On Nov. 14, messengers to the 111th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) unanimously approved a resolution that condemned white supremacy, the alt-right movement and racism.
Resolution number four 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.’”
The Resolutions Committee chairman Todd Fisher, pastor of Shawnee, Immanuel, said, “Given the state of current events in our nation, our committee believes it is important for our state convention to clearly articulate our belief that the Gospel has absolutely no place for racism and that Jesus loves and died for people from every nation, tribe and language. I am proud of Oklahoma Baptists for making this statement today and for our desire to grow in ethnic diversity as we minister to the diverse people of our great state and world.” He added, “It’s hard to describe the wonderful feeling it was when our committee presented the resolution condemning all forms of racism and the messengers heartily and unanimously approved it.”
Messengers approved nine other resolutions during the 2017 meeting. Resolution number one thanked the annual meeting host church, Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, for their “gracious hospitality.” Other resolution topics included the following:
Resolution No. 2: On Falls Creek’s 100th Anniversary
“We… express our great gratitude to God for putting a vision in the hearts of J.B. Rounds and W.D. Moorer to establish Falls Creek in 1917. Throughout the last 100 years, Falls Creek has become one of the largest Christian youth encampments in the world and is a spiritual landmark for thousands. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the focus at Falls Creek, and God has poured out His abundant blessings including more than 68,000 professions of faith and more than 36,000 calls to vocational ministry. We thank God that Falls Creek has become a first-class encampment where (we) … advance the Gospel. … It is our prayer that, until the Lord returns, God will continue to pour out His blessings on… Falls Creek.”
Resolution No. 3: On Appreciation to Anthony Jordan
“We… celebrate Dr. Anthony Jordan’s tenure as Executive Director-Treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma over more than 21 years. From the historic facility improvements at Falls Creek to furthering the work of evangelism, from protecting the unborn to pioneering partnership missions to enhancing disaster relief ministry, ‘Dr. J’ has been at the forefront of leading Oklahoma Baptist churches to impact lostness in Oklahoma. Under his effective ministry, the BGCO has become a leading state convention in Southern Baptist life, unified under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We applaud and congratulate Anthony Jordan upon his forthcoming retirement in 2018. We pray God’s blessings upon Anthony and Polla Jordan and their entire family.”
Resolution No. 5: On Speaking Up for People with Disabilities
“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… stand with and speak up for people—born and unborn—who may have disabilities.”
Resolution No. 6: On Foster Care
“We… appreciate the many Oklahoma Baptist families and churches who have stepped up to meet the foster care crisis in Oklahoma. Since the 2015 annual meeting… more than 500 churches have participated in the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children’s One Such Child foster care initiative in some way. Since November of 2015, more than 150 referrals for foster care have been made through One Such Child, and five training events for foster families have taken place. We thank God for these and other positive developments related to foster care as a result of Oklahoma Baptist involvement, even while we understand the urgent and vast foster care needs continue for.”
Resolution No. 7: On Prayer, Discipleship & Personal Evangelism
“We… recognize the vast lostness in the world. We earnestly seek God to give us strength to recommit to fervent prayer and personal evangelism, knowing that, through His Great Commission, Christ calls His followers to make disciples. We pray that the Lord will continue to call out workers into the harvest, so many will come to a saving faith in Christ.”
Resolution No. 8: On Abortion Facilities & Pregnancy Resource Centers/Ministries
“We… believing in the sanctity, dignity and full value of each human life as created by God from conception to natural death, stand with those who are seeking to protect unborn children. We are alarmed by the rising number of abortion facilities in Oklahoma. Since the time Oklahoma Baptists founded a pregnancy resource center in 1986, a growing network of pregnancy resource centers has been established across the state. These faith-based pregnancy resource centers serve an increasingly important role as beacons of light and hope amid a culture of death. ”
Resolution No. 9: On Disaster Relief Ministry
“We… applaud the continued work of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, which has played a leading role in relief efforts following the recent devastating hurricanes and other disasters. For more than 40 years, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief has provided relief and hope to victims of disasters. Most recently, Oklahoma Baptists and Southern Baptists as a whole have prepared more than 1.3 million meals, helped clear storm debris for thousands, as well as shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with many affected by hurricanes and other disasters.”
Resolution No. 10: On Praying for Sutherland Springs, Texas
“We… are deeply grieved and brokenhearted about the loss of life and devastation that took place at the Nov. 5 shooting at First Baptist Church, Sutherland, Texas. An attack on the Body of Christ, as happened to our dear brothers and sisters in Texas, is an attack on all of us. Through tears, we resolve to stand with them in continual prayer, asking the God of All Comfort to bring His grace, peace and healing to the hurting. We long for the Day of Jesus Christ’s return, in which sin and death are swallowed in victory.”
After Resolution 10 was passed, Fisher voiced prayer for Sutherland Springs. Other members of the Resolutions Committee include: Vern Charette, Yukon, Trinity; Patrick Latham, Lawton, First; Owen Nease, Oklahoma City, Emmaus; Mark Walters, Nicoma Park, First; Walter Wilson, Lawton, Friendship; Robert Wilson, Ardmore, First.
To read the full text of the resolutions, visit www.annualmeeting.okbaptist.com.