Evangelicals for Life conference brings message of human dignity to DC

By Carrie Brown McWhorter
The Alabama Baptist

Evangelical Christians emphasized a myriad of human life issues, including protecting the unborn and ministering to their mothers, adoption, foster care, service to the disabled and ministry to refugees, as they gathered in Washington for the third Evangelicals for Life conference.

The three-day conference, held Jan. 18–20 and hosted by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Focus on the Family, is structured around the annual March for Life. This year’s march, the 45th, was held Jan. 19 on the National Mall. President Donald Trump delivered a live address to the rally via satellite from the White House Rose Garden, making him the first sitting president to do so.

Ahead of the Evangelicals for Life conference, keynote speaker Russell Moore, ERLC president, said the conference “exists as a platform for the reborn to stand for the unborn,” but in his Jan. 18 keynote address Moore introduced a variety of human life issues, including human trafficking, abuse of the elderly, immigration and racial injustice.

On these issues, Moore said many in contemporary American society base their choices on the situation.

“Most of the people who are, right now as we are speaking, pressuring girlfriends, wives (or) daughters to go to the abortion clinics probably aren’t pro-choice in terms of an opinion poll,” he said. “(It) doesn’t matter what their opinion is. When they have a problem as they see it, then they’re able to say, ‘this situation is different,’ ‘this situation is special.’”

Moore said those who are “screaming at immigrant communities,” “staying quiet in the face of racial bigotry” or “covering up abuse of vulnerable women and children” are saying the same thing: “I’m special. This doesn’t apply to me.”

What Scripture says

Scripture calls followers of Jesus to an “open proclamation of the truth,” Moore said.

“The people of God need to be the people who are speaking, calling things what they are.

“In a world that wants to say ‘embryos’ and ‘fetuses’ and ‘products of conception,’ we have to be the people who say ‘children.’ In a world that wants to say ‘nursing home populations,’ we have to be the people who say ‘our fathers,’ ‘our mothers,’ ‘our grandfathers,’ ‘our grandmothers,’ ‘our fellow human beings.’

“In a world that wants to say ‘those strip clubs over there,’ we have to be the people who say ‘women bearing the image of God who are being trafficked and abused.’ In a world where people want to say ‘these problem people who are coming from somewhere else,’ we have to be the people who say ‘those created in the image of God and deeply loved by Him.’ We have to be the people who tell the truth,” Moore said.

Other speakers on the open day’s schedule, including U.S. senators James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, spoke about pro-life legislative efforts. Focus on the Family President Jim Daly and others spoke about adoption and foster care. Other topics included the work of pregnancy resource centers, service to the disabled and ministry to refugees.

Featured speakers

Speakers on the conference schedule included: Joni Eareckson Tada, popular author and disability advocate who is quadriplegic; Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S.; Ann Voskamp, well-known author; Benjamin Watson, tight end for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens; and Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief.

For more information and videos from the conference, go to www.evangelicals.life.