By Jennifer Davis Rash
The Baptist Paper
Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Anaheim came to do business and even lined up at microphones before the opening session began at 8 a.m.
The first opportunity to present motions came at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time and 23 were presented before time ran out.
Among motions presented several dealt with transparency concerns related to the Executive Committee, North American Mission Board and Southeastern Seminary. Another called for abolishing the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and one called for a study related to how best to structure Baptist Press as the convention’s news service. A request for publicizing the salary structures of all leaders of SBC entities and groups was proposed and suggests following similar patterns as public institutions.
Motions for studies
Motions also called for studying the proper role of messengers in relation to the responsibility of boards of trustees and for Southern Seminary to study a request to remove the name of anyone listed on buildings, academic programs, scholarships, etc., associated with the seminary who participated in slavery.
Other topics included women pastors, Israel, providing a way to participate as a messenger if not onsite, boycotting Disney corporation and suspending the tradition of resolutions in the SBC “as a means of promoting unity.”
Also included was a motion from Toby Brodgen, pastor of First Baptist Church, Calhoun. He moved that “the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to take the necessary steps that all cooperating SBC churches have the opportunity, regardless of size or financial constraints, to have a voice and vote at the 2023 SBC, to be held in New Orleans, La., by utilizing existing technologies to allow all registered messengers to vote on all matters presented to the messengers physically present at the convention in New Orleans.”
Also proposed was a motion calling for studying the effect waiving attorney-client privilege by the EC during the sexual abuse investigation has had on the SBC and for Lifeway to produce and provide materials to give positive biblical teaching on the covenant sign of rainbow.
Ruled out of order
Of the 23 motions, only one was ruled out of order because of timing. It asked for a resolution to be reported out of committee but that request can only come after the Resolutions Committee report, so it was suggested the messenger reintroduce his motion at that time if time allows.
More details will follow on the motions, and messengers will have a second opportunity to propose motions this afternoon at 4:55 Pacific time. B&R