WHEREAS, The Bible reveals that marriage is a gospel mystery, pointing to Christ’s union with His church (Ephesians 5:22-32); and

WHEREAS, The Bible teaches that marriage was established by God “in the beginning” to be a permanent one-flesh union (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:1-9); and

WHEREAS, Our Lord Jesus commands us that what “God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9); and

WHEREAS, The biblical story shows us that one of the lamentable aspects of sin is the destruction of marriages and families, a destruction seen from the Fall until this present darkness; and

WHEREAS, The rampant divorce rate in our culture has come with great social and economic cost, with women and children suffering disproportionately in ways that are incalculable; and

WHEREAS, We have affirmed in our confession of faith our belief in the sanctity and permanence of marriage; and

WHEREAS, Some studies have indicated that conservative Protestants in the United States of America are divorcing at the same rate, if not at higher rates, than the general population; and

WHEREAS, Some studies also indicate that areas where Southern Baptist churches predominate in number often have higher divorce rates than areas we would define as “unchurched” and in need of evangelical witness; and

WHEREAS, Even the most expansive view of the biblical exceptions allowing for divorce and remarriage would rule out many, if not most, of the divorces in our churches; and

WHEREAS, The acceleration in rates of divorce in Southern Baptist churches has not come through a shift in theological conviction about scriptural teaching on divorce but rather through cultural accommodation; and

WHEREAS, We have been prophetic in confronting assaults in the outside culture on God’s design for marriage while rarely speaking with the same alarm and force to a scandal that has become all too commonplace in our own churches; and

WHEREAS, We do not serve those who are hurting from divorce by speaking to them only in therapeutic terms rather than in terms of both repentance and forgiveness; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, acknowledge the complicity of many among us for too often failing to show the world the meaning of the gospel through marital fidelity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our conviction that a denomination defined theologically by our belief in the authority and inerrancy of Holy Scripture ought to proclaim the whole counsel of God, especially when the Bible confronts our own patterns of sin; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our further conviction that a denomination defined missiologically ought to recognize how damaging Southern Baptist accommodation to the divorce culture is to our global witness for Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we express our further conviction that a denomination seeking God’s blessing in revival and reformation ought to address the spiritual wreckage left in our Southern Baptist churches by our own divorce rates and our silence about the same; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to proclaim the Word of God on the permanence of marriage, and to provide ongoing marriage enrichment opportunities, in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s abhorrence of divorce; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to unite in marriage only those who are biblically qualified to be married to one another and who demonstrate an understanding of the meaning of lifelong love and fidelity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches in our wedding services to maintain the gravity of the vows being undertaken, not simply as a token of a couple’s romance but as a covenant before God, until death do them part; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to minister to couples and families in crisis through counseling, mentorship, and, where necessary, through biblical church discipline; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to proclaim God’s mercy and grace to all people—including those who have been divorced without biblical grounds—due to the truth that the blood of Jesus can atone for any sin and can cleanse any conscience; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on our churches to have special compassion for and energetic ministry to those who have been left in the wake of family brokenness; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists in troubled or faltering marriages to seek godly assistance and, where possible, reconciliation; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray that the true peace of our Lord Jesus Christ will reign in us such that the next generation will see the gospel not only in the counter-cultural nature of our verbal witness but also in the counter-cultural love and fidelity of our marriages.



View all 2010 Resolutions.