Messengers adopted three additional resolutions as the final business session of the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans drew to a close on June 14.
A total of nine resolutions were brought forward by the Resolutions Committee for consideration. (Read more about the resolutions adopted on June 13 here.) Two additional resolutions proposed from the convention floor, one dealing with women in pastoral ministry and another decrying the evils of pedophilia, failed to get the necessary votes to be considered by messengers.
Resolutions No. 7 through No. 9 were adopted without changes to the proposed text. Messengers did not vote in favor of efforts to amend the committee’s wording of Resolutions No. 7, “On Christ’s Sole Lordship Over Every Human Conscience,” and No. 8, “On Opposing ‘Gender Transitions.”
Resolution No. 9 expressed appreciation to the city of New Orleans for hosting the annual meeting.
Upon adoption of Resolution No. 3, “On Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies,” the Southern Baptist Convention became the first national denomination to pass a definitive statement on the ethics of artificial intelligence, according to a spokesperson for the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Brent Leatherwood, ERLC president, said the resolution will become the cornerstone of the ERLC’s advocacy on the issue.
“Our resolutions committee deserves all the appreciation we can muster for crafting this first-of-its-kind resolution for any denomination or network of churches,” Leatherwood said. “Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic, both in Washington and on the international stage. This resolution comes at an opportune time and proves once again that even when it comes to the leading edge of emerging technologies, the Bible, as always, gives us principles to guide us in uncharted waters.”
Regarding Resolution No. 4, “On Wisely Engaging Immigration,” Leatherwood said, “Our convention of churches has consistently called for a secure border and for immigrants to be treated with dignity. This resolution once again asserts our commitment to these twin principles that should never be pitted against one another. It rightly calls on our nation’s officials to come together and create solutions to solve our immigration crisis.”
And regarding Resolution No. 8, “On Opposing ‘Gender Transitions,’” Leatherwood said, “As the Baptist Faith and Message states, gender is a gift and is an essential part of the ‘goodness of God’s creation.’ It is not fluid, self-defined or subject to the whims of a prevailing culture at odds with biological reality. This resolution rightly affirms those state governments that have taken steps to protect children from becoming pawns in the sexual revolution through harmful interventions and surgeries. At the same time, it confirms the SBC will continue to be a strong voice advocating against these exploitative efforts that render far too many children and young people vulnerable.”
The text of the adoptions approved on June 14 can be found here.