Southern Baptist Convention

WHEREAS, A major contribution to the demise of many Protestant denominations has been their loss of a clear understanding of, and commitment to, the biblical doctrine of salvation; and

WHEREAS, Some believe that people can be saved apart from the atoning work of Jesus Christ, arguing rather for a plurality of mediators; and

WHEREAS, Some vacillate on the necessity of conversion for all people; and

WHEREAS, Some teach that Jesus Christ did not come to save us, but to let us know that we already live in the arms of God's grace, implying that all people are already saved; and

WHEREAS, Some believe that people will be saved because their good works outweigh their bad; and

WHEREAS, Some believe that hell is not a reality, and its corollary, that all people will eventually be saved; and

WHEREAS, Some believe that the content and mission of the church need no longer focus on missions and evangelism, having abandoned the belief in a conversion theology.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16, 1988, affirm our belief in the biblical truths, that, although we agree that every person possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love, we also believe that as soon as people are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation, that is, they are lost; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we affirm Article IV (A) of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message Statement which reads as follows: "Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ"; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we believe that salvation is not analogous to having a positive self image or possessing self-esteem as desirable as these may be; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we affirm our belief in the biblical truth that salvation is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we affirm our belief in the biblical truth that all who are saved are sealed by the Holy Spirit and will never fall away from the state of grace; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we affirm our belief in the biblical truth that those without a personal commitment to Jesus Christ will be consigned to a literal hell, the place of everlasting separation from God according to the Word of God; and

BE IT THEREFORE FINALLY RESOLVED, That because of the aforementioned convictions that all Southern Baptists give renewed efforts to implementing and supporting Bold Mission Thrust as the priority of the individual Christian, the local church, and the Southern Baptist Convention.


RESOLUTION ON THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER

WHEREAS, None of the five major writing systematic theologians in Southern Baptist history have given more than passing reference to the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in their systematic theologies; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message preamble refers to the priesthood of the believer, but provides no definition or content to the term; and

WHEREAS, The high profile emphasis on the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in Southern Baptist life is a recent historical development; and

WHEREAS, The priesthood of the believer is a term which is subject to both misunderstanding and abuse; and

WHEREAS, The doctrine of the priesthood of the believer has been used to justify wrongly the attitude that a Christian may believe whatever he so chooses and still be considered a loyal Southern Baptist; and

WHEREAS, The doctrine of the priesthood of the believer can be used to justify the undermining of pastoral authority in the local church.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16, 1988, affirm its belief in the biblical doctrine of the priesthood of the believer (1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we affirm that this doctrine in no way gives license to misinterpret, explain away, demythologize, or extrapolate out elements of the supernatural from the Bible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer in on way contradicts the biblical understanding of the role, responsibility, and authority of the pastor which is seen in the command to the local church in Hebrews 13:17, "Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account;" and

BE FINALLY RESOLVED, That we affirm the truth that elders, or pastors, are called of God to lead the local church (Acts 20:28).


View all 1988 Resolutions.