This week the Baptist General Convention of Texas went on record again about its historic position on sexual ethics and the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. There are those who question why does the convention need to keep saying where they stand over and over again.
From my perspective there are a number of reasons:
- Our society continues to be bombarded with an onslaught of messages suggesting that the historic and biblical standards of the Bible in the area of sexual ethics are outdated and irrelevant. This especially true in the area related to homosexual behavior. The Bible clearly defines homosexual behavior as sinful, yet today there are many who claim it is normal and healthy behavior. In this kind of environment it is important that people of faith stay in the conversation. This is one of the great debates of our society and we cannot be silent on the matter. Please note, my emphasis on behavior not being. In my book, what we do does not define who we are.
- The BGCT needed to clearly restate its position in light of the Southern Baptist Convention’s actions against Broadway Baptist Church of Fort Worth. There were many churches and leaders questioning whether the BGCT had wandered from its historic roots, especially since so many of its conservative churches left to form another convention in Texas. It was important that the BGCT reaffirm its commitment to biblical truth and morality.
- Finally the BGCT needed to restate its position for this generation of leaders, because every generation needs to affirm for itself where it stands in light of the rapidly changing world we serve in.
I affirm the resolution and the efforts made by the BGCT leadership to state clearly where it stands in this great debate over sexual ethics.
Below is the resolution affirmed in Houston:
Whereas the resolution of sexual values adopted by the 1992 annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas upheld a biblically grounded “sexual ethic of fidelity in marriage and abstinence outside of marriage”; and
Whereas the 2005 annual meeting reaffirmed this resolution because “society continues to be plagued by sexual values and practices which are both harmful to humanity and unfaithful to God”; and
Whereas the 1996 annual meeting adopted a report stating the “Bible teaches that the ideal for sexual behavior is the marital union between sexual relations — whether premarital, extramarital, or homosexual — are contrary to God’s purposes and thus sinful”; and
Whereas the 1982 annual meeting adopted a resolution stating that “homosexual lifestyle is not normal or acceptable in God’s sight and is indeed called sin”;
Be it therefore resolved that we maintain the consistent position of past convention statements and actions which affirm the biblical sexual ethic of fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, and also affirm the biblical image of marriage as the union before God between a man and a woman (Genesis 1:24); and
Be it further resolved with the 1992 resolution that we “encourage all persons to uphold a lifestyle of biblical sexual values” and “affirm that the gospel provides forgiveness and restoration for all persons through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ”; and
Be if finally resolved with the 1998 Executive Board statement that “churches should seek to minister to all persons” and that “the love of God embraces all persons and instructs all Christians to share God’s love with others.”