pre-born neighbors and the call for its immediate end,” Smith said.
Clay Hall, pastor of Lake City Baptist Church in Grand Rivers, KY and one of the resolution’s coauthors, agreed.
“Though many SBC resolutions have been passed over the last fifty years regarding abortion, this one is unique in that it calls for equal justice and protection for our preborn neighbors under the law….It also rejects an incremental approach to ending abortion and encourages all government leaders to honor Christ by ‘abolishing abortion immediately, without exception or compromise.’ My fellow SBC pastors and I felt these calls for justice were lacking in previous SBC abortion resolutions. The necessity of this resolution hinges on the fact that thousands of preborn image bearers of God continue to be murdered every day in our nation while the vast majority of our denomination truly believe we are doing all we can to end it. There is so much more that we can do.”
Derin Stidd, pastor of Harmony Baptist Church in Frankfurt, IN expanded on the uniqueness of the resolution, telling The Resurgent:
“[Like other anti-abortion resolutions] our resolution does call abortion evil, but instead of celebrating legislation which regulates when, where, and how a baby can be murdered, our resolution calls for Christ-honoring legislation which seeks to completely and totally criminalize abortion without exception or compromise. In this regard, our resolution is the only anti-abortion call-to-action that is actually consistent with our doctrinal statement.”
Another distinctive aspect of The Southern Baptist Resolution on Abolishing Abortion is that it does not have a typical pro-life call for abortion regulations or Supreme Court appointments. The call is for equality under law for preborn humans to be immediately established by abolishing abortion in defiance of the Supreme Court.
While many argue that abortion can’t be abolished until the Supreme Court allows it, the resolution’s authors contend that the Supreme Court does not have the authority to legalize murder and that state governments have a Biblical and Constitutional obligation to defy Roe. “Roe v. Wade is unlawful both according to the natural law of God and according to the Constitution of the United States which is the supreme law of our land,” Stidd said.
Stidd continued by pointing to the abolitionists of slavery who nullified the obviously unjust and unconstitutional federal Fugitive Slave Act in numerous states: “We must defy Roe just as Wisconsin and other Northern states defied the Supreme Court and the Federal Government regarding slavery in the 1800s. Since Roe runs contrary to the natural law of God and contrary to the highest law of our land, the only godly response to such lawlessness on the part of a magistrate is to defy it.”
The sentiments expressed in the Southern Baptist Resolution on Abolishing Abortion have also been expressed in the form of legislation in seven states thus far: Oklahoma, Indiana, Texas, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, and Missouri. An eighth abolition bill is set to be introduced in Kansas next session.
While this will be the first resolution of its kind introduced at the National SBC, similar resolutions have been passed by Oklahoma Southern Baptists and the Oklahoma Free Will Baptists.
These bills and resolutions are evidence of the growing Abolitionist Movement according to Smith. “I believe we are witnessing a massive shift in the church today regarding abortion and many Christians are waking up to the Biblical call for abolition,” Smith said.
Hall agreed, saying that the spread of abolitionist ideas combined with consistent opposition to abolitionist legislation from many pro-life leaders is causing Christians to reconsider the political strategies they support:
“In the last few years, these ideas have gained traction very rapidly. The combination of (1) a relentless pursuit of the culture of death from the liberal left, (2) an increasingly visible abolitionist movement, and (3) the obvious recent failures of our pro-life leaders is stirring the hearts of many Southern Baptists to be a part of a grass-roots movement built on firm biblical convictions rather than pragmatic strategies. As a part of the whole, these Southern Baptists are just a reflection of what is happening in the larger evangelical culture.”
Hall, Stidd, and Smith all expressed significant optimism about the support the resolution would receive from the members of the convention at the annual meeting but also uncertainty about the reception it would receive from SBC leaders.
Stidd said that the chances for the resolution’s success depend partly on the amount of petition signatures the resolution gets from members of SBC churches and on “having local associations and state conventions pass this resolution, demonstrating that there is a grassroots movement building up all over the country that wants this to happen.”
To continue reading resolutions, click here
Editors Note. This article was published by James Silberman. Title changed by PNP News
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