It can normally be assumed that Baptist churches will oppose abortion, but many Baptists in Texas would be surprised at the stance their leaders have taken on this issue. The Baptist General Convention of Texas (we know it as the BGCT) would have a lot of explaining to do if the members of its churches bothered to read the BGCT website.
In the “What we Believe” section of the BGCT homepage, we see this message:
In the sanctity of human life: Messengers to BGCT Annual Meetings have clearly stated their position regarding the issues involved in the sanctity of human life.
OK. That’s not helpful, at all.. Let’s dig deeper.
Further investigation brings us to something called the ‘Christian Life Commission‘ which is a group that informs the BGCT on ethical matters. Here’s what they have to say:
Aborting a developing life should he regarded as an extreme act undertaken only under extreme circumstances…cases in which abortion might be contemplated include pregnancies which result from rape or incest. When carrying pregnancies resulting from rape and incest to term is so traumatic as to destroy the emotional health of the mother, abortion might he considered as a regrettable alternative. Abortion might also be considered in cases of severe and chronic mental illness in which pregnancy imminently and severely threatens the life of the mother for reasons not related to rape or incest but which are equally devastating to her mental and emotional stability…While we reject the practice of abortion, there may be rare circumstances described above in which Christians prayerfully choose abortion as the least tragic choice.
I’ll bet this would shock a lot of Baptists if they knew about it. It’s right there on the BGCT website with no disclaimer of any sort.
For record, I think that killing an unborn child because they are the product of rape is nonsense. I know people who were born as products of rape, and I don’t think they should have been killed for the convenience of the parent. I understand how horrible rape is, but compounding that problem by killing a baby isn’t the answer. And counseling is a fine option for parents who might feel emotionally unstable after giving birth to such a child – and it’s something that most churches are well equipped to do.
So, fellow Baptists, help me out. Have I missed something – am I misrepresenting the Texas Baptists? (I don’t want to be unfair to a group that does so many other things well.) Or does the BGCT have a skeleton in its closet?
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)