Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Southern Baptist Convention resolution on President Obama

I am in Louisville, Kentucky, attending the Southern Baptist Convention. Today we passed a resolution on President Obama. My guess is that the media may distort this resolution, so let me include a summary of it here.
The resolution makes several positive statements about the president, then explains about which we disagree, and concludes with a promise to pray for the president.
Here is a summary of the long resolution.
The first "resolved" paragraph says we "share our nation's pride in our continuing progress toward racial reconciliation" by electing a black president.
The second paragraph commends the president "for his evident love for his family" and commitment to his wife and spending time with his daughters.
The third paragraph commends the president for retaining "foreign policies that continue to keep our nation safe from further terrorist attacks."
Then the resolution shifts from praise to caution, calling on the president to "keep intact" our strong military, and then it begins to list ways that we disagree with the president.
The fifth paragraph deplores the president's decision to "expand federal funding for destructive human embro research."
The sixth paragraph decries the president's decision to "increase funding for pro-abortion groups and to reduce funding for abstinence education."
The seventh paragraph oppose the president's determination to "strip pro-life health care professions of their conscience protections" by punishing them for refusing to do abortions.
The eighth paragraph urges the president to nominate "strict constructionist judges."
The ninth paragraph strongly protests "any effort by the President or his administration to eradicate the symbols of our nation's historic Judeo-Christian faith from public or private venues."
The tenth paragraph pledges to earnestly pray for the president in obedience to 1 Timothy 2:1-2, saying we would pray that he promotes "liberty and justice for all people, including the unborn."
The final paragraph says "we will join hands with President Obama and his administration to advance causes of justice insofar as those efforts are consistent with biblical principles."

It's a bold resolution, but on the whole, I like it. It lays out the moral issues upon which we disagree with the president's policies, while commending him where he has done well, and pledging to pray for him. After adoption of the resolution, the convention stopped to have a special time of prayer for God's blessing and wisdom upon President Obama.
Some people may criticize the Southern Baptist Convention for this resolution, but I believe we have a right and responsibility to speak out on moral issues, and I think it was an accurate Biblical evaluation of the president's administration thus far.

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