We Baptists are supposed to believe in Scripture as the final authority. We also believe in 'soul liberty' in matters not clearly explained in Scripture. Then separation of church and state is a third concept we claim. So, have we not derailed when it comes to a discussion of abortion and homosexuality?
Any Christian is going to view abortion in a negative light and find an abhorrence of it. Yet, do we not infringe upon soul liberty and religious liberty of others when we insist that a human being exists at conception, "traducianism"? The Baptist Dr. John Gill believed a human being began when God created and formed the soul within the formed body. The early Southern Baptist theologian Dr. John L.Dagg believed in "traducianism", a human being from conception. Another early Baptist in the SBC, J. P. Boyce inclined to the "creationist" view of the origin of the soul, hence did not see a human person existing at conception. So, where do we Baptists get off trying to force a law on the books for others that even we Baptists have not found agreement on? I mean a law claiming a human being exists at conception. By what arrogance do we force, by law, another woman/family to abide by our religious beliefs on abortion in the first trimester? If you believe an embryo is a human being at conception, live by that belief but do not force it upon another who holds a different view. We know what the view of our founders in the USA was:
“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and in some cases, from every degree of danger.” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Abortion_(1500-1900)
The advances in medical science have nothing to add about when a human being starts, the union of body and soul! That is a matter of Bible theology.
On the question of homosexuality, we Baptists make several blunders.
First, using psychological terms and defining those terms in a manner the field of psychology does not use.
Second, acting as experts in the field of sexology or psychology when that is not the role or specialty of the church and they are incompetent in this.
Third, inserting the modern idea of 'homosexual orientation' into the Scriptures when it was never heard of in the first century.
Fourth, while properly condemning sexual perversion, same-sex marriage, debauchery of every form; the church condemns people who while they are homosexual persons, they are not the perverts and sodomites the Bible condemns. The subject of lesbianism is not found in Scripture, it is read into it. Lesbianism is hard to find in secular sources in Roman antiquity as well.
Fifth, teaching that sexual orientations are a choice which can be changed by an act of will, or unproven counseling techniques is pure quackery! This has no place in an assembly supposedly based on truth: "I am the way, the truth and the life".
Sadly, we Baptists, along with other conservative denominations have been swept up with emotionalism over abortion and mixed with homophobia of varying degrees. It is fast making the church lose its power, which was based on a strict adherence to the Scriptures. Admittedly this is IMHO.
I suggest we go back to the Bible alone and maybe God will revive us.