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On Christlike Communication And The Use Of Social Media

WHEREAS, Due to the size and publicly deliberative nature of the Southern Baptist Convention, the interactions between its people and entities often become newsworthy and are published in Christian and secular media as representation of the faith of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, The use of social media by Christians for dialogue, expressing opinions, and argumentation also is a public representation of the faith of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, The Bible has instructed God’s people to control the tongue (Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 10:19; 12:18–19; 15:4; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; James 4:11), to treat others the same way you want them to treat you (Luke 6:31), and to love one another just as Christ has loved us (John 15:12); and

WHEREAS, Christians are called to exhibit self-control (Galatians 5:23) in every facet of life and follow the second great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), understanding that our actions and character, seen by a watching world, are directly tethered to our witness and testimony of the person and work of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:16); and

WHEREAS, The Bible has prescribed healthy avenues for conflict resolution among brothers and sisters in Christ (Matthew 5:21–26; 18:15–20; Ephesians 4:25–27; Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:10); and

WHEREAS, We are called by Christ to “live worthy of the calling [we] have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, commit to maintaining brotherly and sisterly love by resolving our differences in a biblical manner (Matthew 18:15–18); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we guard our tongues, using caution and wisdom in our media and social media, and refrain from remarks that tear down others made in the image of God, including refraining from gossip and slander (Psalm 141:3; Proverbs 6:16–19; 17:27–28; 21:23; James 3:10–12); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That even in the midst of differences, disagreements, and conflicts, we will engage one another with respect and winsomeness, speaking truth in Christlike love while pursuing unity (Ephesians 4:15).