Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter from Tennessee Baptist Mission Board president and executive director Randy C. Davis.
Every personality profile evaluation I have ever taken identifies a particular character trait that is confirmed by my wife, family, friends, everyone I’ve worked with and by everyone for whom I’ve served as their pastor. I am a “bottom line” kind of man.
The Lord has taught me how to temper that trait with patience and grace when appropriate; but to employ that trait when needed. Unfortunately, we live in “bottom line” days, and I am embracing my bottom line self.
Bottom line No. 1: I love life.
Bottom line No. 2: I hate abortion.
Many legislators across our country are rushing to codify — and push toward barbaric depths — the violent practice of abortion, the evil of which has never before seen the light of day in the United States.
For instance, on Jan. 22, exactly 46 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, New York lawmakers passed the Reproductive Health Act, which has far more to do with the death of unborn children than the health of mothers. What was even more sickening than the legislation was the perverse celebration that followed. As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the document, the governmental body erupted in thunderous applause over a law that now provides abortion up until the moment a baby is to be born. The governor then looked up from the signing of the hellish law and with a broad smile declared, “I am directing that New York landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement.”
It was Romans chapters 1 and 2 personified.
Vermont followed suit. House Bill 57 states, “Every individual who becomes pregnant has the right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.” The bill goes on to clarify, “… A fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont laws.”
Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington D.C. all have similar laws. And in Virginia, politicians are introducing the possibility of post-birth abortions, otherwise known as infanticide.
Meanwhile, New Jersey State Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly introduced legislation to protect pregnant cows from going to slaughter and to also prevent the deaths of their unborn. Wimberly said of his bill, “It’s the right thing to do to protect our animals and unborn animals.” And in Toledo, Ohio, citizens have granted personhood status to Lake Erie, enabling a law that establishes for the lake the same rights as human beings.
They obviously must have in mind humans other than the unborn ones. The hypocrisy of all this is painfully obvious.
What about our beloved Tennessee? The fight for Amendment 1 was just a squall preceding a bigger storm. If you recall, Amendment 1 returned abortion restrictions to where they had been prior to a liberal judge reducing them to a level that made Tennessee the abortion destination of the South.
Tennessee Baptists, you played an important role in the passing of that amendment and you must play an even bigger role in the days ahead.
Let’s draw on our experience of cooperatively working together to make Tennessee the state more than any other that unapologetically loves God’s gift of life from conception until His determined end.
Let’s make adoption a process that isn’t complicated or expensive, and as churches let’s support and resource couples attempting to adopt.
Let’s unconditionally love mothers with unwanted pregnancies by caring for them and then assisting them in finding loving homes for their babies.
Let’s support like never before our Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes and their Foster Care Initiative in providing temporary but loving homes for children and teens in crisis.
Let’s rally around courageous Tennessee State Representatives and Senators attempting to create laws that make Tennessee a very difficult place to murder unborn babies. There are a number of bills being considered. Stay informed; be supportive.
Let’s continue to do good. “To him that knows to do good, and does it not, it is sin.” James 4:17.
Let’s win Tennessee for Christ as we go. Above all else, people need to hear the gospel of Jesus. The sin of abortion begins in the heart and abortion will only be fully eradicated by His saving grace that transforms the heart.
It is a joy to be on this journey with you.
Randy C. Davis
President & Executive Director
Tennessee Baptist Mission Board