Yesterday during the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, the resolution committee tried to shut down a resolution on abortion abolition, but was resoundingly rebuked by a majority of messengers who insisted they be allowed to hear it.
At the heart of the rejection by the messengers was the language of the bill, which decries pro-life lawmaking, regulationism, and demands the abolition of abortion. It contains content like:
(11) WHEREAS, since 1980, the SBC has passed many resolutions reaffirming the importance of human life at all stages of development, but we have yet to call for the immediate abolition of abortion without exception or compromise…
13) RESOLVED, that the messengers of the SBC meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 15-16, 2021, do state unequivocally that abortion is murder, and we reject any position that allows for any exceptions to the legal protection of our preborn neighbors, compromises God’s holy standard of justice, or promotes any God-hating partiality
With the resolution being declined, Pastor Bill Ascol and a host of abolitionist pastors took to the floor and made a direct appeal to fellow members.
Southern Baptists were wrong on the abolition of slavery. We have been guilty of applying half-measures on the issue of abortion and have not consistently and intentionally insisted upon equal protection and equal justice under the law for every human being born and unborn. As a result, the wholesale murder of unborn babies continues unabated at the rate of 3000 souls every day…
May I appeal to my fellow messengers to join me by two-thirds and bring this out of committee so we can hear it, vote on it, and leave Nashville taking a stand we’ve never taken before.
This prompted committee member Nathan Finn to rebut the bill and laughably claim that while they “appreciate the spirit behind the abolition of abortion,” their resolution to continue supporting federal defunding of earmarked funds for abortion was the same as abolition, making the abolition resolution unnecessary and redundant.
We did adopt a resolution directly related to abortion – the Hyde Amendment resolution – we have consistently been on record since the early 1980s as a pro-life convention of churches…we do not believe this additional resolution is necessary and I would urge the messengers not to bring this resolution out.
The antagonism against the bill was exacerbated by another hostile committee member; Dana Hall McCain. While she wasn’t active in this interaction, earlier she got emotional and teary-eyed during a mini-speech regarding amending the language in Resolution #3. In her response, she explained that “the Lord showed her” that women who have abortions are victims, have been victimized by unjust abortion industry, and that people need to respond to them in love, not judgment. She is categorically against the use of language describing women bent on butchering their babies as “murderers” and any efforts to adopt stronger condemnation.
J.D. Greear, who is on record as being completely against bills to abolish abortion, took a vote on whether to end things right then and there, or to see if the committee would be forced to bring the resolution up for a hearing.
Much to the disappointment of the committee, the plea to reject the abolition resolution as “unnecessary” was soundly rebuked by a majority of Baptist messengers, with over two-thirds voting to keep it alive for the next day.
This wonderful news is in no small part due to dozens of SBC abolitionist pastors and supporters, who over the last few days spent hours passing out thousands of pamphlets and engaging in hours of discussion, explaining their position in order to gain exposure and support.
Pray for this resolution, that the SBC rejects the status quo and adopts language that treats babies as human beings made in the image of God for the first time in the history of the denomination, so that, as Matt Privett put it, the tears of murderous women won’t be worth more than the breath of babies.