in vitro fertilization in petri dish
Is this a person?

The United States’ largest Protestant denomination has voted to oppose in vitro fertilization, or IVF, sending shockwaves through faith circles in America.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), with nearly 13 million members, is often viewed as the national pulse of mainstream Protestant evangelicalism. This latest vote condemning the use of IVF comes as a surprise to many, given the SBC's overwhelming pro-life views. 

Why would a religious group that supports more babies being born be opposed to the very treatment which makes this possible?

IVF Debate Drama

Earlier this month, nearly 11,000 Southern Baptist delegates gathered for the annual meeting at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, during which members speak their minds and vote on issues relevant to the church. On the docket at this year’s meeting were a number of controversial topics, including a resolution on the use of in vitro fertilization.

IVF is the process whereby eggs are fertilized with sperm outside the human body and later implanted in the uterus.

The resolution put forward called on all SBC members to “to reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation, especially in the number of embryos generated in the I.V.F. process.”

Debate began with impassioned pleas from Southern Baptist members who used IVF to get pregnant, and explained that without the treatment they would never have been able to start families. 

Zach Sahadak, a parent from Ohio, came forward to explain that he has a son born via IVF and that his wife is now pregnant again using the same method.

“I have 10 embryos I love,” Sahadak told the convention. “I am for the sanctity of life and for the sanctity of embryos. I’m against the idea that this technology is so wicked that it cannot be employed.

Some public officials also voiced their opposition following the vote, including Birmingham, AL mayor Randall Woodfin.

Fetal Personhood at Issue

However, other members voiced deep concerns about the practice. Some pro-life activists oppose IVF because hopeful couples often have to harvest extra embryos in case some are unviable. Unused embryos are often destroyed. 

Because they view all embryos as human life, critics argue that while IVF does help create life where it wouldn't otherwise be possible, it also destroys it. This is an unacceptable moral tradeoff, they say. 

“We oppose creating disposable people,” said Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America.

Resolution Passes

After impassioned debate, the SBC ultimately voted in favor of the resolution, which condemns the use of IVF and calls for laws against the “dehumanizing” use of IVF to retain the “dignity” of “frozen embryonic human beings.”

The resolution promoted alternative methods of fertilization, including adopting frozen embryos. It also called on all Southern Baptists to "reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation."

SBC leadership voiced support for the resolution following its passage. "A human embryo is a life," stated Brent Leatherwood, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "This life is as deserving of protection and all the standards of care we would give to a child or an adult," Leatherwood wrote. "In the post-Roe moment we find ourselves in, we must make the most of this opportunity to stand for life in all its forms."

President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary R. Albert Mohler Jr. concurs, calling IVF “as immoral as anything we can imagine if we state the proposition clearly, but a lot of evangelicals don’t want to state the proposition clearly.”

woman protesting for ivf
A protester in Alabama voices support for IVF treatment. 

What This Means

Notably, the SBC vote is not binding. Members are not formally barred from using IVF, and their decision to do so would not affect their standing in the church.

Nonetheless, such a strong moral stance from leadership – and members around the country – is likely to influence future IVF decisions for countless Southern Baptists.

The vote also indicates a more conservative turn on reproductive issues for evangelicals as a whole. The notion of "fetal personhood" has been around for a long time, but extending this idea to embryos – even those outside the womb – represents an even more extreme shift.

The courts have begun weighing in on this issue, too. For example, the Alabama Supreme Court recently ruled that frozen embryos are people, sowing overnight chaos in fertility clinics statewide. 

Where do you stand on the issue? Are frozen embryos people, and is IVF, by extension, an immoral practice? Or should couples struggling with fertility be encouraged to use IVF without guilt?


  1. Laura McAllister's Avatar Laura McAllister

    Why don’t we focus on something important IVF is for people who are having a hard time bringing a child into this world. we have so many other problems that we pick on people who can’t have children regular let it go you’re not paying for it. It’s not coming out of your pocket. It’s not coming out of taxes. Let people do what they wanna do. Let’s focus on the world.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Laura, using your reasoning, we would also have to like let people kill their young children "you're not paying for it. It's not coming out of your pocket. It's not coming out of taxes. Let people do what they wanna do." I do hope you would reject the idea that people should be allowed to kill their young children. We wouldn't agree because doing so violates our sense of morality. And rightfully so. The same is true for killing embryos whether through abortion or just by discarding them. And before considering my example too preposterous, remember that in the past children were sacrificed to Baal and other gods in the Middle East and south of the United States by Incas and the Aztecs, "Children of both sexes were selected from across the Inca empire for sacrifice in capacocha ceremonies, which were performed at important shrines distributed across the empire, known as huacas, or wak'akuna." From Wikipedia,,huacas%2C%20or%20wak%27akuna. The Aztec practice of human sacrifice, including the sacrifice of children, is perhaps the most familiar image of Aztec society. It was widely accepted that sacrifice was necessary to feed the gods or to keep the sun on a daily course." from

      So, the Incas and Aztecs weren't these lovely, utopian peoples killed off by bad Europeans, they were child killers who show that your way of thinking has and can lead to great harm.

      1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

        Apples to Cinder Blocks. Try harder...that anti-abortion, anti-Women nonsense is so last century.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Joe, your response lacks any type of analysis. Try harder.

      2. Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox's Avatar Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox

        Russel, how dare you speak to Laura with your condescending and disrespectful words. You should be ashamed of yourself. You are a "man" whereas she is a WOMAN. She may have experienced the pain of not being able to become pregnant other than by IVF. Even if she can get pregnant the way you, as a "man" think she should your opinion means zero to her and in relationship to her pregnancy journey. Her uterus and its contents are her business, not yours nor anyone else's. I am a grandmother due to IVF I watched my child an their spouse struggle through three years of infertility before turning to IVF. Exactly who do you think gave physicians the knowledge and skill to perform IVF? Was it your god or was it your satan? And, why do you find it so reprehensible that some choose to send their embryos back to your god?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Elizabeth, there was nothing condescending or disrespectful in my comments. I did show that her REASONING was spurious as it could be used for other outcomes we would find objectionable. It makes no difference that I'm a man and she's a woman. We're all equal, remember? I discussed her reasoning not her uterus.

          So, your comment had a lot of emotional opinions, but no clear argument for or against IVF that I could detect.

          1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

            That's because she wasn't arguing. She was telling you to mind your business and leave people's medical journey alone.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

              Amber, yes she did provide an argument. She wrote (rephrased and formatted to fit a more proper argument form):

              1. You're not paying for it.
              2. It's not coming out of taxes.
              3. Therefore, they should be allowed to do whatever they want to do.

              That is an argument with two premises and a conclusion which purports to support the conclusion. An argument to which I supplied a counter example to show that it was not a sound argument.

              Your comment however is not an argument, it is an opinion. Nothing more.

      3. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

        Russel, you’re mansplain’in your objects to IVF and took her comment of “Let people do what they wanna do.” to some bizarre place about human sacrifice. You’re talking about a time centuries in the past. Furthermore, what makes you think an embryo, with no heartbeat has a soul? What makes you think it is alive until that heartbeat begins? Human sacrifice? Really?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          James, 'mansplaining' is not an appropriate term to use here as the online Oxford dictionary defines that term to mean, "the explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing." My counter example was neither condescending nor patronizing. It did show that her reasoning was spurious which in this case meant that while her reasoning appeared valid, it was not as it permitted a conclusion we all rejected. What topic I used in the counter example was not a false equivalency simply because it was historical. As to your other questions, I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to discuss those in a future article which I look forward to as you have shared some of your metaphysics with the blog that will be worth discussing.

          1. Patricia Ann Gross's Avatar Patricia Ann Gross

            It was all of that and it was mansplaining.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

              LOL. Well, with such deep, critical analysis how could one possibly respond?

              1. Patricia Ann Gross's Avatar Patricia Ann Gross

                You are a man (I assume from your name anyway) responding to a woman in a condescending and patronizing way. I think we get what you think about IVF. You don't believe in it and think it's evil, so don't do it. "Nuff said.

              2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

                Patricia, I responded in an analytical fashion. Some people here seem to think that makes my statement condescending and patronizing. It does not. But what actually upsets these people, in my opinion, is that a man would dare to point out that a woman has reasoned poorly. Now that's sexist. If either a man or a woman uses an argument (reasons) why their conclusion (belief) is right or should be accepted, then he or she must be prepared to have it challenged. Otherwise, they shouldn't present arguments. Instead they should state their simple opinion. Nuff said.

      4. Rev. Klaire ThD, MA's Avatar Rev. Klaire ThD, MA

        Russel, you have no voice here anymore. Your comments have become mere noise, don't bring anything valuable to the conversations, and are therefore, simply useless but mostly, you just offend without cause.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Klaire, what in your comment added value to the conversation about the SBC's decision on IVF?

      5. Matthew W Meister's Avatar Matthew W Meister

        Please add me to the list of people who disagree with you about your comments being condescending AND disrespectful. Especially the comment that, " there was nothing condescending or disrespectful in my comments." Your disregard for others is eclipsed only by your lack of self-awareness.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          So Matthew, your reasoning is that by denying that my comment was condescending and disrespectful it therefore is condescending and disrespectful? That is strange reasoning. It's also a type of tautology because it can never be false. If I were to fail to defend myself, then I would be agreeing that the statement is true. But if I do defend myself then it proves the statement is true. Talk about a no-win scenario. Perhaps one of the ministers on the list you write of might be kind enough to point out which sentence is deemed so offensive.

  1. Najah P Tamargo's Avatar Najah P Tamargo

    Najah Tamargo-USA I believe that the SBC, any other religious group, local, state and federal agencies, etc., have NO BUSINESS in this issue. This is between two people and their doctor. End of conversation!!!!

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Najah, that's simply not how societies work. All people make decisions about moral issues which affect its members. That makes it a civilized society and not barbaric anarchy.

  1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

    Maybe this one won't be deleted:

    embryos are NOT people. they have the 'potential' to become a person, in about 9 months. but not at the 5 day old, 100 cell stage. they are blastocysts and it would take an embryologists to distinguish a human from a chicken at that stage.

    next thing will be a law that forbids masturbation as it is murder of half an human.

    women will be required to become pregnant so as not to have a egg absorbed and flushed away in her next period.

    people past the age of procreation will not be allowed to marry because as we all know, marriage is about procreation.

    viagra will become freely available to all men to insure their ability to become erect and thus...procreate.

    you don't get the government you get the theocracy you deserve

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    We have had this conversation before.Why deny anyone who cannot conceive naturally be denied the opportunity to bring in a newborn into this world.Im sure the good Lord and Jesus wouldn't want people to go childless through our their lives.Lets concentrate on more pressing needs like war famine poverty and homeless

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Nicholas, your statement that you're 'sure the good Lord and Jesus wouldn't want people to go childless through our their lives' conflicts with the Roman Catholic belief that it is God's wish that these parents not have their own biological children. So IVF would be thwarting God's will for them.

      1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

        Same could be said for any corrective surgery, including LASIK. I don't get my healthcare advice nor my culinary restrictions from imaginary sky fairies, leprechauns, nor digging dwarves.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Joe, the procedures you described do not require the killing of embryos. So they are not the same.

      2. Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox's Avatar Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox

        Yet sending the unborn back to god is a bad thing? You know he is responsible for abortions, he knows exactly the outcome of every action that happens BEFORE it happens. He is responsible for miscarriages and he knows it.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Elizabeth, God is responsible for abortions? No, God is responsible for giving people free will. How they use it is on them.

          1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

            Nope, your god is a death god. Genocide, murder, from that yahoo Yahweh.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

              Joe, if you don't believe that my God is real how could he be "a death god" responsible for genocide, murder, abortion, .... That seems like a of accomplishments for a being one claims doesn't exist.

              1. Rev. Michael Gerraghty II's Avatar Rev. Michael Gerraghty II

                If you read the bible everything he mentioned is in it you have no room to talk.

              2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

                Michael, I fear you're missing something here. I believe it's true that Joe does not believe in God's existence. A nonexistent being cannot be guilty of the atrocities listed. I do believe in God. A God who has given us free will which we misuse. It is we humans who are guilty of genocide, murder, and abortion. There are many stories in the Bible covering a wide range of topics. But the Bible hasn't done any of those things either. Only people. So the common denominator here is us, people. A true motif. So, it's how we chose to understand the Bible that is in question. Some chose poorly, but others choose wisely.

  1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

    IVF is science, and science confuses & frightens the woo-gatherers. So do rainbows. 🖤🤎❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🩶🤍

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    An embryo is not a human. It has the potential to be a human. And that is only IF the embryo implants correctly, and IF the embryo continues to grow for at least 6 months, and IF the embryo-now a fetus - is delivered at a stage where it can continue to grow into a human of the infant stage. I have seen, and held, an embryo. I have also seen, and held, a fetus. I have also been blessed to see and hold human babies. All 3 stages are very different. One cannot be mistaken for the other.

    IVF is a wonderful way for childless women to bear children. The SBC and all other church groups need to stay out of it.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    This is all part of the Christian Wedge strategy. What the Southern Baptists are failing to realize is this is about to divide their denomination into Anti-IVF and the people who well leave the church in disgust.

    Just wait, the hate and vitriol from the Southern Baptists is on the way.

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    A few cells does not create a sustainable life. Do you kill insects in your home? The insects probably have more cells than a embryo.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Clay, it is not a question of how many cells exist, but what type of cells. These are human cells, and they should not be senselessly destroyed by humans.

      1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        So are tumors and nodes but we certainly remove those. Bottom line is that it is attached to the woman, draws from the woman and in more pregnancies than not can pose a very real threat to the very life of the woman. She should have the choice if she want's something sucking the life out of her or not. Just because a body is designed to give birth doesn't mean it can safely or healthily. Leave it to her and her doctor.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Amber, tumors and nodes are part of her body, embryos are not. The article was about helping women to get pregnant not about aborting a pregnancy. I mentioned abortion only to question if the SBC's beliefs are consistent or not.

          "She should have the choice if she want's something sucking the life out of her or not." What in God's holy name caused that sentence to be typed? Describing a baby as sucking the life out of it's mother sounds like a plot in a horror movie where the baby's an alien 👽. That's just dark.

          We live in a society with laws. Some good, some not so good. We also now have a much more diverse society and many of its newest entrants actually hold conservative values on these topics (though that seems to be changing). So, we create laws that reflect the will of the people. If the people decide to nix abortion neither the woman nor her doctor will have a choice..

      2. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

        They are cells, indistinguishable from any other 100 cell, 5 day old embryo (human, chicken, fish, chupacabra). And the human body has no compunction whatsoever flushing that embryo out of the uterus if is detects a reason to do so, whether or not you agree with the woman's body. In fact, you all need to accept that it's a WOMAN'S BODY and not some kind of diving incubator hatching eggs for glory of jebus.

        Seriously some people need to chill and stop trying to make everyone follow what they themselves believe. You want to believe a 100 cell is human, fine, believe it and treat it as such. But you can't make everyone else pretend along with you,

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          JJ, it might well be the case that those cells are distinguishable from other cells as they share a common and unique DNA.

          Ah, there's the 'it's a woman's body' argument. A favorite of pro-abortionists. True it is her body, but her body lives in a society which does regulate if she can get an abortion, when it's permissible, and when it's not in all 50 states.

          Although an embryo must finish developing, its genetics are human. That's not pretending, that's biology.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    Aren’t infertility and erectile dysfunction God’s way of saying, “No kids for you!”?

    1. Matthew W Meister's Avatar Matthew W Meister

      Truly not sure. Aren't fertility treatments and ED drugs God's way of saying, "We can help you with that?" By the way, I know this is pretty elementary, but you don't have to have an erection to impregnate someone.

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    I can see the point the SBC has. I'm just not sure it's valid but it could be.

    IVF does cause the destruction of viable embryos which could be seen as a future human destroyed. That said there is now human life where there would be none otherwise. Is deeming the process illegal the same as killing the embro that never was? Will the process breed the human's reproductive ability out of the human?

    I know first hand the joy the procedure brings to a couple wanting children. It's really a remarkable thing.

    From the Christian perspective you've given God +1 soul to be loved by if the child becomes a believer. That's hard to shake a stick at unless you're a global elitist that wants fewer people exhaling CO2.

    I'd say I disagree with the SBC.

  1. Daniel Todd Kamm's Avatar Daniel Todd Kamm

    Not sure what people want or expect, but the is that life goes on regardless of what any religious denomination has to say.

    They screw other people up like they can walk on water themselves....

    When they walk on water ,maybe...?

    Most of them are too damned FAT to walk on it...

    Sink, swim, harpoon, whatever....

    Who cares what these people want? A junk religion and junk politics just waiting for a tar pit in California.

    Peace and out on a Monday...

  1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

    Like so many other things, IVF is a personal choice...with the emphasis on personal. Leave it alone. People going through infertility are suffering their own nightmare...

  1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

    What makes a Pastor, Reverend, Rabbi or any other holy man an expert on life? Where is it written that human life begins at fertilization? When does the soul enter the body? Do we think God is so callus to place an immortal soul in a body that can’t or won’t survive through birth? If God does know all then why would God make a sacrifice an innocent soul?

    Religion is about the soul. They need to stay in their lane and leave science to the experts. They need to stop telling women what they can or cannot do with their own body. It simply arrogance that makes these people think they know what God wants. Not everyone is Christian. Not everyone is even religious. What about their rights and protections?

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      James, wow, so many issues in one comment. But you've opened the door to a more metaphysical type of inquiry. That's exciting!

      I'll go straight to the soul questions. According to the Life Between Lives books written by Michael Newton, the soul chooses a body for its next incarnation often before the mother is even born. How amazingly similar to Jeremiah 1:5 which begins, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you ...." That verse was written between 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. They'd never even heard of deep hypnotherapy!

      We pretty much place ourselves in our new bodies in incremental steps according to an LBL case study. Even if that body will die before or shortly after birth. The soul has agreed to this in advance because the mother or father needs to learn a spiritual lesson about loss to further their spiritual development. Imagine being a mother or father who had their baby aborted and then had to meet that child in heaven and explain why he or she wasn't important enough to be born.

      Yes, religion is about the soul and while its gotten some things wrong it's also gotten some things right. Dr. Raymond Moody has books on NDEs which share a great amount of similarities with Newton's LBL cases. And both agree with many religious beliefs in Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Christianity. Even Plato, I've read, tells of a soldier who had an NDE experience which reads like Moody's investigations. "Ascent of the Blessed is a Hieronymus Bosch painting made between 1505 and 1515. It depicts angels helping human souls towards heaven." (Wikipedia). It shows a tunnel of light similar to descriptions by persons who've experienced NDEs as well as those in LBL hypnotherapy. The people having these experiences come from all walks of life, all types of beliefs, and over a least 2,500 years.

      So yes, pastors, reverends, priests, rabbis, witches, monks, shamans, and so many other genuinely holy men and women are experts on life. Life that makes this world seem a living death. What we do here matters.

      1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

        It is also my belief that the reincarnating entity can decide not to live that life for whatever reason such as the life they charted may seem too difficult, etc. And abort the pregnancy.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Lori, if by abort the pregnancy you mean a miscarriage, then that might well be true and would provide one possibly answer when people ask why it happened. I hadn't thought of that, but it's absolutely consistent with the general ideas of spiritual beings having agency. Good comment!

          1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

            Thank you. And I did mean events like miscarriages. I would never downplay the grief the parents feel either but do believe that.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester


        2. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

          I think that kind of concept fuels my disagreement with conservative or bible thumpers. They presume to have so much control or at least want it when Those at Home already know what they are doing and have known since people were making babies.

    2. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

      The concept of the quickening, when the soul enters the fetus , is up to the entity waiting to reincarnate. It can happen at any time the entity chooses. And really why would an entity choose fertilization and be stuck existing as a few dividing cells in a crampted space when it could be comfortable at Home longer?

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Lori, good question. Here's my understanding. The soul is capable of being in more than one 'place' at a time. In fact, a part of our soul always resides in the realm of spirit. It therefore doesn't enter the developing body all at once as that's not needed. But it does enter at the fertilization as it needs to be present for that process to get underway and to experience the developmental process so that it properly integrated with the body, especially the brain. I picture the soul literally needing to infuse itself into every cell as the cell develops.

        What do you think? Is that perspective consistent or at least not at odds with other ideas you think sound reasonable?

        1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

          It is interesting. I already agree with bilocation. When we agree to be a guide for a reincarnating entity, we can split ourselves at times we are with them while still continuing our lives at Home.

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Absolutely. It is wonderful conversing with you. Reading books had its limitations. Have a beautiful day.

            1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

              Thank you. it was nice chatting with you as well.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    The church & the government needs to stay out of people's reproduction.

  1. Jay Ryan's Avatar Jay Ryan

    IVF has been around since 1978, but suddenly NOW the Southern Baptists have a problem with it? It's just sowing more division within their own walls. Churches of all denominations are closing down left and right all across the country; people are seeing the real truth about denominational religion, and are leaving in droves. Yet these churches seem content to keep shooting themselves in the foot.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Jay, your comment seems to assume that the goal of these churches is to grow at any cost. They might have decided on a different strategy. Perhaps they want the lukewarm members to find other churches so that they can focus on dedicated members who will give more time and money making the church eventually grow again with a committed membership which will be at peace with each other.

  1. David M Hines's Avatar David M Hines

    As long as the restrictions only apply to their members, it’s none of my business how they choose to run their church. It’s when they want EVERYBODY to follow their rules that we have a problem.

    1. Matthew W Meister's Avatar Matthew W Meister

      While I agree with your basic premise, where is our empathy for the large numbers of their members who are being opressed by the church hierarchy? It may not affect me directly, but it certainly affects many of my friends.

  1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

    The fact that RAK always gets 0 thumbs up says it all.

  1. William Lewis Vass's Avatar William Lewis Vass

    This is just another way that the "church" wishes to have even more control of people. Where does this stupidity end. This type of stuff is why people came to America. Persecution of the church. Why are people doing their best to make christianity the national religion. Perhaps one way to stop the madness is a total overhaul of the federal government. As an example, take trump for instance. He now a convicted felon and yet he's still allowed to run for president. This is the state of our ONCE great nation. Sad yet true.

  1. John Kingsley Price II's Avatar John Kingsley Price II

    Jesus was an IVF baby. Immaculate Virgin Fertilization.

    1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

      Yet another false story added to the bible by the corrupt church that published the book. They added that whole virgin birth story to promote their idea that he had to be seen as all divine with no human side at all. He was born to his two human parents the old fashioned way. But he was a mission life entity sent with a mission and infused with special gifts. So he did have a diving side and a human side. He is Nov at all diminished by his human side.A

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Yes, Lori. I've come to a very similar conclusion. I think we might be reading much of the same materials. Thank you for your comment.

    2. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      that...or a victim of rape

      1. Rev. Michelle Love's Avatar Rev. Michelle Love

        That...or a woman who gave birth out of wedlock who claimed she was molested as not to be seen as promiscuous.

        1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

          mary was a floozy? say it ain't so, joe so kkkristianity is based upon divine sexual assault & rape of a child, that child later nailed to a tree & murdered at the behest of his own father.

          yup, whole lot of peace and love going on, in that homicidal family and that of all those that follow and believe and clearly evidenced by many here

          1. Rev. Michelle Love's Avatar Rev. Michelle Love

            When it is said that Mary was touched by an angel I believed they meant to say she was touched by an Anglo. A lot of young women back then that were never talked to about sex did not have the words to explain what had happened to them. I think that her words were misconstrued and there are hints about this scattered throughout the Bible. I believe that Mary was trauma bonded with a man who sexually assaulted her and she fabricated this story to not only protect the man who did it but to protect her reputation as well.

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    The SBC is being consistent in its vote that IVF is wrong or immoral. Fertilized eggs, embryos, are innocent humans in physical development. Killing innocent humans is wrong, it's a sin. IVF procedures kill innocent humans. Therefore, IVF is wrong, it's a sin. This way of thinking is consistent with the denomination's pro-life stance which is why it opposes abortion. To be consistent it must oppose both abortion and IVF as currently practiced.

    1. Patricia Ann Gross's Avatar Patricia Ann Gross

      Yet an IVF procedure will produce 1-4 children if carried to term. Those that are left over and evenutally destroyed are likely equal to those who are lost naturally to miscarriage before the woman is aware she is pregnant. What alternative do you suggest for someone wanting to have children who can't do it the "old-fashioned" way.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Patricia, good questions. Go ahead and put me on the spot. Okay, here goes. I can think of several things that might be more difficult for the SBC to deny. If only one egg was fertilized and put into place there would be no killing of unused eggs. Another option might be to use all eggs fertilized. That could get interesting if some of the eggs were given to surrogates. I don't know what the SBC's response would be to surrogacy, but the Catholic Church would have issues, There's also adoption which both churches find acceptable. I think your example of miscarriages is good. I assume the SBC and the Catholic church might have a similar response that such events are God's will. Not very satisfying as answers go. That's what I can think of as answers for now that would be within the beliefs of the SBC.

        One day, I hope we will get an article directed more to metaphysics as that is an area which promises other ways of thinking about these topics.

    2. Matthew W Meister's Avatar Matthew W Meister

      The idea is indeed consistent. Consistent doesn't necessarily equate to it being correct. The idea that a fertilized egg, or an embryo is a human leads to so many things that SBC is inconsistent about it is crazy. Where is the monetary help for the young mother when she is pregnant? Where is the social support, the outcry that the father is not doing everything he can to help? If the SBC is going to take such a hard stance and you are going to laud them for being "consistent", how about you point out how bad their inconsistency is?

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Matthew, "[c]onsistent doesn't necessarily equate to it being correct." True. "The idea that a fertilized egg, or an embryo is a human...." That phrasing is problematic. (Forgive me, I've been reading up on Sociology for my engaging conversations with Robert and the terminology is rubbing off.) An embryo either is or is not human. It's an objective, physical fact not an idea. I believe biology says it is a human embryo. So, given that an embryo is human, and that murdering humans is wrong, then murdering embryos is wrong. If that reasoning is sound, then the SBC's reasoning is both consistent and correct.

        The remainder of your comment is compassionate. Let's consider it for a moment. Who is responsible for the pregnancy? Obviously the mother and father. So who is responsible to care for the child? Again, its mother and father. Who is responsible to ensure that the parents provide for the necessities of the child until it turns 18? The state. Yes, the government. Not a church but the state has that authority and responsibility. The government also taxes all of us to provide services to our citizens in need of help so, fortunately, we are all helping a little. Churches probably do have a moral responsibility to help as best they can because faith without works is dead. But the initial responsibility is on the parents. Should they prove incapable, then the ultimate responsibility falls on the state as the child is a citizen and must be afforded his or her rights and benefits as defined by our laws.

  1. Thomas P. Davis's Avatar Thomas P. Davis

    I can think of two other scenarios here. One, I read about this process decades ago from another denomination that disagreed with it and why, the doctor kept a few of the fertilized eggs to do studies on them. Like growing them to harvest the parts etc. The most recent was in the news when some states said the parents were guilty of murder for having an abortion. Well, it costs a good amount of money every month to keep those eggs frozen. In the past if the parents changed their minds, they would stop that monthly process and did not feel guilty about it. Now it is different, they will be called murderers in those states

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    “Is IVF evil?”
    That’ll be a big negatory.

    “ The decision puts the future of fertility treatments into question for millions of worshipers.” Well, perhaps for the more cognitively challenged. But that’s going to have an added benefit of some of the more religiously delusional individuals NOT REPRODUCING! So they should just praise Cheeses and go childless!

  1. Wilberta M. Berry's Avatar Wilberta M. Berry

    This is what happens when a group of modern day people apply Stone and Bronze age thinking to this millennium.🤦🏼‍♀️. IVF is a wonderful scientific invention to help people conceive who are having problems. It also keeps with the "tenets" of being fruitful and multiplying😉

  1. Robert Philip Ryden's Avatar Robert Philip Ryden

    If there was a fire in a clinic and there was one baby and a hundred frozen embryos, which would you save — the baby or the hundred frozen “people”?

  1. Matthew W Meister's Avatar Matthew W Meister

    This was just a matter of time for the "life begins at conception" people. I read the story wondering what took them so long. The introduction to your story read, "The decision puts the future of fertility treatments into question for millions of worshipers." I would think that it also puts the future of where they decide to worship into question for anyone who has used IVF or anyone who is alive today because of IVF. When churches begin to dictate morality that people have strived so hard to come to through hours of prayer and meditation and listening to God, if that church hierarchy run by man no longer agrees with what God has told them, why would they stay?

  1. David Goodwin's Avatar David Goodwin

    Being "Fruitful" in Biblical terms, to me at least, is making babies. I see no religious reason why that cannot be done in vitro. It sure beats abortion!

  1. David Goodwin's Avatar David Goodwin

    The Bible states "Be fruitful and multiply". And that is what is being done here.

  1. Amanda Catherine Sella's Avatar Amanda Catherine Sella

    This is so ugly. I was hoping being part of ULC, there would be less of this. I will not even comment on anything politically charged. Those days are over. But I had to comment on how unsettlingly ugly all of this. I may consider not participating in ULC if the folks are engaging in this online weird, ugliness. Good luck to you all. I hope you really find peace and compassion towards one another and figure out to be kind and respectful toward your fellow humans. You have all let politics drive your heart and that is truly disgusting. Best.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Amanda, I do hope you will stay. Yes, things here can get messy because, well, life is messy. Our discussions with opposing views for which we fight hard for our side also help us to hear others perspectives even if we ultimately disagree. It also helps us when we are speaking with someone seeking help or guidance as we now have more information to bring to the discussion to aid the conversation. It does get a bit rude at times. I just think of it the way I do my family. My brother can be a pain, but I still love him. Some ministers can be tough cookies (but never me of course), but they are ULC ministers who bring their truth as children of the same universe. Combat training is tough, but so is the world. Please do stay and share your truth and bring a softer, gentler view.

  1. Patti Anne Lisenbee's Avatar Patti Anne Lisenbee

    If embryos are people, then I put in my bid to be a teacher to them! I can have pregnant women come to class where I teach the embryos stuff - I'll read Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein and I'll only charge $50,000 per year to teach embryos!

  1. Joseph Walter Kasper's Avatar Joseph Walter Kasper

    Third party reproductive assistance is natural. Bees do it all the time.

  1. Eberhard Bruner's Avatar Eberhard Bruner

    I understand where they're coming from (I'm very much against abortion for basically the same reasons) but I'm not personally against this method of trying to have a child. The unfortunate truth is that the uterine insertion isn't always effective.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    If you’re infertile or have erectile dysfunction, isn’t God telling you, “No kids for you!”? Kinda like if a woman or girl gets raped by a stranger or relative and becomes pregnant, it’s “God’s will.”.

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