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SBC statement of belief commended in Missouri convention’s resolution

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (BP)–Churches and Baptist associations are urged to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs, according to a resolution adopted by the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Also among the nine resolutions adopted during the convention’s Oct. 30-Nov. 1 annual meeting was an affirmation, “wholeheartedly and enthusiastically,” for the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ key channel of support for national and international missions and ministry.

The resolution endorsing the Baptist Faith and Message, as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in June, stated:

“Be it resolved, that we, the messengers to the 166th Annual Session of the Missouri Baptist Convention meeting affirm the 2000 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message; and

“Be it further resolved, that we, the messengers of this Convention encourage the churches and associations of the Missouri Baptist Convention to consider affirming the 2000 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message.”

In its “whereas” clauses, the resolution stated:

“Whereas, confessionals by a particular Baptist group are never binding on local churches, the Baptist Faith and Message has been the generally accepted guideline for the doctrinal position of Southern Baptist churches setting forth ‘certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified;’ and

“Whereas, the Baptist Faith and Message is a confessional statement reflecting the truth that the Bible — the 66 books of the closed canon of the Old and New Testaments — is fully inspired by God and ‘totally true and trustworthy;’ and

“Whereas, a Southern Baptist Church can only be strengthened by ‘endeavoring to state for its time and theological climate those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us.'”

The resolution affirming the Cooperative Program stated:

“Whereas the Cooperative Program has been the historic and time honored means of financially supporting the work of Southern Baptist life beyond the local church; and

“Whereas, the Cooperative Program has been mightily used of God for the purposes of missions, evangelism and education for over 75 years; and

“Whereas, the support of the Cooperative Program has helped to define who we are as Southern Baptist churches and state conventions;

“Therefore, be it resolved, that we the messengers to the 166th Annual Session of the Missouri Baptist Convention meeting in Osage Beach, Missouri, October 30-November 1, 2000 wholeheartedly and enthusiastically affirm the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program and the work of the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, the Executive Committee, the Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission and the six seminaries that it financially supports.”

Among other resolutions adopted by the convention during its sessions at Osage Beach were:

— appreciation for Woman’s Missionary Union, stating:
“Whereas, the WMU has encouraged the giving of millions of dollars to SBC mission causes; and

“Whereas, the women of WMU have trained and continue to train thousands in missions education;

“Resolved, we [messengers to the annual meeting] thank the WMU for its work on behalf of SBC missions and encourage them to continue that work; and

“Be it finally resolved, we pledge our continued prayerful support in their SBC missions work.”

— concern for the “Importance of Life Issues in the 2000 Election,” noting in part:

“Whereas, abortion is commonly practiced in our society, with infanticide (especially partial-birth infanticide) and euthanasia (including assisted suicide) becoming more common, and the rights of free citizens can never be secure if the right to life is not protected; and

“Whereas, the Chief Executives of national and state government to be elected on November 7, 2000, will appoint judges who may rule on the issues of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia for many years to come;

“Be it resolved, that [the messengers] declare that the issues of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are supreme issues of importance to be considered by voters as they weigh the various candidates on the ballot.”

A related resolution in which Missouri Baptists said they “condemn the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of RU-486 for use in the United States.”

Other resolutions focused on “Encouraging a Passion for Prayer;” support for “the fair and equitable use of capital punishment by civil magistrates as a legitimate form of punishment for those guilty of murder or treasonous acts that result in death;” and expressing sympathy to the family of the late Gov. Mel Carnahan, a Baptist layman from Rolla who was killed in a mid-October plane crash during his campaign for the U.S. Senate.