Annual Meeting Resolutions

What is a Resolution?

A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed. Resolutions are passed during the annual Convention meeting.

2019 Resolutions

Click on Resolution Title to read the full text of the resolution.

ON CELEBRATING THE ADVANCEMENT OF PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION IN STATE LEGISLATURES

WHEREAS, Scripture reveals that all human life is created in the image of God, and therefore sacred to our Creator (Genesis 1:27; 9:6); and

WHEREAS, The Bible affirms that the unborn child is a person, bearing the image of God, from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13– 16; Luke 1:44); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have historically upheld the sanctity of life in the womb and repeatedly reaffirmed opposition to legalized abortion; and

WHEREAS, Various state laws restricting abortion and promoting the sanctity of life in the womb were struck down by the United States Supreme Court on January 22, 1973; and

WHEREAS, More than fifty million innocent, unborn children in America have been killed since that ruling; and WHEREAS, Several states are revisiting their legislation regarding abortion regulation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, reaffirm the sanctity of life in the womb; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we mourn recent actions by state legislatures that roll back protections for human life and expand abortion to the latest stages of a pregnancy, and that we condemn the decisions of Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Ralph Northam of Virginia, J. B. Pritzker of Illinois, and Roy Cooper of North Carolina who have demonstrated their antipathy toward the human dignity of the unborn; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we celebrate recent bipartisan gains in state legislatures that restrict abortion and promote the sanctity of human life, and that we commend Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Republican Governors Kay Ivey of Alabama, Michael Parson of Missouri, Mike DeWine of Ohio, and Brian Kemp of Georgia for their courage in defending unborn human life against destruction; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade so that more states can be empowered to protect by law the human dignity of the most vulnerable.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2300

ON THE EVIL OF SEXUAL ABUSE

WHEREAS, God has created all people in His image, with equal value and dignity (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, Any harm perpetrated against one of God’s image bearers is an attack on God Himself (Genesis 9:6); and

WHEREAS, God detests all forms of sexual abuse and calls His people to defend abuse victims (Psalm 82:4), to stand for justice (Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 31:8–9), and to deliver victims of sexual abuse from the hands of their oppressors (Proverbs 6:17; 24:10–12); and

WHEREAS, Sexual abuse refers to sexual activity that involves the use of physical force, manipulation, coercion, or deception; involves the abuse of authority by a perpetrator over a victim; or takes place with a minor or other person who is presumed legally incapable of consent; and

WHEREAS, New revelations of sexual abuse have come to light as victims, survivors, and journalists have exposed the scope of incidents which have occurred within Southern Baptist churches and institutions; and

WHEREAS, As a community of believers, we deplore each and every instance of sexual abuse and apologize and ask forgiveness for failing to cultivate a culture of protection for those in Southern Baptist churches and institutions who have been sexually abused; and

WHEREAS, We condemn any abuse of power by any leader who has ever sought to protect the perpetrators of sexual abuse or silence and marginalize the victims of sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, The autonomy of the local church is compatible with the protection of innocents and should not be used by any church or organization as a reason not to take appropriate actions to protect the people it serves, including (but not limited to) the decision of an organization to remove from fellowship any church that fails to protect the vulnerable; and

WHEREAS, We affirm that sexual abuse is not only a sin to be disciplined in the context of the church, but also a crime to be prosecuted in the context of civil government; and

WHEREAS, We affirm that perpetrators of sexual abuse can be forgiven because of the work of Jesus Christ to redeem and reconcile sinners to God through faith and repentance, and that true repentance for perpetrating sexual abuse requires an acceptance of the consequences of sin, both in the context of the civil government and the context of the church; and

WHEREAS, We affirm that survivors of sexual abuse may by the grace of God forgive their abuser, but that such forgiveness should not be interpreted to mean that a victim must have an ongoing relationship with their abuser in order to be in right fellowship with God or their church, nor be regarded as a substitute for justice for the crime of sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, We recognize that godly sorrow over the incalculable damage of sexual abuse in a church or ministry setting should lead us to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), recognizing that institutions that tolerate such sexual immorality will be judged by Christ Himself (Revelation 2:18–29); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, condemn all forms of sexual abuse and repudiate with a unified voice all sexually abusive behavior as unquestionably sinful and under the just condemnation of our Holy God; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we lament any and all instances of sexual abuse, particularly in a church setting, and express our appreciation to journalists, victims, and survivors who have brought to light the sexually immoral rot that has existed within churches, including some that identify as Southern Baptist; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on ourselves and our network of congregations and institutions to create a culture where victims can not only share about their abuse with the assurance of protection, but also receive care while church leaders fulfill their obligation to implement policies and practices that protect against and confront any form of abuse in the future; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we implore sexual abuse victims to contact civil authorities, to separate from their abusers, and to seek protection, care, and support from fellow Christians and civil authorities as they are able; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we ask civil authorities, in the implementation of due process for the accused, to review laws, in consultation with social workers and trauma counselors, to ensure that privacy laws do not prevent the pursuit of justice on behalf of the abused, and that statutes of limitations (criminal and civil) do not unduly protect perpetrators of sexual abuse and individuals who enabled them; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all persons perpetrating and enabling sexual abuse to repent and to confess their sin to Jesus Christ and to church authorities, and to confess their crimes to civil authorities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we implore all persons to act decisively on matters of abuse, to immediately report allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities according to the laws of their state, to intervene on behalf of the abused, to do everything possible to ensure their safety, and to exercise appropriate church discipline upon abusers; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge churches and their leaders to develop partnerships within their communities to serve the abused, calling on government officials to strengthen laws that maintain justice and protections for the vulnerable in our society.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2301

ON LOCAL CHURCH AUTONOMY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

WHEREAS, The biblical doctrine of local church autonomy is based in the local church’s covenant with God in Christ (Matthew 18:18– 20; 1 Peter 3:21), Jesus Christ being the eternal and only Head of His church (Ephesians 1:22–23; 2:19–22; 5:22; Colossians 1:18); and

WHEREAS, Local church autonomy is exercised through congregational processes (Matthew 18:15–17; Acts 5:12; 6:3–6;

13:1-3; 1 Corinthians 5:11–13), with reference to other churches

(Acts 15:1–2, 22–23, 30; 1 Corinthians 11:16; 14:33), and only for the purposes determined by God for His glory (Ephesians 3:21); and

WHEREAS, Baptist churches appoint leaders who are charged with care for the souls of those in their congregations (Acts 6:1–7; 20:17, 28; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1–2); and

WHEREAS, The doctrine of local church autonomy is a cherished and inextricable part of the historic faith of Baptists, being expressed as early as the 1644 London Baptist Confession; and

WHEREAS, The cherished doctrine of local church autonomy is confessed by Southern Baptists in The Baptist Faith and Message, with each church governed by the Lordship of Jesus Christ and exercising its autonomy through congregational processes (Article VI); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have confessed local church autonomy is to be exercised with reference to other churches, stating in the same article, “The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation”; and

WHEREAS, The historic doctrine of local church autonomy likewise places every church under the universal headship of Christ and refers the churches to one another, as expressed in the 1644 confession, “And although the particular Congregations be distinct and several Bodies, every one a compact and knit City in itself: yet are they all to walk by one and the same Rule, and by all means convenient to have the counsel and help one of another in all needful affairs of the Church, as members of one body in the common faith under Christ their only head” (Article XLVII); and

WHEREAS, Recent news stories make it painfully clear that some Southern Baptist churches have failed either to choose fitting persons to be set apart for ministerial leadership, to discipline ministers and other church members properly, or to communicate from church to church the unfit condition of some ministers, and that some church leaders have failed voluntarily to submit themselves to others for spiritual accountability; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, reaffirm our doctrine of local church autonomy under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which must be exercised through congregational processes with the leadership of scriptural officers and with reference to other churches for the glory of God alone; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the autonomy of the local church must never be understood apart from being a gift of God in Christ, who grants His church authority for His purposes alone and only according to His ways; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reject the concept of local church autonomy as mere “self-rule,” for Christian authority may never be exercised apart from Christ’s Lordship and must be exercised only for God’s glory as revealed in the Word interpreted by the congregation led by the Holy Spirit; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that local church autonomy is compatible with the mutual accountability to the Lord of all the churches, especially those churches of like faith and practice that voluntarily cooperate through associations and conventions for the sake of better fulfilling the Great Commission (see The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XIV); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we warn those who would misuse local church autonomy as a license for sin that God will judge both shepherds and the wolves who abuse the vulnerable sheep in the flock (Ezekiel 34:1–24); and be it further

RESOLVED, That God explicitly instructed His churches to be careful when setting apart individuals for ministerial leadership, appointing ministers in their churches, and monitoring the continued integrity of these ministers (1 Timothy 3:1–7; 5:22; Titus 1:5–9); and be it further

RESOLVED, That every local church must carefully determine whether a professed minister or Christian transferring from another church is worthy of reception in their own congregation; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we as Southern Baptists hereby repudiate any who seek to use the cherished doctrine of local church autonomy as a means of hiding the sins of ministers and others in the church who abuse, sexually or otherwise, “the little ones” of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:6–10).

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2302

ON RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN NORTH KOREA AND CHINA

WHEREAS, All people are created in God’s image and have innate dignity and worth (Genesis 1:26–27), and deserve to be treated with respect; and

WHEREAS, Government is a God-ordained institution (Romans 13), and the government’s role is to execute justice by punishing evil and

to promote the flourishing of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states, “A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power” (Article XVII); and

WHEREAS, Kim Jong-un, the Kim family, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (hereafter referred to as “North Korea”) have subjected millions of North Koreans to severe conditions of physical and psychological persecution, including extreme economic hardship, pervasive state surveillance, state-imposed starvation, imprisonment, torture, and enslavement; and

WHEREAS, The People’s Republic of China (hereafter referred to as “China”) and the Communist Party of China have used extreme applications of technological surveillance on houses of worship, raided worship services, imprisoned pastors, and in other ways persecuted Christians; and

WHEREAS, Millions of Uyghurs in China (a Muslim ethnic minority group) have been placed in internment camps, where they are prevented from engaging in their religious practices, and forced to be “reeducated” to the Communist Party’s ideology; and

WHEREAS, In addition to the government-sanctioned persecution of Christians in China and North Korea, faithful followers of Christ worldwide are facing extreme and severe persecution; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, commit to praying for the end of any form of persecution in China and North Korea, and for the North Korean regime and the Communist Party of China to cease persecution of their citizens; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we condemn the Communist Party of China and the Kim Jong-un dynasty for their extreme religious persecution and

flagrant human rights violations; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon the United States government to elevate religious liberty as a top priority of American foreign policy in its engagement with North Korea and China; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on the international community to elevate religious liberty as a top human rights priority and to cooperate to

improve the lives of all persecuted religious minorities around the world, including persecuted Christians; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call for all Southern Baptists and our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for the relief of persecution of those in China and North Korea, and that the Lord would continue to bring many people to Himself in these two nations.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2303

ON SEXUALITY AND PERSONAL IDENTITY

WHEREAS, All persons are made in God’s image and should seek to glorify Him in every arena of their lives, including their self- understanding and identity (Genesis 1:26–27; Psalm 100:3; 1 Corinthians 10:31); and

WHEREAS, The Lord calls His people to pursue lives of holiness as a reflection of His holy character (Leviticus 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16); and

WHEREAS, Christians are instructed to acknowledge, honor, and live according to God’s design for sexual relations solely within the covenantal union of marriage between one man and one woman for life (Genesis 1:26–28; 2:18–24; Matthew 19:4–6; 1 Corinthians 6:12–20; Ephesians 5:22–33); and

WHEREAS, Many in our culture assume the satisfaction of sexual desire is indispensable to human wholeness and flourishing, which leads some to affirm fallen sexual desires as a defining mark of personal identity; and

WHEREAS, Some brothers and sisters in Christ have tried to affirm God’s design for sexuality while embracing a personal identity as a “gay Christian” or a “sexual minority”; and

WHEREAS, This self-understanding and self-expression is open to misinterpretation, affirms a sinful desire as a marker of personal identity, and may imply that one’s sanctification would preclude the possibility of deliverance from same-sex sexual desire; and

WHEREAS, The Bible does not label a Christian’s identity based on past actions or present temptations, but on present justification and future glorification (Romans 8:1–11; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, recommend that Christians refrain from describing themselves or embracing a self-identity in ways that suggest affirmation of sinful desires or unbiblical social constructs (Matthew 5:27–30; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all Christians who struggle against same-sex attraction to forsake any self-conception or personal identity that is contrary to God’s good and holy purposes in creation and redemption; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the faithful witness of Christians who experience same-sex attraction, who remain chaste out of faithfulness to Christ, and whose costly obedience Jesus promises to reward (Matthew 16:24–26; 19:29); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that God’s grace provides both pardon and power so that a follower of Jesus Christ can mortify sinful desires and walk in a manner worthy of the gospel (1 Corinthians 10:13; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptist churches to call sinners to repentance while ministering, encouraging, fostering hospitality, and extending Christlike love toward those brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction.



Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2304

ON THE PROMOTION OF A “COOPERATIVE CULTURE” IN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION FOR MISSION ADVANCE

WHEREAS, Jesus sends His church into the world as ambassadors of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20); and

WHEREAS, As ambassadors, we are called to embody gospel reconciliation in our corporate life together (Ephesians 2:11–22; 4:1–6; Philippians 1:27; 2:1–8; 4:8– 9) and in our cooperative efforts among local bodies of Christ (Acts 15:6–35; 2 Corinthians 9; Philippians 2:19–30), and by doing so, we demonstrate to the world the power of gospel reconciliation in our love and unity toward one another (John 13:34–35; 17:20–26); and

WHEREAS, The purpose of the Southern Baptist Convention is to provide cooperative structures to promote “Christian missions at home and abroad and any other objects such as Christian education, benevolent enterprises, and social services which it may deem proper and advisable for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God” (SBC Constitution, Article II); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message describes a biblical vision for a culture of cooperation and Christian unity as “spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people” (Article XIV); and

WHEREAS, In 2002, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a covenant between Southern Baptist leadership and the churches that calls us to be “seeking first the King and His kingdom” by embracing kingdom principles and practices in our cooperation with one another (SBC.net/aboutus/missionvision.asp); and

WHEREAS, In 2010, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a report that called for us to work together to create a “new and healthy culture within the Southern Baptist Convention” that establishes “a culture of trust, transparency, and truth among all Southern Baptists” (SBC.net/aboutus/missionvision. asp); and

WHEREAS, In recent years, we have observed a growing tension and culture of tribalism in our Convention over social, cultural, political and, at times, secondary doctrinal points of disagreement, which has resulted in divisive words and actions that grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30); and

WHEREAS, At this 2019 Southern Baptist Convention, meeting under the theme “Gospel Above All,” Southern Baptists are encouraged to assume the best in each other, give the benefit of the doubt to one another, and extend grace to those with whom we differ; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, consecrate ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our cooperative efforts as Southern Baptist (Colossians 3:16–17, 23–24), and pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that prizes the “Gospel Above All” (Romans 1:15–16; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4; 2 Corinthians 5:14–16); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we devote ourselves to obedience to the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:37–40) and the fulfillment of the Great Commission throughout our nation and to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:16–20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:5; 15:20); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, jealousy, contentions, selfish ambitions, and complacency, pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory (Galatians 5:22–26; James 4:1–10); and be it further

RESOLVED, That in our cooperative efforts, we pursue humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Ephesians 4:2) and pray that our committee members, board members, and leaders exemplify these godly characteristics; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pledge ourselves to resist a divisive spirit which hinders our cooperative work by seeking to narrow or broaden the confessional commitments affirmed in The Baptist Faith and Message, by imposing methodological uniformity, and by promoting a cultural or political agenda; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit to creating a cooperative culture that recognizes and advances the gifts of all Southern Baptists and exemplifies listening, hospitality, investment, and care for all cooperating Southern Baptists that we may flourish together as we face present and future societal and conventional challenges; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we seek to promote leaders from every demographic within the Southern Baptist Convention, recognizing that it is to the benefit of our cooperative mission and the ministry of our churches to listen to a wide range of voices and perspectives within our cooperative body and confessional commitments as we seek to proclaim the gospel together to the ends of the earth; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we work together to cultivate a culture that stewards all the talents and resources of the Southern Baptist Convention for the fulfillment of the Great Commission; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That by God’s grace and work of the Spirit, the Southern Baptist Convention would experience the cultivation of a “cooperative culture” that inspires investment in our gospel work together, develops godly and wise leaders, and leads to effective witness to the gospel in our nation and all the nations.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2305

ON BIBLICAL JUSTICE

WHEREAS, God is holy, righteous, and just, and He requires His image bearers to live consistent with His character and to pursue the reflection of His character in every sphere of creation; and

WHEREAS, Scripture declares God’s purposes for creative and redemptive acts are that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14) and that “justice flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream” (Amos 5:24); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states that we should live under the Lordship of Christ in our individual lives and in human society, trust the transforming power of the gospel as the primary means of implementing justice and affecting social change, and work to care for those who are hurting and are in need (Article XV); and

WHEREAS, We live in a world with urgent social, cultural, and economic challenges, and in our society, people of goodwill possess commendable desires to ease the impact of injustice and oppression so that all people may prosper; and

WHEREAS, We recognize that in the face of these pressing issues, people—even Christians—have adopted ideological solutions that address these challenges in ways not fitting with God’s creative order and the redemptive hope found in the gospel, and consequently, social problems are addressed in ways that are antithetical to the Christian faith; and

WHEREAS, Scripture provides humanity the hope of freedom from all kinds of oppressive and unjust entanglements and idolatries, which are ultimately derived from the pervasive impact of sin in every spectrum of society that prevents people from experiencing the glory of being made in God’s image and adhering to their full dignity in cultural, economic, social, and political spheres; and

WHEREAS, The gospel is the good news of God’s redemptive work to reconcile and restore a people for His own possession (Titus 2:12–14; 1 Peter 2:9–10) and reconcile all things to Himself (2

Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 1:9–10; 2:14–16; Colossians 1:19–20) and to ultimately free creation from its groaning and subjection to sin (Romans 8:19); and

WHEREAS, Scripture states God requires of His people “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly” (Micah 6:8) and directs all Christians to function as salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13–16, 40–42; 17:24–27; 22:21); and

WHEREAS, Scripture contains examples of spiritual leaders addressing injustices in the world, such as Amos, who confronted social injustices (Amos 5), and Paul, who insisted on justice from civil authorities (Acts 16:35–39); and

WHEREAS, Biblically unfaithful pursuits of justice notwithstanding, Christians should maintain an attitude of compassion toward the tragic and pressing problems in our society that cause real pain and prevent human flourishing; and

WHEREAS, Our witness to the truth of the gospel includes obedience to Christ demonstrated in giving our lives to evangelize the lost around the world and in becoming involved with the struggles of our neighbors as well as our believing brothers and sisters (Genesis 18:19; 1 Peter 2:11-12); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, commit ourselves to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy (Leviticus 11:45; 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pray for the glory of God to fill the earth and for justice to be an overflowing stream for all people; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we grieve the reality of brokenness, resulting from sin, that is present throughout our world and subjects God’s image bearers to oppression and injustice, resulting in pain and burdens that inhibit human flourishing; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reject solutions for social brokenness that depend upon ideas that are antithetical to the Christian faith, for they ignore the lasting transformation only found in the gospel; and be it further

RESOLVED, That in light of the urgent needs in our world, we commit to address injustices through gospel proclamation, by advocating for people who are oppressed and face wrongs against them, acting justly in our own dealings, and by insisting that spheres of society should operate according to “principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XV); and be it further

RESOLVED, That with love and compassion, we address people who have been negatively impacted by oppressive realities, and that this love and compassion lead us to apply the sufficiency and fullness of the gospel message to their situation; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That our concern for the needs and aspirations of humanity—expressed in their joys and their hopes, their pains and their struggles—is rooted in the truth of the gospel and in our hope that through our love for others, they too may receive the gospel and share in the joy of salvation.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2306

ON CONTEXTUAL AND CULTURAL AWARENESS FOR MINISTRY

WHEREAS, The Great Commission calls us under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of the Triune God, and to teach them all that Jesus commanded us to believe, obey, and do (Matthew 28:18–20); and

WHEREAS, Obedience to the Great Commission requires the cultivation of competency and proficiency in contextual and cultural awareness; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist seminaries and entities offer world-class ministry preparation for pastors, missionaries, ministry leaders, administrators, professors, and counselors for a diverse world; and

WHEREAS, Ministers and ministry leaders benefit greatly from exposure to the history and the contributions of Christians from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds (Proverbs 27:17); and

WHEREAS, Without such equipping, ministers and ministry leaders may lack the cultural awareness to appropriately minister the gospel to people in their own circumstances (Ezekiel 3:12–15; John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:19–20); and

WHEREAS, Because the Southern Baptist Convention has been historically monolithic with respect to domestic ministry, preparation often occurs with limited access and awareness to contextual and cultural dynamics; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, commit ourselves anew to the fulfillment of the Great Commission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that fulfillment of the Great Commission requires proficiency in contextual and cultural awareness for effective gospel ministry in the twenty-first century; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm and celebrate every current effort that our seminaries, entities, and churches undertake to resource and equip ministers of the gospel for effective ministry; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge our seminaries, entities, and churches to equip ministers and ministry leaders to be able to discern how culture and contexts shape ministry methods and strategies; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That by God’s grace and power, with these proficiencies, our ministers and ministry leaders will be better equipped to reach people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, both domestic and abroad, with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; Revelation 5:9; 7:9).



Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2307

ON CRITICAL RACE THEORY AND INTERSECTIONALITY

WHEREAS, Concerns have been raised by some evangelicals over the use of frameworks such as critical race theory and intersectionality; and

WHEREAS, Critical race theory is a set of analytical tools that explain how race has and continues to function in society, and intersectionality is the study of how different personal characteristics overlap and inform one’s experience; and

WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality have been appropriated by individuals with worldviews that are contrary to the Christian faith, resulting in ideologies and methods that contradict Scripture; and

WHEREAS, Evangelical scholars who affirm the authority and sufficiency of Scripture have employed selective insights from critical race theory and intersectionality to understand multifaceted social dynamics; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states, “[A]ll Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried” (Article I); and

WHEREAS, General revelation accounts for truthful insights found in human ideas that do not explicitly emerge from Scripture and reflects what some may term “common grace”; and

WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences; and

WHEREAS, Scripture contains categories and principles by which to deal with racism, poverty, sexism, injustice, and abuse that are not rooted in secular ideologies; and

WHEREAS, Humanity is primarily identified in Scripture as image bearers of God, even as biblical authors address various audiences according to characteristics such as male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free; and

WHEREAS, The New Covenant further unites image bearers by creating a new humanity that will one day inhabit the new creation, and that the people of this new humanity, though descended from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, are all one through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:16; Revelation 21:1–4, 9–14); and

WHEREAS, Christian citizenship is not based on our differences but instead on our common salvation in Christ—the source of our truest and ultimate identity; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is committed to racial reconciliation built upon biblical presuppositions and is committed to seeking biblical justice through biblical means; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, affirm Scripture as the first, last, and sufficient authority with regard to how the Church seeks to redress social ills, and we reject any conduct, creeds, and religious opinions which contradict Scripture; and be it further

RESOLVED, That critical race theory and intersectionality should only be employed as analytical tools subordinate to Scripture—not as transcendent ideological frameworks; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the gospel of Jesus Christ alone grants the power to change people and society because “he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6); and be it further

RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists will carefully analyze how the information gleaned from these tools are employed to address social dynamics; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Southern Baptist churches and institutions repudiate the misuse of insights gained from critical race theory, intersectionality, and any unbiblical ideologies that can emerge from their use when absolutized as a worldview; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we deny any philosophy or theology that fundamentally defines individuals using categories identified as sinful in Scripture rather than the transcendent reality shared by every image bearer and divinely affirmed distinctions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That while we denounce the misuse of critical race theory and intersectionality, we do not deny that ethnic, gender, and cultural distinctions exist and are a gift from God that will give Him absolute glory when all humanity gathers around His throne in worship because of the redemption accomplished by our resurrected Lord; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That Southern Baptist churches seek to exhibit this eschatological promise in our churches in the present by focusing on unity in Christ amid image bearers and rightly celebrate our differences as determined by God in the new creation.



Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2308

ON EXPANDING THE SELECTIVE SERVICE TO INCLUDE WOMEN

WHEREAS, The United States Congress in 2016 appointed a National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to investigate the question of expanding Selective Service registration to all Americans, which would subject women to potential military conscription, and to report back to the President and Congress in March 2020; and

WHEREAS, The Commission is currently soliciting input from America’s religious institutions on this question; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention in 2016 adopted a resolution “On Women Registering for the Draft” wherein the Convention resolved to “call on the Administration, Congress, and all military leaders not to require women to register for military drafts”; and

WHEREAS, Requiring women to register for the Selective Service alongside men would be to treat men and women interchangeably and to deny male and female differences clearly revealed in Scripture and in nature; and

WHEREAS, We honor women who wish to engage in military service as volunteers, however, we oppose efforts to force women into military service by government coercion; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, strongly urge the President and Congress not to expand the Selective Service to include women, which would be to act against the plain testimony of Scripture and nature; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we continue to affirm the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention resolution “On Women Registering for the Draft.”



Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2309

ON OPPOSING HUMAN GERMLINE EDITING

WHEREAS, On November 28, 2018, Professor He Jiankui announced that he had successfully edited the germline of three children in his laboratory in Shenzhen, China, using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which allows genetic material to be added, removed, or altered in the genome; and

WHEREAS, The germ cells (or reproductive cells) of human beings pass the genetic blueprint from one set of parents to their offspring and from those offspring to subsequent generations; and

WHEREAS, The germ cells altered by Professor He would, therefore, be passed from the parents to those three children, and those children’s future offspring; and

WHEREAS, Human germline modification can result in unintended and potentially lethal consequences for offspring whose germ cells are altered; and

WHEREAS, Human germline modification may be used for eugenic purposes; and

WHEREAS, Nearly the entire global scientific community, including the Chinese government, have condemned Professor He’s experiments as being in violation of the canons of human subjects research ethics; and

WHEREAS, Germline modification results in the destruction of human embryos, and more than two dozen living human embryos were destroyed in Professor He’s research; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is on record for its long-standing pro-life stance and its repudiation of the destruction of human embryos through genetic research, including human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, condemn human germline alteration; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on the United States Congress to pass legislation that would make human germline modification unfundable by tax dollars and illegal in the United States; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on international policy-making bodies to develop treaties, declarations, and other necessary policies to make human germline manipulation unfundable and illegal.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2310

ON GOSPEL ALLEGIANCE AND POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

WHEREAS, Scripture declares, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10); and

WHEREAS, The essence of the Church’s mission, as defined by the Great Commission, is to spread the gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28:18–20); and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is comprised of a multitude of churches with diverse memberships, representing an array of political affiliations and showing due respect for political choice; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention should remain independent from political partisanship in order to represent all Southern Baptists; and

WHEREAS, The annual meeting is a sacred gathering with the purpose of furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ and uniting the body of Christ, as Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one (John 17:21); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states, “All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society” (Article XV); and

WHEREAS, In our political system, the biblical responsibility of government to encourage good and restrain evil falls ultimately to all citizens, and loving our neighbors requires seeking their good in all things, which includes our engagement in the political process (Romans 13:1–4; 13:9–10); and

WHEREAS, Our experience of religious freedom and public policy in our society that reflects the will of Christ is, in large part, fruit of public engagement by Christian leaders who exercised influence without compromising the priority of our gospel-spreading, disciple- making mission; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, affirm that our commitment to Christ comes before commitment to any political party; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we recognize we are a diverse convention of churches whose members hold various political affiliations and views, and therefore, the Convention does not endorse any political party or candidate, so we call on all Southern Baptists to continually evaluate their political cooperation in light of Scripture’s witness; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm our appreciation for those Christian leaders in government who have worked to secure our liberties and advance biblical principles in government and simultaneously demonstrate primary commitment to the church’s mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we work cooperatively, where we can, with politically elected officials as a means of fulfilling the Great Commission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge the danger of political engagement overwhelming the priority of our mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge the opposite danger of disengaging from public issues and disregarding our obligation as citizens to encourage good, restrain evil, and thereby love our neighbors; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we refuse to compromise the reputation of Christ and the clarity of the gospel message, regardless of perceived political implications or potential loss of religious liberty; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to model and encourage voices of truth, kindness, and gentleness, rather than those that stir up hostility, strife, dissensions, and factions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we guard against binding the consciences of believers to support policies, vote for candidates, or engage politically in ways that exceed what Scripture requires; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our confidence in the sufficiency of prayer and proclamation of the Word to accomplish God’s purposes among His people as we teach them to obey all Jesus’ commands and equip them to serve as salt and light in society.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2311

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, The messengers to the 162nd session of the Southern Baptist Convention are enjoying a time of worship, encouragement, and fellowship in the Lord Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, We acknowledge God’s providence in all these blessings; and

WHEREAS, We also acknowledge the kind hospitality of the people of Birmingham, Alabama; and

WHEREAS, We further acknowledge our local Southern Baptist churches, associational leaders, staff of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, Southern Baptist Convention committees, Southern Baptist Convention entities, and hundreds of volunteers from the Birmingham area who have worked so diligently to make our stay a pleasant one; and

WHEREAS, We especially acknowledge the Lord’s grace in enabling our Southern Baptist Convention president, officers, various committees, musicians, and other platform personnel to conduct the affairs of this Convention with dignity and a Christlike spirit; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, express our profound gratitude to the Lord and to all those through whom He is working to bring about an annual meeting characterized by prayer, grace, evangelism, worship, encouragement, unity, and purpose.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc19/resolution?ID=2312

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