The recent annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, June 12-13, featured a number of important events. From the elections of officers, to the commissioning of IMB missionaries to ministry reports, the 2018 meeting was consequential and important.
One aspect of the annual meeting that continues to be of interest is the resolutions report. The SBC resolutions committee presented 16 resolutions, on topics ranging from confronting racism to ministering to immigrants to addressing the opioid abuse epidemic.
Some resolutions that should not go unnoticed are related to the dignity of women, confronting abuse and upholding the integrity and holiness of ministry leaders. Originally submitted by Midwestern Seminary President Jason K. Allen, these resolution topics were supported by numerous leaders in the SBC, including Oklahoma’s own Hance Dilbeck.
Speaking about these resolution topics, Dilbeck said, “I was honored to join voices with others in the Southern Baptist Convention in presenting this important resolution. We need to speak with clarity about the dignity and worth of women, as we point people to the example of Jesus Christ in how to treat women.”
Resolution one was “on the dignity and worth of women.” It should come as no surprise that, as the world is in a crisis about how to treat women, the answer and path is found in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that Jesus treated women with dignity and worth, and that from the early days of the church “women played a significant role in ministry, evangelism and disciple-making,” as the resolution states.
The resolution highlighted the wide range of ministry and leadership roles for women in Southern Baptist life and the church. Based on “the biblical framework of complementary gender relationships,” the resolution also said, “in a culture increasingly confused in matters of gender and sexuality… we call upon women to serve in diverse capacities to advance the Gospel.”
As a companion to this, resolution two “On Abuse” confronted sexual abuse and violence. The resolution said, in part, “we call on pastors and minister leaders to foster safe environments in which abused persons may both recognize the reprehensible nature of their abuse and reveal such abuse to pastors and ministry leaders in safety and expectation of being believed and protected.”
This issue had to be dealt with forthrightly and with the clearest possible terms, which is was. Fortunately, as recently as 2014, messengers to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Annual Meeting approved a resolution confronting the rising problem of abuse.
The SBC’s 2018 Resolution number three, “On the holiness and integrity of ministry leaders,” was also approved by Messengers. The focal point here was to take the plank out of our own eye, recognizing that “sexual infidelity and other violations of ministerial integrity egregiously prevent and demean the image of God and always have tragic consequences for the ministry leader, for those who are victimized, and for others impacted by those transgressions.”
Truly, we lose all moral influence when we ourselves give into sexual sin and other corrupt behavior. While we must transform this resolution into action, it was a necessary step to highlight this problem.
To read the full verbiage of these and other SBC resolutions, visit sbcannualmeeting.net.
In the end, Jesus alone provides our ultimate example in these areas—in every area of life. Jesus was without sin, always treated women (all people) with dignity and worth, and was perfect in every way. My, what a great Savior we worship and serve.