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On Sexuality And Personal Identity

WHEREAS, All persons are made in God’s image and should seek to glorify Him in every arena of their lives, including their self- understanding and identity (Genesis 1:26–27; Psalm 100:3; 1 Corinthians 10:31); and

WHEREAS, The Lord calls His people to pursue lives of holiness as a reflection of His holy character (Leviticus 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16); and

WHEREAS, Christians are instructed to acknowledge, honor, and live according to God’s design for sexual relations solely within the covenantal union of marriage between one man and one woman for life (Genesis 1:26–28; 2:18–24; Matthew 19:4–6; 1 Corinthians 6:12–20; Ephesians 5:22–33); and

WHEREAS, Many in our culture assume the satisfaction of sexual desire is indispensable to human wholeness and flourishing, which leads some to affirm fallen sexual desires as a defining mark of personal identity; and

WHEREAS, Some brothers and sisters in Christ have tried to affirm God’s design for sexuality while embracing a personal identity as a “gay Christian” or a “sexual minority”; and

WHEREAS, This self-understanding and self-expression is open to misinterpretation, affirms a sinful desire as a marker of personal identity, and may imply that one’s sanctification would preclude the possibility of deliverance from same-sex sexual desire; and

WHEREAS, The Bible does not label a Christian’s identity based on past actions or present temptations, but on present justification and future glorification (Romans 8:1–11; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, recommend that Christians refrain from describing themselves or embracing a self-identity in ways that suggest affirmation of sinful desires or unbiblical social constructs (Matthew 5:27–30; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all Christians who struggle against same-sex attraction to forsake any self-conception or personal identity that is contrary to God’s good and holy purposes in creation and redemption; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the faithful witness of Christians who experience same-sex attraction, who remain chaste out of faithfulness to Christ, and whose costly obedience Jesus promises to reward (Matthew 16:24–26; 19:29); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that God’s grace provides both pardon and power so that a follower of Jesus Christ can mortify sinful desires and walk in a manner worthy of the gospel (1 Corinthians 10:13; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptist churches to call sinners to repentance while ministering, encouraging, fostering hospitality, and extending Christlike love toward those brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction.