NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The 12-paragraph resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee Sept. 19 regarding the SBC’s Cooperative Program relationship with the Baptist General Convention of Texas states:
RESOLUTION ON THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION AND THE BAPTIST GENERAL CONVENTION OF TEXAS.
WHEREAS, For 75 years the Southern Baptist Convention, for reasons of economy, efficiency, and cooperation, has recognized the state Baptist conventions as the trusted agents for the collection of Southern Baptist Convention funding from the churches; and
WHEREAS, This arrangement, as delineated in the “RELATION OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION TO OTHER BAPTIST BODIES” (adopted at the 1928 Southern Baptist Convention), has served both the Southern Baptist Convention and the state conventions well without violating the principle of autonomy and self-determination of the various conventions; and
WHEREAS, The state conventions have recognized in this arrangement that the Southern Baptist Convention “retains as inalienable and inherent the right to direct appeal to the churches”* and “in all matters other than money raising it retains complete control of its own affairs, with the right to fix its own objectives and to determine the amounts of money allocated to its various objects;” and
WHEREAS, Both state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention have followed the principle that neither has “authority to allocate funds or to divert funds from any object included in” the other’s budget; and
WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is fully supportive of all its boards, seminaries, and commissions and allocates to each the amounts it deems appropriate; and
WHEREAS, The BGCT has proposed a new allocation process which fails to fully and freely promote the collection of undesignated gifts for the Southern Baptist Convention and seeks to assign to itself the role of allocation to Southern Baptist Convention entities; and
WHEREAS, The proposal by the BGCT represents a unilateral breach of its 75 year partnership agreement as the Southern Baptist Convention’s trusted collection agent; and
WHEREAS, Such a proposal effectively destroys the Cooperative Program process between the BGCT and the Southern Baptist Convention and sets a dangerous precedent in our larger Southern Baptist work; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, September 18-19, 2000, appeals to the BGCT in its 2000 annual meeting to reject the new proposal and reaffirm the traditional Cooperative Program principles that have guided it as the Southern Baptist Convention’s collection agent and ministry partner; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptist churches in Texas be encouraged to continue to give generously their undesignated offerings to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program through the state conventions; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, while strenuously objecting to this new budget process, is eager to discuss these matters with the BGCT “with a view to complete and hearty cooperation in all matters of common interest;” and be it finally
RESOLVED, That the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention pledges to the Southern Baptist churches in Texas to provide a channel for their continued Cooperative Program support for the Southern Baptist Convention should it be demonstrated that the BGCT no longer intends to perform these functions on behalf of the SBC according to the historic agreement.
*All quotes from “RELATION OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION TO OTHER BAPTIST BODIES” (1928 SBC Annual, pp. 32-33).