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On The Holiness And Integrity Of Ministry Leaders

WHEREAS, Pastors and ministry leaders are held to a high standard for their doctrine, speech, and conduct, the standard being the very character and example of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Timothy 4:16); and

WHEREAS, Scripture is clear on the imperative of sexual purity among believers (Ephesians 5:3) and especially among pastors and ministry leaders (1 Timothy 3:1–13) as a part of a testimony to God’s holiness; and

WHEREAS, Pastors and ministry leaders are to be examples by their faith in Christ and their lives of ongoing repentance of sin (Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:1–3) and

WHEREAS, Sexual infidelity and other violations of ministerial integrity egregiously pervert and demean the image of God and always have tragic consequences for the ministry leader, for those who are victimized, and for others impacted by those transgressions; and

WHEREAS, To ignore or minimize the presence of sin and thereby excuse or deny the presence of that sin is antithetical and disobedient to the corporate call to holiness among the people of God (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:15–16); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, repudiate in the strongest terms any behavior that would compromise the New Testament standard of a ministry leader’s absolute holiness and requirement to be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 9–10); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call upon pastors, ministry leaders, entity leaders, and denominational representatives to pursue moral and sexual purity in all relationships before God and with others and to guard their life and doctrine scrupulously, even as all believers should seek the same standards for themselves; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we appeal to Matthew 18:6–17 in exhorting churches to exercise appropriate redemptive church discipline for addressing the sin of ministry leaders, seeking to extend restorative grace (Galatians 6:1), knowing that we are all equally susceptible to the pull of sin (1 Corinthians 10:12); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we covenant one with another to recommit ourselves to confession, repentance, and contrition, and to mortify sin in our own hearts and in our churches; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That having humbled ourselves before the Lord and the watching world, with full consciousness of the judgment of God (2 Corinthians 5:10), we will return to the Great Commission work before us with newfound fervor and purpose, and we will not allow ourselves, our ministries, or our Convention to lose sight of the great and glorious task before us: the fulfillment of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ through the upbuilding of churches, the discipling of the sheep, and the unflagging evangelization of the lost.