MBC pastors urged to preach on cloning May 7
By Allen Palmeri
April 18, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY – Ralph Sawyer, president of the Missouri Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church, Wentzville, is urging his fellow pastors within the denomination to defend the sanctity of the human embryo during a special day set aside in May for that purpose.
The MBC president is joining with the Christian Life Commission and its chairman, Rodney Albert, pastor, Hallsville Baptist Church, in designating May 7 as “a focus on cloning Sunday.” A letter has gone out to Missouri Southern Baptist pastors with a CD containing a sermon preached by Sawyer in his home church on the evils of cloning and a Powerpoint presentation that accompanies his message. The idea is for pastors, who ought to be the primary educators in their communities, to use these resources.
Missouri Southern Baptists ought to be concerned about this issue, Sawyer said, because the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures is trying to legalize research cloning in Missouri by securing about 145,000 valid petition signatures by May 9 that would, in turn, trigger the certification of a ballot initiative and Nov. 7 vote on whether Missourians want to create a constitutional right to clone human embryos.
“You can make a difference in whether or not this petition passes and becomes law, so it’s important for Missouri Baptists to get informed on the issue and to get active,” Sawyer said. “If we don’t do anything as Missouri Baptists, I don’t know who will. I don’t know who will stand up for the humans that are being created and manipulated by their death to provide stems cells for research.”
Sawyer said that many reputable scientific sources, including the President’s Council on Bioethics, are with the MBC on the issue of embryonic stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer, even if key governmental leaders like U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., Republican Gov. Matt Blunt, whose home church is Second Baptist in Springfield, and House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, and a graduate of Southwest Baptist University, are either on the other side of the debate or neutral.
“Anytime there is a zygote, there is a human being, and whenever there’s a human being, there’s a human soul,” the MBC president said. “It’s always taking the death of a person for self interest, and that is always wrong.”
Sawyer noted that Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, was full of self interest when he tried to do essentially the same thing then that some academic, business, political and media elites in Missouri are wanting to do in 2006. The word for this “science” is eugenics.
In Nazi Germany, the undesirables were people groups known as the Jews, the Gypsies and the physically and mentally handicapped. In Missouri, the undesirables are people groups known as innocent human embryos.
“The Nazis defined those people as not human so they could experiment on them and take their lives for the betterment of the German people,” Sawyer said. “That was wrong then, and Christians didn’t stand up and many millions of people lost their lives, and it’s wrong now, if we don’t stand up. So I’m asking pastors to prayerfully consider getting informed and preaching to their people what the Bible says about stem cell research and life.”
Sawyer would like to emphasize to his fellow Missouri Southern Baptist pastors that if they cannot participate on May 7, it would be appropriate for them to choose another day that is more convenient for the pastor and his preaching/teaching ministry. Helpful websites are www.nocloning.org and