Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia Endorse Boycott
In the first annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, 157 churches were approved for affiliation with the newest Southern Baptist-related state convention.
A total of 108 churches were received for "unique" affiliation and an additional 49 churches were received under "dual" affiliation during the SBCVirginia meeting, attended by 462 voting messengers Sept. 29 at Green Ridge Baptist Church, Roanoke.
Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, was among the 108 churches approved for unique affiliation, which means that a SBCVirginia church has no relationship with the older Baptist General Association of Virginia. Dual affiliation signifies that a church has relationships with and contributes to both SBCVirginia and the BGAV.
Resolutions passed during the SBCVirginia meeting endorsed the Southern Baptist Convention boycott of The Disney Company; declared "it is unscriptural for women to serve as pastors or deacons;" and voiced "strong opposition to religious persecution" across the world.
Terry Harper, pastor of Colonial Heights Baptist Church, was re-elected unanimously to a second one-year term as president and Kelly Burris, pastor of Kempsville Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, was similarly re-elected as first vice president.
SBCVirginia messengers met Sept. 16 of last year in Richmond and unanimously declared themselves a new Southern Baptist state convention.
The resolution on the SBC Disney boycott noted:
WHEREAS, The Disney Company has degenerated from a truly family friendly entertainment enterprise presenting wholesome values in its products to a pitiable purveyor of the prurient for profit; and "WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention at its June 1997 meeting in Dallas urged all Southern Baptists to consider carefully their Christian responsibilities when deciding whether to buy Disney products or services; and "WHEREAS, The issue is not whether we change Disney but whether we allow them to change us and whether we financially support a company which pushes lewdness, homosexuality, and other anti-family values; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, We, the messengers from churches of the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia . . . unequivocally condemn the Disney Corporation for its policies herein summarized and urge every Southern Baptist to avoid purchasing any Disney product or service.
The SBCVirginia resolution on ordination and the role of women in ministry included clauses noting, "We must not decide concerns of Christian doctrine and practice by current cultural, sociological, and ecclesiastical trends or emotion," and "We remind ourselves of and endeavor always to observe the dearly bought Baptist principle of the final authority of Scripture in matters of faith and conduct," and "While we encourage the service of women in all aspects of church life and work other than pastoral functions and leadership roles entailing ordination, we hold that it is unscriptural for women to serve as pastors or deacons."
On religious persecution, messengers urged:
"our government officials to greatly elevate religious liberty concerns within American foreign policy."
"all Americans . . . to refrain from international trade with or purchasing the products of nations that practice religious persecution."
"the media to bring these issues to the attention of the American public."
"believers to pray fervently for our persecuted fellow Christians."
Next year's SBCVirginia annual meeting will be Oct. 27 at a yet-to-be-selected site in the Virginia Beach area.
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