What you should know about the 2018 SBC state convention resolutions

November 30, 2018

Within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), resolutions have 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 denomination to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed. Each year, resolutions are passed during the annual meetings of the state conventions.

Highlighted below are some examples of resolutions on ERLC related issues from the 2018 conventions:

Alabama Baptist Convention

Resolution No. 1: On a Call for Prayer and Unity

RESOLVED, That we encourage all U.S. citizens to demonstrate unity in advocating freedom of speech and religious liberty for each other;

Resolution No. 2: On Christian Parenting for All Children

RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists encourage all fathers and mothers to be equally committed to active participation in the challenges of raising their children in an atmosphere of healthy family life and that each play an effective personal role in the development of their children;

Arkansas Baptist State Convention

Resolution No. 2: On Opposition To Issue No. 4 – The Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Expand Casino Gambling To Four Arkansas Counties

RESOLVED, that should Issue No. 4 be approved and casino gambling is expanded in our state, we will endeavor to restore and rehabilitate individuals caught up in the destructive cycle of problem gambling, and will attempt to provide a safety net for the gamblers’ families and communities as we are called to do as Christ-followers.

Resolution No. 4: On Christian Citizenship And Civic Participation

RESOLVED, that we, the messengers to the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, meeting at Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, Arkansas, October 23-24, 2018, encourage all believers to engage the culture by being informed and proactive citizens, by voting in all elections, by praying for all those in authority and positions of influence, and by participating appropriately in civic matters.

Resolution No. 5: On Christlike Communication And The Use Of Social Media

RESOLVED, that we guard our tongues, using caution and wisdom in our media and social media, and refrain from remarks that tear down others made in the image of God, including refraining from gossip and slander (Psa. 141:3; Prov. 6:16–19; 17:27–28; 21:23; James 3:10–12);

Illinois Baptist State Association

Resolution Concerning Churches’ Compassion Toward Infertility

RESOLVED, that said messengers urge IBSA churches to stand firm and together in helping parents during these times of struggle, indecision, and/or heartbreak so that everyone knows and understands they are part of the greater family of God and that their difficulty, problems, and/or struggles can be overcome through Christ. (Rom. 12:12)

Resolution Opposing the Teaching of LGBTQ Values in Illinois Schools

RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Illinois Baptist State Association meeting in Maryville, Illinois, November 7-8, 2018, urge IBSA churches and their members to stand against efforts to impose LGBTQ curricula and books upon the students, families, and citizens of the State of Illinois.

Resolution on Abuse and Prevention

RESOLVED, That we call on pastors and ministry leaders to foster safe environments in which abused persons may both recognize the reprehensible nature of their abuse and reveal such abuse to pastors and ministry leaders in safety and expectation of being believed and protected;

Missouri Baptist Convention

Resolution No. 4: On Pornography Being a Public Health Crisis

RESOLVED, that the Missouri Baptist Convention calls for education, prevention, research, strict enforcement of obscenity laws, and policy considerations where needed at the church, community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.

Resolution No. 5: On the Prohibition of Legalizing Sports Gambling

RESOLVED, that we encourage our fellow Missouri Baptists and all other followers of Christ to refuse to participate in any form of gambling.

Resolution No. 6: On Marijuana Ballot Measures

RESOLVED, that we, the Missouri Baptist Convention, protect the people of our great state from the future legalization of recreational marijuana (through the initial step of legalizing medical marijuana) by urging a vote of “NO” on each of these three ballot issues;

Resolution No. 7: On Gun Violence

RESOLVED, that we affirm that it is the depravity, sinfulness, and wickedness of the human heart that gives birth to gun violence and mass shootings;

Resolution No. 8: On the Missouri Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision and Racial Reconciliation

RESOLVED, that the Missouri Baptist Convention call on the Missouri Legislature to formally denounce the decision of the Missouri Supreme Court of March 22, 1852, in that it contradicts the principle that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”

Resolution No. 9: On Sexuality and Christian Identity

RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Missouri Baptist Convention meeting deny the validity of a “gay Christian” identity, recommit themselves to fight all forms of sinful temptation, and affirm the biblical portrait of the believer as one who has decisively broken with all sinful identity and practice and is with all Christ’s church a new creation who is being progressively sanctified by God

State Convention of Baptists in Ohio

Resolution No. 4: On Voting as an Expression of Christian Citizenship

RESOLVED, That we prayerfully urge the candidates for political office and the current officials to endorse the Biblical values upon which society should rest;

Resolution No. 6: On Biblical Sexuality and the Freedom of Conscience

RESOLVED, That we stand in solidarity with those whose jobs, professions, businesses, ministries, schools, and personal freedoms are threatened because their consciences will not allow them to recognize, promote, or participate in activities associated with unbiblical marriage;

Resolution No. 7:  On Reaching Refugees and People Groups in Ohio

RESOLVED, That we will be committed to extending Christian love and friendship to all people groups entering our state;

Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma

Resolution No. 3: For Foster Care and Adoption

Knowing that Christ calls us to minister to the vulnerable, and that Jesus modeled love and compassion toward all children and commands us to care for them, we call on Oklahoma Baptists to take an even more active role in foster care.

Resolution No. 5: For Sexual Integrity, Accountability

We deplore, apologize, and ask for forgiveness for failures to protect the abused, failures that have occurred in churches and ministries, including such failures among Southern Baptists. We 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 and should be properly reported to state/legal authorities.

Resolution No. 6: On Recreational Marijuana and the Abuse of Drugs

We pray that the citizens of Oklahoma will oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana and that the church will be proactive through Christ-centered ministries to reach people who are addicted to substances.

South Carolina Baptist Convention

Resolution on Medical Marijuana

RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the South Carolina Baptist Convention meeting in North Charleston, November 13-14, 2018, are opposed to the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana;

Resolution on Racial Reconciliation

RESOLVED, That we profess our commitment to Build Bridges with the love of our Savior to make disciples of Jesus Christ across every cultural barrier to the glory of God the Father (Matt. 28:18–20, Acts 1:8).

Resolution on Sports Betting

RESOLVED, That we urge the members of the South Carolina General Assembly to reject state-sanctioned sports betting and any other expansion of gambling;

Resolution on Religious Liberty

RESOLVED, That we urge those in the legal profession to engage in defending the rights of those individuals, groups, or churches facing discrimination for their religious beliefs;

Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC)

Resolution No. 1: On Pastors and Political Engagement

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;

Resolution No. 3: On Justice Reform

RESOLVED, that we ardently call upon and pray for decision-makers at every level in the United States judicial system to apply the law equally, irrespective of race or socio-economic status;

Resolution No. 5: On Abuse

RESOLVED, that we acknowledge that spousal abuse dishonors the marriage covenant and fundamentally blasphemes the relationship between Christ and the church;

Resolution No. 6: On Posture of Christians Toward Refugees

RESOLVED, that we repudiate any and all assaults on the dignity and humanity of God’s image-bearers, regardless of refugee status;

Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia

Resolution No. 2: Prayer for the President and Other Elected Leaders

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the SBC of Virginia Annual Homecoming meeting in Hampton, Virginia, November 11-13, 2018, urge the churches of the SBC of Virginia to pray confidently, regularly, and fervently for our President, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and all local, state, and national governmental leaders.

Resolution No. 5: Condemning Religious Violence Against Jewish People

RESOLVED, That we will encourage churches of the SBC of Virginia to guard against and reject anti-Semitism and to be zealous to share the hope of Christ for all peoples.

West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists

Resolution on Violence

RESOLVED, [in opposition to] the use of violence or force against any person or group on the basis of political persuasion, racial background, gender distinction, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is the author of The Life and Faith Field Guide for Parents, the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. He also serves as an executive pastor at the McLean Bible Church Arlington location in Arlington, Virginia. Read More