Monday, November 14, 2005
General Board Meets this Week; Crucial Vote on IN/KY Petition Closely Watched
We are days away from the most important vote ever taken by the General Board of the ABCUSA--on a petition that comes to it from the Indiana-Kentucky region of the ABC.
The petition, which can be found on the IN/KY region’s website at www.abc-indiana.org, was received by the ABCUSA’s General Board in June, 2005. The petition is requesting three changes to the ABCUSA Standing Rules and bylaws.
It reads:"To amend the document entitled "We are American Baptists" by adding the following statement to the section: "We are a Biblical people."
The addition would read, "We submit to the teaching of Scripture that God’s intended design for sexual intimacy places it within the context of marriage between one man and one woman, and acknowledge that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching."
"To amend the standing rules so that regions would be allowed to receive as ABC/USA cooperating churches only those churches within their geographical boundaries or with approval of contiguous regions, receive churches located within those contiguous regions."
"To amend the standing rules so that a church dismissed by a region could only gain re-entry in the ABC/USA through the region from which it was dismissed."
The petition will be received for a second reading at the ABCUSA General Board meeting November 17-20, 2005, and a vote will be taken at that time. A copy of that letter can be found on the region’s website at www.abc-indiana.org.
This blogger enthusiastically supports all three items. Now, the General Board could have voted on this item in June, but declined to do so by about a 2-to-1 margin. Most GB supporters of the IN/KY initiative saw that vote as a harbinger of the November vote. We'll see.
But let me say, just for myself:
I would not want to continue to "fellowship" with an organization that could not affirm that first key paragraph. Lack of such an affirmation belies a rebellion against the creation pattern of God as recorded in the Scriptures.
No doubt that statement will regarded as inflamatory and radical by the theo-left. But it is the sentiment not of a right-wing 20% of the current ABC. I am convinced that is the sentiment of a solid majority of ABC church members.
Yet I would rather have the GB vote by their convictions than to try to "throw a bone" at the evangelical majority churches. It's time to take a stand--with Biblical authority or human "soul liberty." This is the time to be true to your convictions, and to stand up and be counted.