Published January 1, 2021
LOUISVILLE — The United States Supreme Court legalized abortion 48 years ago. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been more than 61 million abortions since 1973. An entire generation of Americans was never allowed to live.
In recent years, many pro-life leaders have made strides to reduce the number of abortions in the commonwealth. Most Kentucky Baptists believe, though, one abortion is too many. The Baptist Faith and Message reminds us, "Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image." Because of this truth, it goes on to say, "Therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is wor- thy of respect and Christian love."
In the fall of 2020, the KBC Public Affairs Committee began discussing a new initiative called Friends of Life KY. Messengers to the 2020 Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting approved the initiative's framework.
Jim Ewing, pastor of Calvert City First Baptist Church, is helping to spearhead the work. Here's what he said about the initiative …
Why is this initiative important to you?
It's important to me because of the tremendous negative impact abortion has on so many people in so many ways. As a member of the board of a local crisis pregnancy center, I've seen the suffering surrounding the victims of the abortion industry. The most prominent victim is the child who loses his or her opportunity to experience God's incredible blessing of life.
Experience has shown that the mother, and often the father, carry a tremendous burden of guilt and shame that can last for the rest of their lives. That guilt often destroys marriages and leads to broken families.
Beyond that, abortion has a destructive impact on the culture as it diminishes the value of life for the elderly, the poor and the infirmed.
When we continue to usurp the authority of God over human life, we risk bringing our nation under God's hand of judgment.
What do you hope will come from this initiative?
I would hope that as a result of Friends of Life KY, people would recognize the value of life at all stages and in all conditions.
As we work together to abolish abortion, I hope we'll see a greater spirit of unity and cooperation among Kentucky Baptists. Beyond Kentucky, I hope our efforts will begin to influence how the scientific and medical communities think about the morality of embryonic stem cell research, genetic manipulation and cloning.
Do you believe the abolition of legalized abortion is possible?
The answer is an unqualified yes. It's possible for the same reason Jesus said in Luke 18:27, "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God." The gospel message is that God is in the heart and mind-changing business, and He does it every day. That's a real reason to be optimistic. With that said, this issue has been on the American conscience since 1973.
While we have made progress over the years, we would be naïve to think that the abortion industry and its supporters will step away without a fight. While I believe it's entirely possible to abolish legalized abortion, we must recognize that God's ways are not our ways, which means the timetable is not entirely up to us.
As we genuinely seek to honor God and His design for life, if we're striving faithfully and to the best of our ability, we can expect God will be pleased — no matter how long it takes.
What are the ways Kentucky Baptists should pray concerning abortion?
• First, pray individually for a courageous heart and a strong commitment to stand boldly in opposition to the logic and pressure from the abortion culture.
• Second, ask the Holy Spirit to guide and prosper the Kentucky Baptist Friends of Life initiative's efforts
• Third, pray for those in leadership in Frankfort to stand firm in the face of resistance and that the Lord would protect them from discouragement.
• Fourth, pray for the vulnerable individuals and families who wrestle with an abortion decision every Pray the Lord will protect them from those people and organizations that would seek to take advantage of their suffering for personal or political gain.
• Fifth, pray that the Lord would begin to change the hearts of those who stand for abortion.
Brandon Porter is communications director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
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