Here’s some inside baseball for all you fellow Southern Baptists out there. This summer at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, messengers will likely have the opportunity to vote on a resolution calling for integrity in church membership. What that means, in short, is that there’s likely to be a resolution calling on Southern Baptists to keep their membership limited to those who are regenerate.
I won’t be at the Convention in Indianapolis this summer and unfortunately won’t be able to cast a vote. Readers may remember that I spoke in favor of Tom Ascol’s resolution last year and even interviewed him about it in advance of the Convention on “Jerry Johnson Live.” You can listen to that interview below:[audio:https://www.dennyburk.com/JJL/2007_05_31.mp3]
I wrote here about my disappointment that the 2007 Convention declined to consider Dr. Ascol’s resolution. I thought it was a mistake, as did Dr. Mark Dever when the same motion failed in 2006.
Even though SBC messengers have declined to consider Ascol’s resolution for the past two years, it appears that there’s some momentum building for something like it to come before the convention this year. At present, there are three proposed resolutions calling for integrity in church membership. Jerry Pierce has written an outstanding piece for the Southern Baptist Texan that summarizes the three resolutions and the differences between them: “Pastors offer regenerate membership resolutions for SBC.“ For anyone who will be representing their church at the convention this summer, Pierce’s article is a must-read (the Texan‘s historical overview gives some helpful info as well).
Here are links to two of the resolutions:
I think Malcolm Yarnell is also offering a resolution on church membership as well. Ascol doesn’t think it says enough, however. See http://www.founders.org/blog/2008/04/2008-resolution-on-integrity-in-church.html.
BTW, have you read Dockery’s Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal?
Yarnell’s is Barber’s–they’re offering it together.
Malcolm’s resolution is mine in about the same way that my salvation is mine: Although I am not the author of it, I have benefited from it greatly, and I am enthusiastic about recommending it to others!