ST. LOUIS (BP) — Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention proposed 22 motions, the most since 2010. Ten motions were referred to convention entities for further study and for a report at the 2017 SBC meeting in Phoenix.
The Committee on Order of Business automatically referred three motions to SBC entities and/or the Executive Committee:
— A motion by Lonnie Wilkey of Tulip Grove Baptist Church, Old Hickory, Tenn., to ask trustees of all SBC entities to consider examining their media policies, and if they do not have clearly defined guidelines, to consider establishing a policy that trustee and committee meetings be open to the public. The motion was referred to the Executive Committee and all SBC entities.
— A motion by Victoria Gurgone of Peace Church, Wilson, N.C., for the Executive Committee to consider adding a “veteran” and/or “active duty” option on the online registration form, as well as adding “veteran” and/or “active duty” to SBC name badges. The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.
— A motion by Graham Weaver of Lenexa Baptist Church, Lenexa, Kan., to encourage SBC presidents past and present through LifeWay Christian Resources to write their memoirs. The motion was referred to LifeWay Christian Resources.
Messengers approved the referral of six motions to the Executive Committee:
— A motion by Steve Bailey of Calvary Baptist Church, Osceola, Ark., for the SBC amend its bylaws to require all nomination speeches for officers of the SBC to include the percentage of Cooperative Program gifts given by the nominee’s church. The motion was referred to the Executive Committee.
— A motion by Richard Spring of First Baptist Church, Hesperia, Calif., to amend the SBC constitution to add the affirmation, approval or endorsement of racial discrimination as a criteria by which churches would be deemed to be not in cooperation with the convention.
— A motion by Andy Perryman of First Baptist Church, Washington, Ga., to amend the SBC constitution to make intentional cooperation with a state convention and a local association criteria by which a church is deemed to be in friendly cooperation with the SBC.
— A motion by Steve Taylor of Northeast Park Baptist Church, Evansville, Ind., for the Executive Committee to study the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 article on faith, “as the definition of faith given is lacking the idea of belief, but describes faith as ‘a personal commitment of the entire personality.'”
— A motion by Ed Stetzer of Grace Church, Gallatin, Tenn., for the Executive Committee to study the possibility of the SBC affiliating with the National Association of Evangelicals and to report its findings at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix.
— A motion by Doug Hibbard of East End Baptist Church, East End, Ark., for the Executive Committee to consider amending the SBC bylaws to require all amendments to the report of the Committee on Nominations within 45 days of the annual meeting be published no later than seven days before the annual meeting.
Messengers approved the referral of one motion to the Committee on Order of Business:
— A motion by John Boquist of Cardinal Baptist Church, Ruther Glen, Va., that the Committee on Order of Business, when planning the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention, be advised to allot more than one hour and 14 minutes for the reports and presentations of the North American and International Mission Boards.
Twelve motions were ruled not in order by the Committee on Order of Business because they sought to direct, rather than request, the work of SBC entities:
— A motion by Benjamin Hedrick of Immanuel Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky., for LifeWay Christian Resources to consider developing and deploying material to help churches respond missionally to refugees.
— A motion by David Roberts of Sunrise Baptist Church, Midland, Mich., for the North American Mission Board, International Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources to study the possibility of working together or separately to fund campus ministries and/or campus ministers, particularly in areas underserved by Southern Baptists.
— A motion by Benjamin Hedrick of Immanuel Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky., for Southern Baptist seminaries to consider and investigate programs, courses and other methods to equip students for mercy ministry and evangelistic outreach to refugees.
— A motion by Steve Wolverton of Canton Baptist Church, Baltimore, for the Executive Committee and North American Mission Board trustees to call for an independent outside review of NAMB’s actions toward state conventions, in particular, the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network.
One motion was ruled out of order because it was presented in the form of a resolution:
— A motion by Richard Sandberg of First Baptist Church, Springfield, La., for the Southern Baptist Convention to reaffirm Article 12 of the Baptist Faith and Message, “asserting our belief in and unwavering support for the inalienable right of religious freedom for all.”
Seven motions were ruled out of order because they proposed that the convention exercise authority beyond that of the SBC or messengers:
— A motion by Joel Breidenbaugh of First Baptist Church Sweetwater, Longwood, Fla., for the Southern Baptist Convention to combine the work of the International and North American Mission Boards to one global mission board, with North America as one region of the world.
— A motion by John Wofford of Armorel Baptist Church, Armorel, Ark., that all Southern Baptist officials or officers who support the rights of Muslims to build mosques in the U.S. be immediately removed from their position within the SBC.
— A motion by Jerry Moss of South County Baptist Church, St. Louis, that the Southern Baptist Convention withdraw its friend of the court brief in the case of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge vs. Township of Bernard, New Jersey. (Committee on Order of Business chairman Andrew Hebert clarified during the business session Wednesday morning that the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission filed the brief in question.)
—- A motion by Gus Rocha of Bartlett Baptist Church, Bartlett, Tenn., that a committee be appointed to pray and fast for truth and godliness to be preached and modeled by our leaders, and to study how truth and godly living are taught through Southern Baptist curriculum provided by LifeWay Christian Resources.
— A motion by Gus Rocha of Bartlett Baptist Church, Bartlett, Tenn., that a committee be appointed to study the effectiveness of the North American Mission Board’s Send Relief and other partnerships of SBC entities and government or secular agencies.
— A motion by Paul Fries of Blue River Valley Church, Muscoda, Wis., for the Executive Committee to amend the SBC bylaws to grant representation to areas not currently represented on the Executive Committee, Committee on Committees, and Committee on Nominations.
— A motion by Michael Elsey of Ontwa Baptist Church, Edwardsburg, Mich., for the Executive Committee to appoint a study group to consider giving existing camps and conference centers affiliated with Baptist state conventions a one-time payout from Cooperative Program funds for the purpose of establishing endowments or developing physical properties.