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Five proposals have been publicized and posted through three media outlets -- The Christian Index provided coverage for Eric Hankins' "A Sinner's Prayer" on May 31; the Florida Baptist Witness carried a news story April 30 on Chris Roberts' "Resolution on a Spirit of Cooperation in Missions and Evangelism Despite Theological Differences" and a blog site, SBC Voices (www.sbcvoices.com), posted three proposed resolutions by Dwight McKissic, one of which was co-authored by Eric Redmond.
Roger S. Oldham, vice president for convention communications and relations with the SBC Executive Committee, differentiated resolutions that will be proposed by the Resolutions Committee at the annual meeting from those released to the public by their respective writers.
"No resolution submitted to the Resolutions Committee has 'standing' with the convention until it is first considered and then introduced by the committee to the messengers at the SBC annual meeting's Wednesday morning session. There is no certainty that any proposal, even those being discussed in the media prior to the annual meeting, will be brought forward by the committee."
According to SBC Bylaw 20, the Committee on Resolutions "shall prepare and submit to each annual meeting of the Convention only such resolutions the Committee recommends for adoption." It also states, "Only resolutions recommended by the Committee may be considered by the Convention, except the Convention may, by a 2/3 vote, consider any other resolution properly submitted to the Committee."
A proposal titled "On the 'Sinner's Prayer'" by Eric Hankins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., was publicized by The Christian Index in Georgia. Hankins notes there is "no one uniform wording found in Scripture or in the churches for a 'Sinner's Prayer,' the prayer of repentance and faith," yet it is "biblically appropriate to help a sinner in calling on the Lord for salvation."
A sinner's prayer, Hankins states, "is not an incantation that results in salvation merely by its recitation and should never be manipulatively employed or utilized apart from a clear articulation of the Gospel."
Hankins would have the convention go on record affirming the use of a sinner's prayer as a "biblically sound and spiritually significant component of the evangelistic task of the church."
In an article posted May 31, Gerald Harris, editor of The Index, quoted David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., as saying at a recent conference, "Many people in our churches are simply missing the life of Christ, and a lot of it has to do with what we have sold them as the Gospel. [For example], 'Pray this prayer, accept Jesus into your heart, invite Christ into your life.' Should it not concern us that there is no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament?"
Source: Baptist Press | Erin Roach