By Baptist Message staff
NEW ORLEANS (LBM) – The Louisiana Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee has released two additional resolutions for messengers to consider as consensus statements of belief during the 2023 Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, Nov. 14, hosted by the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans:
— RESOLUTION 6: ON PREVENTING MAIL-ORDER ABORTIFACIENTS addresses the spike in the amount of mifepristone being shipped into Louisiana after the ban on abortions went into effect in 2022 and shut down the three abortion mills in the state.
— RESOLUTION 7: ON CONGRATULATING U.S. CONGRESSMAN MIKE JOHNSON celebrates a fellow Louisiana Baptist who was elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; and it asks Louisiana Baptists to commit to pray for him “as he seeks to lead the nation and follow God.”
Both were adopted on 9-0 votes.
These will be added to the five resolutions which resulted from the committee’s Sept. 21 meeting in Alexandria:
— RESOLUTION 1: ON PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES responds to attempts by liberal activists to undermine parental authority in raising a child according to the parents’ values and traditions, as well as moral, ethical and religious beliefs.
— RESOLUTION 2: ON PROTECTING CHILDREN’S INNOCENCE seeks to prevent the exposure of children to drag queen shows and other attempts to diminish childhood innocence.
— RESOLUTION 3: ON PROTECTING THE UNDERAGED FROM THE HARMS OF ALCOHOL calls for commonsense legislation that bans anyone under the age of 21 from entering bars and similar establishments, which too easily give these underaged persons easy access to alcohol even though federal and state laws prevent them from purchasing or possessing it.
— RESOLUTION 4: ON THE LBC’S 175TH ANNIVERSARY celebrates Louisiana Baptists’ 175 years of cooperative missions and ministries.
— RESOLUTION 5: ON EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION honors the work of key contributors in planning and hosting the LBC annual meeting.
These five resolutions were adopted on 11-0 votes.
All seven resolutions are provided below.
RESOLUTION 1: ON PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
WHEREAS, Marriage is the first institution established by God, modeled after the relationship of Christ and His Church (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31-32), and fundamental to the family which is a key construct on earth (Genesis 1:28) and in Heaven (John 1:12; Romans 8:15, 29; Galatians 3:26, 4:6-7); and
WHEREAS, God has indicated the importance of the relationship between parents and their child, specifically highlighting this special bond in His first instructions to Israel on how to be a people of God (Exodus 20: 3-17); and
WHEREAS, The Bible calls for parents to pray for their child (2 Samuel 12:16; 1 Chronicle 29:16-19; Job 1:5); set an example for their child (Proverbs 20:7); provide their child with food, clothing, shelter and even an inheritance (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 13:22); ensure the safety, supervision and control of their child (Proverbs 13:24; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 29:15; Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21; Titus 2:1-5); and educate their child, especially spiritually (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11:18-21; Johsua 24:15); and
WHEREAS, Louisiana law enumerates many of these biblical responsibilities in the Children’s Code, including the Preamble (CHC 101) which specifies in part “that the relationship between parent and child is preeminent in establishing and maintaining the well-being of the child; that parents have the responsibility for providing the basic necessities of life as well as love and affection to their children; that parents have the paramount right to raise their children in accordance with their own values and traditions; that parents should make the decisions regarding where and with whom the child shall reside, the educational, moral, ethical, and religious training of the child, the medical, psychiatric, surgical, and preventive health care of the child, and the discipline of the child”; and
WHEREAS, Certain agendas and ideologies are being advanced by institutions and individuals, thereby corrupting children’s views about the human condition and human sexuality (even to the point of secretly changing a child’s name and pronouns from those consistent with his or her biological sex); and
WHEREAS, Such activism usurps parental guidance about such matters and rejects biblical instruction on these issues; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, do affirm God’s design that the family be the fundamental unit of society for advancing His plan for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development of children; and be it further
RESOLVED, We submit to biblical instruction about the authority of parents and their accountability regarding the health and growth of their child; and be it further
RESOLVED, We reject attempts by some individuals and institutions to override parents in key areas of their child’s development; and be it further
RESOLVED, We acknowledge the Bible as the supreme authority about these issues; and be it further
RESOLVED, We urge Louisiana Baptists to protect and exercise their biblical and legal authority as parents; and be it finally
RESOLVED, We call on state and national lawmakers and other leaders to adopt legislation and approve public policies that uphold parents’ rights and responsibilities for their child, particularly with regard to teaching fundamental Christian concepts about the human condition and human sexuality.
RESOLUTION 2: ON PROTECTING CHILDREN’S INNOCENCE
WHEREAS, God created both man and woman in His image to glorify Himself (Genesis 1:26-27; Isaiah 43:7); and
WHEREAS, His design reflects two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female, to define the very biology of humanity (Genesis 1:26-27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6); and
WHEREAS, The Bible forbids a woman from wearing “anything that pertains to a man” and declares “nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment,” condemning such behavior as “an abomination” (Deuteronomy 22:5); and
WHEREAS, There are social and cultural forces at work against biblical and scientific truths, confusing children about their biological identities and defying the nature of God’s creation; and
WHEREAS, Such sexual activism includes drag queen performances, and similar perversions of God’s natural order, in the presence of minors; and
WHEREAS, Louisiana laws ban obscene displays, performances, exhibitions, solicitations and enticements “in the presence of an unmarried person under the age of seventeen years,” but do not specifically prohibit drag queen shows in the presence of such young people; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, do affirm God’s creation of male and female as the biological basis of human existence; and be it further
RESOLVED, We submit to His biblical guidance to condemn as “an abomination” the growing cultural phenomenon of transvestitism and the movement to normalize this deviancy among children; and be it further
RESOLVED, We call on Louisiana Baptists to work to protect children from such negative influences within their homes and local communities as well as the state and nation; and be it further
RESOLVED, We call on government officials and law enforcement agents at every level in Louisiana to enforce obscenity laws to the fullest extent, specifically to protect children’s innocence; and be it finally
RESOLVED, We urge state and national lawmakers and other leaders to adopt legislation and approve public policies that prevent children from being exposed to drag queens and other attempts at sexualization that diminish childhood innocence.
RESOLUTION 3: ON PROTECTING THE UNDERAGED FROM THE HARMS OF ALCOHOL
WHEREAS, Parents are instructed to intentionally and thoughtfully direct children for life, guiding them as carefully launched arrows (Psalm 127:4); and
WHEREAS, Underage drinking is a plague in Louisiana, with our high school students ranking first in the nation among their peers in the abuse of alcohol; and
WHEREAS, Such behavior extends to 34 percent of our high schoolers, a statewide average higher than any single school district in the nation; and
WHEREAS, The 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act prohibits “the purchase or public possession … of any alcoholic beverage by a person who is less than twenty-one years of age”; and
WHEREAS, Louisiana law allows anyone as young as 18 years old to work in bars and to enter bars, but technically bans them from purchasing or possessing alcohol; and
WHEREAS, On average, 75 percent of high school seniors in the state are 18 years and another 13 percent are 19 years of age, meaning 88 percent of high school seniors are eligible to frequent bars; and
WHEREAS, Drunk driving is identified as a leading cause of death among teens, with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics showing a quarter of fatal crashes involve underage drinking drivers; and
WHEREAS, Alcohol is involved in half of sexual assaults on college campuses, including 300 incidents reported at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge last year; and
WHEREAS, Research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows “the stronger a state’s restrictions on alcohol overall, the lower the teen death toll”; and
WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data urges states to “strengthen enforcement of existing policies” and advocates for “zero tolerance laws” to combat underage drinking; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, condemn any lax attitude and approach to the scourge of underage drinking that is plaguing our state’s youth; and be it further
RESOLVED, We reject outright the undermining of the federal minimum drinking age of 21 years by such state actions as allowing underaged persons to enter bars while ostensibly prohibiting them to purchase or possess alcohol in such establishments; and be it further
RESOLVED, We urge parents and churches to instruct children and teens not to participate in debaucherous activities, warning them to avoid the dangers of drunkenness by abstaining from alcohol (Eph 5:8; Prov 23:20–21; Luke 21:34); and be it finally
RESOLVED, We appeal to lawmakers to protect those who are underaged from the harms of alcohol by passing commonsense legislation, such as preventing individuals under the age of 21 years from even entering bars and similar establishments, which too easily give them access to alcohol even with federal and state laws in place to prevent the purchase or possession of alcohol by those who are not of legal age.
RESOLUTION 4: ON THE LBC’S 175TH ANNIVERSARY
WHEREAS, Baptists have a remarkable history of dedication and commitment in carrying the Gospel to the people of Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, John Coulter, a faithful Baptist, departed the comfort of Kentucky to settle his family, circa 1797, in Fort Miro (now, Morehouse Parish) to become the first recorded Baptist in what is now the state of Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, Joseph Willis, a former Cherokee slave who swam the Mississippi River on the back of a mule to enter the religiously restricted territories of Louisiana, in 1804 preached in Vermilion (Lafayette) the first known Baptist sermon in Louisiana, west of the Mississippi River, and eight years later became the first resident Baptist pastor in the state; and
WHEREAS, The Half Moon Bluff Baptist Church, on the Bogue Chitto River in Washington Parish (east of the Mississippi River), was organized in 1812 and is recognized as the first Baptist congregation in what is now the state of Louisiana, and a month later the Bayou Chicot (Calvary) Baptist Church was founded in Ville Platte (west of the Mississippi River) as the second Baptist Church formed in the state, and remains active today; and
WHEREAS, In 1848, 13 Baptists meeting in Mount Lebanon organized the Baptist State Convention of North Louisiana with 65 ministers, 88 congregations and 3,650 members (changing names in 1853 to the “State Convention of Baptists in Louisiana,” and in 1886 to the “Louisiana Baptist Convention”); and
WHEREAS, Today, the Louisiana Baptist Convention includes nearly 1,600 congregations with more than 425,000 baptized members; and
WHEREAS, During the 175 intervening years Louisiana Baptists baptized more than 1,325,000 new believers in the state, contributed more than $900 million through the Cooperative Program and ministered directly — or through the support of cooperative missions and ministries — to the ends of the earth; and
WHEREAS, The tasks of “to seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10) remain daunting challenges in the state with 40 percent of Louisiana adults declaring they have no relationship with Christ or His Church (Association of Religion Data Archives); now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, praise God for His favor on Louisiana Baptists these 175 years; and be it further
RESOLVED, We celebrate the many good works that He has graciously allowed Louisiana Baptists to be part of with Him in our state, the nation and around the world; and be it finally
RESOLVED, We commit to continue to seek where God is at work and to pursue His Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20), but especially so in the unique mission field He has given us in the state of Louisiana.
RESOLUTION 5: ON EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION
WHEREAS, Many individuals and groups have had a part in planning, preparing and conducting the 176th annual meeting of our Louisiana Baptist Convention; and
WHEREAS, The messengers of this Convention desire to warmly recognize and express appreciation to the following:
Dr. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, as well as the staff and the congregation, for their assistance with details and for providing the use of their facilities for this annual meeting; and
Dr. Reggie Bridges, Convention president, and pastor of Temple Baptist Church, Ruston, for his warm, gracious spirit in leading, speaking and listening to Louisiana Baptists this year, and his gentle firmness in moderating this annual meeting; and
Temple Baptist Church, Ruston, for their commitment to sharing the Gospel in our state by graciously supporting Dr. Bridges’s leadership of all the churches of the Louisiana Baptist Convention this past year; and
Nate Jernigan, music director for this annual meeting, who serves as worship pastor with First Baptist Church, New Orleans, and assistant professor of music and worship with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, for planning and coordinating the music, and the musicians and singers for their contribution of instrumental and vocal talents; and
Ronnie McLellan, chairman of the Committee on Order of Business, and pastor of First Baptist Church, Marrero, and the members of the Committee on Order of Business for planning this informative and inspirational annual meeting; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th Session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, express to each of the above, and to all who contributed, our deepest heartfelt gratitude.
RESOLUTION 6: ON PREVENTING MAIL-ORDER ABORTIFACIENTS
WHEREAS, God intended for a child to be brought into this world through the intimacy between a husband and wife, and He ordained the husband and wife with the privilege and responsibility to rear a child, especially in the admonition of the Lord (Genesis 1:28; 2:24; Ephesians 5:31-32; 6:4); and
WHEREAS, Scripture reveals that all human life is created in the image of God, and therefore sacred to our Creator (Genesis 1:27; 9:6); and
WHEREAS, The Bible affirms that the preborn child is a person, bearing the image of God, from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13–16; Luke 1:44); and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization(2022) to overturn its harmful decisions in Roe v. Wade(1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992); which, combined, led to more than 63,000,000 preborn lives lost during 49 years of flawed legal precedent; and
WHEREAS, Various Louisiana Legislatures, governors of Louisiana, and Louisiana citizens had worked tirelessly to enact laws to end abortion in our state once Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were overturned, including a ban of “criminal abortion by means of the use of an abortion-inducing drug without the prescribing physician being physically present”; and
WHEREAS, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in August 2023 against the ordering by mail of the abortion drug mifepristone because of no evidence it “could be used safely without being prescribed and dispensed in person”; and
WHEREAS, This decision underscores the government’s responsibility to protect citizens from harmful practices such as the negative health risks posed by chemical abortions; and
WHEREAS, The United States Postal Service has stated its commitment to “combating illegal drugs in the mail”; and
WHEREAS, The U.S. Department of Justice has previously indicted at least one major shipping company, Federal Express, for delivering illegal drugs from pharmacies; and
WHEREAS, The U.S. Congress passed the STOP Act in 2018 to combat the trafficking of illicit drugs; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, condemn the ordering by mail of chemical abortion drugs as an attempt to circumvent Louisiana laws against abortion; and be if further
RESOLVED, We urge the USPS, FEDEX and other shippers to commit to stopping the transportation of illegal chemical abortion drugs into Louisiana with the same resolve they employ to deter the shipment of illicit drugs into the country; and be it further
RESOLVED, We call on the DOJ and the state attorney general’s office to prosecute shippers of illegal chemical abortion drugs to our state, as well as pharmacies that knowingly sell illegal chemical abortion drugs to be used in Louisiana, and entities such as Planned Parenthood and Aid Access, who subvert Louisiana laws against abortion by giving access to illegal chemical abortion drugs for use in Louisiana; and be it finally
RESOLVED, We encourage federal and state lawmakers and public policy leaders to enact needed legislation and regulations to enable more aggressive prosecution of shippers, pharmacies and organizations that facilitate the violation of Louisiana laws against mail-order abortifacients.
RESOLUTION 7: ON CONGRATULATING U.S. CONGRESSMAN MIKE JOHNSON
WHEREAS, God “removes kings and raises up kings” and He “gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21); and
WHEREAS, He appoints faithful leaders “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14); and
WHEREAS, U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson has a remarkable record as a public servant, in Christian service and for legal excellence, especially on matters of faith; and
WHEREAS, This includes, while serving in the Louisiana Legislature and the U.S. Congress, championing pro-life laws and policies, defending religious liberty, protecting children from the harms of transgender ideology, promoting the values of biblical marriage, launching a Christian ministry podcast with his wife Kelly, as well as successfully representing the Noah’s Ark theme park against attacks meant to halt its construction and the Louisiana State University chaplaincy program from charges it was unconstitutional; and
WHEREAS, He boldly proclaims his faith in God, declaring on a national television broadcast, “I am a Bible-believing Christian. … Go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it – that’s my worldview. That’s what I believe and so I make no apologies for it”; and
WHEREAS, He and Kelly are faithful members of Cypress Baptist Church in Benton; and
WHEREAS, During the recent leadership crisis in the U.S. House of Representatives, his many favorable personal characteristics, considerable professional competencies and obvious authentic faith resulted in his election as the consensus choice as Speaker; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the 176th session of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 14, 2023, congratulate Congressman Johnson on his election to this position of great responsibility for the country; and be it further
RESOLVED, We commend him for his courage to be salt and light for the Kingdom while serving in this important government role; and be it finally
RESOLVED, We commit to pray for his spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health and growth; for protection of his marriage and family; and for his wisdom and strength as he seeks to lead the nation and follow God.