Tuesday, May 29, 2018

RESOLUTION SUBMITTED TO SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION, FULL TEXT


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On Ministry and Counseling to Lead People from Homosexuality to Heterosexuality
May 21, 2018


WHEREAS, a false ideology has arisen, to be called hereafter “homosexual identity politics,”

WHEREAS, homosexual identity politics combine the Sexual Revolution and a notion of “essentialism” to claim that homosexuals are “born gay,” “have no choice” in their sexual orientation, and “cannot change” even if they want to change,

WHEREAS, homosexual identity politics contradict the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who warned all who believe in Him that sin enslaves the sinner (John 8:34), and who proclaimed that all who believe in Him should lay down their burdens and take up their crosses and follow Him (Luke 14:27),

WHEREAS, Jesus Christ included sexual perversions (Greek porneia), alongside murder, deceit, adultery, theft, false testimonies, and blasphemies; as sins that defile mankind by dwelling in the human heart and issuing from a man’s mouth (Matthew 15:19),

WHEREAS, to claim, “I am gay,” with one’s words is to celebrate the presence of something that Jesus Christ warns about, as defilement in one’s heart,

WHEREAS, Jesus Christ nowhere in his ministry or in the gospel record rejected, overturned, or eliminated the ancient commandments of the law against homosexuality, but rather explicitly elevated the sanctity of the male and female marriage relationship (Mark 10:7-12), and emphasized the importance of the creation story of Genesis in conveying God’s design for sexual relationships (Matthew 19:4-6),

WHEREAS, the Apostle Paul proclaims in Acts 17:30, in his speech before the Areopagus, that  “God now commands all people everywhere to repent,” which would include turning away from all sins, including sins such as homosexuality, which Jesus Christ warns against allowing to dwell in our hearts, and which Jesus Christ never amended to give exclusive license to homosexuality or sodomy,

WHEREAS, Christians are called throughout the Bible to participate in a community to encourage their brethren to turn away from behavior that displeases God and turn to behavior that pleases God (1 Peter 5:2),

WHEREAS, it is a paramount responsibility of churches and church ministries to encourage godly lives in church members, so that the Body of Christ may be as blameless and pure as possible when Jesus Christ returns to wed His Bride (Revelation 3:4),

WHEREAS, the Word of God makes clear that God created man and woman as distinct sexes to be companions and exclusive sexual intimates of each other (Genesis 2:18-25),

WHEREAS, this means that the Lord designed those made in His image to be heterosexual and not to be homosexual, because heterosexuality, defined as the mental state of feeling attraction to the opposite sex, is the appreciation of God’s design of the human body as a divine gift, whereas homosexuality is a rejection of God’s design of the human body and the despising of a great and holy gift,

WHEREAS there is no sin that the blood of Christ cannot forgive, other than blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,

WHEREAS there is no bondage to sin that is so intertwined with human nature that the power of Christ cannot free us from it,

WHEREAS there is no temptation that the power of the Spirit cannot help us overcome,

WHEREAS there is no heart of man so dead that God's grace cannot transform and raise to walk in newness of life in Christ,

WHEREAS, in both Christian and unbelieving political contexts, homosexual identity politics has prompted a dangerous movement to ban so-called “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy,” banned in terms so broadly as to endanger the work of Christian ministries in aiding people with same-sex attraction to turn away from homosexuality toward heterosexuality,

WHEREAS, there exist powerful organizations who seek to marshal the power of the civil government to criminalize, penalize, and retaliate against people called by Christian scripture to aid their fellow brethren in turning away from homosexuality toward heterosexuality,

WHEREAS, such aforementioned organizations have succeeded in criminalizing so-called “conversion therapy” in many parts of the United States, in other nations, and even in religious denominations such as the Church of England,

WHEREAS, cited abuses such as electroshock therapy, aversion therapy or dangerous coercion tactics are extinct among licensed therapists who conduct change therapies in assisting those with same-sex attraction so that they can resolve their homosexual attractions toward heterosexuality, and in every state of the U.S., there have been no ethical complaints about abuses in change therapies for approximately the past 40 years,  
WHEREAS, many salubrious and helpful efforts to help people turn away from homosexuality to heterosexuality fall under the label of “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” and will become subject to criminalization or other kinds of retaliation absent a counter-measure to defend the practice of helping people resist homosexual identity politics and homosexual behavior in favor of heterosexuality,

WHEREAS, the movement against so-called “conversion therapy” poses an immediate threat to Christian obedience to the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because it is possible that due to lack of support from Christian ministries, some people with same-sex attractions may err in defining themselves as “homosexual” by nature, and may thereby invite a fatal sin into their hearts, which would defile them, separate them from God, and consign them to an eternity apart from God, to suffer eternal punishment in Hell,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention will express its unequivocal support for all ministries in Southern Baptist Churches, to offer loving assistance to people suffering from same-sex attraction, so that they may turn from homosexuality to heterosexuality,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention rejects as heresy any claims that God makes people homosexual,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention rejects as heresy any claims that God wills that people made in His image should embrace and encourage homosexual identity in their hearts,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention exhorts Christians neither to be indifferent nor to support homosexual identity politics, but rather to support all Christian brothers and sisters who seek the church’s help in turning from homosexuality to heterosexuality,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention pledges its support to Southern Baptists who are persecuted for supporting the Gospel and proclaiming the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to save people from homosexuality, heal the wounds caused by homosexual sin, cleanse homosexual sins from people who place their faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and lead people to the sacred design from God, as described in Genesis and reinforced by Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:4-6; namely, heterosexuality and chastity,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention unconditionally loves all members of the body of Christ, including members who continue to suffer from the ravages of sin in this life, and including fellow believers who courageously struggle to escape the grasp of the sin of homosexuality,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention supports the free decision of followers of Christ to seek freedom from the sin of homosexuality,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention supports the right of followers of Christ to seek therapy that aligns with their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention supports the right of followers of Christ to receive pastoral counseling and biblically sound therapies that help restore the believer's sexual identity and rightly orders the loves of the heart,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention supports the unfettered right of pastors, churches, biblical counselors, biblical counseling ministries, and any other disciple of Christ to provide sound Biblical counsel and assistance for any person seeking freedom from the sinful bondage to disordered homosexual desires,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention resists all legislative, judicial, and executive efforts of any government to restrict or prevent counseling that churches would provide to help people turn from homosexuality to heterosexuality,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention respects and affirms the right for those formerly enslaved by the sin of homosexuality to live celibate lives devoted to God or to marry an opposite-sex spouse reflecting the sexual relationship of God's design,

RESOLVED, the Southern Baptist Convention affirms that repentance of the sin of homosexuality, by the power of Christ, removes the stain of the sin of homosexuality on the person's life, and that the follower of Christ living in a new life is embraced in fellowship with the body of Christ, and is considered qualified for the works God has created and called him or her. 

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POST-SCRIPT: This resolution did not make it to the floor at the SBC annual meeting on June 12-13.