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On Civil Public Discourse

WHEREAS, Our nation is polarized concerning many moral, ethical, and political issues; and

WHEREAS, Christians have strongly-held convictions as to how the Bible speaks to these issues; and

WHEREAS, Christians have a God-ordained responsibility to give public voice to these issues biblically, authoritatively, and specifically (2 Timothy 4:1-2); and

WHEREAS, Such issues have generated heated public discourse that often has resulted in personal attacks and volatile protests; and

WHEREAS, Some groups and individuals have gained national publicity by protesting funerals, by burning the Koran, and by calling for prayers for the deaths of public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible clearly instructs Christians to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel (Ephesians 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:23-26); and

WHEREAS, This mandate orders all our interactions regardless of our level of agreement with one another (Colossians 4:5-6); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15, 2011, denounce the speech or activities of any individual or group that brings shame upon the name of Christ and His gospel; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to continue to speak biblically and authoritatively with conviction, kindness, and gentleness.