Messengers to the Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting at the Springfield (Mo.) Expo Center approved pro-life, religious liberty and pro-Israel resolutions in their final business session Oct. 28.
In a resolution titled “Sanctity of Human Life,” messengers affirmed that human life begins at conception, noted that federal directives sought to compel religious organizations to cover “abortifacients” and referenced videos that “demonstrate that Planned Parenthood continues to commit heinous acts degrading disregard of innocent human life.”
Messengers resolved to encourage federal and state legislation requiring abortion providers “to educate expectant mothers through ultrasound showing development of their unborn children” and to admonish Missouri Baptists to support and provide ministries to protect the unborn.
The resolution also expressed support for efforts to defund Planned Parenthood with federal and state tax dollars and called for voters to seek out and vote for pro-life candidates.
The resolution “Defense of Religious Liberty” called religious liberty “America’s most sacred right and cherished freedom, being received from our Creator” and that it assumed the engagement of religious people and institutions taking active roles in society, including engaging in politics and policy-making and helping “form the public morality essential to liberty and self-government.”
In another of 10 whereas statements, the resolution said that some local, state and federal legislatures and courts increasingly demonstrate intolerance and hostility toward religious and moral viewpoints, “openly declaring that religious liberty must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage and its demand for coercive moral, cultural and legal sovereignty.”
Another whereas said that governments and courts “have increasingly burdened religious citizens, religious businesses and religious institutions by demanding that they supply goods or services that violate their religious beliefs of moral convictions.”
Among other actions, the resolution called for Missouri Baptists to call upon the Missouri State Legislature to pass a religious liberty protection act and/or a Missouri constitutional amendment that “explicitly secures our religious liberty and freedom of conscience for pastors, churches, businesses, schools, student groups, colleges and institutions.”
The resolution “Supporting the Nation of Israel” decried the persecution of Jews and said they are “facing the threat of total extermination,” and that the U.S. government “has concluded a deal with a nation pledged to the extermination of Israel….”
It called for Missouri Baptists to pray for “God’s peace” to rule over Jerusalem and Israel and that U.S. leaders renounce the growing tide of anti-Semitism and return to “America’s historical and biblical commitment to Israel” and that Missouri Baptists express appreciation for and pledge their prayers to Israel.
Messengers also approved a resolution affirming the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ cooperative giving plan with state conventions; and a courtesy resolution expressing appreciation to the local arrangements committee, hosts of the annual meeting and others.