This past week was the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), attended by around 10,000 people representing their churches. The SBC is a network of churches that hold agreement around the Gospel and core theological beliefs held in a document titled the Baptist Faith and Message, partnering together on mission for the Great Commission. This meeting is the business gathering for churches in the SBC where we gather to be challenged in the mission, do our business to accomplish the mission, and build unity around the mission. Among the things that happen each year is the submission and approval of resolutions by the messengers (this is the name of the delegates attending the SBC). Resolutions are basically a statement made by the messengers speaking to issues and challenges within the church or the larger culture. While they are non-binding (no church or individual is actually required to follow the resolution), they are clear statements made in unison about specific issues. This year a number of significant issues were addressed by these resolutions, including women, sexual abuse, racism, opioid abuse, the holiness of pastors, and Arab Christians, so I plan to post the text of these to keep our people informed. Take time to read these, and if you have questions, lets have a discussion.
Resolution 1 – On The Dignity And Worth Of Women On The Occasion Of The One Hundredth Anniversary Of Women As Messengers To The Southern Baptist Convention
2018 – Dallas, TX
WHEREAS, The Bible presents the Lord God as creating both the man and the woman by His own hand and in His own image and likeness, crowning them with essential and inestimable dignity and worth (Genesis 1:26–27; 2:7, 21–22; 1 Peter 3:7); and
WHEREAS, The Bible consistently demonstrates that women played a significant role in ministry, evangelism, and disciple-making (Mark 16:1–8; Luke 2:36–38; 8:2–3; 24:10; John 4:39; 11:20–27; 20:18; Acts 1:14; 16:40; 18:24–26; Romans 16:1–2; 2 Timothy 1:5); and
WHEREAS, God calls and gifts women for a variety of roles within the biblical framework of complementary gender relationships; and
WHEREAS, Women were valued servants of the early church, many martyrs in the post-apostolic era, and heroic missionaries of the historic Baptist movement, such as Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong; and
WHEREAS, Women have served in a variety of ways throughout the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, including elected offices, service on committees and boards, missions education, ministry through entities and agencies, and positions in higher education, as well as within local churches; and
WHEREAS, Women continue currently to serve in a wide range of ministry roles within Southern Baptist life; and
WHEREAS, May 15, 2018, marked the one hundredth anniversary of women serving as messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, honor the immeasurable contribution of women to our cooperative mission of Great Commission work; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we thank God for women who have contributed in biblically appropriate ways through discipleship, missions, education, evangelism, service, leadership, and working for advocacy and justice; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we affirm the gifts of women in their distinctive God-assigned roles, even as we continue to witness to Scripture’s teaching (Genesis 2:18, 21–24; Ephesians 5:22–33; Colossians 3:18–19; 1 Timothy 2:9–14; Titus 2:3–5; 1 Peter 3:1–7) in a culture increasingly confused in matters of gender and sexuality; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call upon women to serve in diverse capacities to advance the gospel in their homes, local churches, communities, the marketplace, and within our denomination; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call upon older women to invest in younger women for the sake of developing them into godly followers of Christ consistent with Paul’s admonition in Titus 2:3–5; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we call upon all Southern Baptists to encourage, cultivate, and celebrate the diverse gifts, callings, and contributions of women in biblically appropriate ways.