Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, Transforming Society

The Moral Character of Public Officials: Remembering January 6

Photo by MIMICA Rgbstock

“In 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, passed, what they called, a Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials. If it had been followed, Trump would have been kept out of office in 2016 and evangelicals would have distanced themselves from him in 2020.”1 Instead, more the 80% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials reads as follows:

WHEREAS, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS); and

WHEREAS, Serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible calls upon all citizens to submit themselves to their governing authorities as ministers of the Lord (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further teaches, “Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Governing authorities are not themselves exempt from the rule of law and must submit to the nation’s statutes, rather than mocking them (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:14; Proverbs 19:28-29; 2 Samuel 12:7; Mark 6:17-18); and

WHEREAS, Some journalists report that many Americans are willing to excuse or overlook immoral or illegal conduct by unrepentant public officials so long as economic prosperity prevails; and

WHEREAS, Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment (1 Kings 16:30; Isaiah 5:18-25); and

WHEREAS, Many public officials and candidates deserve our gratitude and support for their consistent moral character and their uncompromising commitment to biblical principles of right and wrong, resulting in blessing upon their people.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 9-11, 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah, affirm that moral character matters to God and should matter to all citizens, especially God’s people, when choosing public leaders; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we implore our government leaders to live by the highest standards of morality both in their private actions and in their public duties, and thereby serve as models of moral excellence and character; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge all citizens, including those who serve in public office, to submit themselves respectfully to governing authorities and to the rule of law; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists and other Christians to fulfill their spiritual duty to pray regularly for the leaders of our nation (1 Timothy 2:1-4); and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge all Americans to embrace and act on the conviction that character does count in public office, and to elect those officials and candidates who, although imperfect, demonstrate consistent honesty, moral purity and the highest character.2

Rob Morley

1Morley, R. S. (2021). The Bride and The Beast: Evangelicals in Bed With Trump. Self-published.

2Southern Baptist Convention. (1998, June 1). Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials. SBC.

3 thoughts on “The Moral Character of Public Officials: Remembering January 6”

  1. As an ex South African Baptist, how far the SBC has fallen – tragic. Over the years their shallow theology always concerned me. As a man thinks, so he is.

    Proverbs reminds us all to ‘Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life!’

    Are Trump and cohorts planning an insurrection?? I guess anything is possible to a group led by a classic narcissist. There’s only one place for Ego, i.e. nailed to the Cross.

  2. Reblogged this on Some View on the World and commented:
    What we in Europe came to see to what happened at the Capitol was unbelievable. Worse was, that so many cried that it was for Jesus or their god that they were storming the house of democratic values, showing the world how vulnerable democracy really is.

    However, it was no surprise when, in the previous months, we even heard clerics calling for resistance against politicians and the press, who (according to them) spread lies and false news and would have rigged the elections.

    Believers in Christ Jesus can only hope that those Americans will have their eyes opened and that they will come to see that their god Trump is an evil being who is better to be avoided in households as well as in state affairs.

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