BALTIMORE – Southern Baptist leaders voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to affirm the biblical model of human sexuality, agreeing that gender identity is solely determined by biological sex and not by ‘one’s self-perception.’
As previously reported, church representatives at the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore considered a number of items for discussion this week, including the topic of gender identity. While many claim that a person’s gender can differ from one’s sexuality, the Southern Baptists declared just the opposite in a resolution titled “On Transgender Identity.”
“God’s design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female, which designate the fundamental distinction that God has embedded in the very biology of the human race,” the resolution states in part.
“The messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10–11, 2014, affirm God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design,” the resolution continues.
The resolution also exhorts Christians to unashamedly proclaim the biblical perspective on human sexuality.
“Our love for the Gospel and urgency for the Great Commission must include declaring the whole counsel of God, proclaiming what Scripture teaches about God’s design for us as male and female persons created in His image and for His glory,” it says.
According to the Baptist Press, the resolution passed with “what appeared to be a unanimous vote on the convention floor.” Denny Burk, a Boyce College professor who first proposed the motion and who was present at the convention, said he “couldn’t see a single ballot raised against [the resolution].”
Following the unanimous passage of the resolution, Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told reporters that Christians must understand the biblical viewpoint on human sexuality.
“The cultural mindset is that gender is something that is constructed by the individual,” Moore explained. “So it’s disconnected from how the person is created.”
“And that’s one of the reasons why I think this resolution … was so wise, because it spoke to what the Bible teaches about what gender means in the first place, about how God’s design is good,” he added.
Supporters of “transgenderism” swiftly condemned the Southern Baptists’ resolution, describing it as discriminatory and oppressive.
“The [Southern Baptist] denomination wants to have it both ways, welcoming in everyone, and yet denying the realities of their lives,” Ross Murray, a spokesman for the pro-homosexual organization GLAAD, wrote yesterday. “Instead of listening to transgender people, it chose to define them as ‘other’ and oppose their ability to live full and productive lives.”
Several online commenters also criticized the Southern Baptists’ biblical stance.
“Sadly, Southern Baptists totally ignore psychology and science,” one commenter alleged. “… We would be much better off to use history, sociology, science, psychology and all later learning, instead of ancient biblical mythology, as a guide for living in our time.”
Nevertheless, many others defended the resolution and commended the Southern Baptist Convention for standing on scriptural beliefs.
“There is no ‘fundamental error’ in this doctrinal statement,” one commenter wrote. “[The Southern Baptists] have based their conclusions on what the Creator, the God of the Bible, plainly states. Even Jesus quoted these words exactly, and they are the basis of this statement: ‘So God created mankind in His image—in the image of God He created them; male and female, created He them.’”
“Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant,” another weighed in. “Totally adherent to and supporting of the Word of God. … I applaud this statement whole-heartedly. Finally, some Biblical common-sense!”
In addition to the resolution on human sexuality, the Southern Baptist Convention agreed to “consider discipline” for the Californian “pastor” who recently endorsed homosexuality from the pulpit. As previously reported, Danny Cortez of New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California, recently claimed during a sermon that the Bible is “gay affirming.”