By Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

WHEREAS, Holy Scripture indicates that “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight” (Prov. 12:22); and

WHEREAS, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ affirmed that He alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 15:7); and

WHEREAS, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ further affirmed that God’s Word “is truth” (John 17:17), and that this truth “will set you free” (John 8:32); and

WHEREAS, Holy Scripture commands Christians to love one another “in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18); and

WHEREAS, God loves and delights in those who are faithful in telling the truth (Ps.  51:6; Prov. 16:13); and

WHEREAS, Christians serve a God who, by His very nature, does not and cannot lie (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18); and

WHEREAS, Recent unrest in our nation, such as the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6, has been both the intentional and unintentional result of the widespread dissemination of false conspiracy theories on social media and other platforms; and

WHEREAS, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicated in an unclassified report on May 30, 2019, that “anti-government, identity based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to engage in criminal or violent activity”; and

WHEREAS, Some families, organizations, local churches, and many in our nation have been tragically divided from each other because of the rise of such conspiracy theories; and

WHEREAS, Article XV of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 affirms, “Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 15-16, 2021, condemn in the strongest possible terms every form of disinformation, conspiracy, gossip, slander, vain speculation, and violent domestic political extremism; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we admonish all spreaders of disinformation and sowers of discord to repent of their sins and receive the grace of God as offered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, assuring them that they can be forgiven if they will place their faith in the sin-atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on elected officials spreading disinformation that is harmful to our nation to cease doing so immediately, and for other elected officials to hold their colleagues accountable in this matter; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on social media platforms and web service providers to adopt clear and enforceable content policies that prohibit the dissemination of extremist ideas, demonstrably false information, and hate speech and calls to violence toward our fellow image-bearers of different biological sexes, races, ethnicities, national origins, creeds, disability statuses, and political persuasions, while also steadfastly maintaining a commitment to the free dissemination of diverse ideas; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we recommit ourselves to the commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Scripture to love and disagree peaceably with one another if and when there are any differences of opinion among us in matters unrelated to our cooperation in evangelizing a lost and dying world (John 13:34; Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:2).