States Embrace Religious Liberty, Spiritual Awakening at 2014 Baptist Conventions

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Still alarmed by subpoenas of sermons and correspondence for pastors who opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, resolutions on religious liberty and free speech were passed in more than a dozen state Baptist convention meetings this fall.

State conventions also took a larger view of America’s spiritual need, with many committing to pray for spiritual awakening and revival in sync with the ongoing emphasis of Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd. Various states also provided time in their schedules to set forth Floyd’s appeal to come to Columbus, Ohio, to pray for spiritual awakening during the SBC’s June 16-17 annual meeting and to participate in the preceding Crossover Columbus evangelistic outreach.

A resolution passed by Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists, for example, expressed a prayer that “before we meet again … we will witness a great revival and renewal throughout our two-state convention.”

In addition to religious liberty issues, resolutions upholding a traditional definition of marriage and opposing a redefinition of gender identity also drew consensus from messengers in numerous states.

Those topics were introduced in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah-Idaho, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and West Virginia.

Southern Baptists in New Mexico, for example, with a meeting theme of “Standing Strong,” expressed their resolve to pray for neighboring Texans fighting the violation of First Amendment rights in Houston. They pledged to “stand in like fashion in the event that similar legal action be taken against pastors or ministers in the state of New Mexico.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press – Tammi Reed Ledbetter

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