Abortion (2023)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Study Committee to Strengthen Our Position on Abortion was formed by a petition of the Stroudsburg church at the 2022 Conference. The legislation below passed at First Reading at 2023 BFC Conference. The legislation was presented at Second Reading at 2024 BFC Conference and was referred back to the committee. The study committee will report at the 2025 Conference.

Study Committee on Strengthening Our Position on Abortion

At the 139th BFC Conference, the elders of Berean Bible Fellowship Church in Stroudsburg, PA petitioned Conference to consider a series of resolutions to strengthen the Conference’s position on abortion (See 2022 Yearbook, pp. 13, 138-140).

In response to their petition, the 139th BFC Conference appointed a committee to both evaluate and strengthen our position on abortion, and to provide guidance to churches for pregnant mothers and fathers.

The Moderator appointed a committee of four ministers and three laymen to evaluate our position and present resolutions that satisfied both the Conference and the elders of Berean Bible Fellowship Church. The committee met at the BFC Headquarters on August 10 and October 26, 2022, and January 18, 2023.

Our recommendations to the Conference are conveyed in the following resolutions:

Resolved, that the following BPL on Abortion be adopted at First Reading, with additions and changes in bold face:

Article 152 – Abortion

152-1 God is the creator, sustainer, and giver of life. Only He has the right to say under what conditions it may be taken away.1 His Word declares that man is made in His image and is endowed with the dignity of personhood from the moment of fertilization,2 and it is for this reason that the death penalty was commanded for murder in the Old Testament.3 It is an evil before God to intentionally murder unborn children, since they too bear His image, even if they are disabled or the result of rape or incest. If the life of the mother is in jeopardy, it is the moral and ethical obligation of the mother’s medical care team to work to preserve the life of both baby and mother to the greatest extent their abilities and resources allow. Therefore, since abortion is murder, as members of Christ’s body, the Church, we may not have, give direct assistance to, or perform an elective abortion.4 Any BFC church member(s) who, after rejecting repeated, godly, and compassionate counsel, continue(s) to have unrepentant sinful involvement in abortion could be subject to church discipline as prescribed by our Lord in Matthew 18. 5

1 Gen. 9:5,6

2 Psa. 139:13-16; Gen. 1:27

3 Exo. 21:14

4 Prov. 24:11,12

5 Matt. 18:15-20

152-2 Within the marriage bond a pregnancy and resulting child must be accepted as from God, and  the parents are commanded to love the child.6 Pregnancies resulting from promiscuous or  licentious behavior are not to be terminated by abortion, which only adds sin forbidden by the  sixth commandment to sin forbidden by the seventh commandment.7 Therefore, anyone contemplating an abortion, even though outside the Church, should be encouraged to preserve life by completing the pregnancy.8 The child can either be raised by its biological parents or be adopted by others. The Church must strive to create a culture where women and men feel safe in coming forward to share their struggles without fear of being condemned.

6 Psa. 127:3-5

7 Exo. 20:13,14; 1Cor. 6:18

8 Heb. 10:24

Resolved, that 152-3 be added to our Biblical Principle of Living on Abortion.

152-3 As Christians, we call upon our government leaders, with complete dependence on God, to establish equal justice and equal protection for the preborn according to the authority of God’s Word, at the local, state and federal levels, without exception or compromise.9  We call upon Pastors and leaders to use their God-given gifts of preaching, teaching, and leading with one unified, principled, prophetic voice to uphold and promote God’s justice for all, including our preborn neighbors, at any and all stages of development.10

9 Deut. 16:18-20; Proverbs 20:10; Romans 13:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-14

10 Prov. 24:11-12; Psalm 82:4; Micah 6:8; Matt. 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29

And be it further Resolved, that we commend the ministry of lovelife.org and local pregnancy resource centers to churches to encourage continued support for mothers and fathers and those recovering from abortions.

Study Committee on Strengthening our Position on Abortion: Beau E. Coffman, Chairman; Sal Piccolo, Secretary; W. Scott Kappes, Juan Carlos Morales, Ronald W. Reed, John C. Studenroth, Mary Tannous.

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