The ERLC: With Friends Like These…
Oh, how I wish I could live back in the days when I was blissfully unaware of the enemies we have in our so called “pro-life” movement. A time where the truth found in God’s word that human life is valuable and begins at conception united a movement to see the scourge of abortion brought to an end in our land. But, alas, those days are gone and the wolves in the fold have thrown off their sheepskins.
We have especially seen this in my own convention of church’s known as the SBC. Brent Leatherwood and the now ironically named Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) came out in full force at the SBC Annual Meeting to support keeping abortion decriminalized (for the mothers at least) in a post Roe America. If that sounds unbelievable, I’ll quote Mr. Leatherwood from the platform at the meeting: “You are not going to get me to say I want to throw mothers behind bars.” Behind the emotionally manipulative language is a simple goal: keep abortion decriminalized for the mothers who commit it. And just in case you think this view is an outlier, the statement was met with enthusiastic applause. I know this because I was in the room at the convention nauseated by the sound.
This is unbiblical. Therefore unethical.
Someone was saying this man should lead the ERLC?
— Save the SBC (@savethesbc) June 16, 2022
In a country and culture that celebrates the slaughter of infants, we now have to turn and deal with those who support it in our own camp. I do mean that the ERLC and Mr. Leatherwood support abortion even though they say that they do not. We can look to the push for the legalization of marijuana for an example. Those who support that cause fought first for its decriminalization in order to gain momentum for full legalization. Decriminalizing weed for its users was a win for the pro-marijuana movement and so, supporting that was support for the movement as a whole. The same is true for abortion- the ERLC and Brent Leatherwood support decriminalization for the mothers who commit it and so, they lend their support to the pro-abortion movement as a whole.
The real trouble comes not just from their unbiblical stance, but from the fact that they still want to be known as members of the pro-life camp. What they would like to see is their view adopted as an acceptable stance among pro-lifers. So, they still call abortion sin and when I asked them from the floor of the convention if abortion is a sin before God by the mother who willfully participates in it, the answer was in the affirmative. The second part of my question inquired of them which law of God the mother broke, and the answer was, “The Ten Commandments: thou shalt not kill,” followed by a gesture seeming to indicate that the answer was obvious.
That answer is obvious, but not coming from a group of people who say, “We state unequivocally that any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life and we stand firmly opposed to such efforts.” Brent Leatherwood and the so-called Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission are trying to hold two positions at once. They are working to keep the spilling of infant blood decriminalized for mothers while wearing their pro-life T-shirts. Southern Baptists should be infuriated. They were lectured on the glories of the ERLC by Brent Leatherwood while blood dripped from his fingers. The wolves are among the sheep.
There are only two ways forward in order for the ERLC to resolve their hypocrisy. If they remain unchanged in their stance on decriminalization and life beginning at conception, then moving forward they must also seek to push for legislation that would decriminalize mothers murdering their children who are already born. This is not what I would call an ideal scenario, but at least they would be consistent.
The choice that I am calling them to would be that Brent Leatherwood and all those in the ERLC would repent and believe in the word of God Most High, renounce their wickedness, and fight for the equal protection of the unborn under the law.
No amount of approval from the culture is worth betraying God, and no amount of ultrasound machines can wash this stain from their hands. But, I know Who can bring repentance, forgiveness, and Who can wash away the stain of sin. Turn to Christ, believe in His Word, and submit to Him as Lord even if it is unpopular or unpalatable to the world! I fervently pray they will join us, but for now: With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Wes Brown is the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Plumerville, AR.
He and his wife Kristin have been married for 12 years. They have 3 wonderful sons and one on the way. Wes comes from a long
line of godly men as both his grandfather and his father were/are faithful Southern Baptist pastors.