While some state Baptist conventions have moved away from presenting resolutions, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the Southern Baptist Convention continue to propose and consider resolutions on timely issues.
Recent years’ annual meetings have covered important topics in the culture, such as homosexuality, foster care, human trafficking, as well as confronting domestic violence and drug abuse.
The 2015 Resolutions Committee, led by Jeremy Freeman, pastor of Newcastle, First, presented some of the most thoughtful, Gospel-centered resolutions in recent memory. Consider these:
Promoting Religious Liberty
Religious liberty, you see, is not a secondary issue. It is make or break, if we are to have a level playing field for advancing the Gospel. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees religious liberty, but today, there are growing threats at home, and violent threats abroad. As Christians, we will fight to advance religious liberty, not only for ourselves, but for other faiths with whom we disagree, knowing that if the Gospel is free to travel, God will bring rebirth and new life wherever it goes.
Opposing Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood claims it is the being targeted by pro-life groups, so why would Oklahoma Baptists add their voice to this? The fact is that Planned Parenthood, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money each year, is the chief architect of the culture of death in America. This is the group that has been exposed for harvesting and trafficking body parts from aborted babies. This is the group that is the single largest abortion provider in our nation. When there are so many more reputable health care providers closer to real needs, the question is not “why would you want to move taxpayer funds away from Planned Parenthood?” but it is: why wouldn’t we?
Marriage and Marital Faithfulness
When talking about the issue of marriage, especially in recent years, the world thinks we are only talking about our opposition to “same-sex marriage.” While the resolution on marriage did affirm “marriage as the sacred union between one man and one woman for life,” it was broader than that. The resolution, in complete frankness, admitted our own failings with regard to marriage, saying “We are grieved by the culture of divorce and marital unfaithfulness in America and even in our own churches, as seen in recent public scandals.” It went one step further, saying that our failures in regard to marriage are not merely a moral meltdown but a compromise of the Gospel. May we, with our lives and lips, live out marriage faithfully so the whole world will know not only what we believe but how, by God’s grace, we behave.
Evangelism and Baptisms
A major emphasis in the BGCO annual meeting was personal evangelism. Citing decreasing baptisms, the resolutions committee called on us to do more. “In obedience to the command of Christ in the Great Commission, we renew our commitment to share the Gospel with every person in this state and boldly call for individual believers to be faithful personal witnesses of the Gospel. We support biblical evangelism efforts, such as the BGCO’s Connect>1 Personal Evangelism Campaign, to mobilize believers to share the Gospel with the lost.” Let’s pray the Gospel is unleashed in Oklahoma.
In addition to these, the resolutions committee also encouraged civic involvement and prayerful voting as key issues. For these reasons and more, I applaud the members of the resolutions committee and the messengers who approved them, thus taking a stand to let the watching world know what’s on our heart and why.