April 23, 2014
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Wednesday afternoon/morning running blog
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 12:00:00 AM

All times are Arizona time (which currently is 3 hours behind Eastern time)

5:53 p.m. -- Hundreds of messengers came forward this evening during the International Mission Board report, with their names on cards pledging they will lead their church "to embrace an unengaged, unreached people group."

Delivering his first report to messengers as president of the International Mission Board, Tom Elliff said God is moving through IMB missionaries but that it will take a movement of Southern Baptist churches to reach the world's 3,800 unreached, unengaged people groups.

The IMB has 4,969 missionaries and saw 360,876 baptisms last year, Elliff said. There were 29,237 church plants, and there are 910 people groups currently engaged. In 2010, 114 new people groups were engaged, Elliff said.

One of the evening's highlights took place when 40 international missionaries were commissioned, each taking a moment to address messengers and tell of how God had called them to take the Gospel to the nations.

"How could we wait?" one asked.

After the missionaries were commissioned, Elliff delivered a plea for churches to engage the unengaged people groups. Tonight we are going to find out "if you and I are New Testament Christians."

"This convention has been one long sermon. ... There is not one thing I could say" that you have not already heard.

A lost world, Elliff said, needs churches who consider it unacceptable that there are people groups "who do not have somebody deliberately" trying to engage them with the Gospel.

"Really all there's left for me to do is to give the invitation."

Hundreds then came forward, holding cards with their name, contact information and church name. An IMB representative will contact each person on the card.

5:14 p.m. -- In a surprising and dramatic move moments ago, messengers voted first to consider a resolution highly critical of the TNIV 2011 and then passed the resolution nearly unanimously. The resolution came from the floor -- introduced by messenger Tim Overton -- and not from the Resolutions Committee. Overturn's appeal for messengers to consider the resolution passed by at least a 2-to-1 margin, and the resolution itself got only a handful of opposing votes. The Resolutions Committee had asked messengers not to consider the resolution.

The resolution states:

WHEREAS, Many Southern Baptist pastors and laypeople have trusted and used the 1984 New International Version (NIV) translation to the great benefit of the Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, Biblica and Zondervan Publishing House are publishing an updated version of the New International Version (NIV) which incorporates gender neutral methods of translation; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists repeatedly have affirmed our commitment to the full inspiration and authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15-16) and, in 1997, urged every Bible publisher and translation group to resist “gender-neutral” translation of Scripture; and

WHEREAS, This translation alters the meaning of hundreds of verses, most significantly by erasing gender-specific details which appear in the original language; and

WHEREAS, Although it is possible for Bible scholars to disagree about translation methods or which English words best translate the original languages, the 2011 NIV has gone beyond acceptable translation standards; and

WHEREAS, Seventy-five percent of the inaccurate gender language found in the TNIV is retained in the 2011 NIV; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has passed a similar resolution concerning the TNIV in 2002; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15, 2011 express profound disappointment with Biblica and Zondervan Publishing House for this inaccurate translation of God’s inspired Scripture; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage pastors to make their congregations aware of the translation errors found in the 2011 NIV; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we respectfully request that LifeWay not make this inaccurate translation available for sale in their bookstores; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we cannot commend the 2011 NIV to Southern Baptists or the larger Christian community.

5:00 p.m. -- Messengers have adopted a much-debated revolution on immigration that asks "our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country." That language was the source of controversy in the morning, when a ballot vote was taken on whether or not to strike it. In the end, messengers kept it in the resolution by a vote of 51.31 percent (766) to 48.43 percent (723). The resolution, though, was amended to state that "this resolution is not to be construed as support for amnesty for any undocumented immigrant." That latter amendment passed nearly unanimously and was brought to messengers by the Resolutions Committee.
Other key parts of the resolution not at issue say:

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... call on our churches to be the presence of Christ, in both proclamation and ministry, to all persons, regardless of country of origin or immigration status ...

... RESOLVED, That we deplore any bigotry or harassment against any persons, regardless of their country of origin or legal status ...

3:23 p.m. -- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Daniel Akin is presenting his report. He said that for the first time in its history, seminary enrollment passed 2,700. By comparison, at a low moment during the conservative-moderate battle over the seminary, enrollment had dropped to 585. Asked during Q&A about the controversy over Calvinism, Akin said, "Southeastern has one agenda, and it is called the Great Commission." JC stands for "Jesus Christ," he said, and not "John Calvin."

3:18 p.m. -- Messengers approve David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., to preach 2012 convention sermon.

3:05 p.m. -- The afternoon session is under way. Among the scheduled highlights, messengers will learn results from an earlier vote on an immigration resolution motion. The IMB report is scheduled for 4:55.

11:45 a.m. -- The session is in a lunch break until 3 p.m.

11:38 a.m. -- David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, just concluded the convention sermon. From the outset, he said he is "calling every pastor" to lead churches to reach unreached people groups with the Gospel. About 6,750 people groups around the world are unreached, he said.

"This is not a problem for the International Mission Board to address. This is a problem for every pastor and every local church to address."

Platt emphasized he was not saying churches should ignore local ministry and local missions.

"I want every member" in my church to see the area around the church as a mission field.

"Yes, local mission is totally necessary. ... At the same time, global mission is tragically neglected."

He mentioned a mission trip when he was near Yemen, the northern half of which has 8 million people, he said. "How many believers are there? Twenty or 30 out of 8 million people. That's the population of Alabama and Mississippi combined, and there are more [Christians] in your Sunday School class [than in Northern Yemen]."

Referencing Matthew 24:14, Platt said, "What is this message? Our God is King ... He reigns. He rules over all. ... Over God is sovereign over all nations."

"Our God holds the rulers of the earth in the palm of His hand."

Referencing Rob Bell's book, "Love Wins," Platt asked, "Did God really say sinners would perish in an eternal torment forever and ever?"

He cautioned readers of Bell's book: "Be very cautious when" anyone "says, 'Did God really say this?"

Because Hell is real, Platt said, "we must make this Good News of the Kingdom known."

"Jesus is commanding us to make disciples among every single people group."

Of the 6,750 people groups who are unreached, 3,800 are unengaged, Platt said, meaning that there is no one actively taking the Gospel to them.

If we don't take the Gospel to them, "we are disobeying the Great Commission."

"Our King deserves the praise of all" 11,000+ people groups in the world.

When we set out to take the Gospel to unengaged people groups, "we can expect to be met with the might of Hell" -- among them divisions within the church.

"We have the resources," to reach the world. "God has given them to us. ... We have the very Holy Spirit of God in us."

10:49 a.m. -- David Platt seconds from convention sermon. Meeting 30+ minutes ahead of schedule. Our information earlier about it being a fixed time was erroneous.

10:25 a.m. -- John Yeats re-elected recording secretary, Jim Wells re-elected registration secretary. Each unopposed.

9:52 a.m. -- A spirited debate on an immigration resolution has resulted in a ballot vote. Results will be known later, likely during the afternoon session. At issue is a paragraph that says: "RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country." A messenger made a motion to strike the language, and a vote via a show of ballots was too close to call. Some messengers, speaking at the microphone, said it would result in amnesty. Resolutions Committee Chairman Paul Jimenez said it was "not amnesty" but a "realistic and biblical approach to immigration."

Other key parts of the resolution not at issue say:

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... call on our churches to be the presence of Christ, in both proclamation and ministry, to all persons, regardless of country of origin or immigration status ...

... RESOLVED, That we deplore any bigotry or harassment against any persons, regardless of their country of origin or legal status ...

9:51 a.m. -- Messengers approved several resolutions moments ago, all unanimously or near-unanimously. Among them were ones supporting the Defense of Marriage Act and affirming the historical biblical teaching on hell. It mentions Rob Bell's book "Love Wins." A resolution on civil public discourse condemns the actions of Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous independent church, and Terry Jones.

Here are some highlights of those resolutions:

Civil Public Discourse

WHEREAS, Some groups and individuals have gained national publicity by protesting funerals, by burning the Koran, and by calling for prayer for the deaths of public officials; and

WHEREAS, the Bible clearly instructs Christians to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel ...

WHEREAS, This mandate orders all of our interactions regardless of our level of agreement with one another ...

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... denounce the speech or activities of any individual or group that brings shame upon the name of Christ and His Gospel.

Religious Liberty in a Global Society

WHEREAS, The rapidly changing religious diversity in the United States makes it important to reassert what Baptists have affirmed historically about complete religious liberty for all persons and a free church in a free state ...

WHEREAS, This conviction is grounded in the teaching of our Lord Jesus ...

... WHEREAS, Efforts to confront spiritual matters with carnal, coercive means are both morally wrong and counter-productive ...

... RESOLVED, That we affirm that this freedom entails the civil liberty to convert to another religion or to no religion, to seek to persuade others of the claims of one's religion, and to worship without harassment or impediment from the state ...

Protecting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

WHEREAS, The current administration, under the leadership of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, has refused to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to defend the Defense of Marriage Act against legal challenges currently before numerous federal courts ...

... WHEREAS, Redefining the concept and legality of marriage to mean anything other than the union between one man and one woman would fundamentally undermine the historic and biblical foundation of a healthy society (Genesis 1:28, 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6); and

WHEREAS, Equating same-sex relationships with heterosexual marriage would create a host of religious liberty and freedom of conscience conflicts; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... call on President Obama to direct the United States Department of Justice to follow through on its constitutional responsibility to defend vigorously the Defense of Marriage Act ...

RESOLVED, That we commend the United States House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, for ensuring the rule of law by accepting the duty rejected by the United States Department of Justice to defend the Defense of Marriage Act ...

RESOLVED, That we once again call on the United States Congress to pass and the states to ratify a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman ...

... RESOLVED, that we encourage pastors to speak strongly, prophetically, and redemptively concerning the sinful nature of homosexual behavior, the urgent need to protect biblical marriage, and the certainty that the blood of Christ can atone for any sin.

Reality of Hell

WHEREAS, Rob Bell, in his 2011 book, Love Wins, has called into question the church's historical teaching on the doctrine of eternal punishment of the unregenerate ...

.. RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... do hereby affirm our belief in the biblical teaching on eternal conscience punishment of the unregenerate in Hell ...

RESOLVED, That out of our love for lost people and our deep desire that they will not suffer eternally in Hell, we implore Southern Baptists to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of Hell, and the salvation of sinners by God's grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

9:17 a.m. -- Midwestern Seminary President R. Philip Roberts says the school had a record enrollment of 1,103 students.

9:06 a.m. -- The morning session is running at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule. MBTS is givings its report. The convention sermon, though, is a fixed time and must take place at 11:20 a.m.

8:58 a.m. -- We are late getting to this, but here are some highlights of this morning's schedule: Resolutions (9:35), GuideStone (10:20), Convention Sermon by David Platt (11:20). But we may be running early on the schedule. We'll update you as soon as we know more.

8:52 a.m. -- There are 4,804 registered messengers.

8:22 a.m. -- Eric Thomas, senior pastor of FBC Norfolk, Va., elected second VP. Was unopposed.

8:08 a.m. -- Among the resolutions messengers will consider this morning are ones on civil public discourse, immigration, the Defense of Marriage Act, and Hell. The resolution on Hell mentions Rob Bell's book, "Love Wins." The resolution on civil public discourse references but does not mention Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous independent church.

Here are some highlights of those resolutions:

Civil Public Discourse

WHEREAS, Some groups and individuals have gained national publicity by protesting funerals, by burning the Koran, and by calling for prayer for the deaths of public officials; and

WHEREAS, the Bible clearly instructs Christians to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel ...

WHEREAS, This mandate orders all of our interactions regardless of our level of agreement with one another ...

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... denounce the speech or activities of any individual or group that brings shame upon the name of Christ and His Gospel.

Immigration and the Gospel

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... call on our churches to be the presence of Christ, in both proclamation and ministry, to all persons, regardless of country of origin or immigration status ...

... RESOLVED, That we deplore any bigotry or harassment against any persons, regardless of their country of origin or legal status ...

RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to prioritize efforts to secure the borders and to hold businesses accountable for hiring practices as they relate to immigration status ...

RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country ...

Religious Liberty in a Global Society

WHEREAS, The rapidly changing religious diversity in the United States makes it important to reassert what Baptists have affirmed historically about complete religious liberty for all persons and a free church in a free state ...

WHEREAS, This conviction is grounded in the teaching of our Lord Jesus ...

... WHEREAS, Efforts to confront spiritual matters with carnal, coercive means are both morally wrong and counter-productive ...

... RESOLVED, That we affirm that this freedom entails the civil liberty to convert to another religion or to no religion, to seek to persuade others of the claims of one's religion, and to worship without harassment or impediment from the state ...

Protecting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

WHEREAS, The current administration, under the leadership of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, has refused to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to defend the Defense of Marriage Act against legal challenges currently before numerous federal courts ...

... WHEREAS, Redefining the concept and legality of marriage to mean anything other than the union between one man and one woman would fundamentally undermine the historic and biblical foundation of a healthy society (Genesis 1:28, 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6); and

WHEREAS, Equating same-sex relationships with heterosexual marriage would create a host of religious liberty and freedom of conscience conflicts; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... call on President Obama to direct the United States Department of Justice to follow through on its constitutional responsibility to defend vigorously the Defense of Marriage Act ...

RESOLVED, That we commend the United States House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, for ensuring the rule of law by accepting the duty rejected by the United States Department of Justice to defend the Defense of Marriage Act ...

RESOLVED, That we once again call on the United States Congress to pass and the states to ratify a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman ...

... RESOLVED, that we encourage pastors to speak strongly, prophetically, and redemptively concerning the sinful nature of homosexual behavior, the urgent need to protect biblical marriage, and the certainty that the blood of Christ can atone for any sin.

Reality of Hell

WHEREAS, Rob Bell, in his 2011 book, Love Wins, has called into question the church's historical teaching on the doctrine of eternal punishment of the unregenerate ...

.. RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention ... do hereby affirm our belief in the biblical teaching on eternal conscience punishment of the unregenerate in Hell ...

RESOLVED, That out of our love for lost people and our deep desire that they will not suffer eternally in Hell, we implore Southern Baptists to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of Hell, and the salvation of sinners by God's grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

7:19 a.m. -- Good morning from Arizona. We always try to get an early start on Wednesday morning at the SBC, when the proposed resolutions are printed in the SBC Bulletin. We are still keying these in, but messengers will consider resolutions on: Protecting the Defense of Marriage Act; Religious Liberty in a Global Society; Immigration and the Gospel; the Reality of Hell; Corporate Prayer and Repentance; Civil Public Discourse. There is no proposed resolution concerning the NIV 2011.

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