Church Membership Resolution Adopted

Tonight the Royal Palm Baptist Association of Southwest Florida adopted a resolution on church membership tonight at our annual meeting. This follows on the heels of a similar resolution adopted by the Frisco Baptist Association in Southeast Oklahoma last week. Wes Kenney chaired the committee that introduced that resolution and reports on in over at SBC Today.

So, I guess the headline could read, “Association after Association adopts resolutions on church membership issues.” Actually, submitting this kind of resolution to local associations is a great idea, first suggested here by Tom Bryant a few months ago. If your association’s annual meeting is coming up, consider offering a resolution like the one unanimously adopted by my association tonight.

This resolution is adapted from the one offered in San Antonio last summer to the Resolutions Committee of the SBC. As I have repeatedly stated, God willing, I will offer it again next year in Indianapolis.

Resolution on Church Membership
Adopted by the Royal Palm Baptist Association October 16, 2007

Whereas the Baptist Faith and Message states that the Scriptures are “the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried” (Article 1); and

Whereas life in a local church should be characterized by loving discipline as the Bible teaches in passages like Matthew 18:15-18, 1 Corinthians 5 and Titus 3:10-11; and

Whereas the ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle as described in Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the messengers of the Royal Palm Baptist Association meeting in Ft. Myers, Florida, October 16, 2007, urge our churches to maintain responsible church membership, and be it further

RESOLVED that we urge the churches of the Royal Palm Baptist Association to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18), and be it further

RESOLVED that we plead with pastors and church leaders to lead their churches to study and implement our Lord’s teachings on this essential church practice, and be it further

RESOLVED that we encourage state denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior’s teachings on church discipline, especially when such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally

RESOLVED that we commit to pray for our churches as they seek to honor the Lord Jesus Christ through heeding His words on these matters.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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