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Scout leadership criticized; LifeWay, NAMB adapts workcomment (0)

February 28, 2013

The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution Feb. 19 that criticizes Boy Scouts leadership for trying to change the policy on homosexuality but also urges the Scouts’ voting members to uphold the current policy in May. The Executive Committee also approved two SBC entities’ requests to adapt their work in other countries.

The Boy Scout resolution, which also commends the Southern Baptists’ Royal Ambassadors program “irrespective” of what the Scouts ultimately decide, states:

“[W]e call on and urge the representatives ... of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America courageously to stand strong on their moral convictions and vote to reject the proposed resolution from the national Scouting leaders, retaining the current policy of moral rectitude that has marked the Boy Scouts of America for more than one hundred years.”

The Executive Committee expressed “its deep dismay and disappointment at the conduct of any Boy Scout leader who ... built support for their proposal to reverse the ... position on this issue, thereby alienating conservative religious bodies that sponsor the vast majority of Boy Scout units.”

Further, if the Boy Scouts change their policy, it would place them “at odds with a consistent biblical worldview on matters of human sexuality, making it an organization that would no longer complement, but rather contradict, belief in God and His moral precepts that serve as the basis for our Christian faith.”

In dealing with SBC entity requests, the Executive Committee members unanimously approved a request by LifeWay Christian Resources to form LifeWay Global, a for-profit subsidiary that will make Bibles, Bible study materials and training materials available to churches and Christians in China.

Although China will be the only country initially impacted, the request also allows LifeWay Global to provide the materials to other countries. The for-profit status is necessary because China is reluctant to grant registration to international nonprofits, Executive Committee members were told. The goal is for LifeWay Global to be self-funding.

Executive Committee members also unanimously approved a request by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to form NAMB Canada, a nonprofit corporation that will make it easier for NAMB to continue to expand its church planting work in Canada. Currently, NAMB must direct its Canadian ministry efforts through the Canadian National Baptist Convention. Forming the nonprofit will allow NAMB to directly hire employees, rent office space and purchase property as needed.

Gerry Taillon, the Canadian National Baptist Convention’s ministry leader, expressed support for the proposal. The corporation will be funded solely by NAMB and will have five board members — three Canadian citizens and two U.S. citizens. 

In other business, the Executive Committee:

  • approved a 2013–14 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget of $191,500,000 for recommendation during the June SBC annual meeting in Houston.
  • approved a recommendation from GuideStone Financial Resources that would allow it to offer its investment and insurance products and services to like-minded individuals. Under the proposal, to be placed before messengers at the SBC annual meeting in June, GuideStone would begin making its mutual funds available to Southern Baptist church members and other eligible evangelical Christians in 2014. (BP)
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