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Resolution on autonomy, not addressed at SBC


On Tuesday of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, the four messengers from our little (in numbers) church cast no votes on the GCR recommendations. We of course did not get our way.

On Wednesday morning we awoke and were still Southern Baptists. That morning we proceeded to the convention center where from the numbers they gave only about 10 percent of the messengers showed up to carry on the business of the convention. We sat down right in front of the chair’s podium so we could see and hear good. We took part in all the business by casting our four votes.

We were eager for the Resolutions Committee report because we had submitted one. I had understood from the chairman that the committee may not present ours as one to be voted on (it would be controversial) but if not I could go to a microphone and ask that it be presented to the floor to vote on “if they wanted to hear it or not,” when the chair told me to do so.

To make a long story short, we were never able to make our voice heard, either through the Resolutions Committee or from the floor of the Convention.

The issue is the 2000 change to the Baptist Faith and Message by which Georgia Baptists are withdrawing fellowship from Baptist churches who call females as pastors in any capacity and at the same time turning a blind eye and deaf ear to all Baptist churches who are ordaining females as deacons in their churches.

While Scripture is not 100 percent clear on female pastors and deacons or not, it is 100 percent clear that whatever the qualification for a pastor, the same is so for a deacon. The SBC and GBC, along with all associations, need to either recognize the autonomy of the local church and stop trying to tell it who they can have serve them or at least be Scriptural and require the same for deacons as pastors.

I have been told by a good member of the GBC why the SBC did not include deacons in the change to the BF&M, and that reason does not only not hold water it makes a dirty water bucket. My church and I will be bringing this matter to the GBC annual meeting in Albany and we hope all churches will give this matter great prayer in how you want to stand on this issue.

Do we require autonomy of the local church and if not do we at least require the rules to be Scriptural?