On Personhood and the Sanctity of Human Life

Earlier today, I was honored to serve as a messenger from my church to the 2014 Georgia Baptist Convention.  In honor of my two older children, adopted at birth, and the two brave and courageous young women who chose life, I sponsored the following resolution.

WHEREAS, the Bible affirms the personhood, sanctity, dignity and value of every human being from the moment of our individual creation, as evidenced by the fact that we are created in the Image of God and our being known by God while being formed in the womb (Genesis 1:26-27, James 3:9, Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:13-15,35,36); and

WHEREAS, God alone is the creator and giver of life and the one distinguishing feature between humanity and the rest of creation is that God created human beings in His image and likeness (Job 10:8-12, 12:10, 31:15, 33:4; 1 Sam 2:6, Psalm 100:3, 139:13-16, Isa 64:8, Col 1:16); and

WHEREAS, members of the human family originate ultimately from the laws of nature and of nature’s God, who created human life in His image and protected it with the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13); and

WHEREAS, all innocent human life must be respected and protected regardless of race, sex, age or condition of dependency and regardless of manner of conception or creation, and are persons of equal and immeasurable worth and of inviolable dignity (2 Kings 24: 3,4, Psalm 106:37-39, 1 Corinthians 10:20); and

WHEREAS they must be recognized and treated in a manner commensurate with this moral status (Leviticus 18:21, 30); and
WHEREAS, the Declaration of Independence, states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and that governments are instituted in order to secure these rights (Romans 13:1-7); and
WHEREAS, the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law" (Micah 6:7,8); and
WHEREAS, the Georgia Baptist Convention believes that the Scriptures are totally true, trustworthy and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried (Psalms 19:7-10, 2 Tim 3:16 Heb 4:12); and

WHEREAS, the Georgia Baptist Convention has a long Biblical tradition of strong support for traditional family values including the right to life for all persons from fertilization to natural death; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that the Georgia Baptist Convention will work to assist the Church as it seeks to affirm the personhood of every human being; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Georgia Baptist Convention expresses its support for a personhood amendment to the Georgia Constitution which would specify that the protections guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution apply to preborn children; and be it further

RESOLVED, that all Georgia Baptist pastors and churches be encouraged to emphasize the Scriptural principles of this resolution as part of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on January 18, 2015; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Georgia Baptist Convention meeting in Macon, Georgia on November 10-11, 2014 encourage all believers to pray that God will continue changing the hearts and minds of Americans on the issue of the sanctity of human life and the personhood of all individuals, both born and preborn.