Published November 23, 2006
RESOLUTION ON DISCIPLESHIP
Submitted by Bruce R. Mayhew, Messenger,?Olivet Baptist, Dublin; *Amended by Andrew Higginbotham, Messenger, Oconee Heights Baptist, Athens
Whereas, the imperative of the Great Commission is to make disciples; and
Whereas, Georgia Baptists’ top emphases have been evangelism and missions; and
Whereas, evangelism and missions are vital components of the disciple-making process; the process is incomplete without “teaching them to observe” everything that Jesus has commanded; and
Whereas, biblical discipleship requires the integration of biblical teachings with all areas of life; and
Whereas, the Baptist Faith and Message states that, “…the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ’s people;” and
Whereas, between 1976 and 2005 Georgia Baptist Churches baptized 913,199 individuals, the resident membership increased by only 231,931 and the total membership only increased by 311,481; (Georgia Baptist Convention Research Services) and
Whereas, effective discipleship will not only produce active church members, but also believers with a biblical worldview, who are able to integrate the teachings of Christ into all aspects of life; and
Whereas, researcher, George Barna, says, “The research also points out that even in churches where the pastor has a biblical worldview most of the congregants do not; and Barna continues by reporting that only 10% of adult Baptists have a biblical worldview;” (The Barna Update Jan. 12, 2004) and
Whereas, the following statistics reflect, we are not adequately discipling our young people:
• 2002 SBC Council of Family Life reported that 88 percent of children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return (BP June 12, 2002).
• Georgia Barna also found that, “61% of today’s young adults—had been churched at one point during their teen years but they are now spiritually disengaged;” (The Barna Update September 11, 2006) and
Whereas, George Barna states that, “this pattern of disengagement is not merely a temporary phase in which they test the boundaries of independence, but is one that continues deeper into adulthood;” (The Barna Update September 11, 2006) and
Whereas, we are losing the culture war within our own families and churches because the world often has more influence than we do.
Now, therefore, Be It Resolved that we call upon our convention to provide leadership and resources in equipping our churches and families to develop discipleship and educational strategies that will result in the development of believers with a fully integrated Christ-centered, biblical worldview; and
*Be It Further Resolved, that we call upon the churches of the Georgia Baptist Convention to commit themselves to double their discipleship and Sunday School attendance so that we, together, might bring forth a double harvest of believers committed to the kingdom of God and to the glory of God.
Be It Therefore Finally Resolved, that since making disciples is the imperative of the Great Commission, we commit that making disciples will be a priority and emphasis of our ministries as we seek to be obedient to our Lord’s command.
RESOLUTION ON ABSTINENCE FROM THE USE OF ALCOHOL
Submitted by Matthew Johnson, Messenger Whitewater Baptist Church, Oglethorpe
Whereas, The abuse of alcohol has led to the destruction of many families and homes in our Nation, and the Scriptures confirm that the abuse of alcohol leads to many physical, mental and emotional problems (Proverbs 23:29-35); and
Whereas, The use of alcohol in moderation, or “recreational drinking”, leads to alcohol addiction in many individuals, and has been proven to be a “pathway drug” leading to the use of other drugs, both legal and illegal; and
Whereas, Some religious leaders advocate the use of alcoholic beverages to their congregations, causing many to stumble by their example, misinterpreting the biblical doctrine of “freedom in Christ;” and
Whereas, The biblical mandate of every Christian, both leaders and laypersons, is to live a life of holiness, without reproach and blameless before the world (Ephesians 5:27, Philippians 2:14-16, 1 Timothy 3:2,7,10); and
Whereas, The Scripture teaches that Christians are not to be led astray by wine or strong drink (Proverbs 20:1), and that leaders should not consume alcoholic beverages (Proverbs 31:4).
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the messengers to the Georgia Baptist Convention meeting in Duluth, Georgia, November 13-14, 2006, affirm our opposition to the consumption, manufacturing, and distribution of alcoholic beverages; and
Be It Further Resolved, that we urge all Georgia Baptists to a life of total abstinence from the use of alcoholic beverages, so that we may cause no one to stumble (1 Corinthians 10:31-33), and so that we can remain worthy of imitation, as the Scripture commands in 1 Corinthians 11:1; and
Be It Further Resolved, that we express appreciation to the leadership of the Georgia Baptist Convention for their commitment to nominate to places of service Godly individuals who abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages; and
Be It Therefore Finally Resolved, that we also urge Georgia Baptist churches, ministries, and individuals to continue to take a leading role in helping those in bondage to alcohol find healing in Christ, and to help heal and reunite the families that have been damaged by this disease.
RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION FOR THE GEORGIA BAPTIST MISSIONS AND MINISTRY CENTER
Submitted by 2006 Committee on Resolutions
Whereas, the Executive Committee of the Baptist Convention of the State of Georgia at its meeting on March 16, 1999, approved a motion authorizing the Executive Director, Dr. J. Robert White, to appoint a Baptist Center Study Committee to study the feasibility of relocating the Convention’s operations, which were then on Flowers Road in Atlanta, to a new location and facility, and the Convention in its 1999 annual meeting approved this action; and
Whereas, Dr. Frank Cox was named chairman of the Baptist Center Study Committee whose members included Dr. Gerald Harris, Dr. Wayne Robertson, Dr. Wayne Hamrick, Dr. Bill Perry, Mr. Kerry Gough, Rev. Sid Hopkins, Mr. Roger Willis, Rev. Steve Johnson, Dr. J. Michael Williams, Rev. Robert A. Boswell, Mr. David Crews, and Mrs. Fran Waymack; and
Whereas, the Committee began its arduous task and worked prayerfully and diligently for two years studying the situation and evaluating whether or not to maintain Convention operations at the Flowers Road facility or relocate to a more beneficial site; and
Whereas, the Convention at its 2000 annual meeting authorized the Committee, based on preliminary findings, to review potential sites for relocation and to proceed with the acquisition of property should desirable property be located; and
Whereas, more than 200 sites were reviewed and studied throughout this lengthy process, and Dr. White and the Committee felt led by the Lord to consider property they had seen on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia; and
Whereas, on May 9, 2001, the Committee, believing that God had led them to the heavily wooded area on Sugarloaf Parkway, joined hands as Chairman Cox led in a prayer requesting God’s guidance in their deliberations and gratitude for the way that He would open doors for the acquisition of the property, and Committee dedicated the land to God and to His will; and
Whereas, this prime location was made up of six contiguous parcels of land with different owners, and experts advised Dr. White and the Committee that it was likely impossible to be able to make acquisitions of the acreage needed because of the number of parcels and owners; and
Whereas, Dr. White and the Committee had the vision, given them by the Lord, of a beautiful facility in the middle of this wooded acreage that would be a testament to our Lord Jesus Christ and would serve Georgia Baptists for a generation to come; and
Whereas, in August 2001, with the assistance of the real estate development firm of Seibert and Son, Inc., and Convention Attorney, Thomas O. Duvall, Jr., the complicated process of negotiations and acquisitions of this beautiful property began, with the final parcel being purchased in July 2004; and
Whereas, the Executive Committee met at the Sugarloaf Parkway property on March 16, 2004, for the historic groundbreaking with Georgia’s First Lady, Mary Perdue, as the honored guest at the ceremony; and
Whereas, the architectural firm of Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart and Stewart was engaged to design the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center and the construction company, Brassfield and Gorrie, was retained to build the facility; and
Whereas, on May 22, 2006, two years and two months after the groundbreaking, Convention state missionaries were at work in the new Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center serving Georgia Baptists throughout the State and many mission fields; and
Whereas, on Monday, November 13, 2006, the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center was dedicated to the Glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that messengers at the 185th annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention express their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. J. Robert White, the members of the Baptist Center Study Committee, Seibert and Son, Inc., Thomas O. Duvall, Jr., Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart and Stewart, and Brassfield & Gorrie for their efforts and significant contributions to bring into being the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center.
Be It Further Resolved, that messengers at the 185th annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention express their appreciation to Dr. J. Robert White and the Baptist Center Study Committee for their perseverance in the presence of many obstacles and their deeply rooted belief that with God all things are possible.
Be It Therefore Finally Resolved, that messengers at the 185th annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention express their deep appreciation and affirmation to Dr. J. Robert White for his commitment to make the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center a testimony to all who pass by of our Lord’s words found in Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
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