Of all the wickedness that came out of the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting–the waffling on Critical Race Theory and the election of a new president who embraces the social justice movement and quite possibly rejects the Trinity–there was one moment of glory we can all be thankful for. The Southern Baptist Convention adopted–albeit, narrowly–a resolution calling on Southern Baptists to support the complete and total abolition of abortion.
The resolution, known as the Southern Baptist Resolution on Abolishing Abortion, is a very strongly-worded critique of the modern pro-life movement which Evangelicals have pragmatically embraced while abandoning biblical thinking on the subject of abortion. The resolution states unequivocally that abortion is murder and that Southern Baptists ought to 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.”
Further, the resolution reads that Southern Baptists will not embrace “an incremental approach to ending abortion because it challenges God’s Lordship over the heart and the conscience, and rejects His call to repent of sin completely and immediately” and calls on Southern Baptists to support the total criminalization of abortion carrying punishments equal to the murder of any human being, regardless of age.
The abolitionist position has always held that a pragmatic and incremental approach to regulating abortion actually serves to legitimize the heinous act while failing to recognize the full humanity of preborn children.
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All in all, we can be thankful that most Southern Baptists at this meeting had the intestinal fortitude to say such out loud and pass this resolution.
While the resolution is symbolic and carries no legal authority nor are churches obligated to adhere to it, it does speak volumes about the theology of those who support it and those who don’t. And, of those who don’t support it are paid employees of the Southern Baptist Convention, particularly, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).
Joshua Wester, Chair of Research in Christian Ethics at the ERLC and a close associate of former ERLC head, Russell Moore, gave a passionate speech opposing this resolution. What’s interesting is that as one whose job depends on the continuation of abortion, Wester opposes any actual and real movement that would actually completely end abortion. In fact, In Wester’s speech, he states that much of his work at the ERLC is in the area of abortion–he writes about it, he gives speeches about it, he opposes abortion, he says. Lo and behold, should abortion actually end, what would he have left to write about?
This has been one of the main critiques by proponents of abolitionism of the pro-life movement. The modern pro-life movement actually depends on the continuation and regulation of abortion and does not operate in such a way that would actually lead one to believe that they truly desire the complete cessation of it.
So then, why would Joshua Wester oppose it? Considering he believes one of the duties of his post are pushing legislation against “hair discrimination” in the workplace and those who oppose that nonsense are a “cancer” in the Church, it should be obvious.
Nonetheless, he tells us why in his speech which can be seen in this video. But, in summary, Wester believes that by thinking biblically about abortion, we will hamper the efforts currently in place to regulate it. One must wonder if those, like Wester–who opposed this resolution because it rejects an incremental approach to fighting abortion–would also support an incremental approach to fighting sex abuse, racism, or any one of their pet social issues.
This line of reasoning has always demonstrated a complete lack of faith and obedience to God and a deficient and sub-biblical epistemology and worldview. God does not call us to support half-truths and semi-repentance–he calls us to preach the truth and let His word go forth.