DALLAS Messengers to the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention affirmed the dignity and worth of women, denounced all forms of abuse and called for sexual purity among Christian leaders in adopting 16 resolutions June 12.
Passage of the resolutions on women, abuse and pastoral purity by nearly unanimous votes late in the afternoon session came after months of disclosures of sexual abuse and misconduct by male leaders had rocked Southern Baptist and other evangelical churches and institutions.
The resolution on women recognized May 15 as the 100th anniversary of female messengers to the SBC meeting and honored “the immeasurable contribution of women to our cooperative mission of Great Commission work.”
It also affirmed women’s gifts “in their distinctive God-assigned roles” and urged Southern Baptists “to encourage, cultivate, and celebrate the diverse gifts, callings, and contributions of women in biblically appropriate ways.”
The measure on abuse renounced “all abusive behavior as unquestionably sinful” and called for decisive action to report abuse allegations to law enforcement authorities. It also offered compassion to abuse victims, “being careful to remind the abused that such injustice is undeserved and not a result of personal guilt or fault.”
In the resolution on clergy purity, messengers repudiated actions that undermine the New Testament standard of holiness for Christian leaders and urged churches “to exercise appropriate redemptive church discipline” when needed.
Messengers also continued to address racial reconciliation by adopting a resolution renewing the SBC’s “public repudiation of racism in all its forms,” including “the curse of Ham” teaching that God determined the descendants of this son of Noah would have dark skin and live in subordination.
In a measure on immigration, messengers again requested reform—as they had in 2011—that secures the borders and proves a pathway to legal status “with appropriate restitutionary measures.” The resolution also calls for “maintaining the priority of family unity.”
Messengers also approved resolutions that:
- Affirmed the “full dignity of every human being.”
- Called for “caution and wisdom in our media and social media” communications.
- Encouraged government authorities to establish policies that would curtail gun violence while functioning according to the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.
- Urged pastors and churches to be informed about the dangers of opioids and to minister to people impacted by opioid abuse.
- Pledged to pray for Arab Christians in the Middle East and around the world.
- Mourned the February death of evangelist Billy Graham, a Southern Baptist, and celebrated his life and ministry.
- Thanked God on the 100th anniversary of GuideStone Financial Resources.
- Voiced gratitude to God on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
- Offered thanks to God for 50 years of ministry through Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
- Expressed gratitude to God, as well as Southern Baptists in the Dallas area and all others who helped with this year’s meeting.
Messengers also passed a multi-subject resolution that reaffirmed commitment to the trustworthiness of the Bible and “unswerving belief” in the one true God, continued to call for Southern Baptists to welcome refugees into their churches and homes, and urged church members to pray about adopting or fostering children.