NASHVILLE — Ongoing discussion of a federal court case concerning religious liberty for Muslims has prompted the resignation of an International Mission Board trustee and a revision of the IMB’s process for submitting friend of the court briefs.
Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Church in Morristown, resigned from the IMB trustee board in November based on his conviction the IMB should not have joined a friend of the court brief last May supporting the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, N.J., (ISBR) in its religious discrimination lawsuit against a local planning board. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission also joined the brief.
Tennessee’s Baptist and Reflector newsjournal reported Haun’s resignation on its website Jan. 23 and in the Jan. 25 print issue. At least five other Baptist state papers published the report.
Amid continuing discussion, IMB President David Platt released a statement to Baptist Press noting, “As a result of discussions among IMB trustees and staff over recent months, we have revised our processes for our legal department filing any future amicus briefs. IMB leaders are committed in the days ahead to speak only into situations that are directly tied to our mission.”
The Baptist and Reflector asked the IMB about the differences in the old and new policy but was told the IMB did not “have any information to share about the internal policies.”