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RESOLUTION NO. 1
ON COOPERATIVE PROGRAM GIVING

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists have surpassed the ONE BILLION DOLLAR mark in giving through the Cooperative Program; and

WHEREAS, since 1925, the Cooperative Program has provided the means for Alabama Baptists—and all cooperating Southern Baptists—to accomplish more for Christ together than they could accomplish separately; and

WHEREAS, through the Cooperative Program, Alabama Baptists support three types of missionaries: inter-national missionaries serving with the International Mission Board, North American missionaries serving with the North American Mission Board, and state missionaries serving with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program also supports the mission and missionaries of associations by providing a variety of helps, conferences, consultations and other resources; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program enables Alabama Baptists to be involved in a variety of ministries including disaster relief, campus ministry, new church starts, local and global missions, evangelistic efforts, Sunday School, discipleship, support of retired ministers, education at Baptist colleges and seminaries, leadership development and more; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program provides churches with an effective means of collecting and distributing their missions contributions and offers a unified way of allocating funds to all Cooperative Program missions and ministries; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program gifts come back to the churches in many ways, often in the form of training opportunities, consultations and resources in a variety of ministry areas; and

WHEREAS, the Cooperative Program helps individuals and their churches fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission to take His message and ministry to lost and hurting people in local communities and to the ends of the earth; and

WHEREAS, it is the one program which undergirds Alabama Baptists’ efforts to fulfill their one mission, the Great Commission, as they strive to be involved with many Great Commission Ministries.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, praise God and rejoice in reaching the mark of giving over ONE BILLION DOLLARS through the Cooperative Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we thank the Baptist churches of Alabama for their increased generous giving through the Cooperative Program so that God’s kingdom will continue to grow locally as well as around the world; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we recognize this achievement as a milestone and not a destination, and that we challenge Alabama Baptists to continue giving sacrificially through the Cooperative Program in carrying out the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20.

RESOLUTION NO. 2
ON CALLING FOR A FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT

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, 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, there continues to be an assault on the marriage relationship, primarily through state court proceedings; and

WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention supported the “Sanctity of Marriage Amendment,” Article I, Section 36.03(e), which was approved by Alabama voters in June 2006 and provides the State of Alabama will not permit same-sex marriages or relationships replicating marriage (civil unions), and specifically states “the State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued;” and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, the full faith and credit clause, may require sister states to give full faith and credit to the laws of other states concerning same-sex marriage or a union replicating marriage (civil union); and

WHEREAS, notwithstanding the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, the full faith and credit clause may require the State of Alabama, as well as other states, to recognize same-sex marriages which are performed in California, as well as other states; and

WHEREAS, an amendment to the United States Constitution which would permit only marriage between a man and a woman and not recognize any same-sex marriage or union replicating marriage (civil unions) would protect the sanctity of marriage in all states; and

WHEREAS, a marriage amendment to the United States Constitution would provide continuity between and among the states for the determination of marriage relationships and rights and privileges related thereto.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, 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 request the Alabama congressional delegation to co-sponsor and actively support an amendment to the United States Constitution which would provide that only marriages between a man and a woman shall be permitted in the United States and that there be no other form of marriage or union replicating marriage that would be permitted between persons of the same sex; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon Alabama Baptist pastors to teach and inform congregations of the sanctity of marriage and the necessity of its limitation of one man and one woman; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon Alabama Baptist pastors to encourage their members to communicate with their respective members of the Alabama congressional delegation to support a federal marriage amendment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon citizens in the State of Alabama to vote for and actively support a federal marriage amendment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, a copy of this resolution be sent to the Alabama Congressional delegation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, while we support a federal marriage amendment that upholds the Biblical definition of marriage, we call upon Alabama Baptists to demonstrate Godly 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. 3
COMMENDING CALIFORNIA CITIZENS ON THE PASSAGE OF PROPOSITION 8 DEFINING MARRIAGE AS ONLY BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN

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, 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 supported Alabama Code Section 30-1-19, which states marriage is between only one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention supported the “Sanctity of Marriage Amendment,” Article I, Section 36.03(e), which was approved by Alabama voters in June 2006 and provides the State of Alabama will not permit same-sex marriages or relationships replicating marriage (civil unions), and specifically states “the State of Alabama shall not recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex that occurred or was alleged to have occurred as a result of the law of any jurisdiction regardless of whether a marriage license was issued;” and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of California in the case styled In re MARRIAGE CASES, No. S147999 ruled that beginning June 17, California same-sex marriages for residents and non-residents is legal; and

WHEREAS, on November 4, 2008, the citizens of California passed Proposition 8 amending the California Constitution

reverting the state back to defining marriage as between one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, between June 17 and November 5, many persons of the same sex were married in California, some of whom may have been Alabama residents or who may move to Alabama.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, 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 continue to support the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment for Alabama, including its application to out-of-state marriages; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we commend the citizens of California who voted to pass Proposition 8, amending the California Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we urge Attorney General Troy King of Alabama and other persons responsible for Alabama laws to protect citizens of the State of Alabama from any efforts that may require the State of Alabama to recognize same-sex marriages performed in any jurisdic-tion; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Attorney General Troy King of Alabama, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown of California, and such other persons as may be appropriate.

RESOLUTION NO. 4
ON APPRECIATION FOR RICK LANCE

WHEREAS, on June 16, 1998, the State Board of Missions elected Dr. Rick Lance to become the Executive Director of the State Board of Missions effective July 15, 1998; and

WHEREAS, the year 2009 marks the beginning of a second decade of his leadership in this position; and

WHEREAS, we recognize and affirm the calling of God upon his life—first as a pastor and currently as Executive Director; and

WHEREAS, his commitment to excellence, leadership and statesmanship have been stellar in every area; and

WHEREAS, his guiding standard, Alabama Baptists have One Mission, the Great Commission; One Program, the Cooperative Program; and Many Ministries, Great Commission Ministries, has become the foundation by which all Convention life is measured; and

WHEREAS, he has led by example in a spirit of cooperation, resulting in a unified State Convention as he embraces the broad range of Alabama Baptist life; and

WHEREAS, his leadership has been innovative and visionary, reflecting Christian character, integrity and humility; and

WHEREAS, his leadership skills were signally recognized by his peers as they elected him President of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Directors, serving in 2006 and 2007; and

WHEREAS, throughout his ministry, both as a pastor and as Executive Director, his lovely and gracious wife, Pam, has faithfully and effectively provided support and encouragement; and

WHEREAS, he is unswervingly dedicated to the idea that faith and learning can be integrated; that warm hearts devoted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and sharp minds committed to the authority and integrity of the Holy Scriptures have coexisted in the same personality and the State Convention.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, first express our gratitude to God for leading us to elect Dr. Rick Lance as the Executive Director of the State Board of Missions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon all Alabama Baptists to pray for God’s continued blessings and guidance upon Dr. Lance and the Great Commission Ministries he directs; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention reaffirm their support of Dr. Rick Lance as he continues to provide visionary leadership in the Executive Office of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

RESOLUTION NO. 5
ON SUNDAY SCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT

WHEREAS, Alabama Baptist churches have promoted open enrollment in Sunday School, both to believers and non-believers; and

WHERERAS, historically open enrollment has proven effective for producing evangelistic results in Sunday School; and

WHEREAS, increasing Sunday School enrollment is a key factor in stimulating growth in the local church; and

WHEREAS, increased Sunday School enrollment is a major factor in reaching people, ministering to needs and discipling believers; and

WHEREAS, the practice of Sunday School open enrollment (enrolling anyone, anywhere, at anytime, as long as they agree) is the only official Sunday School enrollment practice recommended in Southern Baptist life; and

WHEREAS, enrollment is not a commitment on behalf of the individual to attend, but a commitment on behalf of the church to attend to the needs of individuals; and

WHEREAS, Sunday School enrollment does provide a connection from the individual to a Sunday School class or small group which is vital for assimilation into the local body; and

WHEREAS, Sunday School enrollment does not produce automatic results; it has been proven that effective follow-up will lead to an increase in atten-dance and ministry impact.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, encourage church Sunday Schools to actively and aggressively practice an open enrollment strategy, by enrolling anyone, anywhere, at anytime, as long as they agree; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage Sunday Schools to effectively follow up on all individuals enrolled through a continual ministry which should include prayer needs, sharing through friendships and caring in times of crisis by an assigned care group or leader; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we discourage Sunday Schools from the practice of “purging the rolls” for a lack of attendance, remembering that enrollment means that the class will minister to the enrollee even if he or she is not active; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we discourage Sunday Schools from dropping anyone from the enrollment until all opportunities for ministry have ceased and all means of reaching the individuals have been exhausted.

RESOLUTION NO. 6
ON ELECTRONIC BINGO GAMBLING

WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention opposes gambling of every description because of its many scriptural implications (Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 21:5-6); and

WHEREAS, problems associated with gambling lead to employment, criminal, personal and family problems; and

WHEREAS, gambling is a regressive form of taxation primarily targeting the lower socioeconomic segment of society; and

WHEREAS, municipal and county governing authorities are increasingly looking to gambling revenues as a method of taxation; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 65 of the 1901 Constitution of Alabama prohibits games of chance, but 18 constitutional amendments have been passed permitting games of chance in the form of “bingo” to be played for charitable purposes; and

WHEREAS, gambling interests in the State of Alabama have tried continuously through the years to legalize other forms of gambling but have failed; and

WHEREAS, electronic technology has increased the potential for bingo as a more significant form of gambling; and

WHEREAS, for those counties which have constitutional amendments, municipal and county governments have begun to apply a very broad and liberal application which is allowing expanded bingo gambling in places such as Walker County and the City of Triana in Madison County, as well as proposed expansion of gambling at the Birmingham Race Track and new gambling casino complexes in Houston and Etowah Counties; and

WHEREAS, the 18 constitutional amendments only permit limited bingo gambling for charitable purposes.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, reaffirm our historic opposition to all forms of gambling in the State of Alabama; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose expanded electronic bingo gambling in the State of Alabama; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose actions of those municipal and county governments which interpret any of the 18 constitutional amendments applicable to them allowing expanded electronic bingo gambling within their cities or counties; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose incremental expansion of charitable bingo by broad interpretations of applicable amendments allowing permits to be issued for expanded electronic bingo in the nature of those permitted in Walker County and the City of Triana, Alabama; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose any expansion of gambling facilities, such as the Birmingham Race Track whereby electronic bingo gambling devices could be permitted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose the development of any gambling casino such as those proposed in Houston and Etowah Counties, Alabama; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon all Alabama Baptist pastors to inform and educate their congregations on the evils of gambling and the attempts of their local governments to legitimize such evils in their communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon citizens in those aggrieved communities and in other communities across the state to oppose this expanded electronic form of gambling and to further oppose its spread to other parts of the State of Alabama; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon the Alabama Legislature to pass and provide to the citizens of Alabama a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment which would repeal existing gambling laws and otherwise prohibit games of chance to be conducted at any place in the State of Alabama; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, a copy of this resolution be sent to all municipalities and counties which have constitutional amendments permitting the play of charitable bingo, and to Governor Bob Riley, Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, House Speaker Seth Hammett, to each member of the Alabama Legislature, and to all major news media in the State of Alabama.

RESOLUTION NO. 7
ON APPRECIATION FOR GIDEONS INTERNATIONAL

WHEREAS, the Gideons International is an interdenomi-national association of Christian business and professional men who are members of protestant/evangelical churches dedicated to saving the lost through personal witnessing and the distribution of God’s Word; and

WHEREAS, Gideons are in more than 180 countries around the world; and

WHEREAS, Gideons print and distribute Bibles in 80 different languages; and

WHEREAS, Gideons placed their first Bible in a hotel room in Montana over 100 years ago; and

WHEREAS, Gideons have placed or given more than 1.3 billion Bibles and New Testaments; and

WHEREAS, Gideons give scriptures to 5th grade students, prisoners, police, fire, medical and military personnel; and

WHEREAS, Gideons place Bibles in hotels, motels, hospitals, convalescent homes, medical offices, domestic violence shelters, prisons and jails.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, express our appreciation for the Gideons ministry; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we give thanks for the 1.3 billion scriptures distributed by the Gideons over the past 100 years; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we express appreciation for the hotels, motels, schools, and all other organizations that allow the Gideons to distribute Bibles in or to their organizations.

RESOLUTION NO. 8
ON APPRECIATION FOR DAN IRELAND

WHEREAS, Dr. Dennis (Dan) L. Ireland has faithfully served as a pastor of several churches in Alabama; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ireland faithfully served as President of the Alabama Baptist Convention for two terms (1976 and 1977); and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ireland has, for the last thirty years, faithfully served the citizens of Alabama in general and the faith community in particular as the Executive Director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP); and

WHEREAS, during that time, Dr. Ireland has stood strong for the moral issues that have confronted the state of Alabama; and

WHEREAS, as a result of Dr. Ireland’s positive influence, Alabama remains a wholesome place to live, work and raise a family; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ireland, since his retirement from ALCAP on June 1, 2008, has continued to speak out in support of moral issues; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ireland has been named Director Emeritus of ALCAP.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 18-19, 2008, commend Dr. Dennis (Dan) L. Ireland for his service to the Lord Jesus Christ and the citizens of Alabama; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Alabama Baptist State Convention expresses its gratitude to Dr. Ireland, his wife, Polly, and their entire family for the sacrifices they have made in order to serve the people of Alabama.

RESOLUTION NO. 9
ON APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, we thank God for the outstanding leadership of our president, Roger Willmore, vice presidents, Jimmy Jackson and Mike Shaw, along with other officers of the Convention; and

WHEREAS, the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention enjoyed a time of worship, encouragement, cooperation and fellowship; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge the Lord’s blessings on our Convention; and

WHEREAS, we appreciate the Montgomery Baptist Association, the area churches and the ministers of those churches having played a significant role in making this Convention a success; and

WHEREAS, we especially thank First Baptist Church of Montgomery for the use of their facilities, services of every kind and their support and hospitality; and

WHEREAS, we express gratitude for the various committees, Convention speakers, musicians and other platform personalities.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, express our profound gratitude to God and to those whom He used to bring about Convention sessions characterized by God’s leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 10
ON FREEDOM OF CHOICE ACT

WHEREAS, during his campaign for President, President-elect Barack Obama promised the Planned Parenthood Federation of America that he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act (“FOCA”) as a first order of business; and

WHEREAS, the leadership of the United States Senate and House of Representatives are expected to support FOCA; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of FOCA is to federalize all abortion law; and

WHEREAS, FOCA would repeal all gains made by pro-life legislation on both state and federal levels since 1973; and

WHEREAS, FOCA would permit federal funding for abortions and invalidate extant federal laws that would be in conflict with FOCA; and

WHEREAS, FOCA would invalidate all state regulatory laws of every description, which would include parental notification or consent for minors, informed consent for women, and post-viability abortion bans; and

WHEREAS, FOCA would be a preemptive federal statute that would not permit any state regulatory law in conflict therewith; and

WHEREAS, there would be no authority by state legislative or judicial bodies to regulate abortion in any way whatever; and

WHEREAS, the Alabama Baptist State Convention went on record in 1992 opposing FOCA.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 18-19, 2008, reaffirm our opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we support the rights of states to regulate and prohibit abortion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we oppose the United States Congress imposing federal unlimited rights of abortion on the State of Alabama and the citizens thereof; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we request all members of the Alabama Congressional delegation to oppose FOCA and to do everything in their power to stop its passage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to each member of the Alabama Congressional delegation.

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THESE RESOLUTIONS – 2008 (.pdf)

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