Resolutions give convention messengers an opportunity to express a consensus statement on timely public issues, or to speak prophetically regarding issues of specific interest to Southern Baptist churches. Any member of an SBTC church may submit a resolution to the resolutions committee. The committee will consider submitted resolutions and produce a report to convention messengers for their consideration.
What Does a Southern Baptist “Resolution” Mean?
Every year, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, and those to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, approve resolutions that express their opinions on diverse timely issues. Here is what those resolutions do for us:
1) First, we should note that these resolutions are not binding on the convention or its churches. They are opinions, not motions or bylaws.
2) They are a witness to the world, media and government leaders on how we apply the biblical witness to current issues.
3) They are counsel to the ministries supported by our denomination in some cases. Although not binding, they help our leaders to hear what churches and members think.
4) They can be precursors or a spur to binding action. The Southern Baptist Convention’s official commitment to the sanctity of life began as a resolution at an SBC annual meeting. Some aspects of our Baptist Faith and Message were also foreshadowed by earlier resolutions.
So you see that the opinions expressed through resolutions by the messengers voting at a particular Southern Baptist meeting can be useful, even without binding authority. Their authority is often moral and might influence though cannot direct the decisions of autonomous Southern Baptist churches; but they are still an important way for our churches, through their messengers, to be salt, light and encouragement to all our audiences, within and outside our fellowship.