Resolutions passed in Phoenix; reconsideration over one involving alt-right slated for this afternoon
UPDATED: Ken Alford, pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Valdosta and Georgia’s only representative on the Resolutions Committee, posted on Twitter this morning the committee worked late to redraft a resolution on The Anti-Gospel of Alt-Right White Supremacy.
PHOENIX — Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention here passed nine resolutions Tuesday, ranging from reaffirming the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement to denouncing Planned Parenthood to voicing gratitude to God on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
The discussion of the day, though, belonged to the rejection of, discussion over, and reintroduction of a resolution condemning the alt-right and roots of white supremacy, brought by Texas pastor Dwight McKissic. At the end of the day, messengers approved by a unanimous vote at 10:04 p.m. local time to schedule a time of reconsideration of the resolution. That discussion will begin shortly into the afternoon session today at 2:45 p.m.
As with all annual meeting proceedings, that discussion – to take place at 5:45 p.m. EST – is available for viewing at live.sbc.net.
Plea to ‘go on record’
After the approval of nine resolutions (see below), McKissic moved to bring his resolution before messengers. The pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX asked that the SBC “go on record to abate darkness that’s invading our nation right now.” He further pointed out that many alt-right members claim to be Southern Baptist.
Definitions range on “alt-right,” but the movement is commonly agreed upon to be based in white nationalism and extreme far-right ideology. White supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010 and has since become the face of the movement.
McKissic’s motion fell short of the two-thirds vote to bring the motion back, receiving a 57.53 majority.
Barrett Duke, Resolutions Committee chairman, told reporters afterward the committee had spent hours consider the alt-right resolution. In the end, though, members didn’t feel there was a way to speak to multiple issues raised in McKissic’s resolution in a way that would be constructive.
Though the committee agreed with the resolution’s point on racism, Duke related, they thought it and other elements had already been discussed among Southern Baptists. Valdosta pastor Ken Alford is the lone Georgia Baptist on the Resolutions Committee.
However, in the evening session a motion to alter the order of business to schedule time to reconsider McKissic’s resolution went to a ballot vote.
After a time of worship and a message brought by California pastor Greg Laurie, SBC President Steve Gaines asked messengers to not leave until the session had ended because the Resolutions Committee had another item of business for messengers to reconsider.
Talk of the alt-right resolution had dominated the #SBC17 hashtag on Twitter. Supporters of the resolution expected a redrafted version to be presented. Instead, the Resolutions Committee had reconsidered its decision not to report the resolution out of committee. SBC parliamentarians and the Committee on Order of Business both affirmed unanimously the Resolution Committee’s request for time on the agenda Wednesday.
Messengers approved the following resolutions sent from the Resolutions Committee:
• Confessed as sin any lack of prayer and called on Southern Baptists to commit to at least 15 minutes a day of prayer and regular fasting as they are able, as well as petitions to God to grant revival and the salvation of millions of people.
• Expressed gratitude for leaders who live consistently moral lives, urged all leaders to abide by God’s moral standards and pledged prayer for the country’s leaders to resist temptation.
• Reaffirmed the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement – which says Jesus took upon Himself in His death the divine punishment due sinners – “as the burning core of the Gospel message and the only hope of a fallen race.”
• Denounced Planned Parenthood’s “immoral agenda and practices,” in addition to urging all government defunding and commending the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) for making federal removal of money for the country’s leading abortion provider a priority in its legislative agenda.
• Called for Southern Baptists and other Christians not to participate “in the sin of gambling,” encouraged pastors and convention leaders to continue to teach Southern Baptists about the deceptiveness of gambling, and urged government at all levels to halt state-sponsored gambling.
• Urged Southern Baptists to pray for and invest in evangelism and discipleship efforts with college students and strengthen the relationship between parachurch campus ministries and local churches.
• Voiced gratitude to God on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation for its courageous leaders and urged recommitment to its convictions while advocating for religious liberty for all.
• Offered thanks on the 100th anniversary of the SBC Executive Committee and commended the entity for its promotion of the Cooperative Program, the convention’s unified giving plan.
• Expressed gratitude to God, as well as Southern Baptists in the Phoenix area and all others who helped with this year’s meeting.