Messengers to the Baptist Convention of New York increased giving to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries for the third year in a row and amended the convention’s constitution to affirm the biblical definitions of marriage and gender.
Messengers also heard addresses from Woman’s Missionary Union executive director-treasurer Sandra Wisdom-Martin and Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware executive director Kevin Smith during their Sept. 24-26 sessions at Bible Church International in Randolph, N.J. A total of 94 messengers represented 61 of the 496 churches that cooperate with the BCNY.
Two amendments to the BCNY constitution dealing with the topics of gender and marriage were adopted unanimously. Both amendments were first presented at the 2016 annual meeting and voted on this year, a process specified in the convention’s governing documents.
The first amendment added to the convention’s affirmation of the Baptist Faith and Message the statement, “We also believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.”
The second amendment deems churches “not in cooperation with the Convention” if they “act to affirm, approve, [or] endorse … same-sex marriage, or any expression of marriage other than the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.”
The BCNY constitution previously stated churches are not in cooperation if they affirm, approve or endorse “homosexual behavior,” a statement that remains in the constitution.
In other business, the convention adopted a 2018 budget of $2,431,500, a 17-percent increase from the current year.
Included in the 2018 budget: $780,000 in anticipated Cooperative Program giving from BCNY churches, for 32 percent of the budget; $1,235,000 in anticipated funding from the North American Mission Board; and $70,000 anticipated from LifeWay Christian Resources.
The convention will forward 29 percent of CP receipts to the SBC’s national and international missions and ministries, up from 28.5 percent in 2017 and 27.5 percent in 2016. The budget includes no shared expenses with the SBC.
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Source: Baptist News