SBC Annual Meeting 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana

Monday
Jun252012

SBC meeting wrap-up stories

  • Commentary: Turning a page in SBC history Read
  • Ezell: bivocational pastors are SBC's 'Iron Men' Read
  • NAMB, at SBC, spotlights spiritual need of North America Read
  • Resolutions address sinner's prayer, gay marriage Read
  • Full text of resolutions approved by SBC messengers Read
  • 19 motions considered by messengers Read
  • Uth urges messengers to 'see those around you' Read
  • Unofficial New Orleans total: 7,868 messengers Read
  • Luter, Lino, Miller elected SBC officers Read
  • Hawkins reminds messengers of founder's pledge Read
  • Retirees' hardships eased by Mission:Dignity Read
  • SBC seminary presidents report to messengers Read
  • Hispanics pray for SBC during Pastors' Conf. Read
  • Luter sees 'genuine' open door for ethnic groups Read
  • Page: CP fuels missions efforts Read
  • Wright exhorts traditionalists & Calvinists Read
  • Baptist21 panel talks SBC history & future Read
  • Military personnel add to LifeWay report Read
Sunday
Jun242012

Full text of resolutions approved by SBC messengers

ON "SAME-SEX MARRIAGE" AND CIVIL RIGHTS RHETORIC

WHEREAS, Marriage is a covenant relationship and an institution established by God rather than simply a human social construct (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6; Ephesians 5:22–33); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have consistently affirmed our support of the biblical definition of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures indicate that all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful; and

WHEREAS, All people, regardless of race or sexual orientation, are created in the image of God and thus are due respect and love (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, The Department of Justice has argued (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional claiming that DOMA unfairly discriminates against homosexuals; and

WHEREAS, For the first time in history the President of the United States has publicly voiced his personal support of "same-sex marriage"; and

WHEREAS, While homosexuality does not present the distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections, like the classes of race and gender, we acknowledge the unique struggles experienced by homosexuals in some parts of society; and

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, oppose any attempt to frame "same-sex marriage" as a civil rights issue; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we deny that the effort to legalize "same-sex marriage" qualifies as a civil rights issue since homosexuality does not qualify as a class meriting special protections, like race and gender; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists everywhere to fight for the civil rights of all people where such rights are consistent with the righteousness of God; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our love to those who struggle with same-sex attraction and who are engaged in the homosexual lifestyle; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we stand against any form of gay-bashing, whether disrespectful attitudes, hateful rhetoric, or hate-incited actions toward persons who engage in acts of homosexuality; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that pastors should preach the truth of God's word on human sexuality, marriage, purity, and love with all boldness and without fear of reprisal; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we proclaim that Christ offers forgiveness of sin for those who turn from their sins and believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sin.

AN AFFIRMATION OF A "SINNER'S PRAYER" AS A BIBLICAL EXPRESSION OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH

WHEREAS, The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers full forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God to anyone who repents of sin and trusts in Christ; and

WHEREAS, This same Gospel commands all persons everywhere to believe this Gospel and receive Christ as Savior and Lord (Mark 1:15; John 1:12; 6:25–52; Acts 17:30); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures give examples of persons from diverse backgrounds who cried out for mercy and were heard by God (Luke 18:13; Acts 16:29–30); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures also give numerous examples of per- sons who verbally affirmed Gospel truths but who did not personally know Jesus in a saving relationship (Luke 22:47–48; John 2:23–25; 1 Corinthians 10:1–5); and

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, reaffirm our Gospel conviction that repentance from sin and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are necessary for salvation (Acts 20:20–21); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that repentance and faith involve a crying out for mercy and a calling on the Lord (Romans 10:13), often identified as a "sinner's prayer," as a biblical expression of repentance and faith; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a "sinner's prayer" is not an incantation that results in salvation merely by its recitation and should never be manipulatively employed or utilized apart from a clear articulation of the Gospel (Matthew 6:7; 15:7–9); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we promote any and all biblical means of urging sinners to call on the name of the Lord in a prayer of repentance and faith; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptists everywhere to continue to carry out the Great Commission in North America and around the world, so that sinners everywhere, of every tribe, tongue, and language, may cry out, "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). 

ON COOPERATION AND THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION

WHEREAS, We celebrate the history of faithful cooperation of Southern Baptists in the work of world evangelism and missions; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message has been approved by our Convention as our confession of faith regarding our commonly held convictions; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message in its affirmation of local church autonomy does not define what individual Southern Baptists and Southern Baptist churches must believe but rather what they generally and historically have believed regarding the doctrine of salvation; and

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, do without reservation reaffirm as our confession of faith The Baptist Faith and Message; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that The Baptist Faith and Message provides sufficient parameters for understanding the doctrine of salvation, so that Southern Baptists may joyfully and enthusiastically partner together in obedience to the Great Commission; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Southern Baptist churches to continue in faithful cooperation as we deepen our commitment to equip the saints and reach the lost with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Southern Baptist churches to continue in faithful cooperation as we deepen our commitment to equip the saints and reach the lost with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

ON BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP AND THE DOCTRINE OF INERRANCY

WHEREAS, Some biblical scholars who identify themselves as evangelicals have in recent years denied the historicity of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1–2) and of the fall of mankind into sin (Genesis 3), among other historical assertions of Scripture; and

WHEREAS, Many of these same scholars have called on other evangelical scholars to abandon the doctrine of inerrancy and to embrace on a wholesale basis the methodology of higher critical biblical scholarship in the study of Scripture; and

WHEREAS, The Bible asserts for itself that it is God-breathed and is altogether sufficient “for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17); and

WHEREAS, The human authors of Scripture wrote not from their own imaginations, but instead as they were “moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have affirmed historically and consistently our unshakeable belief that the Bible in its entirety has “truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter,” and is there- fore “totally true and trustworthy” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article I, “The Scriptures”); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, do hereby reaffirm our belief in and adherence to the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture, as set forth in the Bible itself and in Article I of The Baptist Faith and Message; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm our belief specifically in the direct creation and historicity of Adam and Eve and in a literal, space-time fall of mankind into sin; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on all biblical scholars serving in Southern Baptist institutions to help shape the Christian worldview of the next generation by carrying out their work of teaching, research, and writ- ing with an excellence and freedom that is always in submission to Jesus Christ and in the service of the inerrant Word of God.

ON PROTECTING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

WHEREAS, God has made the human conscience inviolable (Romans 2:14–15; 1 Corinthians 4:3–5; 8:12; 10:29); and

WHEREAS, God has granted to all human beings the freedom to worship or not to worship according to the dictates of their con- sciences (Matthew 23:37; Revelation 3:20); and

WHEREAS, History is replete with examples of the disastrous results of governmental efforts to interfere with individual con- science and religious belief; and

WHEREAS, Our Baptist forebears suffered great persecution from civil authorities, including beatings, imprisonment, and death because of their commitment to the inviolable nature of conscience and faith; and

WHEREAS, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects United States citizens from any interference by the Federal Government in their “free exercise” of religion; and

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, steadfastly object to the administration’s efforts to undermine the religious lib- erty of American citizens; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on President Obama to instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to withdraw its insistence that health care plans provide contraceptives and abortion causing drugs and devices and instead exempt from this requirement all religious organizations and people of faith, whether in their pri- vate capacity or as employers, who declare a religious objection to such coverage; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we deplore the provision in the PPACA that sets up a separate abortion fund in health care plans as well as the administration’s efforts to require United States citizens to pay for abortion through their health care premiums contrary to the dictates of their faith; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we declare our support for the Constitution’s recognition of the unique nature of the church and insist that the Justice Department retract its offensive, unconstitutional attitude toward the church; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we wholeheartedly support the ministry of chaplains in the United States military and call on the Obama administration to instruct our military leaders to ensure the freedom of chaplains to minister to members of the armed services according to the dictates of the chaplains’ consciences without fear or coercion; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our deepest appreciation for every person who serves in the armed services of our nation and call on the Obama administration to guarantee the right of those who have volunteered to serve to express their religious convictions about homosexual behavior without fear of reprisal; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on the Justice Department to cease its efforts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and instead engage in a vigorous effort to defend this law of the land from every chal- lenge; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pledge to defend the God-given and constitutionally guaranteed right of every American citizen to worship God freely in thought, word, and action, according to the dictates of his or her conscience. 

AFFIRMING HUMAN NEEDS MINISTRY
AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT BY LOCAL CHURCHES


WHEREAS, Humanity’s greatest problem at the root of all other problems is rebellion against God and separation from Him because of sin; and

WHEREAS, The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only solution to our problem, as it, through faith in Jesus Christ, reconciles us to God and to one another; and

WHEREAS, The work and ministry of Jesus involved both proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom and demonstrating the love of God; and

WHEREAS, We are commanded by Scripture both to preach the Gospel and to do good deeds so that God’s light would shine before men; and

WHEREAS, The indwelling Spirit leads us sacrificially to love our neighbor and all those in need as we love ourselves with both material and spiritual assistance; and

WHEREAS, We are ambassadors for Christ with the ministry of reconciliation to all who are alienated from God and are living under the effects of personal, social, and structural sin; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have a long history of providing aid to all people in times of need, including disaster relief, physical assistance, and advocacy for the oppressed, among other things; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, affirm and encourage the work of our local churches, associations, community ministry centers, state conventions, and missions agencies in their ministries to human needs; and be it further

RESOLVED, That as every local church makes disciples for Christ, it should encourage every disciple to love people; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage every local church to engage the needs of its community, supremely with a strong Gospel witness in words, and as often as possible, accompanied by a corresponding witness of deeds; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage generous support of those ministries in Baptist life that are specifically equipped to facilitate the work of human needs ministry and the involvement of local churches in the same; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage education, training, and equipping of Christians in human needs ministry as an expression of love, discipleship, and fidelity to our Lord as God gifts, directs, and enables us to be His hands and feet to a hurting and needy world. 

ON AFRICAN AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO AMERICAN BAPTIST HISTORY

WHEREAS, African Americans have played an important role in Baptist history in the United States; and

WHEREAS, It was common for white and black Baptists to worship together before the Civil War; and

WHEREAS, Historiography has not always reflected the contribu- tion of African American Baptists; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, acknowl- edge and express their appreciation for the contributions of African Americans to the faithful Baptist witness in the United States; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we celebrate pioneers such as African Americans George Liele, who many acknowledge as the first overseas mis- sionary from the United States in 1782; Lott Carey, who organized African American missions in the 1800s; S. M. Lockridge, who was a faithful preacher of the Gospel in the twentieth century; and Sid Smith, who was one of the first African American Southern Baptist denominational leaders in the modern era.

ON 200 YEARS OF BAPTIST MINISTRY IN LOUISIANA

WHEREAS, The year 2012, the bicentennial of the state of Louisiana, also marks the 200th anniversary of the first Baptist churches in Louisiana; and

WHEREAS, God has prospered Baptist work in Louisiana, where Southern Baptists have 1,600 congregations, a Baptist college, a children’s home, forty-one local associations, the Louisiana Baptist Convention, and numerous other ministries; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists in Louisiana across the decades have faithfully supported the work of Southern Baptists around the world with their prayers, their participation, and their financial contributions; and

WHEREAS, Louisiana Baptists are marking their bicentennial with the emphasis “Awaken,” a call for spiritual awakening in the churches and the culture; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, thank God for His blessings on and through Louisiana Baptists for these two centuries; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we congratulate and celebrate with Louisiana Baptists on the occasion of their bicentennial; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage and pray for Louisiana Baptists as they seek the Lord’s face for spiritual awakening.

ON APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, The messengers to the 155th session of the Southern Baptist Convention have enjoyed a time of worship, encouragement, and fellowship; and

WHEREAS, We acknowledge God’s providence for all these bless- ings; and

WHEREAS, We also acknowledge the kind hospitality of all the people of New Orleans, Louisiana; and

WHEREAS, We especially acknowledge the Lord’s work in enabling our president, officers, various committees, convention speakers, musicians, and other platform personnel to conduct the affairs of this Convention with dignity and a Christ-like spirit; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, express our profound gratitude to the Lord and to all those He used to bring about a meeting characterized by grace, evangelism, worship, encouragement, cooperation, and purpose.

Wednesday
Jun202012

Arkansas evangelist Tom Cox inducted into SBC Hall of Faith

CoxNEW ORLEANS – Evangelist Tom Cox of Mountainburg was inducted into the Southern Baptist Evangelist Hall of Faith Sunday, June 18, at the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists meeting.

John Bos, an evangelist from Orlando, Fla., also was inducted. Past Hall of Faith inductees include Billy Graham, E. J. Daniels, Junior Hill and Angel Martinez. 

The Southern Baptist Evangelist Hall of Faith was established in 2008 and is housed at the North American Mission Board in Alpharetta, Ga. The Hall of Faith is reserved for evangelists who have devoted their lives to the biblical office of the evangelist, faithfully taking the gospel to the masses. 

Cox was noted for his four decades of evangelistic efforts to the northwest United States, India, Peru and Uganda.  He and his wife, Kay, have served in 121 countries. Tom Cox World Ministries was established in 1971, and has been based in Mountainburg since 1983.

Ramsey elected president

RamseyEric Ramsey, Cox’s son-in-law who assumed leadership of the Cox organization in 2007, was elected president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists at the meeting. 

Ramsey, also of Mountainburg, serves as an evangelist and mission strategist for the Cox organization. He also authors a regular column in the Arkansas Baptist News titled, "Answer the Call."

"One of my primary goals is to begin the process of rebuilding a biblical understanding of the office of the evangelist, and lead Southern Baptist evangelists on a journey of methodological retooling for the diverse contexts of the 21st century," said Ramsey following his election.

Wednesday
Jun202012

Arkansas Baptists descend on New Orleans, Take Two

Archie Mason, pastor of Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, and Sonny Tucker, Arkansas Baptist State Convention staff. "We're both excited about Dr. Luter becoming president. We celebrate the great accomplishments of Southern Baptists throughout this year," said Tucker.
Lori Magar, wife of Randy Magar, pastor at First Baptist Church, Lincoln, and Karen Lomax, wife of Ron Lomax, director of missions of Washington Madison Baptist Association. "My favorite part of the convention was the pastor's conference because of the dynamic speakers. We had big names this year. I liked the preaching of Tony Evans and Dennis Swanberg made me laugh," said Lori Magar.Mallory, Sue, Will and Eric Howerton. Howerton is the pastor at First Baptist Church, Greenland.Martha and George Hendrix, messengers from First Baptist Church, Greenland.Marvin Emmons, pastor of First Baptist Church, Green Forest. "The convention has been very quiet and enjoyable and fun. I like to see my fellow seminary friends from Mid America I met over 30 years ago," said Emmons.Mountainburg evangelist Tom Cox.

Anthony Rhodes, (left), pastor of worship and educational life at Life Line Baptist Church, Little Rock, and Tony Jones, minister of music, First Baptist Church, Des Arc.

Arkansas Baptist News photos by Lisa Falknor and Tim Yarbrough

Tuesday
Jun192012

Arkansas associational missionaries meet at NOBTS prior to SBC meeting

(From left) Dewayne Tanton of Harmony Baptist Association, David Mitchell of Bartholomew Baptist Association and Jerry Gay of North Pulaski Baptist Association talk June 17 at the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Directors of Missions held at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.