The Southern Baptist Convention officially acknowledged its come-to-Jesus moment by passing resolutions at its annual meeting on Tuesday (6/12). All this coming as leaders of America’s largest Protestant denomination aim for better responses to sexism and abuse.
The #MeToo movement’s spotlight on sexism and abuse, which began as revelations in the entertainment industry, now includes a sharp focus on the Christian community as a whole.
Among the 16 resolutions passed by the SBC delegation in Dallas were measures acknowledging women’s involvement in the SBC, condemning abuse, and upholding the dignity of ministers, Christianity Today reported.
Although the resolutions addressed women and the climate of sexual misconduct, they did not contain the exact language proposed by Jason K. Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. CT said that the adopted resolutions similarly stated:
We deplore, apologize, and ask forgiveness for failures to protect the abused, failures that have occurred in evangelical churches and ministries, including such failures within our own denomination.
Biblical headship blesses, honors, and protects wives and children and does not require them to submit to sin or to abuse.
We call upon pastors, ministry leaders, entity leaders, and denominational representatives to pursue moral and sexual purity in all relationships before God and with others and to guard their life and doctrine scrupulously.
“Especially as we reel from events of recent days, the value of women inside the SBC needs to be proclaimed from the biggest stages we’ve got,” Sarah Short, who’s attending the meeting from the Summit Church in North Carolina (Her pastor, J. D. Greear was elected SBC president, also on Tuesday), told CT. “Our brightest and most revered leaders need to say it with their mouths and our convention needs to adopt it as a resolution. It’s time.”