Question on SBC Resolutions

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Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:28 pm

At the 2019 SBC meeting, they passed a Resolution on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. It has generated a bit of controversy since the author of the resolution has said that the resolutions committee altered his resolution so that it affirmed what it originally rejected. Here are the two resolutions"
passed in SBC
original resolution
With my question I'm not particularly interested in the specifics of the resolution itself, but with procedure. I know that in the SBC resolutions committees often reword/rewrite resolutions for one reason or another. BUT have they ever rewritten resolutions before in such a way as to alter the meaning to the opposite? Seems in most cases they would just not bring the resolution to the floor before the messengers. What do you know about this?
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Re: Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby Haruo » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:26 pm

It does seem odd that they would report out a version of a resolution that was so far from the one submitted to them. I'm not sure I know enough to argue about intersectionality and critical race theory. I'm an Evergreen Baptist. I think the author of the original text was off-base in his assessment of these theories, but only because he is devoted to some theories of his own that he is determined to have seen as God's opinion on the subject. And I think he worded his resolution almost absurdly at one point, when he wrote that the SBC should "decry every philosophy or theology, including critical race theory and intersectionality, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ". He probably meant "every philosophy or theology that accepts critical race theory and intersectionality", but that's not what he wrote. As written, it would leave me wondering if the seminaries would have to stop teaching theology to avoid being written out of God's will.

I don't think Marxism etc. is necessarily diametrically opposed to Christianity, and I don't think there is a single definable "biblical worldview"; I think different biblical authors had sometimes rather divergent worldviews, and that we on the receiving-and-interpreting end of things are also constantly creating new worldviews derived from our understanding of, and our attempts to reconcile and harmonize, those authors' views.
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Re: Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby William Thornton » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:53 am

I've appreciated the resolution-averse CBF approach for some years now but the high mucketymucks in SBC life think,some are important. I wasn't in the session for,any of the resolution business and didn't vote on this. A few observations:

1. A resolution is merely the opinion of those who happen to be in the hall at the time of the vote, not the SBC at large, although media treat them as SBC pronouncements.
2. CRT and intersectionality have been buzzwords in some SBC circles for some time. Most SBCers including the ones who voted on this are clueless and not interested in whatever is meant by these. I doubt I could find anyone in my church who could explain these. It talk show fodder.
3. In the SBC resolution sausage making factory any messenger may submit any resolution. Once submitted,it becomes the property of the appointed resolution committee to accept, reject, tweak, or completely rewrite as they see fit.
4. Messengers may, by motions and votes do what they wish with it but it's tough to overturn the resolutions committee's product and support or rejection.
5. My opinion on this one is that it should have been completely rejected. Few of us care. But, I was on my way home when this happened.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
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Re: Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:24 am

Thanks for your thoughts, Leland and William. I agree with Leland that it seems "odd that they would report out a version of a resolution that was so far from the one submitted to them." I also understand William's point that once a resolution is submitted "it becomes the property of the appointed resolution committee to accept, reject, tweak, or completely rewrite as they see fit." Nevertheless, I have not seen evidence (though I allow there very well could be) that it is a common practice (if ever) to rewrite a resolution to mean the opposite of what was originally presented. That is likely extremely confusing to any messengers who have already heard of the resolution and know how they plan to vote. They may end up voting the opposite of their intent. Kind of like measures we get on our state ballots that are so convoluted that it means the opposite of what people think it means so you have to vote the opposite of how you think you should vote!

As far as a resolution about intersectionality and critical race theory, it is probably too much to expect messengers to grasp such details in the short time that they have. I am fairly well read and not altogether stupid, but I would need a good bit of time to study this (either the original resolution or the amended one) to decide just what it means, and then meditate on how I think I should vote on it. Looks like it would have been best were it never reported out of committee. But, hey, it really doesn't matter what I think about that. Mainly I am just curious about how the resolution was tweaked as opposed to it being rejected altogether.
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Re: Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby Sandy » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:11 am

Rvaughn wrote:As far as a resolution about intersectionality and critical race theory, it is probably too much to expect messengers to grasp such details in the short time that they have. I am fairly well read and not altogether stupid, but I would need a good bit of time to study this (either the original resolution or the amended one) to decide just what it means, and then meditate on how I think I should vote on it. Looks like it would have been best were it never reported out of committee. But, hey, it really doesn't matter what I think about that. Mainly I am just curious about how the resolution was tweaked as opposed to it being rejected altogether.


I'm wondering where this ever came from and why someone would think of asking the SBC to pass a resolution on it at all. I guess that's a question for the original author. Having served as a member of the resolutions committee on a couple of occasions at a state convention meeting, I would agree that it would have made the committee's job much easier and saved a few minutes on the floor if it had never been reported out of committee.

I'm sure every resolutions committee has different opinions on how to go about their job. I served on one for two years and it was certainly diverse in that regard. It was a hodgepodge of opinions about what resolutions were for and what they should do and a wide variance of opinions on what the convention should address through the resolutions process. It was a state convention, not the SBC, so the issues were somewhat different. I can't imagine those particular committees switching around the intention of a resolution that was presented, though. Several of the resolutions came from state convention staff or the executive committee, and we got about a dozen from the floor, some similar enough to combine into one. I don't think there would have been support from the committee to completely change a submitted resolution.
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Re: Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby Rvaughn » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:57 am

Sandy wrote:I'm wondering where this ever came from and why someone would think of asking the SBC to pass a resolution on it at all. I guess that's a question for the original author.
The author of the resolution wrote this on his blog. I guess it gives a little context to his thinking:
I have had parents come to me for advice when their child came home from a conservative Bible college complaining about white privilege. I was present at the Shepherds Conference when my favorite evangelical leaders appeared to be divided on how to handle this issue.

Therefore, I determined after the Shepherds Conference that I would propose a resolution denouncing critical race theory and intersectionality.

Sandy wrote:I can't imagine those particular committees switching around the intention of a resolution that was presented, though...I don't think there would have been support from the committee to completely change a submitted resolution.
I guess to me switching the intent of the resolution seems unethical, though perhaps that isn't the best word and may be a bit strong.

In looking a the SBC resolutions, I found a different way that they approached another resolution, "On Sexuality and Personal Identity." In this case the original resolution opposed Revoice, an LGBT support group. The adopted resolution was another one drafted by a committee, which took much the same stance (apparently, I haven't seen the original) but did not take on condemning a specific conference. In this case we have their own explanation:
While the Committee believes that the Southern Baptist Convention messengers are sympathetic to concerns raised by the resolution, the Committee deemed it best not to condemn this specific conference. The Committee chose instead to address the central matter of controversy by presenting a resolution on sexual desire and personal identity that combines biblical wisdom and pastoral sensitivity.

Unlike the resolution, here they addressed "the central matter of controversy" in the same way the original resolution did.

Perhaps they have in some place made an explanation of their thinking on the Resolution on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality.
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Re: Question on SBC Resolutions

Postby Sandy » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:52 pm

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