Thursday, November 14, 2019

Oklahoma's Southern Baptists call for abolition of abortion at annual meeting


Hallelujah.

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma held its annual state meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Oklahoma City. The state affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention authorized a re-branding to simply Oklahoma Baptists, elected new officers, and passed several resolutions, the most prominent of which called on the Oklahoma Legislature to "enact legislation for the immediate end of abortion without exception or compromise."

During the 2019 legislative session, leadership of the BGCO publicly opposed an Abolition bill by State Sen. Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow), sparking uproar among many Oklahoma Baptists and ultimately led to this resolution by convention delegates (or "messengers" from churches).

To my knowledge, this is the first Southern Baptist state affiliate to move beyond a generic pro-life stance and adopt a pro-abolition position.

Here is the text of the resolution, posted in the image above:
We, the messengers to the 2019 Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, meeting at Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, November 11-12, 2019, believe in the sanctity of human life, that every person—born and unborn—is created in God’s image and deserves life. We are thus deeply grieved that the barbaric practice of abortion continues in Oklahoma. We are horrified to know the abortion rate is increasing in Oklahoma, recognizing the loss of each one of these unborn children is a tragedy. We are calling on Oklahoma Baptists to unite toward positive and effective efforts that build a culture of life and that work to end abortion. Through fervent prayer, preaching, legislative efforts, education, volunteering and more, we pledge to renew our efforts to promote life and protect the unborn. With God’s help, we will work to see a day in which every unborn child in Oklahoma and America is protected. Finally, we call upon the Oklahoma State Legislature to enact legislation that calls for the immediate end of abortion without exception or compromise.
Will the BGCO leadership adhere to the voice of Oklahoma Baptists and support an abolition bill this coming legislative session? Time will tell.

As of 2017 there were 1,785 BGCO-affiliated congregations with 579,476 members across the state.

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