Good News from the SBC

Many others have noted the historic news of the election of the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Fred Luter.  I wish I could have been there to witness history in the making.

But for this post, I have in mind a particular bit of good news that relates to what I have been blogging about here lately: the “Traditional Statement” on salvation.  Today messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans passed the following resolution that strikes just the right note of mutual respect and cooperation between brothers and sisters of different theological persuasions:

ON COOPERATION AND THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION

WHEREAS, We celebrate the history of faithful cooperation of Southern Baptists in the work of world evangelism and missions; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message has been approved by our Convention as our confession of faith regarding our commonly held convictions; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message in its affirmation of local church autonomy does not define what individual Southern Baptists and Southern Baptist churches must believe but rather what they generally and historically have believed regarding the doctrine of salvation; and

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, do without reservation reaffirm as our confession of faith The Baptist Faith and Message; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that The Baptist Faith and Message provides sufficient parameters for understanding the doctrine of salvation, so that Southern Baptists may joyfully and enthusiastically partner together in obedience to the Great Commission; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Southern Baptist churches to continue in faithful cooperation as we deepen our commitment to equip the saints and reach the lost with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Southern Baptist churches to continue in faithful cooperation as we deepen our commitment to equip the saints and reach the lost with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is a very encouraging sign.  The convention has spoken strongly in favor of unity defined according to our confessional statement, the Baptist Faith and Message, for the sake of the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

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