While citing the Southern Baptist Convention website on resolutions for yesterday’s applied ethics post1 I noticed a interesting statement about resolutions.
Note the following from the SBC website [emphasis added].
21. How do I find out the official SBC stance on various issues?
The Southern Baptist Convention makes official statements regarding specific issues by means of resolutions passed at our annual gatherings each June. Southern Baptist polity views these resolutions as expressions of opinions or concern which are representative of the messengers attending the meeting, but are not binding upon any individual church or successive Convention. Generally speaking, resolutions are snapshots of views widely held among Southern Baptists at the time and in the social contest in which they are passed, but they are not deemed to be doctrinal or creedal (tests of fellowship).2
It is understood that resolutions are expressions of opinion and are not officially binding. Of course, those opinions are of the messengers present as they are the ones listening, interacting and voting. However, the above states that not only are resolutions not binding, but they are not binding upon the “successive Convention,” that is, the following Convention that meets. It makes sense that such resolutions represent views at the time and context in which they are presented and passed since cultural issues faced by Southern Baptists can change from year to year.
Do the above statements on SBC resolutions mean that they are only applicable to the particular Convention in which they are passed and not successive Conventions?
- Ethics: Anti-Calvinism Resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention. hereiblog.com ↩
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions. sbc.net ↩