June 2010


The following quote from Ergon Caner spoken recently to an audience that gave strong verbal affirmation to his sexist sentiments documents why we need to apologize and affirm women in SBC life for a history of sexist attitudes and actions.

“Dr. Caner, do you believe in women behind the pulpit? My answer is well, yeah, of course, how are they going to vacuum back there unless they get behind it….[laughter, and hoots and hollers]…..and that’s going to be in half of your pulpits next Sunday. FEEL FREE!!! I LOVE THAT LINE!! But you know one line like that shuts it all up, ’cause they’re not going to talk about it, and they’re not going to talk to you for a while, which is good, which is good.” 

A number of other examples could be cited.  However, SBC history also documents and demonstrates sexist sentiments much more egregious that the Caner comment.  For those who say I should not repent for the sins of others, my response to you is, SBC Corporate sins require SBC Corporate Repentance (Nehemiah 1:6).  Consequently, I will offer the following resolution in Orlando concerning women in the SBC.

 A RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE MINISTRY ROLES OF WOMEN AND APOLOGIZING FOR DELAYS IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR MINISTRY CONTRIBUTION

Submitted by Wm Dwight McKissic, Sr.
Cornerstone Baptist Church  -  Arlington, Texas

WHEREAS, the Scripture teaches that God made male and female together in his own image as the crowning work of his creation, both possessing the sacredness of human personality and equally deserving of dignity and respect as God’s special creation; and 

WHEREAS, God also created male and female with specific and complementary characteristics (Gen 1:27), declaring them good (Gen. 1:31) so that male and female in relationship constitute a complete expression of the divine order for humanity, yet without blurring or denying the significance of gender distinctions that God designed for them; and 

WHEREAS, the equality of male and female as to dignity and worth follow from their creation in the image of God, including but not limited to their special and respective roles; and 

WHEREAS, these roles are generally defined as leader, provider and self-sacrificial protector for males (Ephesians 5:25, 1 Peter 3:7) and as helper, nurturer and life-giver for females (Genesis 2:18 and 3:20); and 

WHEREAS, these distinct roles do not justify neglect on the part of men when it comes to nurturing and caring for their families; nor do they prohibit women from serving in roles traditionally understood as exclusive to males, including service in combat (Judges 4:4-23), prophesying (Exodus 15:20; 2 Kings 22:14; Acts 21:8), evangelistic proclamation (Philippians 4:2; Romans 16:7), deacon ministry (Romans 16:3), public prayer (1 Corinthians 11:2-5) and teaching ministry (Acts 18:26); and 

WHEREAS, the Holy Spirit of God has been given in full measure to both men and women since the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17); and 

WHEREAS, women were excluded from full participation in Southern Baptist Convention life from its inception in 1845, and were refused seats as messengers in 1885 when the convention voted to seat only “the brethren;” and 

WHEREAS, due to their exclusion from voting participation in the Southern Baptist Convention, women were prohibited from serving in most roles in convention life, including service as trustees of convention entities; and 

WHEREAS, women were not officially recognized and seated as convention messengers until 1918, though it was many years later that they began serving in elected office as entity trustees; and  

WHEREAS, in recent years, Southern Baptists have recognized the equal worth and dignity of women both as homemakers and in their professional lives; and 

WHEREAS, in 1983, Southern Baptists affirmed all women who work outside the home by urging their “employers, including those Southern Baptist churches, institutions, and agencies which employ women, to seek fairness for women in compensation, benefits, and opportunities for advancement;” and 

WHEREAS, in 2000, Southern Baptists adopted the revised Baptist Faith and Message, which affirms the legitimate place of women who serve in every area of church, home, and work life, excluding only the office of pastor; and 

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist churches, institutions and agencies often employ women who serve in vital ministry equipping roles, including senior leadership positions; and 

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist seminaries currently employ many godly women in teaching, administrative, and supportive roles that serve to advance the Kingdom purpose of theological education; and 

WHEREAS, the ministry of godly women in Southern Baptist life has been an incredible spiritual asset to the Kingdom work we conduct together; and  

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT, the messengers of annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, gathered in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, affirm without qualification the women who serve in our churches, agencies and institutions for their godly character, faithful service, and vital ministry roles; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, we recognize that some religious organizations both within and without Southern Baptist life continue to struggle to recognize, equip, and commission the women whom God has gifted and called to Kingdom service; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, we repudiate any theology, policy, or administrative practice among Southern Baptist churches, agencies and institutions that fails to safeguard fairness for women in compensation, benefits, and opportunities for advancement, and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, we apologize to all women for the delay in recognizing their full value and ministry contribution to Southern Baptist life; and we genuinely repent of the sexism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, we express our deep sorrow and remorse for any offense that has been caused to our sisters in Christ on account of unbiblical gender bias and employment restrictions that do not reflect the positive spirit and precise language of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, we earnestly pray for the hand of God to raise up more women in our midst, to give them every available spiritual gift, and through their public ministry and service to nurture godliness, faithfulness, and obedience in the lives of all people.

The oil spill in the gulf coast, the factionalism, sexism and racism in the history of the SBC, the apathy and lethargy in our churches and the moral decline in our nation should compel us to call a solemn assembly and seek God’s face, repent of our sins and ask Him to pour our His mercy, grace, strength and power upon this SBC family, her churches, and our country, once again.  Consequently, I will offer the following resolution in Orlando.

 A RESOLUTION ON A SOUTHERN BAPTIST SOLEMN ASSEMBLY

Submitted by Wm Dwight McKissic, Sr.
Cornerstone Baptist Church
Arlington, Texas
 

WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention, as a people committed to the authority of God’s Word and dependent on the power of God’s Spirit, have come to a time of profound decision concerning the future structure, ministry vision, and cooperative framework of their shared obedience to the Great Commission; and 

WHEREAS, since its founding in 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention has faced the conflicts and challenges wrought by instances of theological compromise, moral infidelity, and fiscal irresponsibility in its churches, associations, and entities; and 

WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention, must remain eternally vigilant lest the errors of the past – provincialism, liberalism, racism, and the like – return to distract us from our priority commitment of reaching the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ; and 

WHEREAS, all across the Convention, churches, pastors and laypeople are awakening to the need for a resurgence of Kingdom priorities, a renaissance of gospel-centeredness, and a revival of spiritual fervor in our individual lives, our churches, and our Convention entities; and 

WHEREAS, the Scripture teaches that “unless the Lord builds the house, the builder labors in vain” (Psalm 127:1); and that “without [Christ], you can do nothing” (John 15:5); and  

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists are now engaged in a great effort to reaffirm our biblical foundation, to reinforce our Baptist witness, and to reengage the lost world around us; and 

WHEREAS, this effort, which has been appropriately called a Great Commission Resurgence, is of such monumental importance to the future vitality and guiding vision of the Southern Baptist Convention that it requires the exponential spiritual resources of all Southern Baptists to consider thoroughly, implement prudently, and pursue courageously as the Spirit leads; and 

WHEREAS, throughout Scripture God has enjoined his people to seasons of fasting, prayer, and solemn assembly when their focus had been averted from the Lord, when their obedience to God’s commands had fallen short, and when the fresh winds of God’s Spirit were needed to restore a Kingdom purpose and perspective (Joel 1:13-14); and 

WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention is seeking the forgiveness, restoration, and empowerment of God’s Spirit to obey God’s call, whatever the consequences; now 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT, the messengers of annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, gathered in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, do proclaim a solemn assembly among all Southern Baptists, a time of intense spiritual discipline, fasting and prayer, for the purpose of seeking God’s face in the midst of the important decisions we must make about our future; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, such a solemn assembly is to occur in all Southern Baptist Churches at such time as the SBC Convention President shall proclaim, and specifically in the town of Augusta, Georgia, where the Convention was founded in 1845; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the we request all state conventions, associations, and entities of the Southern Baptist Convention to invest their full resources to plan, promote, and convene a solemn assembly for the purposes outlined herein; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, we earnestly pray that the spirit of cooperative missionary zeal that first marked the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention and carried it through more than 150 years of ministry will attend this renewed effort of a Great Commission Resurgence, and that those spiritual, theological, and ethical encumbrances which have heretofore weakened our cooperative efforts will be prevented by God’s Spirit and our faithful resolve from undermining the good plans that God has in store for the Southern Baptist Convention.

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