STATEMENT: The Conservative Baptist Network calls on SBC leaders to renew their commitment to Southern Baptists’ pro-life position

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April 8, 2022

While it is not surprising that many non-Christians lauded the April 7th Senate confirmation of President Joe Biden’s pro-abortion, soft-on-pedophiles choice for the United States Supreme Court, the Conservative Baptist Network finds Christian — and especially Southern Baptist — support for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson deeply disturbing.

To celebrate the addition of a person to the Supreme Court based on skin color and gender rather than to lament the addition for the moral bankruptcy of supporting the murder of innocent children undermines the effort and prayer Baptists have long contributed to ending the horror of abortion in America. 

Among those offering nuanced congratulations to Jackson were two Southern Baptist leaders, SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Acting President Brent Leatherwood and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Texas Baptist College Assistant Professor Daniel Darling, who noted April 7th that they could “appreciate” and “celebrate,” respectively, the confirmation:

“Despite the philosophical and legal differences individuals like me will have with her, Judge Jackson’s confirmation is a history-making moment. We should appreciate it as such.” — Brent Leatherwood

“I disagree with her judicial philosophy but I celebrate the history of Judge Jackson’s appointment and am praying for wisdom and discernment as she serves on the highest court.” – Daniel Darling

In an April 8th interview on American Family Radio with Conservative Baptist Network Steering Council Member Jeff Schreve, SBC presidential candidate Tom Ascol had this to say in response to Leatherwood and Darling’s comments.

“This moral reasoning has far more in common with the godless ideologies of this world and the paganism of the world than with the Word of God. I’m grieved, brother. I woke up this morning, and my spirit was troubled. It’s a commentary on how bad things are and why, especially in the SBC, we must change the direction.”

Conservative Baptist Network Steering Council Member Mike Stone expressed disappointment with the comments from Southern Baptist leaders as well: 

“As one of the most radical leftist justices prepares to join the nation’s highest court, it’s a shame that Cooperative Program supported employees of SBC entities find reasons to say we should ‘celebrate’ and ‘appreciate’ the historic nature of this moment. I understand nuance. And I understand qualified praise. But I will never understand why people who work for us can’t simply lament and grieve the expansion of that which God calls an abomination without feeling compelled to offer some politically correct caveat. God knows we’ve been told for the last decade to lament and grieve about everything else.”

In keeping with the resolution, “On Abolishing Abortion,” passed by messengers at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention despite public opposition from the ERLC, members of the Conservative Baptist Network:

“lament … any apathy, in not laboring with the power and influence we have to abolish abortion”

and we reaffirm, 

“that as Southern Baptists we will engage, with God’s help, in establishing equal justice and protection for the pre-born according to the authority of God’s Word.”

The Conservative Baptist Network, recognizing that every person is created by God in His image and is knit together and known by God in the darkness of a mother’s womb, echoes Scripture’s clear teaching that intentionally killing a person whom God has created is sin and should in no way be condoned or enabled by those who claim to follow Jesus Christ.

As fellow Southern Baptists, we call on SBC leaders, institutions, and agencies to renew their commitment to the defense of unborn life, and we urge Southern Baptists to continue supporting wholeheartedly the pro-life movement to bring an end to abortion in the United States.