Delegates voted late Tuesday not to take up a resolution against the phrase “social justice.” “Social justice is deceptive, in that well-meaning Christians become unwittingly drawn into such ideology under the false assumption that social justice equates to standing up for people’s rights and compassion,” the failed resolution said, arguing that in fact “social justice” is “Marxist,” “evil” and “destroys lives.
(Julie Zauzmer – LMTonline) The Southern Baptist Convention, in the midst of a national and denominational reckoning on gender, voted at its annual meeting on Tuesday to condemn abuse in strong terms and to affirm women’s roles in the church. But the nation’s largest Protestant denomination also showed signs of ongoing bitter division over the firing of a high-profile Baptist leader during the #MeToo moment.
Over the past two months, this 15-million-member conservative evangelical movement has been rocked by scandal, including the firing of a revered leader in the denomination who was supposed to deliver a key sermon at this very meeting. Instead, the denomination is meeting without the ousted seminary president Paige Patterson in attendance – and with a new focus on the treatment of women, the issue shaking up institutions from Hollywood to Congress.
The voting delegates, who number more than 9,000, will debate a sure-to-be-contentious motion on Wednesday afternoon: a delegate’s call for the dismissal of the entire board of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the body that fired Patterson after an accusation that he did not report an alleged rape. Other delegates proposed similar motions, including one that called for the resignation of the trustees and another that asked them to reconsider their decision to fire Patterson.
On Tuesday morning, meeting officials released the list of resolutions to be voted on during the packed two-day conference, chosen from dozens of proposals. Before the Patterson scandal erupted earlier this spring, gender was barely on the agenda. Now, it occupied the first two resolutions.
Both passed late Tuesday. One emphasized “the dignity and worth of women,” highlighting Southern Baptist women’s roles – but saying women should serve churches in “biblically appropriate ways,” which Southern Baptists take to mean women cannot be ordained as senior pastors. The resolution calls modern culture “increasingly confused in matters of gender and sexuality.” It cites specific scriptural references, including one that says “wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”