2017 Annual Meeting Resolutions 

  1. Appreciation of Hosts
  2. Appreciation to the Convention Officers and Staff
  3. Racial Reconciliation
  4. International Religious Persecution
  5. Tragedy at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs
  6. Civil Discourse
  7. Sexual Harassment and Assault

2017 RESOLUTION I

Appreciation of Hosts

WHEREAS, churches and members of Waco Regional Baptist Association have been gracious hosts for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco; and 

WHEREAS, Texas Baptists as a whole desire to affirm the work of Baptists in the Waco area;

BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco express their appreciation to the churches and members of Waco Regional Baptist Association; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we express our gratitude to the members of the Committee on the Annual Meeting and their important contributions.

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2017 RESOLUTION II

Appreciation to Convention Officers and Staff

WHEREAS, those serving as officers of the Baptist General Convention of Texas have given their time and energy to lead Texas Baptists this past year; and

WHEREAS they have diligently and faithfully served the offices to which they were elected; and

WHEREAS the staff of the BGCT has faithfully served Texas Baptists during this past year;

BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco express our appreciation to the officers of the convention who have served during the past year: Danny Reeves, First Baptist Church of Corsicana, president; Joseph Fields, New Beginnings Baptist Church in Lewisville,  first vice president; and Jim Heiligman, First Baptist Church in Bryan, second vice president; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express our appreciation to David Hardage, executive director, and to the men and women who work on the BGCT staff for their faithful labor on behalf of Texas Baptists; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we continue our prayerful and loving support to encourage these leaders in their work and leadership.

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2017 RESOLUTION III

Racial Reconciliation

WHEREAS, there is no place in God’s kingdom or domain for racial prejudice or any type of bias based on race or religion; and

WHEREAS, the news of our day carries stories of a nation and a world divided by racial prejudice, unrest, and hatred; and

WHEREAS the Bible is clear that all human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:1-2:4); and

WHEREAS the Bible tells us repeatedly we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:9-18, Matthew· 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8); and Jesus said to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43- 48); and the parable of the Good Samaritan is an example of neighbor love that breaks the barrier of racial tension and prejudice among people of God (Luke 10:30-37); and

WHEREAS, the Apostle Peter said, “God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35, NKJV); and

WHEREAS, Scripture reminds us that Christ, by his blood, redeems people “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9, NKJV); and

WHEREAS, Revelation 7:9 pictures “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (NKJV);

BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco decry every form of racism as a contradiction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we denounce and repudiate every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil intended to bring suffering and division to the church and our society; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage churches and individual Christians to build relationships, listen to others, provide education, and promote understanding in order to bridge the racial divides in the church and our culture; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we earnestly pray for the peace of Christ to all the hearts of all believers; that we do not allow division in the midst of our God-given diversity; and that we celebrate the love of God for all his creation and all his children.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we, as Texas Baptists, from all racial and ethnic groups, acknowledging that we are one in Christ (Galatians 3:26-28), stand together to uphold and promote the unity that is in the gospel whenever racism and racial injustice occur.

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2017 RESOLUTION IV

International Religious Persecution

WHEREAS Scripture instructs us to, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured” (Hebrews 13:3, NRSV); and

WHEREAS Baptist and other Christian communities in Nigeria, North Korea, Syria, Myanmar, Iraq, Russia, and more than 60 other countries are persecuted, imprisoned, and even killed; and

WHEREAS Baptists, for 400 years, have worked for religious liberty for all people, no matter their faith tradition; and

WHEREAS the Pew Research Center has reported a recent increase in “government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion;” and

WHEREAS the BGCT staff partnered with the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative in promoting Speak Freedom Texas Nov. 4-5, 2017, as a statewide opportunity to focus attention on this global religious and humanitarian crisis;

BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco affirm our commitment to religious liberty for all people of faith; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon Texas Baptists to pray for people worldwide who are persecuted for their faith; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage churches to set aside at least one Sunday each year to focus on global religious persecution; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we convey our support to the global Christian community, some of whom face severe hardship and persecution.

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2017 RESOLUTION V

Tragedy at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs

WHEREAS on Sunday, November 5, 2017, a gunman walked into the worship service of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and killed 26 people and wounded many; and

WHEREAS the broader Christian family and all Texans grieve over this act of unimaginable violence and the loss of life; and

WHEREAS we join with the Psalmist in pleading to God “Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers; protect me from those who are violent, who plan evil things in their minds and stir up wars continually” (Psalm 140:1-2, NRSV); and

WHEREAS we all are sinners and stand in need of God’s deliverance from sin (Romans 3:23); and

WHEREAS we celebrate the reality of God’s love and deliverance from a culture being consumed with sin and violence;

BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco offer our prayerful sympathies and support to the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and to all of the families and friends impacted by this tragedy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will pray for our nation and the broader world because of the widespread prevalence of violence that is the outworking of the sin with which humankind is beset; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we will lift up Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), to the world as the only ultimate answer to the sin and violence of this world.

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2017 RESOLUTION VI

Civil Discourse

WHEREAS, Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others according to their needs that it may bene t those who listen;” and

WHEREAS, 1 Peter 2:17 (NIV) says we are to “show proper respect to everyone;” and

WHEREAS, civility in public discourse has declined in American society; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the negative effects that such behavior by Christians has on our public witness;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas proclaim our intent to foster a climate of Christian communication that brings honor to our Lord through encouragement and love; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we encourage and support a positive dialogue between Christians and with non-Christians that honors Christ.

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2017 RESOLUTION VII

Support of Families Who Adopt Children

WHEREAS, Scripture says God is the “father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5, CSB) who grants mercy to orphans (Deuteronomy 10:18; Hosea 14:3); and

WHEREAS, Scripture teaches the importance of caring for orphaned children (James 1:27); and

WHEREAS, adoption serves as an alternative to abortion, thus saving the lives of children; and

WHEREAS, in order to protect vulnerable and orphaned children, government should create policies that assist and incentivize the adoption of orphaned children; and

WHEREAS, the federal Adoption Tax Credit provides economic assistance to families seeking to adopt orphaned children;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas affirm the federal government of the United States in its provision of the Adoption Tax Credit to help families that adopt children; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we affirm the work of our Texas Baptist institutions (Buckner International and Children at Heart) in their efforts to help families adopt children in need of homes.

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2017 RESOLUTION VIII

Sexual Harassment and Assault

WHEREAS, our nation has been rocked recently by numerous reports of sexual harassment and assault; and

WHEREAS, the #MeToo social media effort has encouraged women to publicize their personal experiences of sexual harassment and assault and generated countless testimonies; and

WHEREAS, the Apostle Paul wrote, “sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks” (Ephesians 5:3-4, CSB); and

WHEREAS, many of the sexual harassment and assault allegations are centered on the behavior of men in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, sexual harassment and assault often victimize children and teenagers; and

WHEREAS, all people in positions of power or authority have a special responsibility to foster a safe and supportive environment out of respect for all people; and

WHEREAS, the BGCT encourages churches to take full advantage of MinistrySafe training to help prevent sexual harassment and assault, including the abuse of children;

BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in Waco call on Texas Baptists to affirm and support persons victimized by sexual harassment and assault; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we stress the importance of preaching and teaching about proper behavior in order to help church members clearly understand appropriate and inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage churches to receive MinistrySafe training; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage churches to create a safe and supportive environment for all persons, especially women and minors.

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