RESOLUTIONS: From racial reconciliation to sex trafficking

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CORPUS CHRISTI?Messengers to the 2010 SBTC annual meeting
approved five resolutions, including statements on racial reconciliation,
life-affirming stem cell research and sex trafficking.

The resolutions, which are non-binding consensus statements
of voting messengers elected by member churches, also covered gambling and
adoption and orphan care.

RACIAL RECONCILIATION

The racial reconciliation resolution acknowledged the
“nearly 400 ethno-linguistic groups” in Texas and commended “continuing efforts
to make the representative diversity of our convention” reflected in
leadership.

Noting the gospel’s universal message of sin and redemption
“irrespective of ethnicity, language or culture” and the ethnic diversity
awaiting believers in Heaven, the resolution expressed “love for all people of
every ethnicity.”

Further, “we condemn any action which is racist in nature or
intent” and “we encourage churches to consider ways in which their church
committee and leadership structures can accurately reflect ethnic diversity
within their congregations.”

LIFE-AFFIRMING RESEARCH

Also of note was the stem-cell research resolution, which
referred to the research of “Dr. Shinya Yamanaka [who] while at Kyoto
University in 2007 discovered a method of transforming somatic cells into
induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells?thus making embryo-destructive research
unnecessary?”

The resolution affirms man created in God’s image (Genesis 2:7)
“and thus human life has value (Jeremiah 1:5),” and life beginning at
conception (Psalm 139:13-16) until “God’s appointed time” (Jeremiah 29:11).”

“Resolved, we encourage our elected officials to promote
adult stem cell research and defund embryo-destructive research.”

SEX TRAFFICKING

The sex trafficking resolution decried the 293,000 minors
exploited annually in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of
Justice, and encouraged churches to “support victim rescue and restoration
ministries.”

The resolution came within a week of the Texas attorney
general’s office announcing its intention to aid law enforcement agencies in
combating sex trafficking during Super Bowl week next February, when the game
comes to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

The resolution noted “the ever-expanding and increasingly
mainstream pornography industry?which seeks ever-younger children for its
lucrative films, videos and printed materials?[which] drives the demand for
child sexual exploitation.”

Further, the resolution quotes Proverbs 24:11-12, which
speaks of rescuing “those who are being taken away to death” and “stumbling to
the slaughter” and condemns those who would turn a blind eye from it.

A national sex-trafficking exploitation hotline is included
in the resolution: 1-888-373-7888.

“Resolved, we encourage churches to support victim rescue
and restoration ministries, demonstrating the spirit of Psalm 82:3-4, ‘Give
justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and
destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the
wicked.'”

ADOPTION/ORPHAN CARE

Following a theme at the Bible Conference, where a portion
of the offering went to adoption ministry, this resolution spoke of God as a
“father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and the approximately 40 biblical
references to care for orphans.

It also recognizes the metaphors of Israel as God’s
“firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22) and the adoption of believers as God’s children
and “fellow heirs with Christ.”

“Resolved, we encourage our pastors and church leaders in
their continuing efforts to preach and teach on God’s concern for orphans and
to commend ministries that provide financial resources to families desiring to
adopt?” the resolution stated.

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