Resolutions are one of the hallmark features of the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO). While some might consider this practice passé, the resolutions offer a time for Oklahoma Baptists to speak forth with one voice on various crucial issues facing the church and culture.
On Nov. 14, Oklahoma Baptists spoke forth unanimously on several key issues.
Most noticeably, Resolution number four condemned the reemergence of racist ideologies in our day, including white supremacy and the so-called alt-right movement. It stated in part, “We denounce and decry every form of racism, including alt-right and any organization that advocates white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge that we still must make progress in rooting out any remaining forms of racism, both personal and systemic, from our midst; and we disassociate from erroneous teachings such as the so-called ‘curse of Ham.’”
Just why did Oklahoma Baptists feel led to speak on this, since messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting last June already did? For starters, we saw the need to echo and make our own statement against the persistent sin of racism. We want to condemn and wholly disassociate from any who would spew such foolish and evil notions.
Also, had we not addressed racism, the silence could have been deafening. For too many years, people of color have faced outright and also more subtle forms of racism, including our African American brothers and sisters. And our African American brothers and sisters are not only part of the BGCO, they too are the BGCO; they are us.
Another vital resolution passed spoke out for people with disabilities, in particular unborn children who may be diagnosed with Down syndrome. The resolution stated, in part, “We… believe strongly in the inherent worth of every man, woman, and child. We decry and reject the alarming trend that suggests babies diagnosed with genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, should be aborted. We are troubled that there is a rising belief in America and abroad that views some people, such as those with genetic abnormalities or disabilities, as unfit to live. We, therefore, want to stand with and speak up for people—born and unborn—who may have disabilities, knowing that Jesus loves all the people of the world.”
Speaking up for the voiceless is what Christians are all about. And Resolutions six and eight did just that, the former related to foster care children and the latter for unborn boys and girls. Resolution six pointed out that “many Oklahoma Baptist families and churches… have stepped up to meet the foster care crisis in Oklahoma,” but that the “the urgent and vast foster care needs continue for the approximately 9,500 children in DHS custody today.” Resolution eight pointed out that Oklahoma Baptists are a core part of “a growing network of pregnancy resource centers” doing great ministry in this state, even while we see an alarming rise in the number of abortion facilities in this state, recently going from two facilities to five over the last year.
Finally, other resolutions offered gratitude and thanks for Falls Creek on the 100th anniversary of this one-of-a-kind camp that has blessed millions. A resolution expressed appreciation to Anthony Jordan, who announced his forthcoming retirement as BGCO executive director-treasurer in April 2018, and his wife Polla. Another resolution applauded our Disaster Relief volunteers, who continue to serve in the Name of Jesus, after Hurricane Harvey and other disasters.
I, for one, love and appreciate the vital and historic role of resolutions. Among other benefits, these continue to show that we are, after all, a people of resolve.