Why I am alive to see a post-Roe world

My adoption story, the church’s call, and the grace of God

June 29, 2022

June 24, 2022, was a momentous day in the life of our nation. After almost 50 years, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the two cases that set the precedent for legal abortion in the U.S. Millions of preborn lives have been lost because of these two cases, and now because of Dobbs, lives will be saved. I find it difficult to believe there will be a person alive today who will not be able to recall years from now off every detail about where they were, what they were doing, and how they felt—me included. But, by all accounts, I should not have been alive to celebrate this historic moment. That is, except by the grace of God.

A story of God’s grace 

While loved well at home, my mom often made poor choices when it came to friends or succumbing to temptation. She eventually decided she wanted freedom to do her own thing, her own way, and ran away from home as a teen. She hitchhiked her way to another state and ran into the arms of a man who would lead her into the throes of alcohol and drug abuse. And she would soon discover she was pregnant with me. 

By God’s grace, my grandparents found her after exhausting every source they could, only to find out she was with child. Strung up on drugs, alcohol, and only pennies to her name, my grandparents vowed to do something, which was reflective of who they were. Many years before, my grandparents adopted my mom and her sister from an orphanage. But that wouldn’t be their last adoption.

My grandparents adopted me and brought me back to safety in Texas while still doing whatever they could to help my biological mom, heartbroken over what had become of her. She was merely a shell of her former, happy-go-lucky self. My biological mom eventually cut off all communication and ties with her parents and dove deeper into every drug or drink known to man. 

I, however, by the grace of God, was given a chance––a chance to live, to thrive, and to be raised by godly grandparents. Interestingly, the day I arrived was the day before my grandparents second daughter moved away to college. No chance to enjoy even one day as empty-nesters, they became my parents. “Old as dirt, but young at heart,” they’d say. 

A little over seven years ago, another mom was in a similar situation. She was abusing drugs and alcohol while raising four girls in a traumatic home filled with tragic abuse. But by God’s grace, my wife and I were able to adopt them. We call these four beautiful girls princesses and are able to give them a chance to live, thrive, and be raised in a godly home. 

Keep up the work we’ve been doing 

I believe the Supreme Court decision on June 24, 2022, was by God’s grace. It’s a monumental victory for preborn lives, but it’s not the finish line. Christians should celebrate this decision, yes, but we also need to recognize there is still a lot of work to do. We need to link arms together in order to help every man and woman, preborn baby and those outside of the womb, enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As Christians continue moving forward in a post-Roe world, we need to remember we can’t do everything, but each of us can do something. For our family, that has meant volunteering at or fundraising for crisis pregnancy centers connected to our church and becoming licensed foster parents. My mom (grandmother) became certified to offer respite care, too. 

Many towns or churches have or are partnered with crisis pregnancy centers. Many states have reputable or Christian adoption and foster care agencies. Take the time to reach out to them and see how you can serve them. Some may need volunteers, others may need resources; the agency we used to adopt our girls seeks Christmas gift donations each November and gives them to foster care families in December.

You might not be in a place where you can adopt a child or even serve as a foster parent, but you may have the ability to provide resources or even respite care for those that do. Whatever you do, open your hearts, your pocketbooks, and your homes––there’s some way all of us can respond to the influx of scared, vulnerable mothers and fathers and babies who need care. Above all, let’s commit to pray that the God who intervened to end Roe and Casey would raise up his people to pour ourselves out for the lives and souls of those who desperately need Jesus. 

Matt Henslee

Collin Baptist Association elected Dr. Matt Henslee as executive director/associational missionary on Aug. 12, 2021. Henslee is the husband of Rebecca , and they have the joy of raising four daughters they adopted in 2015. The Henslees reside in Farmersville and serve First Baptist Church of Farmersville where Matt is the … Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24