Last weekend, I was privileged to participate in the Evangelicals for Life Conference in Washington, DC. This conference is jointly presented by the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Commission (ERLC) and Focus on the Family. Two Cooperative Program Catalysts, Curtis Cook and myself, were able to host a pastor’s event during the late night portion of the conference.
Evangelicals for Life is one of my favorite events that the ERLC hosts, because of its focus on the sanctity of human life – especially as this sanctity is grounded in the image of God. Guest speakers included Senator Ben Sasse, Senator James Lankford, Jim Daly, Richard Stearns, and NFL player and author Benjamin Watson. I was especially blessed to hear in person from one of my heroes, Joni Eareckson Tada. All speakers challenged us to pray, give, and act on behalf of those in need, babies in the womb, the disabled, and refugees. All of these concerns flow from the gospel and the Imago Dei.
Built into the conference was the opportunity to join the annual March for Life along the National Mall. Prior to the march, there was a rally that featured a satellite address from President Trump – the first time a sitting president has addressed the march in its 45 years. After that, it was incredible to see tens of thousands of people protesting the murderous practice of abortion in our nation. This time lapse posted by Students for Life America gives you a sense of the massive size of the crowd.
Here are pictures of a few Southern Baptists who stood up for life that day:
Dr. Russell Moore of the ERLC is joined here by Dr. Ronnie Parrott of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, NC, and his wife Marci.
Executive Committee Vice President of Cooperative Program Ashley Clayton marched, along with his wife Sharon.
City Church Tallahassee brought several of their staff to the Evangelicals for Life Conference and the March, and Pastor Dean Inserra spoke on a panel at the conference.
Cooperative Program Catalysts Curtis Cook (Northeast Region) and Matt Crawford (South Region) marched, as well.
As a Southern Baptist, it encourages me to see the national leadership on behalf of life that is exercised by the ERLC. The ERLC receives less than 2% of the annual Cooperative Program budget, but what a return we get on this investment! Why? Because speaking and advocating on behalf of the unborn, orphans, the disabled, and others whom society prefers to cast off is not an issue that is peripheral to the gospel. Over and over again in Scripture, we are told to care and work for the good of orphans, widows, and those in need. This is a natural and even necessary response to God’s love that caused Him to come to earth, fight for us to the point of death, and adopt us into His family. As we participate in the Cooperative Program and support the ERLC, we are better together – for LIFE.