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RESOLUTION NO. 1
ON THE ALABAMA SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE AMENDMENT

WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention believes that God has ordained marriage to be only between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-6) and that any same-sex relationship of marriage or union replicating marriage violates scripture (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:24-27 and I Corinthians 6:9-10); and

WHEREAS, that while the State of Alabama has a statute, viz., Section 30-1-19, 1975 Code of Alabama, which states marriage is only between one man and one woman, it does not address the concept of a union replicating marriage, sometimes known as a civil union; 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 samesex marriage or civil union; and

WHEREAS, an amendment to the Alabama Constitution would be the strongest statement of law and public policy that could be made in the State of Alabama supporting only marriage between one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 16-17, 2004, in Resolution No. 2, called upon the Alabama Legislature to pass an amendment to the Alabama Constitution stating that the only marital relationship should be between one man and one woman and affirmed its support of such an amendment, and in Huntsville, Alabama, on November 15-16, 2005, in Resolution No. 1, reaffirmed the call for its passage; and

WHEREAS, as a result of sponsorship of an amendment to the Alabama Constitution by Representative Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), Representative Yusuf Salaam (DSelma) and Senator Hinton Mitchem (D-Albertville), the Alabama Legislature passed “The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment,” a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution to define marriage to be between one man and one woman and to forbid the recognition of any union replicating marriage; and

WHEREAS, on June 6, 2006, Alabama voters approved The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment by 81% of the votes; and

WHEREAS, as a result of The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, the State of Alabama recognizes marriage only between one man and one woman; that it is a contract recognized by the state and is a sacred covenant; that no marriage license shall be issued to parties of the same sex; and that the State of Alabama will not recognize as valid any same-sex relationship in Alabama that occurred in Alabama or in any other state, either by marriage, by common law, or by any union replicating marriage.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, reaffirm 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 Representative Gerald Allen and Representative Yusuf Salaam, along with the other members of the Alabama House of Representatives, and Senator Hinton Mitchem, along with the other members of the Alabama Senate, for passing The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we commend and thank the voters of the State of Alabama who overwhelmingly passed The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the Alabama Constitution and by so doing have affirmed for themselves and future generations the importance of marriage between one man and one woman; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, we continue to call upon Alabama Baptists and Christians of every denomination to demonstrate their love for homosexuals by sharing with them the forgiving and transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

RESOLUTION NO. 2
ON THE BRODY ACT

WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention respects the sanctity of unborn human life from conception and has consistently supported laws that recognize the sanctity of unborn human life; and

WHEREAS, in 1601, the English common law developed what is known as the “born alive” rule, meaning a person must be born and alive before he or she can be the victim of a crime such as homicide or assault; and

WHEREAS, Alabama Code, Section 13A-6-1(a) and prior criminal laws since Alabama became a state in 1819 have followed the common law “born alive” rule; and

WHEREAS, under these Alabama laws, a criminal homicide or criminal assault of an unborn child would not be a crime; and

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists deem it appropriate to recognize the humanity of the unborn in all circumstances; and

WHEREAS, many unborn children have lost their lives due to criminal acts for which there could be no prosecution, including, among others, Victoria Lynn, the unborn child of Kerri Roberts of Mobile, Alabama, and Brody Parker, the unborn child of Brandy Parker of Albertville, Alabama, for whom the Act is named; and

WHEREAS, during the 2004, 2005 and 2006 regular sessions of the Alabama Legislature Representative Spencer Collier (R-Irvington) and Senator Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) sponsored legislation to protect unborn victims from violence by defining the term “person” in the criminal code to include the unborn; and

WHEREAS, as a result of these efforts, Alabama Code, Section 13A-6-1(a) was changed to define a person as follows: “PERSON. The term when referring to a victim of a criminal homicide or assault, means a human being, including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability;” and

WHEREAS, the legislation, known as “The Brody Act,” was passed by the Alabama Legislature and signed by the Governor to become effective as law in the State of Alabama on July 1, 2006.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, reaffirm the sanctity of unborn life from conception and that the unborn should be protected by every law in every context, including recognition of the unborn as a person in the criminal law of the State of Alabama; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we commend and thank Representative Spencer Collier, Senator Bradley Byrne and other members of the Alabama Legislature for passing The Brody Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we commend and thank Governor Bob Riley for supporting and signing into law The Brody Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon the Attorney General and district attorneys in the State of Alabama to use The Brody Act to prosecute those who perpetrate crimes against the unborn; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, we pray for the protection of the unborn in all circumstances and for the passage of laws for the protection of the sanctity of life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3
ON ALCOHOL USE

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing and consuming of alcoholic beverages; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Alabama Baptists take an active role in supporting local legislation that is intended to curb alcohol use in our communities and nation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge Alabama Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we commend organizations and ministries that treat alcohol-related problems from a biblical perspective, and organizations, such as the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), that promote abstinence and encourage legislation designed to limit the sale and use of alcoholic beverages.

WHEREAS, Resolution No. 5 was overwhelmingly adopted at the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, concerning the support of organizations that educate people on the destructive effects of alcohol and that promote abstinence; and

WHEREAS, the Bible warns of the dangers associated with alcohol use (e.g., Proverbs 23:29-35); and

WHEREAS, alcohol use has led to countless injuries and deaths on Alabama’s highways; and

WHEREAS, the breakup of families and homes can be directly and indirectly attributed to alcohol use by one or more members of a family; and

WHEREAS, the use of alcohol as a recreational beverage has been shown to lead individuals down a path toward the use and abuse of other kinds of drugs, both legal and illegal; and

WHEREAS, alcohol use is a problem that directly or indirectly impacts many Alabama Baptist churches.

RESOLUTION NO. 4
ON TOBACCO USE

WHEREAS, 26% of Alabama male high-school students use smokeless tobacco; and

WHEREAS, exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces and homes harms or kills thousands of Alabamians each year; and

WHEREAS, Alabama’s healthcare expenditures caused by tobacco use total over $1.49 billion each year, including more than $238 million in annual tobacco caused expenditures by the state Medicaid program; and

WHEREAS, Alabama has weak smoke-free laws and below average tobacco tax rates and needs to do more to keep tobacco products out of the reach of children.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, support comprehensive and effective public policy measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control and other experts to prevent and reduce smoking and other tobacco use in the state, particularly among children and pregnant women; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage churches and pastors to teach and preach concerning the harms brought about by tobacco use; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we encourage churches to discover and employ ways to help individuals overcome their addiction to tobacco.

WHEREAS, we as people of faith believe the body is a spiritual temple and a tenet of our faith is spiritual wellbeing and the promotion of good physical and mental health, and tobacco use undermines both; and

WHEREAS, we are interested in reducing the toll of tobacco use, particularly among children and youth who are often targeted by the tobacco industry; and

WHEREAS, the United States government has for many years required that tobacco companies state in their advertising and on cigarette packages that smoking is hazardous to health; and

WHEREAS, cigarette smoking is habit-forming and often becomes a physical addiction comparable to other drug addictions; and

WHEREAS, cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and coronary artery disease, as well as other diseases, and is a leading cause of chronic bronchitis and emphysema; and

WHEREAS, every year more than 7,300 Alabamians die horrible but preventable deaths caused by tobacco addiction, due to both smoking and other forms of tobacco use, and thousands more suffer from tobaccocaused disabilities and diseases; and

WHEREAS, one in every four high-school aged youth (62,000) in Alabama is a current smoker and another 14,500 Alabama children become addicted smokers each year; and

RESOLUTION NO. 5
ON REAFFIRMATION OF THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program was established in 1925 as the primary way for Southern Baptists to enhance the Great Commission: “Go therefore, and 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; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV); and

WHEREAS, before 1925 and the establishment of the Cooperative Program, many entities competed for special offerings from the local church; and

WHEREAS, some entities of the Convention actually borrowed money to carry on their work until the pledges from the churches arrived; and

WHEREAS, in 1925, a new system of mission support began which was and still is dependent on those involved (individuals, churches, state conventions and Southern Baptist Convention entities) working together as allies, associates, affiliates and partners; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program is a voluntary, cooperative way of supporting missions where each church out of gratitude and obedience to God prayerfully decides what percentage or amount of its undesignated gifts will be committed to Cooperative Program missions; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program supports the Alabama Baptist State Convention and helps to fund its entities such as the Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Judson College, Samford University, University of Mobile, Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, The Alabama Baptist, The Baptist Foundation of Alabama, Alabama Baptist Retirement Centers, Historical Commission, Christian Life Commission, Education Commission and Board of Aid to Students in Church Related Vocations; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program also funds the Southern Baptist Convention along with its entities such as the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, seminaries, GuideStone Financial Resources, and the SBC Foundation.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, reaffirm our support for missions giving through the Cooperative Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we express our deep appreciation for the churches that support the mission efforts of the Alabama Baptist State Convention through the Cooperative Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call on the churches of Alabama to continue their generous gifts through the Cooperative Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage churches to increase their percentage of budget funds and the amount given through the Cooperative Program; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we ask God’s blessings on Alabama Baptist churches as they follow God’s leadership in the support of missions in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

RESOLUTION NO. 6
ON APPRECIATION TO FRANCES DEW HAMILTON

WHEREAS, the purpose of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission is to assist and encourage Alabama Baptists in the collection, preservation, and sharing of their history and heritage; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton has served thirteen years as Executive Director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, leading the Commission to expand and increase its ministries to Alabama Baptists and Alabama Baptist churches, associations and entities; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton has led the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission admirably, conscientiously, skillfully, and with integrity and excellent stewardship; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton has displayed the spirit of Christ in her leadership of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton is a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Trussville, Alabama, where she served as church pianist for over twenty years, chair of the History Committee, Sunday School teacher, and member of The Accents; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton served as a professor of history at Samford University for thirty-four years; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton has published numerous articles and books, including the history of Judson College and the history of First Baptist Church of Trussville; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Judson College, after earning academic degrees from Judson College and the University of Georgia; and

WHEREAS, Frances Dew Hamilton has served, and continues to serve, as a mentor and role model to Alabama Baptists interested in preserving their history.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, express our sincere and deep appreciation for the life, influence, and service of Frances Dew Hamilton; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commend Frances Dew Hamilton for her loyalty and contributions to Alabama Baptists; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we are grateful to God for Frances Dew Hamilton and ask God’s blessings on her and her family during her retirement.

RESOLUTION NO. 7
ON LANGUAGE MISSIONS

WHEREAS, God has presented Alabama Baptists with the missions challenge of an expanding and increasingly diverse ethnic population; and

WHEREAS, there are 58 congregations in the Alabama Baptist State Convention that speak languages other than English; and

WHEREAS, those congregations consist of one Cambodian, nine Choctaw, one Creek, two deaf, one Filipino, nine Korean, two Laotian, one Messianic Jew, thirty Hispanic, one Thai, and one Vietnamese; and

WHEREAS, language churches are participating in the Alabama Baptist State Convention and carrying out Great Commission ministries including helping to establish new language churches; and

WHEREAS, area language missionaries John Yi, Ricky Milford, Ed Ables, John Gunter and Aias de Souza are funded by the North American Mission Board and the Alabama Baptist State Convention; and

WHEREAS, associational Hispanic language missionaries Alejandro Pajaro, Ramon Rivas, Carlos Lemus and Omar Hernandez are supported by the Elmore, Franklin, Marion, Winston, Chilton, Autauga and Montgomery Associations and the Alabama Baptist State Convention; and

WHEREAS, the language mission ministry has been capably led by state missionary Richard Alford for over 16 years.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, affirm our support for language missions in our state; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we continue to support language missions through our money and ministry efforts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we express deep appreciation for the hundreds of mission volunteers and language pastors and missionaries who work in the area of language missions, and the churches and associations who give leadership and support to this missions endeavor; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we encourage churches to continue to sponsor, to provide places to meet and to enlist leaders for language missions endeavors; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we continue our cooperative effort with the North American Mission Board, the participating associations, the sponsoring churches, and language churches; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, we express deep appreciation for the hard and profitable work of Richard Alford.

RESOLUTION NO. 8
ON THE CONFLICT IN WESTERN SUDAN

WHEREAS, a civil conflict erupted in the western Sudanese region of Darfur in early 2003 between rebel groups and Sudanese government-backed militias called Janjaweed; and

WHEREAS, this conflict has resulted in 400,000 deaths, 2.5 million persons being displaced, and 3.5 million persons living in starvation; and

WHEREAS, while there have been atrocities on both sides, respected international observers place the blame for the abuses primarily on the Janjaweed and their practice of ethic cleansing; and

WHEREAS, the atrocities include, but are not limited to, starvation, murder, rape, torture, beatings, mutilations, and genocide; and

WHEREAS, the civil conflict in Sudan has spilled over into the neighboring country of Chad and threatens to bring the same atrocities and destabilizing forces into the eastern portion of that country; and

WHEREAS, Scripture enjoins us to display compassion for the hurting and suffering (Proverbs 24:11-12; Isaiah 2:3-4; Proverbs 3:27).

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, urge prayers, support, and advocacy for the suffering people of Darfur; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage the government of the Democratic Republic of Sudan, and their president, General Omar al-Bashir to disband the Janjaweed militias and allow the United Nations peacekeeping force unlimited access to the Darfur region; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we urge the international community to provide food, water and international development assistance to the people of the Darfur region of Sudan.

RESOLUTION NO. 9
ON ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT

WHEREAS, the Bible teaches that God created government for the good of society and called on government officials to act righteously and to detest wrongdoing (Deuteronomy 16:18-20; Proverbs 16:12); and

WHEREAS, in recent months some Alabama public officials have confessed or been convicted of using their positions for personal and/or private gain; and

WHEREAS, it has been publicly announced that investigations are currently underway into alleged incidents of public officials using their positions in inappropriate ways.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, affirm the teaching of the Holy Bible that “righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, the messengers, express our sincere conviction that it is a conflict of interest for any public official to exercise authority or power over public policy for the purpose of personal and/or private gain; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon all branches of state government to take all necessary steps, including amendments to the Alabama Ethics Act, to ensure that officials cannot and do not use the positions and powers entrusted to them by the public for personal and/or private gain; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to pray for all Alabama public officials that they will lead with righteousness and justice recognizing the responsibility placed on them by the citizens of this state and by God Almighty.

RESOLUTION NO. 10
ON WAL-MART

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists have long supported and believed in the biblical teachings concerning the homosexual lifestyle and the sanctity of marriage being between one man and one woman, and have supported the constitutional ban on homosexual marriage; and

WHEREAS, more than 81% of Alabamians recently voted in favor of The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the Alabama Constitution; and

WHEREAS, many Alabama Baptists regularly patronize Wal-Mart because of its appeal to the average consumer and its convenient locations; and

WHEREAS, according to the American Family Association, Wal-Mart in August of 2006 asked and received permission to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, pledging to give them $25,000.00 and fund two conferences scheduled by the NGLCC.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, call upon our denominational leadership, pastors, and church members to inform Wal-Mart at the local and national levels of our biblical beliefs concerning the homosexual lifestyle and our support of the constitutional ban on homosexual marriage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage Wal-Mart to reconsider its actions which are contrary to the biblical beliefs of many of its customers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we encourage the 3,249 Alabama Baptist churches and their members to pray that corporate leaders at Wal-Mart as well as other companies will conduct their business in accordance with biblical principles.

RESOLUTION NO. 11
ON APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention have enjoyed a time of worship, business, unity, cooperation, challenge and encouragement; and

WHEREAS, we rejoice over the success of the Intentional Evangelism emphasis; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge the hard work of the Birmingham Baptist Association and her churches to make this Convention a success; and

WHEREAS, we especially thank the Hunter Street Baptist Church for graciously providing its facilities and giving outstanding assistance and services for this Convention; and

WHEREAS, we thank God for the outstanding leadership of our president, Henry Cox, and vice presidents, Roger Willmore and Jimmy Jackson; and

WHEREAS, we appreciate all the officers, committees, speakers, musicians and other platform personalities in guiding us during this Convention.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the messengers meeting at the Hunter Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on November 14-15, 2006, express our profound gratitude to the Lord and to those whom He used to bring about a convention characterized by grace and evangelism.

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THESE RESOLUTIONS – 2006 (.pdf)

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