“Credible expert legal/policy analysis indicates SB 13 will be invalidated immediately by the courts, if it passes at all, and we cannot save lives with legislation that never goes into effect.” —Open Letter from the BGCO to Oklahoma Baptists
reductio ad absurdum: a method of proving the falsity of a premise by showing that its logical consequence is absurd or contradictory.
It is this first concern that most concerns me. Unless my eyes deceive me, and I do wear corrective lenses, I fear this is a pragmatic approach to justice, which is to say, it is unjust.
Pragmatism is the one philosophy grown in American soil. Home grown is not always better. We Americans have grown our redwoods, but we also have poison ivy. Pragmatism is a weed. Pragmatism conceives of truth in terms of success. The end justifies the means, even if the means are unjustifiable.
Pragmatism’s vines entangled evangelicalism long ago. Numbers are used to justify nonsense. If it draws a crowd, it draws an “Amen!” As servants of the Lord of the harvest it is not our job to engineer a crop, but to faithfully obey our Lord. Some sow. Others water. God gives the growth. Once upon a time the regulative principle regulated the church. Now, we’re irregular. Scripture doesn’t control; “success” does.
Pragmatism cannot be justified. She cannot be baptized, not even by baptists. In contrast to the whore of pragmatism with her wanton eyes, Lady Justice is blind. She doesn’t determine how the scales should fall by how they will fall in human courts.
Concerning what our play should be, it means nothing to me that courts which have validated abortion would invalidate this bill. I expect this bill to be challenged tooth and nail. If the opposition is for tearing babies I don’t doubt they’ll tear some paper.
William Wilberforce fought for four decades to end the slave trade in the British empire. His legislation was struck down eleven times before he succeeded. His failures were as glorious as his successes, for both were done in faithfulness. In faith, let us trust our God and defy Nebuchadnezzar. If we perish we perish. We are sure to face the fire. I am just as sure we will not face it alone.
The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ should be shared, not because we are assured a particular soul will believe, but because our Lord has commanded it. Further, it is through the preached gospel that our God calls sinners out of darkness and into light. It is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation, not our ingenuity. Likewise, justice should be sought, not because we are assured she will be recognized, but because she is beautiful. If we want her beauty to be praised, let us lift her up.
If I’m in a battle and I’ve only got one bullet and my only prayer of taking out the enemy is a seemingly impossible long shot, I’m going to use that bullet and pray that God will give me more ammo.* Impossibility cannot justify surrender.
Brothers, perhaps I’m being injudicious. And yes, my rebuke may have grown to a roar. Know I’m roaring as a comrade in the trench pleading that you take the shot. I cannot conceive of any reason why we shouldn’t. Yes, we might miss, but by God’s grace, we might just hit something, even though we’re firing with the blinders of justice.
*This is a metaphor, it is only a metaphor. The enemy is abortion; legislation is the bullet.
If you are a member or a pastor of an Oklahoma Southern Baptist Church and disagree with the BGCO, consider signing this letter and requesting to join the Facebook group Oklahoma Baptists for SB 13.