At a time when society's morals seem headed for degradation every single day, a decision to stand up for life and Christian values is always a cause of celebration.
Evangelicals and Baptists cheered the United Methodist Church (UMC) for reversing its supportive stance on killing innocent babies—a position taken by Methodists for the past 46 years.
John Lomperis, a conference delegate and United Methodist director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, was delighted with the UMC's new pro-life stand. His evangelical colleagues in the conservative think-tank likewise praised the decision.
"This is a necessary and good step towards affirming that the unborn are persons of sacred worth," Lomperis said, as quoted by Christianity Today.
He also praised the Methodist Church for being able to withstand increasing societal pressure to make abortion more acceptable.
"This also shows the UMC moving away from other liberal, declining, 'mainline' denominations to embrace a new faithful, global identity," Lomperis added.
During its 10-day conference late last month, United Methodist delegates voted 445 to 310 to abandon its 40-year-old official resolution supporting Roe v. Wade—the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision affirming the legality of abortion.
In the Methodist Church, resolutions automatically expire after eight years unless a General Conference re-adopts them, according to Lomperis.
The New York national headquarters of United Methodist Women was the one that put forward a proposal to re-adopt the resolution and stipulate the church's support for abortion. This proposal ultimately lost.
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Church likewise welcomed the Methodist Church's renewed pro-life stance.
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said this decision ensures protection of the life of the unborn and their mothers.
"Christians of all denominations should praise God for the United Methodist Church's historic repudiation of abortion. This is good news for orthodoxy, for the unity of the Body of Christ, and for the vulnerable unborn and their mothers," Moore said, as quoted by BPNews.net.
"There's a long way to go," he added, "but we should give thanks for this moment and continue to pray that the church of Jesus Christ would be a stalwart advocate for life and human dignity."