Baptists' resolution – a 'come to Jesus' moment for some pro-lifers?

Baptists' resolution – a 'come to Jesus' moment for some pro-lifers?

Baptists' resolution – a 'come to Jesus' moment for some pro-lifers?

The Southern Baptist Convention will be grappling with the ethics of in vitro fertilization at their annual meeting in Indianapolis this week. One SBC theologian predicts the issue will separate the "real" pro-lifers from the hangers on.


Messengers to the SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis will be voting on a resolution that would discourage in vitro fertilization as a method for infertile couples to have a better chance of having children. "On the Ethical Realities of Reproductive Technologies and the Dignity of the Human Embryo" acknowledges the pain of infertility for married couples who desire to have children; recognizes that regardless of the circumstances of their conception, all children are a gift from the Lord; and encourages Southern Baptists to promote adoption as an alternative to IVF.

It also argues that IVF "most often engages in the destruction of embryonic human life"; laments that most of the estimated 1.0-1.5 million human embryos currently stored in cryogenic freezers are "unquestionably destined for eventual destruction"; and urges Southern Baptists to advocate for governmental restraints on "actions inconsistent with the dignity and value of every human being, which necessarily includes frozen embryonic human beings."

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. introduced the resolution on Monday, saying that those who believe life begins at conception should oppose in vitro fertilization.

"IVF, as it is practiced, is not only the alienation of reproduction from the conjugal setting, it is also an engineered system whereby multiple embryos are created only for most of them, assuredly, to be destroyed," he stated.

Mohler, Dr. R. Albert Mohler (SBTS) Mohler

The resolution calls on Southern Baptists to only use reproductive technologies that don't end the lives of embryonic human beings. "Any intervention with an embryo, any commodification of the embryo, any turn of the embryo into a consumer product is an assault on human dignity," Mohler added.

And according to the seminary president, the resolution will test the convictions of those that call themselves pro-life.

"There's a lot of slippage in all of this," he conceded. "And we saw this right after the Dobbs decision was handed down [when] an awful lot of people who were supposedly pro-life went into panic – because it turns out that Roe [v. Wade] was their defense against ever having to mean it significantly, in a way that would put their job or influence on the line.

"In the contemporary context, we're about to find out how pro-life the pro-life movement is," Mohler explained.

Other resolutions on the SBC docket include issues such as evangelism, abortion, parenting, religious liberty, war, and integrity in leadership.