Created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ

2019 Resolutions

To be presented at the Annual Meeting

Posted

The following resolutions will be presented at the Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Please review the resolutions in the order written below:

  1. On Appreciation to the Host Church and City
  2. On Gambling
  3. On the Evil of Sexual Abuse
  4. On Biblical Justice
  5. On the Importance of Moral Leadership
  6. On Evangelism and Soul-winning

On Appreciation to the Host Church and City

WHEREAS, The messengers to the 182nd session of the Kentucky Baptist Convention are a deliberative assembly who are drawn together for the propagation of the gospel; and

WHEREAS, We acknowledge God’s sovereignty and providence in this sacred task; and

WHEREAS, We also acknowledge the kind hospitality of the people of Immanuel Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, We also express our gratitude to Mayor Linda Gorton and the members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council as well as the citizens of Lexington, Kentucky for their gracious welcome; and

WHEREAS, We especially acknowledge the Lord’s grace in enabling our Kentucky Baptist Convention president, officers, various committees, musicians, and other platform personnel to conduct the affairs of this Convention with dignity and a Christlike spirit; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, November 12, 2019, express our profound gratitude to the Lord and to all those through whom He is working to bring about an annual meeting characterized by prayer, grace, humility, evangelism, worship, encouragement, unity, and purpose.

On Gambling

 WHEREAS, The Kentucky Baptist Convention has a long history of opposing gambling in its various forms, such as casinos, lotteries, racing, and other gambling schemes; and

WHEREAS, Gambling violates the principle of neighbor-love, necessitating the financial loss and harm of many for the gain of a few and enjoying entertainment at the expense of others (Exodus 20:1722:21Leviticus 25:17Deuteronomy 22:1–4Matthew 22:39Mark 12:31Romans 13:8–10Galatians 5:14James 2:8); and

WHEREAS, Gambling violates the principle of lordship, tempting individuals to trust chance rather than God, who provides for the needs of “the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:456:241 Corinthians 10:312 Corinthians 9:8–12Philippians 4:18–19; Colossians 3:171 Timothy 6:17–18); and

WHEREAS, Gambling violates the principle of work, looking to gain something for nothing, hoping for easy money rather than pursuing responsible industry, investment, and labor (Genesis 1:28Exodus 20:9Psalm 104:23128:2Ecclesiastes 2:241 Thessalonians 4:11–122 Thessalonians 3:7–12); and

WHEREAS, Gambling violates the principle of the civil magistrate, causing governments to prey on their own citizens through state-sponsored gambling rather than protecting them and seeking their good (Proverbs 8:15–16Amos 5:10–13Romans 13:41 Timothy 2:1–21 Peter 2:13–15); and

WHEREAS, Gambling violates the principle of contentment, enticing individuals to greed and covetousness in the hope that in winning, others will lose financially (Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21Luke 12:15Romans 7:7–8Colossians 3:51 Timothy 6:9–10Hebrews 13:5); and

WHEREAS, Gambling violates the principle of stewardship, encouraging reckless and careless speculation with resources entrusted by the Lord while disregarding the same Lord who provides for all human needs (Matthew 6:19–341 Timothy 6:17–181 Peter 4:1–11); now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, November 12, 2019, condemn gambling in all its forms; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge our leaders at all levels of government to end state-sponsored gambling, to curtail all forms of destructive gambling, and to address its harmful effects through policy and legislation; and be it further 

RESOLVED, That we encourage our Convention leaders, entities, and pastors to continue to educate Kentucky Baptists on the deceptive sin of gambling; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge our fellow Kentucky Baptists and all other followers of Christ not to participate in the sin of gambling.

 

On the Evil of Sexual Abuse

WHEREAS, God has created all people in His image, with equal value and dignity (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, Any harm perpetrated against one of God’s image bearers is an attack on God Himself (Genesis 9:6); and

WHEREAS, God detests all forms of sexual abuse and calls His people to defend abuse victims (Psalm 82:4), to stand for justice (Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 31:8–9), and to deliver victims of sexual abuse from the hands of their oppressors (Proverbs 6:17; 24:10–12); and

WHEREAS, Sexual abuse refers to sexual activity that involves the use of physical force, manipulation, coercion, or deception; involves the abuse of authority by a perpetrator over a victim; or takes place with a minor or other person who is presumed legally incapable of consent; and

WHEREAS, New revelations of sexual abuse have come to light as victims, survivors, and journalists have exposed the scope of incidents which have occurred within Southern Baptist churches and institutions; and

WHEREAS, As a community of believers, we deplore each and every instance of sexual abuse and apologize and ask forgiveness for failing to cultivate a culture of protection for those in Southern Baptist churches and institutions who have been sexually abused; and

WHEREAS, We condemn any abuse of power by any leader who has ever sought to protect the perpetrators of sexual abuse or silence and marginalize the victims of sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, The autonomy of the local church is compatible with the protection of innocents and should not be used by any church or organization as a reason not to take appropriate actions to protect the people it serves, including (but not limited to) the decision of an organization to remove from fellowship any church that fails to protect the vulnerable; and

WHEREAS, We affirm that sexual abuse is not only a sin to be disciplined in the context of the church, but also a crime to be prosecuted in the context of civil government; and

WHEREAS, We affirm that perpetrators of sexual abuse can be forgiven because of the work of Jesus Christ to redeem and reconcile sinners to God through faith and repentance, and that true repentance for perpetrating sexual abuse requires an acceptance of the consequences of sin, both in the context of the civil government and the context of the church; and

WHEREAS, We affirm that survivors of sexual abuse may by the grace of God forgive their abuser, but that such forgiveness should not be interpreted to mean that a victim must have an ongoing relationship with their abuser in order to be in right fellowship with God or their church, nor be regarded as a substitute for justice for the crime of sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, We recognize that godly sorrow over the incalculable damage of sexual abuse in a church or ministry setting should lead us to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), recognizing that institutions that tolerate such sexual immorality will be judged by Christ Himself (Revelation 2:18–29); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, November 12, 2019, condemn all forms of sexual abuse and repudiate with a unified voice all sexually abusive behavior as unquestionably sinful and under the just condemnation of our Holy God; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we lament any and all instances of sexual abuse, particularly in a church setting, and express our appreciation to journalists, victims, and survivors who have brought to light the sexually immoral rot that has existed within churches, including some that identify as Southern Baptist; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on ourselves and our network of congregations and institutions to create a culture where victims can not only share about their abuse with the assurance of protection, but also receive care while church leaders fulfill their obligation to implement policies and practices that protect against and confront any form of abuse in the future; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we implore sexual abuse victims to contact civil authorities, to separate from their abusers, and to seek protection, care, and support from fellow Christians and civil authorities as they are able; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we ask civil authorities, in the implementation of due process for the accused, to review laws, in consultation with social workers and trauma counselors, to ensure that privacy laws do not prevent the pursuit of justice on behalf of the abused, and that statutes of limitations (criminal and civil) do not unduly protect perpetrators of sexual abuse and individuals who enabled them; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all persons perpetrating and enabling sexual abuse to repent and to confess their sin to Jesus Christ and to church authorities, and to confess their crimes to civil authorities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we implore all persons to act decisively on matters of abuse, to immediately report allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities according to the laws of their state, to intervene on behalf of the abused, to do everything possible to ensure their safety, and to exercise appropriate church discipline upon abusers; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge churches and their leaders to develop partnerships within their communities to serve the abused, calling on government officials to strengthen laws that maintain justice and protections for the vulnerable in our society.



On Biblical Justice

WHEREAS, God is holy, righteous, and just, and He requires His image bearers to live consistent with His character and to pursue the reflection of His character in every sphere of creation; and

WHEREAS, Scripture declares God’s purposes for creative and redemptive acts are that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14) and that “justice flow like water, and righteousness, like an unfailing stream” (Amos 5:24); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states that we should live under the Lordship of Christ in our individual lives and in human society, trust the transforming power of the gospel as the primary means of implementing justice and affecting social change, and work to care for those who are hurting and are in need (Article XV); and

WHEREAS, We live in a world with urgent social, cultural, and economic challenges, and in our society, people of goodwill possess commendable desires to ease the impact of injustice and oppression so that all people may prosper; and

WHEREAS, We recognize that in the face of these pressing issues, people—even Christians—have adopted ideological solutions that address these challenges in ways not fitting with God’s creative order and the redemptive hope found in the gospel, and consequently, social problems are addressed in ways that are antithetical to the Christian faith; and

WHEREAS, Scripture provides humanity the hope of freedom from all kinds of oppressive and unjust entanglements and idolatries, which are ultimately derived from the pervasive impact of sin in every spectrum of society that prevents people from experiencing the glory of being made in God’s image and adhering to their full dignity in cultural, economic, social, and political spheres; and

WHEREAS, The gospel is the good news of God’s redemptive work to reconcile and restore a people for His own possession (Titus 2:12–14; 1 Peter 2:9–10) and reconcile all things to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 1:9–10; 2:14–16; Colossians 1:19–20) and to ultimately free creation from its groaning and subjection to sin (Romans 8:19); and

WHEREAS, Scripture states God requires of His people “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly” (Micah 6:8) and directs all Christians to function as salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13–16, 40–42; 17:24–27; 22:21); and

WHEREAS, Scripture contains examples of spiritual leaders addressing injustices in the world, such as Amos, who confronted social injustices (Amos 5), and Paul, who insisted on justice from civil authorities (Acts 16:35–39); and

WHEREAS, Biblically unfaithful pursuits of justice notwithstanding, Christians should maintain an attitude of compassion toward the tragic and pressing problems in our society that cause real pain and prevent human flourishing; and

WHEREAS, Our witness to the truth of the gospel includes obedience to Christ demonstrated in giving our lives to evangelize the lost around the world and in becoming involved with the struggles of our neighbors as well as our believing brothers and sisters (Genesis 18:19; 1 Peter 2:11-12); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, November 12, 2019, commit ourselves to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy (Leviticus 11:45; 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pray for the glory of God to fill the earth and for justice to be an overflowing stream for all people; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we grieve the reality of brokenness, resulting from sin, that is present throughout our world and subjects God’s image bearers to oppression and injustice, resulting in pain and burdens that inhibit human flourishing; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reject solutions for social brokenness that depend upon ideas that are antithetical to the Christian faith, for they ignore the lasting transformation only found in the gospel; and be it further

RESOLVED, That in light of the urgent needs in our world, we commit to address injustices through gospel proclamation, by advocating for people who are oppressed and face wrongs against them, acting justly in our own dealings, and by insisting that spheres of society should operate according to “principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XV); and be it further

RESOLVED, That with love and compassion, we address people who have been negatively impacted by oppressive realities, and that this love and compassion lead us to apply the sufficiency and fullness of the gospel message to their situation; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That our concern for the needs and aspirations of humanity—expressed in their joys and their hopes, their pains and their struggles—is rooted in the truth of the gospel and in our hope that through our love for others, they too may receive the gospel and share in the joy of salvation.

 

On the Importance of Moral Leadership

 

WHEREAS, Scripture declares, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message says, “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” (Article XV); and

WHEREAS, Current attitudes and practices in some segments of American life in such important areas as sex, marriage, money, and power reveal that American society is in moral decline; and

WHEREAS, God judges or blesses nations based on their morality (Genesis 6:5–13; Jonah 1:1–2; Micah 6:8); and

WHEREAS, God’s Word provides guidance for living a moral life that pleases God and brings His blessing (Proverbs 3:1–8); and

WHEREAS, Leaders in every walk of life in America, such as church, government, and business, have destroyed their careers and brought shame to themselves, their families, and friends because of poor moral choices; and

WHEREAS, Regardless of their political, social, or economic status, our leaders should set a positive example for every American citizen by living and serving according to the highest moral and ethical standards; and

WHEREAS, The church has the responsibility in every season to proclaim to the culture the moral standards of God as revealed in His Word, not as legalists, but as advocates of Christ’s transformative grace (Matthew 5:13–16; Mark 6:18; 2 Timothy 4:1–5); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, November 12, 2019, express our appreciation to those leaders in all walks of life who have chosen to live according to God’s moral standards; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our gratitude and support for those public officials who have displayed consistent moral character and uncompromising commitment to biblical principles of right and wrong, resulting in blessing upon the people they serve; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend those leaders who choose not to meet privately with members of the opposite sex who are not their spouses in order to ensure that they leave no room for temptation to lead them astray and to avoid any suspicion of wrongdoing (Proverbs 4:23–27); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all leaders in every walk of life to conduct themselves, to the best of their ability, according to the moral standards set forth by God’s revealed truth; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit to pray for our nation’s leaders to be able to resist every temptation that would create a hindrance to the fulfillment of their calling in society; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pledge to hold ourselves to the same high moral standards that we require of our leaders; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit to pray that God will help us and all our fellow citizens to embrace the biblical moral values that will honor our creation in God’s image and bring God’s blessing on our nation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we will endeavor to serve as examples to others of the blessings of living in accordance with God’s moral guidance; and be it further

RESOLVED, That in order “to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love,” we commit to “be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising [our] loyalty to Christ and His truth” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XV); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm, “Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ” (The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XV).



On Evangelism and Soul-winning

WHEREAS, The Kentucky Baptist Convention mission statement is “created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ;” and

WHEREAS, The Great Commission is fulfilled when believers joyfully encourage unbelievers to repent of their sins and place faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins; and

WHEREAS, “Soul-winning” is our great privilege and a critical dimension of our high calling to live for Christ, and the New Testament employs the words “winning” and “persuading” to express the spiritual discipline of evangelism, by which we implore unbelievers to respond to the message of grace and peace through union with Christ (Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 9:19-22; 2 Corinthians 5:11, 20); and

WHEREAS, The soul of every person will spend eternity in hell unless that person believes the life-changing message of the gospel (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 16:19-31; Romans 10:14-15; Revelation 20:11-15); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures teach that a clear and complete invitation to receive Jesus Christ must be offered genuinely to all people (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-22; Acts 1:8; 2:26-39; Revelation 22:17); and

WHEREAS, As spiritual leaders of their churches, pastors bear dual responsibilities not only for proclaiming the gospel publicly but also for sharing the gospel personally with lost people undergirded by prayer (Romans 5:11-21; Colossians 4:2-6); and

WHEREAS, Though Kentucky Baptists have historically challenged themselves in personal evangelism, baptisms, and discipleship; nevertheless, there has been an alarming downturn among Kentucky Baptist churches in baptisms since 1980, even as the population of the United States has grown in ethnic diversity; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, meeting on November 12, 2019, at Immanuel Baptist Church, understand “evangelism” as the intentional, consistent, and verbal declaration of the gospel to unbelievers in the power of the Holy Spirit; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we articulate from the Scriptures the death, burial, and resurrection of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins as the heart of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-5); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone, wrought by the Holy Spirit as people repent of their sins, believe in Jesus Christ, and confess Him as their Savior and Lord (John 14:6; 16:8-11; Acts 2:37-38; 4:12; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 1:13; 2:8; Titus 3:4-7); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all pastors to present publicly the gospel message as the Spirit gives unction, making an appeal for hearers to respond to the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ followed by baptism and regenerate church membership; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all pastors to lead the way in personal evangelism by consistently sharing the gospel with persons outside of the church, and encouraging church members to do likewise; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Bible study teachers, campus missionaries, and small group leaders to explain the meaning of the gospel and regularly invite unbelievers to respond to love; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all congregations to prayerfully set goals and implement intentional, evangelistic strategies such as “Who’s Your One?” or “Three Circles” and other gospel-centered, faithful evangelistic initiatives that aim to increase the number of people they reach and baptize in the coming year; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend and prayerfully support the North American Mission Board, International Mission Board, state conventions, associations, and local churches in their efforts to train, equip, and mobilize Southern Baptists in the task of evangelism, and be it further

RESOLVED, That our pursuit and obedience to proclaim the gospel will come from our great love for Jesus, our desire to glorify God, and to advance God’s kingdom.