• Protect the unborn. Christians stand adamantly in opposition to abortion. Ex. 20:13 says, “You shall not kill.” Knowing that life begins at conception, each life must be protected. How ironic that a celebrity couple or the royal family in England can give birth to a baby and it be widely celebrated, yet in the same breath 2,899 abortions are performed each day in the U.S. In Kentucky, there was a 9 percent decline in the abortion rate from 2014-2017. Yet there are still 3.8 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
• Promote adoption and foster care. Kentucky has almost 10,000 children in out-ofhome care. Officials at Sunrise Children’s Services say the need for foster parents has never been greater. Valuing life is not limited to protecting the unborn, but also includes protecting vulnerable children — those who are orphaned, those removed from homes where drug usage has destroyed the family unit and those removed from homes because of abusive parents. Kentucky Baptists demonstrate they value life by taking in foster children and promoting adoption so those children will have a “forever family.”
• Combat human trafficking. Young men and women, feeling the absence of a loving family, are lured into situations where they are promised their needs will be met in exchange for sex or other services. Kentucky Baptists must be strong partners in the fight against human trafficking, labeled as a $32 billion industry by Google. In addition to sexual exploitation, slaves are traded for domestic servitude, forced marriage, armed conflict and organ removal. Human trafficking is labeled as the fastest growing international criminal industry in the world.
Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives. Kentucky Baptists desire to follow Gal. 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
• Oppose euthanasia. Kentucky law does not permit the voluntary or involuntary killing of a person for their “alleged” benefit. Assisted suicide and physician- assisted suicide falls into this category. While the abortion on demand was instituted in a single case (Roe v. Wade), the progress of euthanasia has not had a watershed moment. Kentucky Baptists must remain resolute in opposing non-voluntary withdrawal of life-saving medical treatment.
In addition to fighting abortion through legislative channels, Kentucky Baptists must be prepared to respond to arguments such as “a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion” and that restricting abortions will lead to “back alley abortions.”
Those replies can take this form:
• Every mother is faced with a crucial decision to make for herself and her child, but those decisions do not include the right to kill her baby. Mothers have the right to be fully informed about the facts at least 24 hours before making a life-or-death decision for themselves and their child.
• Claims of back alley and botched abortions are hugely exaggerated. Widespread introduction of antibiotics into medicine, not legalization of abortion, saved the lives of women who would have otherwise died due to botched abortions.
Choosing life is best for the mother, best for the country and best for the child.
Not only do children who are desperately in need of a loving home suffer, but so does our society. An average of 23,000 youth “age out” of the foster care system in the U.S. each year. Over half of those lack a high school diploma. Within two years, about 30 percent of them experience homelessness or incarceration. More than half of the young women will have children — and those children will also enter the foster care system, continuing the vicious cycle.
Last year, Kentucky first lady Glenna Bevin launched a “Uniting Kentucky” initiative that was a partnership with Orphan Care Alliance, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Focus on the Family’s Wait No More and the Department for Community Based Services. That program brought together churches, people of faith and community partners with the goal of recruiting quality foster parents, enlisting adoptive parents and seeking community support for foster and adoptive families.
Dr. David N. O’Steen, executive director of National Right to Life, wrote in 2013, “Two things are evident necessities if we wish to save our own lives and those of our families.
“First, we must individually get all of our family members to sign Wills to Live to protect themselves — and ourselves — from the now commonplace non-voluntary denial of treatment food and fluids to those who have never made their preferences clear — and very possibly from the non-voluntary lethal injections to come.
“Second, we must collectively press, at the minimum, for legislation that will protect us from involuntary denial of treatment, food and fluids despite our Wills to Live.”
The story is told of a baseball game where the bases were loaded when the batter hit the ball to left field. The center-fielder scooped up the ball and threw a line drive to the plate. As the runner trying to score from second base slid into home plate, each side erupted. One bench yelled, “He’s out.” The other bench yelled, “He’s safe.” The home plate umpire cast his glance at both teams and said, “I will make the call, and what I say determines whether he is safe or out.”
God has made the call in scripture about the value of life — all human life is of valuable since mankind is made in the image of God.
Charles Swindoll observed, “Looking at life from God’s vantage point, David says that our heavenly Father marks out our days and ‘ordains’ them even before we are born. The original term translated ‘ordain’ is often used in the Old Testament in connection with a potter who forms clay on his wheel, shaping and pressing and pulling at it until the lump takes the shape he has in mind. God forms our days so that they are exactly the kind of days we should have to become the kind of person He wants us to be. There is little room left for insecurity once we understand His constant interest in our lives.”
Understanding that human life is sacred impacts how we live and how we want to influence our culture to reflect this truth. Therefore, we take seriously issues of our day that are paramount to valuing life.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:14
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:3-5
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5