Abortion and the Misshaped Conscience of Southern Baptists

Abortion and the Misshaped Conscience of Southern Baptists

In 1974, one year after the United States Supreme Court created a law to legalize abortion on demand in the Roe v Wade case, the pop rock duo, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts, released a song called “Unborn Child.” That song damaged their music careers and cost them dearly. Consider the lyrics.

Oh little baby, you’ll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullaby.

Oh unborn child, if you only knew just what your momma was plannin’ to do.

You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be cut off before you get ripe.

Oh unborn child, beginning to grow inside your momma, but you’ll never know.

Oh tiny bud, that grows in the womb, only to be crushed before you can bloom.


Mama stop! Turn around, go back, think it over.

Now stop, turn around, go back, think it over.

Stop, turn around, go back think it over.


Oh no momma, just let it be. You’ll never regret it, just wait and see.

Think of all the great ones who gave everything

That we might have life here, so please bear the pain.


Mama stop! Turn around, go back, think it over.

Now stop, turn around, go back, think it over.

Stop, turn around, go back think it over.

In a 1993 interview the duo revealed that their record label, Warner Records, warned them not to release the song because it was too controversial. They replied,

But you’re in the business to make money; we’re doing it to save lives. We don’t care about the money.

Seals & Crofts were outspoken proponents of the eastern religion known as the Baháʼí faith. Yet, the moral clarity that they had from that false religion shames the profound moral confusion reflected in the public declaration made by Southern Baptists in 1974. In its annual meeting, held in Dallas that year, the SBC passed a “Resolution on Abortion and the Sanctity of Human Life” that called on Southern Baptists to “reaffirm” a 1971 “Resolution on Abortion.” Under the leadership of the 1971 Resolutions Committee, the SBC called on Southern Baptists

to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother

While unbelievers Seals and Crofts were sacrificing their careers to protest the murder of children through their music, Southern Baptists were promoting it through their resolutions.

The resolutions that Southern Baptists adopt matter. The bloody stain that comes from the more than sixty million babies who have been legally put to death belongs in part to Southern Baptists for their ethical failures to speak clearly, prophetically and consistently on the sanctity of the life of preborn humans. That stain, like all sinful stains, can be removed by the blood of Jesus Christ. As King David prayed, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). There is genuine forgiveness for all who turn from sin to Christ.

It is time for Southern Baptists to repent of their complicity in searing the conscience of a nation that has yet to cease the slaughter of unborn innocents. A resolution calling for such repentance was going to be submitted to the 2020 Resolutions Committee of the SBC. Since the convention was cancelled, that will have to wait until next year. But Southern Baptist churches and leaders do not have to wait to take stronger actions to abolish abortion from our nation’s land.

Contact the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and encourage them not simply to work for pro-life legislation, but to start calling for the complete abolition of the murder of unborn children in our nation. Contact federal, state, and local government officials and humbly yet firmly make the same demand. Connect with other Christians in your area who will join you in this effort. Here is a great interview with my brother, Bill Ascol, about how he got involved in this kind of effort in Oklahoma.

When the Southern Baptist Convention convenes June 15-16, 2021 in Nashville, TN, the Lord willing, a strong resolution should be submitted that renounces the SBC’s complicity in the abortion culture of our nation. Until that time, may pastors, churches, and all Southern Baptists bring forth fruits of repentance by working for the end of this national holocaust.

Follow Tom Ascol:

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
Get Founders
in Your Inbox
A weekly brief of our new teaching resources.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Teaching BY TYPE
Teaching BY Author
Founders Podcasts