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Southern Baptists officially oppose gay Scout rule

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm •  Published: June 12, 2013
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The second-largest Scouting denomination, the United Methodist Church, was quick to respond to the SBC's move: Methodist Director of Scouting Ministries Larry Coppock said its congregations would welcome any troops currently sponsored by Southern Baptist churches.

While resolutions like the one on Scouting and others that expressed concern over religious freedom were expected, there were several resolutions passed that someone outside the denomination might find more surprising, such as a call to pray for the President of the United States.

Other resolutions called on Southern Baptists to fight human trafficking and to work to support people with mental health problems. That later issue has been on the minds of many Southern Baptists this year after the son of hugely popular megachurch pastor Rick Warren committed suicide. And earlier this month, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President and CEO Frank Page released a book about his daughter's suicide.

The convention also passed a resolution expressing concern about the high rate of incarceration in the United States and recommending greater use of probation and parole for nonviolent offenders.

The membership also voted to express concern about child sexual abuse and called on all Southern Baptists to report allegations of child abuse to authorities. That resolution was amended to urge Southern Baptist leadership to use caution affiliating with groups or individuals with questionable practices for protecting children.

It is unclear whether the amendment was aimed at any specific person or practice, but it comes after some Southern Baptist leaders expressed support for Sovereign Grace Ministries. That group faces accusations that church officials covered up child sexual abuse.

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Travis Loller reported from Nashville, Tenn.

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Online:

SBC annual meeting: http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc13/