2 Reasons the SBC Resolution on Christians Suing Fellow Christians was Rejected

Below is a follow-up article by Tom Buck, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Lindale, explaining the results of the submission of his SBC resolution on Christians suing fellow Christians

Last month I submitted a resolution to be considered at the SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore concerning Christians suing fellow Christians. My motivation for addressing this issue was directly related to multiple lawsuits occurring between members of the SBC. I believed the infighting that was overflowing into the public court system was bringing shame upon the church and was a direct violation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. This precipitated a considerable amount of discussion about the validity of my interpretation of the passage as well as drawing attention to this ongoing problem, and for that I am grateful.

Although not surprised, I was saddened that the resolution committee did not bring the issue to the floor so that the SBC messengers could consider it. The failure of the resolution to be brought to the floor was also not a surprise to those who predicted that would be the result due to what they believed to be a flawed interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6. However, even though the critics were correct about the fate of my resolution, they were completely incorrect about why it never made it to the floor. I was just as surprised as to the reasons why.

For clarification, if a resolution is not brought to the floor by the committee, the messenger who submitted it can make a motion for it to be brought out of committee and voted on by the messengers. I had full intention of making such a motion, but this would not be an easy task since the rules require two-thirds of the messengers voting in favor of bringing it to the floor for consideration. Therefore, I chose to meet with one of the resolution committee members to gain understanding of their reasoning for declining the resolution. Furthermore, I am always saddened by unnecessary controversy and infighting and wanted to be careful to understand the rationale of the committee so that I could act in a way that showed respect for the hard work they had done.

In light of these concerns, I contacted one of the resolution committee members who I personally knew and greatly respect as a godly man. He informed me that there were only two reasons for which my resolution was not brought to the floor:

  1. A similar resolution had been presented in the past that addressed this very thing. Therefore, the SBC had already resolved that it was sinful for Christians to take one another to court.
  2. Two SBC entities are currently being sued and they did not want it to be falsely perceived that the SBC was trying to interfere with ongoing litigation by making a public statement at this time.

In fact, I was informed they thought the reason for my resolution was to defend what was currently happening in those ongoing lawsuits. In addition, I was told without qualification that no other motivations were discussed and he was totally unaware that any SBC leaders were involved in suing fellow Christians. Finally, I also inquired as to the committee’s thoughts in regards to the soundness of my resolution. He told me that my resolution was “well written” and there was no problem with the biblical interpretation or application of the passage.

Therefore, after prayerful consideration and seeking counsel, I decided not to make a motion from the floor for the resolution to come out of committee. I did this for two reasons:

  1. The SBC had already passed a resolution that censured Christians suing fellow Christians. Therefore, the current lawsuits that are occurring between Christians in SBC life stand in opposition to how SBC messengers have already spoken about this serious issue.
  2. I did not want to risk giving the appearance that my resolution was an attempt to interfere with litigation that is pending against two SBC entities. I felt these were strong and compelling reasons to let the resolution fail to be brought to the floor.

I am thankful to Mark  Lamprecht for taking the time to make my resolution more public and to Dr. Johnny Hunt for tweeting out Mark’s announcement of my resolution. If nothing else, attention was brought to this issue that we should all pray for repentance and a godly outcome. My prayer is that those Christians who are suing fellow Christians will repent, the current litigation going on among Christians in our convention will cease, and the shame that they have brought upon Christ’s church would be forever gone.

In His Grace,

Tom Buck

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