Messengers pass resolutions on DOMA court ruling, Boy Scouts policy change overwhelmingly expressed dismay

KANSAS CITY – Reaffirming traditional marriage and lamenting changes in Boy Scout membership requirements were hot topics in resolutions passed by messengers at the 2013 Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) annual meeting Oct. 30.

Resolution 2, on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), blasted the June ruling that federally recognized same-sex “marriage.” “… Redefining the concept and legality of marriage to mean anything other than the union between one man and one woman would fundamentally undermine the historic and biblical foundation of a healthy society” and “equating same-sex ‘marriage’ relationships with heterosexual marriage creates a host of religious liberty and freedom of conscience issues,” the resolution reads in part.

It encouraged churches to make marriage convictions clear in confessions of faith and adjust wedding policies, asked pastors to speak biblically on the subject and reminded MBC churches to continue to evangelize and love “all people regardless of their perceived sexual identity and/or sexual orientation, praying that God will bring all into a saving knowledge” of Jesus.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution 3, on the Change in Membership Policy of the Boy Scouts of America, expressed disappointment that the Boy Scouts this spring changed their membership policy to allow openly homosexual members. It encouraged churches and families that choose to remain in the Boy Scouts to seek to impact members with the gospel, and asked churches and families that do sever ties not abandon ministry to boys and young men.

The resolution passed overwhelmingly with perhaps a dozen in opposition. Brad Haines, a messenger from First Baptist, Grandview, opposed the resolution saying it did not go far enough and had “no teeth.”

Messengers also unanimously passed:

Resolution 4: Redoubling support for moving to a 50/50 split of Cooperative Program funds in Missouri and Southern Baptist Convention-wide.

Resolution 1: Expressing courtesy appreciation to MBC executive board officers and staff, the local arrangements committee and the staff of Blue River-Kansas City Baptist Association and the Sheraton Hotel.

Brad Russell, a messenger from First Baptist, Arnold, served as chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, which guided the disposition of resolutions during the annual meeting. He was joined on the committee by Allen Calkins, First Baptist Church, Gray Summit; Jason Fleenor, Stoutsville Baptist Church; Ken Lake, Camp Branch Baptist Church, Sedalia; and Russell Meek, Northland Baptist Church, Kansas City.