This year’s annual edition of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) dealt with many pressing issues facing America’s largest Protestant denomination including sexual misconduct, immigration complications and more.
As part of the SBC meeting, some 9,467 messengers voted on various resolutions, resulting in the passage of several motions. The following are some of the most prominent resolutions that were voted on:
Resolution 2: Repudiate Abusive Behavior
Resolution 2 was brought before the SBC in order to “condemn all forms of abuse and repudiate with a unified voice all abusive behavior as unquestionably sinful and under the just condemnation of our Holy God.” The resolution went on to explain how persons should act if they experience abuse and outlined how to intervene in an abusive situation.
The SBC has been under public scrutiny due to allegations lodged at Paige Patterson, who was the sitting Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President (SWBTS) and a former president of the SBC. He was recently accused of failing to report incidents of sexual assault and abuse. Patterson resigned amid the controversy and Jeffery Bingham, the SWBTS interim president, ensured the seminary’s approach towards sexual abuse was clearly stated.
“At Southwestern, we denounce all forms of abuse, all behavior that enables abuse, all behavior that fails to protect the abused, and all behavior that fails to protect those who are vulnerable to abuse,” he said. “We pray for the abused and we agonize for them.”
The passage of resolution 2 shows the increased focused on sexual misconduct by the SBC. Hopefully, this outlook towards the issue will reduce incidents of abuse and in turn create a safer, healthier environment in all SBC organizations.
Resolution 5: Immigration
Another hot button issue addressed at the SBC was the issue of immigration. News organizations are of course focused on the separation of families who cross the border illegally. However, resolution 5 provides a more general look at how Christians should treat immigrants.
The resolution states, “We encourage all elected officials, especially those who are members of Southern Baptist churches, to do everything in their power to advocate for a just and equitable immigration system, and those in the professional community to seek ways to administer just and compassionate care for the immigrants in their community.”
Resolution 8: Mass Shootings and Gun Violence
This resolution looked at the current problem of mass shootings and gun violence and explored ways to prevent such tragedies.
The resolution called on political leaders to enact “preventative measures that would reduce gun violence and mass shootings while operation in accordance with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
This resolution focused on the prevention of gun violence, while at the same time protected the rights of law abiding citizens to own guns. According to the resolution, the best preventative measure is faith, “We affirm that the greatest antidote to the pandemic of gun violence and mass shooting is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Resolution 9: Opioid Addiction and Abuse
Last year, some 64,000 Americans lost their lives due to opioid abuse. The prevalence of this drug crisis prompted the SBC to address this pressing issue in resolution 9. The resolution states, “We urge pastors, churches, and all Christians to be aware of the dangers of opioids, advocate for solutions to abuse and serve those affected by addiction.”
Resolution 14: Commemorating the Ministry and Life of Billy Graham
This resolution commemorates the life and ministry of beloved evangelist Reverend Billy Graham, who died this past year at the age of 99. Resolution 14 states the following:
“…we desire to celebrate Billy Graham’s legacy by committing ourselves to sharing the gospel, living lives of personal holiness, and finding joy through an eternal peace with God accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
The resolutions passed at this year’s SBC meeting addressed several newsworthy issues as well as commemorating a influential life. The SBC is committed to meeting the controversial issues head on instead of sweeping them under the rug so to speak. Hopefully, these resolutions will in turn create lasting change that will promote healing and continued spiritual growth.
~ 1776 Chrisian