INDIANAPOLIS?In addition to the regenerate church membership resolution, messengers to the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention passed statements that:
expressed support for a California initiative to repudiate same-sex “marriage” in light of the state’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing the practice;
urged government defunding of Planned Parenthood, the country’s leading abortion provider;
celebrated the 100th anniversary of Royal Ambassadors, the convention’s missions training program for boys;
expressed thanksgiving for the growing ethnic diversity in the SBC and urged “balanced representation” of ethnic groups on the convention’s trustee boards and entity staffs.
called for Southern Baptists and other Christians to participate in the political and public policy process, while avoiding the politicization of congregations.
urged Southern Baptists and other Christians to “resist the march of secularism” and seek to influence businesses and other institutions to return Christmas to “its proper place in the culture.”
celebrated the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel and encouraged prayers on its behalf.
offered thanks for the work of Southern Baptists in Indiana and others who assisted with this year’s meeting.
All resolutions express the views of the messengers at an annual meeting but are not binding on churches and the entities of the SBC.
The resolution on Planned Parenthood called for Congress to eliminate funding for a nationwide organization that receives more than $336 million in government grants and contracts. Clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood performed nearly 290,000 abortions in 2006. While decrying the “immoral actions” of the organization’s clinics, the statement urged President Bush to veto spending bills that include funds for Planned Parenthood.
Though the resolution on Planned Parenthood passed without hesitation, an extended debate on an eventually unsuccessful amendment occurred on the statement about “gay marriage” in California.
Ron Wilson of First Baptist Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., sought adoption of an amendment that would have encouraged “all Christians in California to remove their children from the public schools, which are the main training ground for the teaching of same-sex marriage.” After messengers debated its merits, the amendment failed by a margin that was estimated by some observers as about four to one.
The failed amendment essentially would have accomplished the goal of a proposed resolution?not reported out by the committee?that dealt with recent events which legally cemented the indoctrination of Califonia’s students into “sexual deviancy.” The rejected resolution was an extension of recent advocacy by some Southern Baptists for a Christian “exit strategy” from the public schools.
At a news conference following the final resolutions report, Darrell Orman, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, said the panel wanted to stay focused on the same-sex “marriage” issue in opposing Wilson’s amendment.