Resolution affirms biblical doctrine of hell
Tom Strode, Baptist Press
June 16, 2011

Resolution affirms biblical doctrine of hell

Resolution affirms biblical doctrine of hell
Tom Strode, Baptist Press
June 16, 2011

PHOENIX — Messengers approved a resolution affirming the

Bible’s teaching on hell during the June 15 morning session of the annual

meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Phoenix.

The resolution on hell, which urges faithful proclamation of the gospel to

those who face eternal suffering, was one of six passed by unanimous or nearly

unanimous votes upon recommendation of the Resolutions Committee.

A resolution on immigration received messenger action in the afternoon session

(separate story coming).

The resolution on hell came as part of an ongoing response to the publication

earlier this year of Michigan pastor Rob Bell’s book Love Wins. Bell’s

controversial book “called into question the church’s historic teaching on the

doctrine of eternal punishment of the unregenerate,” as the resolution

described it.

In adopting the resolution, messengers affirmed “our belief in the biblical

teaching on eternal, conscious punishment of the unregenerate in Hell.” The

resolution also urged Southern Baptists “to proclaim faithfully the depth and

gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of Hell, and the salvation of

sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to

the glory of God alone.”

The other resolutions approved in the morning session:

  • reaffirmed the convention’s belief that all people — as made in the image of

    God — have religious freedom, meaning they possess the liberty “to convert to

    another religion or to no religion, to seek to persuade others of the claims of

    one’s religion, and to worship without harassment or impediment from the state.”

    It also called for prayer for persecuted Christians throughout the world.

  • urged President Obama to reverse course by ordering the Department of Justice

    to defend fully the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. The

    resolution also renewed the convention’s call for a constitutional amendment

    defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. DOMA is a 1996 law that

    defines marriage federally as exclusively between a man and a woman and

    protects states from having to recognize “same-sex marriages” performed in

    states where such unions are legal.

  • called for corporate repentance and prayer, urging Southern Baptists to seek “a

    life of genuine repentance, Kingdom-focused prayer times for sweeping revival

    and spiritual awakening, and consistent prayer for specific lost people,

    missions, and ministry.”

  • encouraged civility in the public discussion of controversial issues and

    denounced “the speech or activities of any individual or group that brings

    shame upon the name of Christ and His gospel.” It urged Southern Baptists “to

    speak biblically and authoritatively with conviction, kindness, and gentleness.”

  • thanked God and those He used in planning and conducting the SBC annual


Ten resolutions were submitted for this year’s meeting. The committee declined

to act on some but addressed others in the final resolutions recommended to the


The chairman of the Resolution Committee was Paul Jimenez, pastor of Taylors

First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C.

In addition to Jimenez, the other members of the committee were: Linda Clark,

member, Graceland Baptist Church, New Albany, Ind.; Stephen Farish, senior

pastor, Crossroads Church, Grayslake, Ill.; Mark Howell, senior pastor, Houston

Northwest Church, Houston; Tim McCoy, senior pastor, Ingleside Baptist Church,

Macon, Ga.; Russell Moore, dean of the school of theology and senior vice

president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

and teaching pastor for Highview Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.; Michael Pigg,

senior pastor, Philadelphia Baptist Church, Lithonia, Ga.; Jimmy Scroggins,

senior pastor, First Baptist Church, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Jamie Work, pastor,

Candies Creek Baptist Church, Charleston, Tenn., and Carol Yarber, member,

First Baptist Church, Malakoff, Texas.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.)