In years where there is no major issue scheduled for a vote, the report of the Resolutions Committee is one of the things most worth watching. Last year Southern Baptists passed a resolution “On Sensitivity And Unity Regarding The Confederate Battle Flag.” It was controversial, but passed with the overwhelming support of the messengers gathered in St. Louis. The 2014 convention in Baltimore included a resolution “On Transgender Identity.” While that one was not as controversial among messengers, it did receive some discussion from the floor at that year’s convention.
This year we have gotten a sneak peek at what may be coming during the Resolutions Committee’s report at 3:55pm Tuesday afternoon. Dwight McKissic has submitted a resolution “Condemning the Alt-Right & White Nationalism.” That resolution was printed in full here at SBC Voices. The committee has three options: 1) They can present the resolution as originally written, 2) They can edit the resolution and present an altered version, or 3) They can scrap it all together. If any form of the resolution is brought out of committee, messengers will then have the opportunity to suggest changes to the entire convention before the resolution itself is actually brought to a vote. If the committee chooses to scrap the resolution, it would take a 2/3 majority vote of the messengers to bring it to the floor for discussion and a vote.
It has also been announced that Malcolm Yarnell (SWBTS) and Owen Strachan (MBTS) have collaborated on a resolution affirming substitutionary atonement. Though Yarnell and Strachan have not released the text of their resolution, I expect a version of this resolution to make it to the floor for a vote. The only way this becomes controversial is if somehow the debate over limited atonement makes it into the discussion. I don’t expect that to happen considering the fact that the original resolution was written together by a Calvinist and non-Calvinist. Strachan has written about the resolution here. Yarnell has written about the resolution here.
Another potentially controversial resolution that has been submitted to the committee has been announced by Micah Fries. He has published the full text of the resolution here. The text of the resolution is almost identical to the text of the 1998 resolution On Moral Character of Public Officials. This resolution shouldn’t be controversial, but what was not controversial during the Clinton presidency may now be controversial during the Trump presidency. That of course makes the resolution all the more important.
There will certainly be other resolutions to consider that I have not listed here because I have not yet seen them announced. If you know of one, go ahead and let us know in the comments. Barrett Duke is the Chairman of this year’s Resolutions Committee. Be in prayer for him and his team as they make some important decisions that will undoubtedly affect the narrative coming out of SBC17.
If you are planning to be in Phoenix, make sure you are in the convention hall Tuesday afternoon during the Resolutions Committee report. You don’t get a vote unless you are present. If you aren’t able to make it to the convention this year, you may want to tune in to the live stream during this portion of the convention. Just be sure to account for potential time zone differences when planning your schedule.