Dr. Jason K. Allen, President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has released a resolution which he has submitted for consideration at the SBC Annual Meeting. It is signed by entity heads, by President Steve Gaines, by both presidential candidates, by past SBC presidents, many of our state executives (I did not check to see how many did or did not sign), and by many mega metro pastors. The resolution is printed below in full. Dr. Allen’s commentary on the resolution can be found at his website and is well worth reading.
This resolution is well-written and much-needed. As the commonly used phrase says…for such a time as this!
On Affirming the Dignity of Women and the Holiness of Ministers
WHEREAS, the Holy Scripture presents the Lord God as creating the man and the woman by his own hand, yielding glorious equality between the sexes, and crowning them with essential and inestimable dignity and worth (Genesis 2:7, 21-22); and
WHEREAS, women constitute the first eyewitnesses of the resurrection of the Son of God, early financial supporters of the Apostles, valued servants of the early church, many martyrs in the post-apostolic era, heroic missionaries of the historic Baptist movement, and are now tremendous contributors to the faith and practice of the body of Christ, his church (Matthew 28:1; Luke 8:3; Acts 9:36; Acts 18:26; Romans 16:1-2; Philemon 2); and
WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message states the complementary call of husbands and wives: “A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church” and “He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family” and “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ”; and
WHEREAS, sinful men have in Scripture and the history of the church wronged women, abused women, silenced women, objectified women by ungodly comments and ungodly acts, preyed on women, left women unprotected, failed to report injustices and evils committed against women to civil authorities established by God, and failed to act out of the overflow of the image of Christ (Genesis 3; Judges 19; 2 Samuel 13); and
WHEREAS, men throughout Scripture are called to the servant leadership of the home and of the worshipping community, imaging the self-sacrificial head of the church, Jesus Christ, through their covenantal headship of their home, committing themselves to the protection and defense of women (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2:9-15); and
WHEREAS, pastors and ministry leaders are held to a high standard for their doctrine, speech, and conduct, the standard being the very character and example of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Timothy 4:16); and
WHEREAS, the ill treatment of women and ministerial moral failing is often combined with women being enticed, exploited, abused, and shamed by sinful ministers, to the utter contradiction of biblical moral standards and established ministerial ethics, denominational expectations, and to the absolute shame and harm of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ; and
WHEREAS, the evil one who steals, kills, and destroys is actively seeking to ruin lives, render asunder marriages, destroy ministries, tarnish God’s glory in the church, sow discord and disunity in the Southern Baptist Convention, and harm our collective mission and ministries; and
WHEREAS, to the shame of the Southern Baptist Convention and the very obscuring of the glory of God, a number of Southern Baptist leaders, professors, and ministers have since our last annual gathering sinned against the Lord and against women by their ungodly behavior and language; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12-13, 2018 repudiate in the strongest terms any comment that would objectify and dishonor a woman, and any behavior with a woman that would compromise the New Testament standard of a minister’s absolute purity and requirement to be “above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:1, 5:2); and be it further
RESOLVED, that we call upon our congregations and ministers, and especially our denominational employees, to guard their life and doctrine scrupulously, understanding that as they do they ensure salvation for themselves and for those to whom they minister; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we covenant one with another to recommit ourselves to confession, repentance, contrition, and to mortify sin in our own hearts and in our churches; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we call upon every congregation and the ministers who serve them to abide by all reporting laws and to respond accordingly to civil authorities, to pursue biblical church discipline and institutional discipline in addition to, not instead of, legal notification, and that even allegations of noncriminal inappropriate conduct be treated with urgency, objectivity, and be measured by biblical standards of personal holiness and ministerial qualifications; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we denounce not only sexual impropriety and abuse but also anyone who would facilitate or knowingly cover up such acts; and be it further
RESOLVED, that having humbled ourselves before the Lord and the watching world, with full consciousness of the judgment of God we will return to the Great Commission work before us with newfound fervor and purpose, will not allow ourselves, our ministries, or our Convention to lose sight of the great and glorious task before us: the fulfillment of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ through the upbuilding of churches, the discipling of the sheep, and the unflagging evangelization of the lost.
Submitted to the 2018 Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention by Jason Allen of Kansas City, Missouri.