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On The Fiftieth Anniversary Of The Civil Rights Act

WHEREAS, July 2, 2014, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act; and

WHEREAS, The Civil Rights Act spurred the United States forward in the dismantling of legal racial segregation; and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures consistently teach us that all persons are created in the image of God, descended from our common first parents (Genesis 2:27; Acts 17:26), and are thus worthy of equal respect and dignity; and

WHEREAS, These truths were a central and driving force in the civil rights movement; and WHEREAS, Our government authorities have a God-entrusted duty to guard and defend the constitutional rights of all citizens (Romans 13:1–7); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10–11, 2014, lament and repudiate this nation’s long history of racial segregation as well as the complicity of Southern Baptists who resisted or opposed the dismantling of the evil of racial hierarchy in our churches or society; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm the historic action in 1965 of the Southern Baptist Convention to call for “peaceful compliance with laws assuring equal rights for all,” along with the courageous efforts of many known and unknown Baptist ministers and laypersons to advance the cause of racial justice in the face of opposition; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we thank God for the increased racial and ethnic diversity within Southern Baptist life over this past half century; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all Gospel-affirming people to strive for a faithful witness to the watching world that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, there is neither slave nor free” (Galatians 3:28); and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we continue to call on all Christian men and women to pray and labor for the day when our Lord will set all things right and racial prejudice and injustice will be no more.