The Executive Committee’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Task Force presented their report to the EC today. Task force chairman Mike Stone gave the presentation on behalf of the task force. He gave a brief explanation concerning the creation of the task force. He then went on to describe the work of the task force.
The baffling part of the presentation today was that no action was taken by the EC regarding the report. The report includes six recommendations from the task force to the entire EC.
(1)That the Executive Committee seek to provide even greater clarity about Convention-wide giving trends as it reports giving to the national Convention budget.
(2) That the Executive Committee request that the ERLC Board of Trustees, in an effort to foster greater unity among our churches, encourage ERLC staff to focus, where possible, on speaking
where the Southern Baptist Convention has already spoken through resolutions and The Baptist Faith and Message.
(3) That the Executive Committee request that the ERLC Board of Trustees encourage the president and staff of the ERLC to refrain from opposing specific candidates for public office.
(4) That the Executive Committee request that the ERLC Board of Trustees encourage the ERLC staff to be more responsive to requests from Southern Baptists to address/acknowledge certain news items as a means of better serving the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention.
(5) That the Executive Committee request that the ERLC Board of Trustees work with the ERLC staff to develop an intentional plan to demonstrate a greater appreciation for how its positions, including social media usage, affect the spirit of cooperation among Southern Baptists.
(6) That the Executive Committee request that the boards of trustees of each of the entities of the Convention adopt and implement a policy of submitting legal briefs, where those briefs address the nature and work of Southern Baptists, to Convention attorneys, prior to their being filed, for the purpose of receiving input regarding the effect of those briefs on the ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For these recommendations from the task force to become actions of the entire EC, the EC would have needed to vote to adopt the report and actually take the actions recommended. That didn’t happen today. No vote was taken. It was explained that these recommendations are merely information. Maybe they will be acted on at some point in the future. But for now, they are just information.
That makes no sense. Why list recommendations for the EC if you do not actually intend to make those recommendations to the full board and have the full board vote on whether to accept the recommendations?