RESOLUTION NO. 1
ON THE ALABAMA SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE AMENDMENT
WHEREAS, it is the scriptural teaching of the churches of the Alabama Baptist State Convention that God has ordained marriage to be only between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-6) and it is sin to engage in a homosexual relationship (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:24-27 and I Corinthians 6:9-10); and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention has consistently defined the marriage relationship to be between one man and one woman, both by its teachings and its resolutions; and
WHEREAS, while 17 states have constitutional provisions and 26 states have statutes defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, there continues to be an assault on the marriage relationship, primarily through state court proceedings; and
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 1, of the United States Constitution, may require sister states to give full faith and credit to the laws of other states concerning same-sex marriage or civil union; and
WHEREAS, while a federal constitutional amendment has been introduced to provide a national and uniform prohibition on same-sex marriage, it may take years to pass and may not include sufficient protection; and
WHEREAS, states may enact laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting same-sex marriages and/or civil unions; and
WHEREAS, although the State of Alabama has a statute, viz., Section 30-1-19, 1975 Code of Alabama, which states marriage is between only one man and one woman, it does not address the concept of a union replicating marriage, sometimes known as a civil union; and
WHEREAS, the strongest statement of law which can be made in the State of Alabama is an amendment to the Alabama Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, in Montgomery, Alabama on November 16-17, 2004, Resolution Number Two, affirmed its support of and called upon the Alabama Legislature to pass an Alabama marriage amendment; and
WHEREAS, in the 2005 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, the Alabama Legislature passed the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, which is proposed to amend the Alabama Constitution subject to the vote of Alabama electors on June 6, 2006, in the state primary election; and
WHEREAS, the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment provides that marriage is inherently a unique relationship and a sacred covenant solemnized between a man and a woman, that marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in Alabama, that no marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex, thatthe State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred in any other jurisdiction, that common law marriage of parties of the same sex is not valid, and that a union replicating marriage between persons of the same sex in Alabama or in any jurisdiction shall have no legal force or effect in Alabama.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, re-affirm that biblical and legal marriage is between one man and one woman and shall be held inviolate in practice and in law; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we commend and thank the members of the Alabama Legislature for passing the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we support the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the Alabama Constitution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon Alabama Baptist pastors to teach and inform congregations of the sanctity and permanence of marriage and the necessity of its limitation to one man and one woman; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon Alabama Baptist pastors to encourage their qualified members to vote for passage of the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon citizens in the State of Alabama to vote for the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment in the primary election to be held on June 6, 2006; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, we call upon Alabama Baptists to demonstrate our love for those practicing homosexuality by sharing with them the forgiving and transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
RESOLUTION NO. 2
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists oppose gambling of every description because of its many scriptural implications, including vain, dishonest or slothful attempts to gain wealth without labor (Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 21:5-6); and
WHEREAS, the problems associated with gambling lead to work absenteeism, suicide, theft, embezzlement, divorce, child neglect and abuse, and other domestic problems, and other crime; and
WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association has included “pathological gambling” as a diagnosis in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; and
WHEREAS, gambling is a regressive form of taxation primarily targeting the lower socioeconomic segment of society; and
WHEREAS, the psychological and societal problems caused by gambling result in higher taxes due to increases in mental health counseling and law enforcement; and
WHEREAS, gambling exploits citizens for the benefit of the small number of interests which profit significantly from it; and
WHEREAS, gambling interests continuously attempt to perpetrate on elected officials and citizens the false need to have state sponsored or permitted gambling in order to raise additional funds for education and other state services; and
WHEREAS, although there is no popular grassroots movement to legalize any form of gambling in the State of Alabama, each year the Alabama Legislature is besieged with multiple proposed gambling bills which absorb significant amounts of time of the members of the Legislature, resulting in good and necessary legislation dying and the waste of tax dollars for the costs of unproductive legislative sessions; and
WHEREAS, though Indian tribes in the State of Alabama have expanded their gambling activities on their federally regulated lands, they wish to expand even further by encouraging more forms of permitted gambling in the State of Alabama; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Legislature has expanded bingo from historic charitable neighborhood activities to high stakes electronic games; and
WHEREAS, in their wisdom, the founding fathers of the State of Alabama placed a constitutional ban on a state lottery and other games of chance; and
WHEREAS, certain politicians continuously propose new forms of gambling either in the form of constitutional amendments to repeal the prohibition of lotteries and games of chance, or by specifically permitting lotteries, the expansion of the definition of gambling, such as bingo, or the legalization of unlimited video or electronic gambling; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention has passed numerous resolutions opposing all forms of gambling.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, representing 3266 churches with a total membership in excess of 1,122,000, affirm our historic and collective opposition to gambling in any form, specifically including a lottery of any description, expanded bingo, video, electronic, and every other form of any game of chance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose any efforts in the Alabama Legislature to legalize any such form of gambling, as well as, efforts by gamblers, organized interests, public officials, or others who propose, suggest or pursue legalizing or expanding gambling of any description; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we request the State of Alabama oppose any efforts by Indian tribes to establish legalized gambling or expand existing gambling in the State of Alabama; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we request Attorney General Troy King to advise and work with the District Attorneys in the State of Alabama and through the office of the Attorney General, to prosecute those who violate the gambling prohibitions in this state, as well as, seek judicial remedies to close and forbid the operation of any unlawful forms of gambling; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Alabama Baptist pastors inform and educate congregations on the social and spiritual devastation of gambling and the attempts to legitimize such evils in the State of Alabama; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that every concerned citizen be encouraged to contact Governor Bob Riley, Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley, House Speaker Seth Hammett, and their respective Representative and Senator of the Alabama Legislature requesting their opposition to any form of gambling; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be sent to Governor Bob Riley, Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley, House Speaker Seth Hammett, to each member of the Alabama Legislature, and to all major news media in the State of Alabama.
RESOLUTION NO. 3
ON HUMAN ORGAN DONATION
WHEREAS, medical science provides many opportunities for citizens to help each other; and
WHEREAS, organ donation is a voluntary act of each adult for which there is no financial cost; and
WHEREAS, there is a shortage of donated organs and there are approximately 2,600 persons in Alabama and approximately 88,000 persons nationally awaiting organ donation, from which approximately 16-20 die nationally each day, while awaiting transplants; and
WHEREAS, organ donation is as simple as indicating it on a person’s drivers license or in their living will; and
WHEREAS, resurrection of the body does not depend on body wholeness at death; and
WHEREAS, organ donation is proper stewardship of the healthy bodies with which God has blessed us and with which we may compassionately help others by offering them the gift of extended physical life; and
WHEREAS, there are no scriptural prohibitions against organ donation, the sensitivity of this personal decision is acknowledged.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, encourage Alabama Baptists to consider being an organ donor and indicate your intention on drivers licenses, donor registries, living wills, and in other appropriate ways; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we encourage physicians to educate their patients on the value of organ donation; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that nothing in this Resolution shall be construed to condone or encourage euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, the use of fetal tissue, including fetal stem cells, or cloning of humans for the procurement of organs.
RESOLUTION NO. 4
ON HURRICANES (As Amended)
WHEREAS, the unprecedented, devastating hurricane season of 2005 impacted the entire Gulf Coast; and
WHEREAS, millions of dollars of damage were brought about by these hurricanes, including the destruction of churches, homes, businesses and factories; and
WHEREAS, the evacuation of people from their homes created great social and economic upheaval; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of lives were lost in the affected areas, and especially in the city of New Orleans; and
WHEREAS, the need for water, food, money, and clothing became a huge problem because of the difficulty of getting into the affected areas.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, express our sympathy to the families who lost loved ones during this hurricane season; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express our care, understanding and help to those who have lost property of all kinds during the hurricanes; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express appreciation for all the help of every kind from the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams, and other organizations or persons; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express appreciation to LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention for the generous donation to aid Alabama Baptist churches affected by the hurricanes; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express deep appreciation to the Alabama Baptist churches and individuals for their huge contributions, the Adopt a Church initiative and personal involvement; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we give thanks for over $2.3 million sent from Alabama Baptist churches through the Alabama Baptist State Convention designated for disaster relief; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express appreciation for the thousands of relief workers from Alabama Baptist churches that went and are still going to the affected areas to try and restore homes, churches and other buildings; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we thank the chaplains for meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of the victims and workers which resulted in many people coming to know Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we pledge to continue to help the victims with our resources, volunteerism and prayers.
RESOLUTION NO. 5
ON RACIAL RECONCILIATION
LINKED TO THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT
WHEREAS, God has called His children to the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-21) to restore sinners to a right relationship with the Heavenly Father and to establish right relationships among all people; and
WHEREAS, Jesus prayed that His followers would be one (John 17:20-21) and He willingly sacrificed His life that all believers may have eternal life (John 3:16); and
WHEREAS, the sin of racism in all its forms is contrary to the Gospel (I John 4:20-21; Galatians 3:26-28) and has divided the Body of Christ and separated us from our African-American brothers and sisters and damaged the credibility of our evangelist efforts; and
WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention is on record as opposing racial injustice while working strenuously to bring about racial reconciliation in our state; and
WHEREAS, the late Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955, motivated by her Christian faith modeled Christ’s example and in non-violent protest, translated her moment into the modern civil rights movement; and
WHEREAS, Alabama possesses the historic distinction and stewardship of being the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement; and
WHEREAS, the 50th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott beginning on December 1, 2005, affords the Body of Christ the intentional evangelism opportunity to advance the ministry of reconciliation and consequently facilitate revival; and
WHEREAS, the 1995 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, adopted a resolution on racial reconciliation on the 150th anniversary of the Southern Baptist Convention.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, denounce racism, in all its forms, as sin; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the messengers to this convention endorse a call to use the season of the 381 days of the Montgomery Bus Boycott Commemoration to foster unity among the African-American and White churches; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we as Alabama Baptists must also commit ourselves to be doers of the Word (James 1:22) by seeking occasions to connect our congregations with African-American congregations in joint evangelism efforts; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we as Alabama Baptists intentionally seek to destroy barriers of racism and build bridges of racial reconciliation to unify the Body of Christ and facilitate a great number of people coming to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
RESOLUTION NO. 6
ON APPRECIATION FOR THE LIFE OF ADRIAN ROGERS
WHEREAS, Dr. Adrian Rogers served for 35 years as pastor of the great Bellevue Baptist Church located in Cordova, Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Rogers was a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention for many years, serving as president for three years; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Rogers demonstrated a style of preaching that was admired and respected by huge numbers of ministers and laymen; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Rogers, during his 74 years of life served the Lord with dedication and distinction; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Rogers was a great author, having written numerous articles and books.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, express our deep appreciation for the life, ministry and influence of Adrian Rogers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we give thanks to God for the contributions of Adrian Rogers to Baptist life; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we offer sympathy to and prayer for the Rogers family.
RESOLUTION NO. 7
ON APPRECIATION TO THOMAS E. CORTS
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts has served almost 24 years as president of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, leading the University to national recognition academically and in the expansion of the student population and physical campus, making it Alabama’s largest private university and one of the leading universities in the South; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts has helped to lead Samford University to a top ten ranking in its classification by U.S. News & World Report for sixteen consecutive years—a tradition no other college or university in Alabama can match; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts is one of the few individuals in higher education today who has served as a college president for more than 30 years, including nine years as president of Wingate University, a Baptist institution in North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, as president of Samford University, Thomas E. Corts has shown exemplary leadership in his professional, personal and spiritual life, serving as a mentor, supporter and friend to the Samford community, the city of Birmingham, the state of Alabama and the higher education community; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts has been an active and faithful member of Brookwood Baptist Church in Birmingham for more than 23 years, serving as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, committee member and missions leader; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts and his wife, Marla, have demonstrated their commitment to Christian higher education through their own personal contributions to Samford University for several scholarships; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. and Marla Corts have faithfully supported global missions in a variety of ways, including the establishment and support of a village school in rural Liberia, with the creation of the Marla Haas Corts Missionary Biography collection in Samford’s University Library and through leadership with the Baptist World Alliance; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts has extended his commitment to helping others beyond his church and Samford University to include service with Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform, Alabama Poverty Project, the National Council for Community Justice, Boy Scouts of America, the Red Cross of Birmingham, the Salvation Army, Children’s Literacy Guild, United Way of Greater Birmingham, the President’s Commission on White house Fellowships, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Birmingham Rotary Club and a variety of other groups; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts has been honored by his alma mater, Georgetown College in Kentucky, as well as Campbell University in North Carolina and the University of Alabama with honorary degrees, among the many academic, civic and service award recognitions he has received; and
WHEREAS, Thomas E. Corts has been a faithful and loving husband to Marla, exemplary father to Jennifer Corts Fuller, Rachel Corts Wachter and Christian Haas Corts, and a loving grandfather to six grandchildren.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, November 15-16, 2005, express deep appreciation to Thomas E. Corts for his outstanding service to Samford University and to Alabama Baptists; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Alabama Baptists extend best wishes to Thomas E. and Marla Corts for a continued rich and fulfilling life of service as they enjoy new ventures following Dr. Corts’ retirement as president of Samford University.
RESOLUTION NO. 8
WHEREAS, the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Huntsville, on November 15-16, 2005, have enjoyed a time of encouragement, worship, unity, and the direction of the Holy Spirit; and
WHEREAS, we acknowledge the Lord’s providence for all these blessings; and
WHEREAS, we acknowledge the kind hospitality of the people of Huntsville; and
WHEREAS, we appreciate the gracious hospitality of the Whitesburg Baptist Church staff and family; and
WHEREAS, the Madison Baptist Association, the area Baptist churches and the ministers of these churches have played a significant role in making this Convention a success; and
WHEREAS, the International Mission Board has provided to the Convention attendees a great time of inspiration and spiritual uplifting through the appointment service; and
WHEREAS, the president, officers, various committees, Convention speakers, musicians, and other platform personalities have guided the affairs of this Convention with dignity and a Christian spirit.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention express profound gratitude to all whose efforts have contributed to the gracious spirit, evangelistic impact, and overall effectiveness of this annual meeting.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THESE RESOLUTIONS – 2005 (.pdf)