NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Three motions advocating ministry outreach to homosexuals and three motions proposing amendments to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message were among the 26 motions made by messengers to the 2000 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 12-13 in New Orleans.
The three motions proposing amendments to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message reached the convention floor for a vote but were defeated by large margins. The other 23 motions were referred to convention entities or ruled out of order.
Motions are requests by messengers for specific action by the SBC or its entities.
Three motions advocating ministry outreach to homosexuals were referred to convention entities. A motion by Robert Stith of Southlake, Texas, asked for a task force to be established to launch a redemptive outreach to homosexuals. It was referred to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and LifeWay Christian Resources.
A motion by Tim Wilkins of Lake Forest, N.C., asking seminaries to train students to reach homosexuals for Christ was referred to the six Southern Baptist seminaries.
Referred to the North American Mission Board was a motion from Terri Brown of West Monroe, La., asking for ministry resources for parents whose children are struggling with homosexuality.
Three motions related to homosexual issues were ruled out of order. A motion by Gary Rucker of Largo, Fla., asked Southern Baptist agencies and speakers to use the phrase “those who are living a homosexual lifestyle” instead of “homosexual” because it references a created state of being.
The motion was ruled out of order because agency trustees and boards determine its terminology, and specifying speech for future speakers would require a bylaw change, said Jerry Johnson, chairman of the Committee on Order of Business.
A motion made by Randy Thomas of Southlake, Texas, also was ruled out of order that encouraged inviting a former homosexual to share his or her testimony during the 2002 SBC meeting.
Wiley Drake of Buena Park, Calif., made a motion concerning homosexuality that was ruled out of order and referred to the Committee on Resolutions. He asked that the SBC president send a letter of commendation to President George W. Bush for not proclaiming June as Gay Pride Month and ask Bush to instead proclaim June as “Heterosexual Family Pride Month.”
The three motions that attempted to amend the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message were requests:
— That “the criterion by which Scripture is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ” be added to Article 1 of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.” The motion was made by Tony Woodell of Little Rock, Ark.
— That the word “religious” be stricken from the statement in Article 1 of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message that reads “the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.” Steve Barrett of Waseca, Minn., made the motion.
— That the phrase, “informed by the Holy Scripture,” be added to Article 8 of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message concerning observance of the Lord’s Day. The motion was made by Fred Malone of Clinton, La.
Referred to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission was a motion that the commission oppose President Bush’s faith-based ministries plan, made by Loren Hutchinson of Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Hutchinson moved that messengers vote to overturn the Committee on Order of Business’s decision to refer the motion to the commission, citing the time-sensitive nature of the issue. The motion failed to receive a two-thirds vote needed to overturn the referral.
Wiley Drake made a motion that the SBC president appoint a committee to study ways to help local churches which want to participate in faith-based programs. It was referred to the ERLC and the North American Mission Board.
A motion from Rick Dominic of Fort Towson, Okla., referred to the North American and International Mission boards requested that the mission boards change their missionary appointment policies to allow people to serve who have been divorced for biblical reasons.
Three motions referred to the Executive Committee asked that:
— There be a feasibility study on combining Golden Gate and Midwestern Baptist Theological seminaries, establishing a main campus in another state and maintaining extension centers in California and Missouri, made by Calvin Wittman of Wheat Ridge, Colo.
— Doctoral study grants be provided to African Americans seeking teaching or writing careers within the Southern Baptist Convention, made by Kevin Smith of Chattanooga, Tenn.
— A report be conducted on the history of each cooperating state convention’s distribution of Cooperative Program dollars, made by Richard Powell of Fort Myers, Fla.
Motions referred to the North American Mission Board asked that:
— The Chaplains Commission of the North American Mission Board stop endorsing women as chaplains because the office contains “pastoral and spiritual authority,” made by William Blosch of Dunedin, Fla.
— A committee be appointed to study the availability of resources for bivocational ministers and form a website that offers those resources, made by Richard Boswell of Fort Worth, Texas.
— The SBC establish a missions awareness program similar to Acteens for teenage boys, made by Keith Hynds of Birmingham, Ala.
Referred to the International Mission Board was a motion that the IMB ask current missionaries and staff of managerial salary level status to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement. The motion was made by Ron Wilson of Thousand Oaks, Calif.
A motion by Bill Tweeddale of Melbourne, Fla., that colleges endorsed by the SBC require their staff and trustees to sign a statement of biblical inerrancy was referred to Southern, New Orleans and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries.
Those three seminaries have undergraduate colleges, said Jerry Johnson, chairman of the Committee on Order of Business. State Baptist colleges would not apply to the motion, Johnson said, because they are the property of state conventions and not under the direct authority of the SBC.
A motion referred to the Annuity Board requested that a plan be created to enable smaller churches to participate in group insurance offered through the Annuity Board. It was made by Tim Rogers of West Columbia, S.C.
Referred to LifeWay Christian Resources was a motion that a video or video series be produced on the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, with emphasis on the conservative resurgence. The motion was made by Paul Blizard of Beckley, W.Va.
Ruled out of order were motions that:
— The SBC give local Baptist associations the authority to use correctional measures for churches that do not observe the tenets of the Baptist Faith and Message or the Bible. Christopher Hughes of Toomsboro, Ga., made the motion. The motion was ruled out of order because it would infringe on other Baptist bodies according to Article 4 of the SBC constitution, said Jerry Johnson, chairman of the Committee on Order of Business.
— The criteria for serving as a trustee or committee member during an SBC annual meeting is to be an appointed messenger to that convention meeting, made by Jeff Johnson of Portland, Ore. It was ruled out of order because it would require a bylaw change, said chairman Jerry Johnson.
— Convention messengers commend Tommy French, president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, for promoting the Cooperative Program in a year-long emphasis. The motion was made by Roy Davis of Shreveport, La.
It was ruled out of order as a resolution but time had passed for it to be referred to the Resolutions Committee, Johnson said.
— Instructed inclusion of more platform personalities from the Northeast United States during SBC annual meetings, made by William Miller of La Plata, Md.