2018 SBC Annual Meeting

Dallas, TX | June 12-13, 2018

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.

2018 Resolutions

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

ON THE DIGNITY AND WORTH OF WOMEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF WOMEN AS MESSENGERS TO THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

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.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2284

ON ABUSE

WHEREAS, God has created every person—male and female—in His own image and with equal value and dignity (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, God abhors violence against the weak and defenseless and calls His people to defend the hurt and oppressed (Psalm 82:4), to stand for justice (Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 31:8–9), and to deliver victims of abuse from the hands of their oppressors (Proverbs 6:17; 24:10–12); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message says that “We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick” (Article XV); and

WHEREAS, Abuse can be defined as any act or conscious failure to act resulting in imminent risk, serious injury, death, physical or emotional or sexual harm, or exploitation of another person; and

WHEREAS, Current cultural trends have opened the door for victims to voice courageously their plight and seek justice; and

WHEREAS, We deplore, apologize, and ask for forgiveness for failures to protect the abused, failures that have occurred in evangelical churches and ministries, including such failures within our own denomination; and

WHEREAS, God has designed marriage “to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XVIII); and

WHEREAS, Biblical headship blesses, honors, and protects wives and children and does not require them to submit to sin or to abuse (Ephesians 5:25–29; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:7; 5:3); and

WHEREAS, The biblical teaching on relationships between men and women neither supports nor fosters, but rather prevents and condemns, abuse (Mark 12:31; Romans 13:10; Ephesians 4:32); and

WHEREAS, God ordains civil government as His servant to us for good (Romans 13:4) and intends for us “to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XVII); and

WHEREAS, Abuse is not only a sin but is also a destructive evil that distorts and disrupts the marriage covenant and the entire family and is a hallmark of the devil which must not be tolerated in the Christian community; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, 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 be it further

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

RESOLVED, That we strongly urge abuse victims to contact civil authorities, separate from their abusers, and seek protection, care, and support from fellow Christians and civil authorities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we extend compassion and support to all persons encountering the injustice of abuse, being careful to remind the abused that such injustice is undeserved and not a result of personal guilt or fault; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all persons perpetrating and enabling 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 intervene on behalf of the abused, to ensure their safety, to report allegations of abuse to civil authorities according to the laws of their state, and to pursue church discipline against impenitent abusers; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage leaders in our churches and Southern Baptist Convention entities to be faithful examples, through their words and actions, and to speak against the sin of all forms of abuse; and be it further

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; and be it further

RESOLVED, That church and ministry leaders have an obligation to implement policies and practices that protect against and confront any form of abuse; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we uphold the dignity of all human beings as image-bearers of God and the responsibility of all Christians to seek the welfare of the abused.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2285

ON THE HOLINESS AND INTEGRITY OF MINISTRY LEADERS

WHEREAS, Pastors and ministry leaders are held to a high standard for their doctrine, speech, and conduct, the standard being the very character and example of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Timothy 4:16); and

WHEREAS, Scripture is clear on the imperative of sexual purity among believers (Ephesians 5:3) and especially among pastors and ministry leaders (1 Timothy 3:1–13) as a part of a testimony to God’s holiness; and

WHEREAS, Pastors and ministry leaders are to be examples by their faith in Christ and their lives of ongoing repentance of sin (Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:1–3) and

WHEREAS, Sexual infidelity and other violations of ministerial integrity egregiously pervert and demean the image of God and always have tragic consequences for the ministry leader, for those who are victimized, and for others impacted by those transgressions; and

WHEREAS, To ignore or minimize the presence of sin and thereby excuse or deny the presence of that sin is antithetical and disobedient to the corporate call to holiness among the people of God (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:15–16); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, repudiate in the strongest terms any behavior that would compromise the New Testament standard of a ministry leader’s absolute holiness and requirement to be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 9–10); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon pastors, ministry leaders, entity leaders, and denominational representatives to pursue moral and sexual purity in all relationships before God and with others and to guard their life and doctrine scrupulously, even as all believers should seek the same standards for themselves; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we appeal to Matthew 18:6–17 in exhorting churches to exercise appropriate redemptive church discipline for addressing the sin of ministry leaders, seeking to extend restorative grace (Galatians 6:1), knowing that we are all equally susceptible to the pull of sin (1 Corinthians 10:12); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we covenant one with another to recommit ourselves to confession, repentance, and contrition, and to mortify sin in our own hearts and in our churches; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That having humbled ourselves before the Lord and the watching world, with full consciousness of the judgment of God (2 Corinthians 5:10), we will return to the Great Commission work before us with newfound fervor and purpose, and we will not allow ourselves, our ministries, or our Convention to lose sight of the great and glorious task before us: the fulfillment of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ through the upbuilding of churches, the discipling of the sheep, and the unflagging evangelization of the lost.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2286

ON RENOUNCING THE DOCTRINE OF THE “CURSE OF HAM” AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR RACISM

WHEREAS, Many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention once openly endorsed the false teaching of the so-called “curse of Ham” narrative which errantly construed Genesis 9:25–27 to say that God ordained the descendants of Ham to be marked with dark skin and be relegated to a subordinated status based on race; and

WHEREAS, This doctrine has been used to enslave and continues to be used by white supremacists as a cloak to invoke God’s holy name in unholy acts of demeaning, dishonoring, and dehumanizing certain people who bear His image; and

WHEREAS, The residue of this doctrine remains today and continues to distort the witness of the church and presents a stumbling block to the gospel we preach; and

WHEREAS, This argument for justifying racist ideologies contradicts the rest of Scripture, especially those passages that teach the image of God in every person regardless of gender or ethnicity (Genesis 1:26–27; Acts 17:26), the unity of people purchased by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:11–22), and the certainty that Jesus’ bride is a multi-ethnic people (Revelation 7:9); and

WHEREAS, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that occurred on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, affording individuals across the nation an opportunity for reflection, repentance, and renewed resolve toward racial unity; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, maintain and renew our public renunciation of racism in all its forms, including our disavowal of the “curse of Ham” doctrine and any other attempt to distort or misappropriate the Bible to justify this evil; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we not be satisfied in our hearts with embracing any doctrinal belief that contradicts human dignity expressed in the creation account and beg the Almighty to purge all remaining dross of this false teaching from our hearts to the glory of God; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we remain vigilant to bring about the healing and restoration of individuals affected by this sort of doctrine, not allowing any future version of this wicked teaching to creep into our hearts or our pulpits (Matthew 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we renew our commitment to proclaim boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ to people from every tribe, tongue, and nation regardless of skin color or genealogical descent (Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 1:8); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists at every level to withdraw fellowship from churches that insist on excluding from fellowship anyone based on race or ethnicity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we renew our commitment to preach and teach the full equality, dignity, and worth of all people from the Scriptures as it would be appropriate to do so; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we renew our commitment to cultivate diligently heartfelt love for people of all tribes, ethnicities, and peoples for the good of the church and the glory of Jesus among the nations (Ephesians 4:3–6).

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2287

ON IMMIGRATION

WHEREAS, Every man, woman, and child from every language, race, and nation is a special creation of God, made in His own image (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, Longings to protect one’s family from warfare, violence, disease, extreme poverty, and other destitute conditions are universal, driving millions of people to leave their homelands to seek a better life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, God commands His people to treat immigrants with the same respect and dignity as those native born (Leviticus 19:33–34; Jeremiah 7:5–7; Ezekiel 47:22; Zechariah 7:9–10); and

WHEREAS, Scripture is clear on the believer’s hospitality towards immigrants, stating that meeting the material needs of “strangers” is tantamount to serving the Lord Jesus Himself (Matthew 25:35–40; Hebrews 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists affirm the value of the family, stating in The Baptist Faith and Message that “God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society” (Article XVIII), and Scripture makes clear that parents are uniquely responsible to raise their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4); and

WHEREAS, Untold numbers of men and women seeking to enter the United States legally, desiring to become good citizens of our country, often languish at the borders due to the complexity of our immigration system; and

WHEREAS, In its 2011 resolution “On Immigration and The Gospel,” messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention asked our governing authorities to prioritize efforts to secure the borders and to hold businesses accountable for hiring practices as they relate to immigration status; and

WHEREAS, In that same resolution, Southern Baptist Convention messengers also asked our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country; and

WHEREAS, At the time, Southern Baptist Convention messengers made clear that the wording of the resolution was not to be construed as support for amnesty for any undocumented immigrant living in violation of the law of the land; and

WHEREAS, After seven years of continued policy gridlock, there have been no substantive changes in the immigration system that would make it more just, humane, efficient, and orderly; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, affirm the value and dignity of immigrants, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, or legal status; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we desire to see immigration reform include an emphasis on securing our borders and providing a pathway to legal status with appropriate restitutionary measures, maintaining the priority of family unity, resulting in an efficient immigration system that honors the value and dignity of those seeking a better life for themselves and their families; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we declare that any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That 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, those in the professional community to seek ways to administer just and compassionate care for the immigrants in their community, and our Southern Baptist entities to provide resources that will equip and empower churches and church members to reach and serve immigrant communities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage pastors to address immigration issues with their local churches and to exhort their congregations to serve their local immigrant communities; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we affirm that all immigrants are either brothers and sisters in Christ or people whom God loves and has given us an opportunity to reach with the gospel where otherwise they may never have heard.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2288

ON REAFFIRMING THE FULL DIGNITY OF EVERY HUMAN BEING

WHEREAS, In the beginning, the Triune God chose to create humanity in His image and according to His likeness, such that “God created man in His own image; He created Him in the image of God; He created them male and female” (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, God judged His creation of humanity to be very good indeed (Genesis 1:31), crowned humanity with honor and glory, making them rulers over the works of His hands (Psalm 8:5–6), and put eternity in all human hearts so we might seek after Him (Ecclesiastes 3:11); and

WHEREAS, God’s precious likeness and image was passed down from Adam to his posterity, the human race, through generations (Genesis 5:3); and

WHEREAS, God sent His own perfect image, Jesus Christ, into the world (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), intending through the sufferings of Christ (Hebrews 2:10) for human beings to become conformed, renewed, and transformed into the same image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:9–10); and

WHEREAS, God intends to bless human beings to “bear the image of the man of heaven,” Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49; cf. 1 John 3:2), and “wants everyone to be saved” through hearing and believing His gospel (1 Timothy 2:4; cf. Ezekiel 18:23; Matthew 23:37; 2 Peter 3:9); and

WHEREAS, Significant challenges threaten the dignity and worthiness of human beings who do not possess power or advantage, including but not limited to the heinous murder of the unborn child in the womb, the enforced withdrawal of life-sustaining medical care from the ill or infirm, the prejudices and discriminations of racism and ethnocentrism, various abuses of other human persons, the denigration of opposing political groups, and persecutions of religious minorities; and

WHEREAS, Article III of The Baptist Faith and Message clearly affirms that human dignity is an inviolable status, stating, “The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, reaffirm the sacredness and full dignity and worthiness of respect and Christian love for every single human being, without any reservation whatsoever; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every unborn child and denounce every act of abortion except to save the mother’s physical life; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every human being, whether or not any political, legal, or medical authority considers a human being possessive of “viable” life regardless of cognitive or physical disability, and denounce every act that would wrongly limit the life of any human at any stage or state of life; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every human being of whatever ethnicity and denounce every form and practice of racism and ethnocentrism; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every human being, whether male or female, young or old, weak or strong, and denounce any and every form of abuse, whether physical, sexual, verbal, or psychological; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every human being of whatever political or legal status or party and denounce rhetoric that diminishes the humanity of anyone; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every human being of whatever religion or creed and denounce any unjust violation of the first freedom of religious liberty; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that the full dignity of every human being can never be removed, diminished, or modified by any human decision or action whatsoever; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we affirm the full dignity of every human being and commit to model God’s saving love by sharing the eternal hope found in the gospel, to call all people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19–20; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Peter 3:14–17), and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39; Romans 12:10, 15; Philippians 2:4–7).

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2289

ON CHRISTLIKE COMMUNICATION AND THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

WHEREAS, Due to the size and publicly deliberative nature of the Southern Baptist Convention, the interactions between its people and entities often become newsworthy and are published in Christian and secular media as representation of the faith of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, The use of social media by Christians for dialogue, expressing opinions, and argumentation also is a public representation of the faith of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, The Bible has instructed God’s people to control the tongue (Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 10:19; 12:18–19; 15:4; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; James 4:11), to treat others the same way you want them to treat you (Luke 6:31), and to love one another just as Christ has loved us (John 15:12); and

WHEREAS, Christians are called to exhibit self-control (Galatians 5:23) in every facet of life and follow the second great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), understanding that our actions and character, seen by a watching world, are directly tethered to our witness and testimony of the person and work of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:16); and

WHEREAS, The Bible has prescribed healthy avenues for conflict resolution among brothers and sisters in Christ (Matthew 5:21–26; 18:15–20; Ephesians 4:25–27; Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:10); and

WHEREAS, We are called by Christ to “live worthy of the calling [we] have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, commit to maintaining brotherly and sisterly love by resolving our differences in a biblical manner (Matthew 18:15–18); and be it further

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 (Psalm 141:3; Proverbs 6:16–19; 17:27–28; 21:23; James 3:10–12); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That even in the midst of differences, disagreements, and conflicts, we will engage one another with respect and winsomeness, speaking truth in Christlike love while pursuing unity (Ephesians 4:15).

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2290

ON GUN VIOLENCE AND MASS SHOOTINGS

WHEREAS, The Bible affirms that God is the author of human life and that human life is sacred and worthy of protection (Genesis 9:5–6; Psalm 139:13–16); and

WHEREAS, The shedding of innocent blood is a repugnant and wicked evil that transgresses the moral law of God and does violence to the image of God in every person (Genesis 1:26–27; Exodus 20:13); and

WHEREAS, Gun violence perpetrated against innocent persons is incompatible with the character of Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, Gun-related violence results in over thirty thousand deaths annually in the United States; and

WHEREAS, In 2018 there already have been a number of horrific mass shootings in the United States, claiming the lives of precious individuals and injuring many others; and

WHEREAS, The mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5, 2017, resulted in twenty-six murdered persons and an additional twenty injured persons, and was an horrific evil that brought immeasurable grief to the families affected, the nation, and to the broader Southern Baptist family; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, do grieve and decry the epidemic of gun violence resulting in mass shootings across America; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express solidarity with all those victimized by gun violence and seek every available opportunity to minister to them in the name of Jesus Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the heroism of police officers, first responders, and bystanders who bravely intervene in violent situations to eliminate additional threats and provide emergency aid to victims (Romans 13:1–7); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on federal, state, and local authorities to address the epidemic of gun violence by evaluating the societal maladies that lead to escalations in gun violence and mass shootings; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on federal, state, and local authorities to implement preventative measures that would reduce gun violence and mass shootings while operating in accordance with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that gun ownership carries with it a great responsibility of being aware of the sinfulness of one’s own heart; and be it further

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; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we affirm that the greatest antidote to the pandemic of gun violence and mass shootings is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2291

ON OPIOID ABUSE AND ADDICTION

WHEREAS, Opioid abuse and addiction, including prescription painkillers, have increased at an alarming rate over the past decade; and

WHEREAS, In 2017, sixty-four thousand Americans died from opioid abuse, which made it the leading cause of death for those under fifty years old, and deaths related to opioid overdose have increased 493 percent since 2010; and

WHEREAS, Opioid addiction is problematic within every ethnicity, socio-economic group, and geographic region; and

WHEREAS, All people, including those battling addiction, are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and maintain an ongoing dignity; and

WHEREAS, The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, purchased by the blood of Christ, and opioid abuse destroys that temple (1 Corinthians 6:19–20); and

WHEREAS, Believers are not to be under the control of anything other than the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); and

WHEREAS, While Satan seeks to destroy and enslave people (John 10:10), followers of Jesus are called to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10–18); and

WHEREAS, Christians are commanded to love their neighbors (Matthew 22:39), which includes those in our communities suffering from the harmful effects of opioid addiction; and

WHEREAS, Opioids are easily obtained and deceptive in their power to addict; and

WHEREAS, Opioid addiction is harming the workforce, overwhelming the medical community, and causing difficult budgetary challenges in many cities; and

WHEREAS, Opioid abuse destroys the individual user, but it also destroys the family unit by often separating children from their addicted parents; and

WHEREAS, The opioid epidemic has caused a strain on the foster care system in most states; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, 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; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we condemn and oppose all usage of opioids outside of the prescription, direction, and care of a licensed medical professional; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage the medical community, insurance providers, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers to advocate for the prescription of opioids only under the most stringent standards, ensuring that patients are educated on the benefits of appropriate, proper usage as well as the dangers of abuse, as we recognize that the medications are efficacious in managing pain when utilized appropriately; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage our city, state, and national governments to work together to address the crisis; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we equip followers of Christ to resist the temptation to assume they are immune from this temptation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we demonstrate grace toward the addict and hope for recovery that individuals might prosper and flourish; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage families to educate their children on the dangers of opioids and consequences of their abuse; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches to provide gospel ministry to those in their communities affected by opioid abuse; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches to live out the biblical mandate to care for the fatherless by supporting families and organizations that advocate and care for children whose homes have been impacted by opioid abuse.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2292

ON PRAYER AND SUPPORT FOR ARAB CHRISTIANS

WHEREAS, Christians are called, as we have opportunity, to “work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10); and

WHEREAS, God is cultivating a people for His possession “from every nation, tribe, people, and language” (Revelation 7:9); and

WHEREAS, Arab Christians are our brothers and sisters in Christ who often do not have friends in their fellow countrymen nor in the governments under which they live; and

WHEREAS, A majority of Arab Christians live under oppressive regimes where Christianity, gatherings for worship, and evangelism are oftentimes illegal and punishable by imprisonment or even death; and

WHEREAS, Arab Christians often feel alone and forgotten by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in America and around the world; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, commit to pray for Arab Christians in the Middle East and worldwide and to offer a hand of friendship to them; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will pray for all fellow believers in the Middle East and worldwide who feel isolated, alienated, and alone; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we make it known to our Arab brothers and sisters that they are not alone or forgotten, that we are sympathetic to their plight and hardships, and that we do love them and consider them our family in Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will pray that God would use our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ and us to reach the nonbelieving Arabs and Muslims in the region; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will pray that God will empower Arab Christians in difficult circumstances to endure, overcome, and be witnesses to the life-changing power of the gospel in their context; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit to love, support, and encourage Arab brothers and sisters in Christ wherever possible both at home and abroad; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptists to remember our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ and to pray that God would strengthen them and give them patient endurance as they allow Him to use their lives as lights of the gospel in a darkened world.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2293

ON THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST DISASTER RELIEF

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), a Christ-centered, cooperative partnership of church, associational, state, and national ministries serving through the local church to bring help, hope, and healing to individuals, families, and communities affected by disaster, has just completed fifty years of service; and

WHEREAS, SBDR ministry was recognized by the Home Mission Board and galvanized by the Texas Baptist Men organization with the initial response to Hurricane Beulah in 1967 under leadership from the late Robert E. “Bob” Dixon, who left a great legacy for Southern Baptists; and

WHEREAS, Those initial relief efforts set the stage for fifty years of SBDR ministry in preparing meals, repairing roofs, providing childcare, removing debris, washing clothes, rebuilding homes, starting conversations, sharing the gospel, and leading people in the midst of crisis to find comfort in Christ; and

WHEREAS, SBDR represents the best of Southern Baptist cooperation and partnership in times of crisis and disaster, focusing on the local church and highlighting compassion and changed lives; and

WHEREAS, In 2016 SBDR was named the National Member of the Year by Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), an organization which helps coordinate relief efforts among various governmental, private sector, and nonprofit groups; and

WHEREAS, SBDR has become one of the largest organizations of trained volunteers providing mass-care response, both domestically and internationally, and has been recognized as the third largest relief organization in the United States; and

WHEREAS, SBDR has truly become the public face of the Southern Baptist Convention, demonstrating Christ’s love in tangible ways to a watching world, and being recognized nationally and internationally by major news outlets, numerous local newspapers, and television stations across the country; and

WHEREAS, The seventy-five thousand team members of SBDR remind themselves of important truths through the color of gold, representing the worth of every person to Christ, and the color of blue, representing loyalty to Christ which compels their attitude and behavior of servanthood; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, express gratitude to God for His providential guidance in the creation of SBDR and for His multiplied blessings upon this mission and ministry network through the years; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the individuals and churches of the Southern Baptist Convention that have been involved in SBDR work for their commitment to Christian love in action by their praying, giving, and going in order to meet the urgent needs of hurting humanity in crisis situations; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptist individuals and churches to give toward the ministry of SBDR through the North American Mission Board or their state Baptist conventions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to consider prayerfully the opportunity of becoming SBDR volunteers and to contact their state Baptist convention SBDR directors for training information; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage every Southern Baptist congregation to become a Disaster Ready Church, planning, connecting, and responding to the disaster relief opportunities that will surely continue to become available in the future, until that time when, as Romans 8:21 promises, the whole creation that has been groaning will itself “also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.”

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2294

ON THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF GUIDESTONE FINANCIAL RESOURCES OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

WHEREAS, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists established what was then known as the Board of Ministerial Relief and Annuities in 1918 to provide care for “old soldiers of the cross” who had answered the call of the Lord without regard to their pay or provision for old age; and

WHEREAS, The founding corresponding secretary, William Lunsford, gave his all, enduring hardship and health challenges; and

WHEREAS, The founding of this ministry would not be possible without the generous gifts of the Sunday School Board and of both John D. Rockefeller Sr. and John D. Rockefeller Jr.; and

WHEREAS, Hundreds of thousands of pastors, missionaries, professors, church workers, hospital employees, and other ministry employees are able to prepare for their latter years’ ministry opportunities during their most fruitful years; and

WHEREAS, GuideStone continues to provide financial support of retired pastors, ministers, church and ministry workers, and their widows in financial need in their declining years through Mission:Dignity; and

WHEREAS, For one hundred years the employees and trustees of GuideStone have served the people of the Southern Baptist Convention with integrity and excellence; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, give thanks to the Lord for birthing the ministry today known as GuideStone Financial Resources in the heart of William Lunsford; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we honor the men and women who have over the past century lived out the vision to create a board dedicated to the needs of the minister of the gospel; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we give thanks to the Rockefeller family for its generosity in providing the financial backing at the start of the ministry; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we give thanks to the Baptist Sunday School Board, now LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, for its initial gift providing the underpinning for the launch of GuideStone; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we give thanks to the hundreds of churches, Sunday school classes, families, and individuals who give through Mission:Dignity to aid retired pastors, ministers, church and ministry workers, and their widows; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we give thanks to the Lord for His blessings and favor bestowed on the ministry for these last one hundred years; and be it further

RESOLVED, That GuideStone will continue to serve pastors and other church and ministry workers with the integrity of our hearts and the skillfulness of our hands (Psalm 78:72); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we solicit the prayers of Southern Baptists for their continued faithfulness as GuideStone seeks to honor the Lord by being a lifelong partner with its participants in enhancing their financial security as GuideStone enters its second century of service.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2295

ON THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST ?THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

WHEREAS, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the decision of the Southern Baptist Convention to establish the Baptist Bible Institute in New Orleans; and

WHEREAS, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first classes offered by the Baptist Bible Institute in New Orleans; and

WHEREAS, The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was established one hundred years ago as the first educational institution created as a direct act of the Southern Baptist Convention, initially as the Baptist Bible Institute with a focus on training students for ministry and establishing the Baptist cause at the gateway to Central America; and

WHEREAS, In 1946 the Southern Baptist Convention renamed the institution New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and reaffirmed the commitment to missions and evangelism training; and

WHEREAS, Many thousands of graduates of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have labored faithfully to take the gospel to the ends of the earth; and

WHEREAS, Many hundreds of faculty, staff, and students have remained committed to the core values of Doctrinal Integrity, Spiritual Vitality, Mission Focus, Characteristic Excellence, and Servant Leadership; and

WHEREAS, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has worked to provide theological education to any God-called man or woman throughout the world, including maximum security prisons; and

WHEREAS, This “School of Providence and Prayer” has been sustained, nurtured, and safeguarded by the cooperative efforts of Southern Baptists; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018. give thanks to God for the establishment of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1917; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express gratitude for the legacy of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in the preservation and propagation of the good news that Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the commitment of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in pursuit of the Great Commission in New Orleans and beyond; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we covet the prayers of Southern Baptists for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s continued faithfulness to the mission of providing theological education to any man or woman answering God’s call.

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2296

ON COMMEMORATING THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF BILLY GRAHAM

WHEREAS, The life and ministry of Billy Graham is a testament of God’s promise to His church to raise up evangelists for the sake of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to every tribe, people, and language (Ephesians 4:11; Revelation 7:9); and

WHEREAS, In his lifetime, Billy Graham traveled to 185 countries proclaiming the gospel to an estimated 215 million people; and

WHEREAS, Billy Graham’s relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention was one of affection, cooperation, and church membership; and

WHEREAS, Billy Graham, often called “America’s Pastor,” exuded a Christlike witness in American culture that spanned seven decades and ministered to countless governmental and world leaders; and

WHEREAS, Billy Graham’s life modeled integrity, modesty, lifelong fidelity to one’s spouse, and humility despite worldwide acclaim; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, grieve the passing of Billy Graham on February 21, 2018, while also celebrating, honoring, and commemorating his life and ministry as a beloved Southern Baptist who traveled the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That 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.



Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2297

ON AFFIRMATION OF FOUNDATIONAL AND COMPASSIONATE COMMITMENTS IN SEVERAL SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have long been on record in affirming the authority, integrity, sufficiency, and inerrancy of the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible; and

WHEREAS, There is a growing climate in some sectors of evangelical life to deny the historicity, authority, and inerrancy of certain portions of Scripture; and

WHEREAS, The Bible reveals the character and nature of our triune God as the one and only covenant-making, covenant-keeping, and saving God in whose presence no other god is able to stand; and

WHEREAS, Living in an increasingly pluralistic society places constant pressure on Bible-believing followers of Christ to affirm that all gods are the same and all religions lead to the same God; and

WHEREAS, The Bible teaches that every man, woman, and child is a special creation of God, created “in his own image” (Genesis 1:26–27) and indicates, therefore, that “every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article III); and

WHEREAS, The United Nations High Commission on Refugees estimated in 2017 that more than sixty-five million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes due to war, violence, disease, extreme poverty, and other conditions; and

WHEREAS, The Bible commands followers of Christ to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27) and “defend the rights of the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17); and

WHEREAS, More than six hundred thousand children spend time in the American foster care system each year and more than 150 million children are orphans around the world; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, reaffirm our commitment that the Bible alone and the Bible in its entirety “was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article I); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our joyful confidence and unswerving belief that there “is one and only one living and true God” who is “an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe,” who “reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being,” to whom “we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article II); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we continue to “encourage Southern Baptist churches and families to welcome and adopt refugees into their churches and homes as a means to demonstrate to the nations that our God longs for every tribe, tongue, and nation to be welcomed at His throne” (“On Refugee Ministry,” resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2016); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptists to pray specifically whether God is calling them to adopt or foster a child (or children) and encourage local churches to lift up and facilitate adoption and foster care by church members, covering them in prayer and helping them in tangible ways to show the love of Christ to little children, upon whom the Lord Himself showed compassion during His sojourn on earth (Matthew 18:2–6; 19:13–15; Mark 10:13–16; Luke 18:15–17).

Permalink URL: www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18/resolution?ID=2298

ON APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, The messengers to the 161st 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 Dallas, Texas; and

WHEREAS, We further acknowledge our local Southern Baptist churches, associational leaders, staffs of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Southern Baptist Convention committees, Southern Baptist Convention entities, and hundreds of volunteers from the Dallas 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 Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, 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/sbc18/resolution?ID=2299