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On Gospel Allegiance And Political Engagement

WHEREAS, Scripture declares, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10); and

WHEREAS, The essence of the Church’s mission, as defined by the Great Commission, is to spread the gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28:18–20); and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is comprised of a multitude of churches with diverse memberships, representing an array of political affiliations and showing due respect for political choice; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention should remain independent from political partisanship in order to represent all Southern Baptists; and

WHEREAS, The annual meeting is a sacred gathering with the purpose of furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ and uniting the body of Christ, as Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one (John 17:21); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states, “All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society” (Article XV); and

WHEREAS, In our political system, the biblical responsibility of government to encourage good and restrain evil falls ultimately to all citizens, and loving our neighbors requires seeking their good in all things, which includes our engagement in the political process (Romans 13:1–4; 13:9–10); and

WHEREAS, Our experience of religious freedom and public policy in our society that reflects the will of Christ is, in large part, fruit of public engagement by Christian leaders who exercised influence without compromising the priority of our gospel-spreading, disciple- making mission; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, affirm that our commitment to Christ comes before commitment to any political party; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we recognize we are a diverse convention of churches whose members hold various political affiliations and views, and therefore, the Convention does not endorse any political party or candidate, so we call on all Southern Baptists to continually evaluate their political cooperation in light of Scripture’s witness; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm our appreciation for those Christian leaders in government who have worked to secure our liberties and advance biblical principles in government and simultaneously demonstrate primary commitment to the church’s mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we work cooperatively, where we can, with politically elected officials as a means of fulfilling the Great Commission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge the danger of political engagement overwhelming the priority of our mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge the opposite danger of disengaging from public issues and disregarding our obligation as citizens to encourage good, restrain evil, and thereby love our neighbors; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we refuse to compromise the reputation of Christ and the clarity of the gospel message, regardless of perceived political implications or potential loss of religious liberty; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to model and encourage voices of truth, kindness, and gentleness, rather than those that stir up hostility, strife, dissensions, and factions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we guard against binding the consciences of believers to support policies, vote for candidates, or engage politically in ways that exceed what Scripture requires; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our confidence in the sufficiency of prayer and proclamation of the Word to accomplish God’s purposes among His people as we teach them to obey all Jesus’ commands and equip them to serve as salt and light in society.