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June 24, 2009

Southern Baptists Express `Pride' in Obama's Election

Southern Baptists on Wednesday overwhelmingly expressed their "pride" in President Obama's election as the nation's first African-American president while also criticizing his policies that they oppose.

The resolution, adopted at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., said Baptists "share our nation's pride in our continuing progress toward racial reconciliation signaled by the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America."

The statement also commended Obama for his "evident love for his family" and retention of security policies that "continue to keep our nation safe from further terrorist attacks."

At the same time, Baptists voiced strong opposition to his expansion of federal funding "for destructive human embryo research," increased "funding for pro-abortion groups" and a reduction of abstinence-education funding. The resolution also opposed Obama's declaration of June as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month."


Despite their differences with Obama, delegates nonetheless committed to "join hands" with the White House "to advance causes of justice insofar as those efforts are consistent with biblical principles."

The Rev. Dwight McKissic, a black pastor from Arlington, Texas, who proposed the resolution, hailed its passage as a milestone of racial progress for Southern Baptists, who trace their roots to the national divide over slavery that split many U.S. denominations into Northern and Southern branches.

"I think it was important to all African-American Southern Baptists," said McKissic, who voted for Republican John McCain last year. "To me, it's a great step toward Southern Baptists having a more effective ministry in the African-American community. ... I'm proud of Southern Baptists today."

In 1995, Southern Baptists passed a resolution apologizing to African-Americans for condoning racism and committed to work to eradicate it within the denomination.

SBC President Johnny Hunt prayed for Obama immediately after the resolution passed.

"I pray your blessings upon our president," said Hunt, who was re-elected to a second one-year term on Tuesday. "I pray that you would so work in his heart that you would draw him to yourself and make him overwhelmingly aware of who you are."

The annual two-day meeting, which was attended by more than 8,700 Baptists, has been overshadowed by concerns about baptism rates, which are at their lowest in more than two decades. On Tuesday, delegates voted to let Hunt appoint a task force to determine ways to refocus every level of the nation's largest Protestant denomination on evangelism.

As the convention opened Tuesday, Southern Baptist researchers predicted that the SBC could lose almost half its membership by 2050 if it did not do more to change its mostly white, aging image.

Baptists also passed a resolution encouraging fellow members to consider and support adoption, and a statement that affirms marriage as only between one man and one woman, while decrying recent action by state legislatures to "redefine marriage."

Hunt co-authored the "Great Commission Resurgence" declaration in an effort to turn the denomination around. It calls for maintaining Baptist belief in an error-proof Bible and the principles that undergird the conservative resurgence that began in the denomination 30 years ago. It also calls for streamlining the church's work and openness to new ways
of starting churches and mission work.

While some older leaders argued that a task force to study Hunt's plan would be a waste of time and money, the initiative seemed to capture the imagination of younger Baptists.

"This Great Commission Resurgence is something that we as young pastors can get behind and support," said Jarrett Stephens, associate pastor for young singles of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.

It also drew the support of Billy Graham, one of the oldest and most well-known Southern Baptists, who sent a handwritten note to his South Carolina pastor that was read to the convention on Wednesday.

"I ... read with interest the call to a Great Commission Resurgence for our convention," wrote Graham, 90. "With a world in crisis and our nation in challenge such of which we have not seen in decades, the clear and certain proclamation of the gospel is paramount. I pray that ... Southern Baptists will rally to the bold call of evangelism for this
hour."

Comments

I think this shows great character, to praise certain good aspects of Obama, while bringing to attention other aspects, such as his entire political policy and agenda.

Their praise of Obama shows many things about their state of salvation and their ignorance.

Reconcile: 1.to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.
2.to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
3.to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent: to reconcile differing statements; to reconcile accounts.

Gregory Peterson's comment is nonsense. The idea of racial reconciliation is not opposed to civil rights, in fact it even goes beyond it. All races have full civil rights today, but if there are people of different races who still don't get along or have much to do with each other (outside the scope of law or government), they aren't yet reconciled. There's no justification for Peterson's unreasonable tirade over a praiseworthy action.

You have got to be kidding!! Race has nothing to with our outrage at this president, how can you speak out of one side of your mouth and say you disagree with killing babies but agree with him keeping our country safe. Quantanamo Bay???? Reduction in military presance in Iraq, Afganastan ???

The white house spoke out against killing an abortion dr( by the way I do not agree with his killing and I belive the person who did this should be brought to trial) however the white house did not speak out againt a radical muslim that shot 2 american soldiers, killed one. Mr Obama gained everything he has from a county that opens doors to anyone who wants to try and yet he is trying to destroy the very thing that made him who he is. WHY?

The Southern Baptist need to take a better look at the man and what he stands for and not the color of his skin.

The nonsense begins when, without justification, you say that reconciliation implies a previous race relations golden age, which is why I cited the definitions.

A murderer and his victim's family can be reconciled. That doesn't mean that there was ever a right or equal relationship between them before- there may have been no relationship whatsoever.

Racial reconciliation = having races be brought into a right relationship (NOT a return to pre-civil rights days). I don't see how you can say that supporting that is racist. Wanting to solve a problem in no way says that problem didn't and doesn't still exist.

And by simple definition, racism can't be about something other than race.

I for one grew up in an SBC church in the South that was on record opposing slavery well before the country abolished slavery. Slaves were admitted as members and buried in the same cemetery as the white members. True this was unique among many churches in the South, SBC, Methodist, Presbyterian or anyone else. However, all the ranting about institutional bigotry is a load of barnyard fertilizer. Being apart of SBC ministries, I've worked in the inner cities of places like Oakland, been apart of hispanic SBC churches. In fact today you would be hard pressed to find a more ethnically diverse denomination.

Now for the rant about bigotry and hatred of homosexuals. First to equate homosexuality with racism is intellectually inept at best. Never is a persons color of skin condemned in the Bible. However, Old Testament and New Testament scriptures condemn homosexuality as a sin. As Southern Baptist we read the bible and let God use the bible to interpret social issues for us. If something is called a sin in the bible we must accept it and change ourselves and call others to repentance. Yes, we believe homosexuality is a sin because it is defined as such in the scriptures. We refuse to let shifting social attitudes interpret scripture for us. If we allowed social attitudes to interpret scripture then my home church would have been on the wrong side of the slavery issue.

You are correct many people did argue the curse of Ham to sooth their conscience of an engrained bigotry. However, the argument that "legitimate scholarly circles" is referring to idolatrous activity doesn't hold much water with serious bible students. If a person chooses to believe that God didn't give us a bible free of errors and it's all up to our own individual interpretation then there's not much point in continuing the discussion because interpretations will change. As a guy that lived in San Francisco for many years I am very familiar with what homosexuality is an isn't. It amazes me that every time someone says that homosexuality is a sin they are considered to be displaying hatred of some sort. My son has lied to me three times today, and I corrected him and told him it was a sin. However, my love for him didn't change. I'm not into biblio-idolatry. I simply believe the Bible is God's Word and that God is powerful enough to deliver the message that he intended without error. That may not place me in some peoples "legitimate scholarly circles" but I never liked running around in circles. You get tired and you've gone no where.

Paul in 2Tim 3:16 said” All scripture is given by inspiration of God…”

Clearly this isn’t true. And a simple analysis will show you this. For example, all of Paul’s writings were simply letters written to different people. They were not in any shape or form considered scriptures until canonized. And canonization doesn’t make them God inspired. Even Paul said in 1Cor 7:5 that he was given his opinion and that what he was saying was not inspired from God.

2 Tim 4:19-21: " Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Do your best to get here before winter." Doesn't sound like inspired words from God to me. Instead simply a man writing a letter to a friend.

Further John 14:13-14 Jesus said “ And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. You and I know clearly this isn’t quite the case.

John 3:13. "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” This is not quite true is it? For the bible clearly says that Elijah and Enoch both ascended into heaven.

Then we have the issue with Paul, Peter, John and James all stating that the Lord’s return was imminent even right at hand. It’s been 2000 years later…and still nothing. If this was inspired by God then God made a mistake. And God making a mistake doesn’t work for me. So the only other alternative is...
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Dwight: “…If a person chooses to believe that God didn't give us a bible free of errors and it's all up to our own individual interpretation then there's not much point in continuing the discussion because interpretations will change…”

Because Gregory Peterson

If people can get you to buy into the claim that the bible is the inerrant word of God and if it is sola scriptura; then all the crap that it has been used for and continue to be used for can be laid squarely at the feet of God. After all He would have been the one who said so. And after all they are only carrying out his mandates - they would argue.

Why can't people get their facts straight? Obama is NOT African-American or black; he is mulatto. That is, half black and HALF WHITE!

Because Peter

White America came up with the rule that if you have one drop of black blood you are black. Have you never heard of the 1/16 rule?
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Why can't people get their facts straight? Obama is NOT African-American or black; he is mulatto. That is, half black and HALF WHITE!

Hello,
Thank you. It is really nice information. It can be fun to discover that I'm wrong...it's a good challenge to find something more reliable.

Southern Baptists Express is make good media role in election and doing their best in election and get pride award for that.Obama was gave great speech when he was won and we have to make pride for them.