Baptist Press: Value all human life, Floyd says

ST. LOUIS (BP) — The mass shooting in Orlando and ongoing racial tension should lead Americans to place a high value on all human life, Ronnie Floyd said June 13 in his final press conference as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“This is a great time to remind everyone that each person in this world has been made in the image of God, and we need to value human life. What happened in Orlando is inexcusable and deplorable,” said Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, regarding the massacre at a gay nightclub, where reportedly 50 people — including the shooter — lost their lives.

Southern Baptists “stand against any prejudice, any bigotry, anything that is wrong in relation to devaluing human life, regardless of what someone does or how someone chooses to live. We value people. That’s who we are, and that’s what we need to continue to be,” Floyd said.

Floyd was in Ferguson, Mo., for the Crossover evangelistic effort a couple of days earlier, and he noted there were hundreds of people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds receiving help from two of the North American Mission Board’s new medical units.

“Southern Baptists need to forward the message that the answer is in Jesus Christ and the church. Government does not have the answer, ultimately, to the racial crisis in America,” Floyd said.

Within 25 years, there will be no majority race in America, he said, “so we better understand how to get along. We better understand that we’ve all been created in the image of God and we have value. To me it’s a human dignity issue. We need to be concerned about human dignity from the womb to the tomb.”

When Jesus lived on earth, Floyd said, “He related to all ethnicities and loved them all. He is the model.”

Also in his varied remarks at the press conference, Floyd reiterated his belief that the greatest need in the United States today is the next great spiritual awakening.

“There is no question at all that this is our ultimate answer,” Floyd said. “There is not a politician who will bring what needs to be done in this nation, ultimately…. The answer is in Jesus Christ and Him alone. America needs Christ. That’s our need, and to me, this is the biggest issue of the hour.”

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