On the issues of marriage and sexuality, Texas Baptists have spoken with a clear and decisive voice through the decades.
In short, Texas Baptists, meeting in annual conventions, have affirmed that sexual relationships honor God only when they occur within marriage between one man and one woman.
Most recently, in 2016, messengers approved a motion dealing with the issue. It noted the following:
...that because of the historical and biblical positions of the BGCT as stated in multiple resolutions, motions, and actions, that any church which affirms any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a marriage between one man and one woman be considered out of harmonious cooperation with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
The 2016 motion implemented in a practical manner (dealing with cooperation) what Texas Baptists have been saying through resolutions over the past few decades. These resolutions consistently affirmed the Texas Baptist position.
A simple resolution in 2004 noted the following:
WHEREAS the Bible teaches that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman; and
WHEREAS Scripture instructs that the divine ideal is for husbands and wives to honor God and to love one another throughout their lives together:
BE IT RESOLVED that the messengers to the 2004 Baptist General Convention of Texas in San Antonio affirm the biblical understanding of marriage, while honoring and supporting those who are single.
Other resolutions have dealt with varied issues around human sexuality. A resolution first adopted in 1992 and affirmed in detail in 2005 has provided a consistent benchmark on these issues. The 1992 and 2005 resolutions state, in full:
WHEREAS Texas Baptists follow the Bible as their guide for faith and practice; and
WHEREAS Texas Baptists must seek to be “salt and light” in a sinful world; and
WHEREAS Scripture upholds a high sexual ethic of fidelity in marriage and abstinence outside of marriage; and
WHEREAS behaviors such as homosexuality, adultery, incest, and pornographic activity are distortions of this ethic and therefore wrong; and
WHEREAS the media frequently conveys sexual values which are contrary to healthy human sexuality; and
WHEREAS attempts to pass nondiscriminatory legislation threaten to promote inappropriate sexual behavior; and
WHEREAS the church has the responsibility to promote biblical sexual ethics in its membership and community; and
WHEREAS excellent materials for the education and promotion of biblical sexuality are available from the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and other sources:
BE IT RESOLVED that this convention encourages all persons to uphold a lifestyle of biblical sexual values; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage and join the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission in its opposition to objectionable sexual material in television, movies, music and other media; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge our churches to teach biblical sexual values to our children and youth through preaching, education, and other programs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge individuals to promote biblical sexual values through involvement in the community, participation in the political process, and other effective methods such as letter writing; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we affirm that the gospel provides forgiveness and restoration for all persons through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, thus offering the only hope for our broken world.
In 2009, these earlier resolutions and another was reaffirmed again. The 2009 resolution states:
WHEREAS the Resolution on Sexual Values adopted by the 1992 annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas upheld a biblically grounded “sexual ethic of fidelity in marriage and abstinence outside of marriage”; and
WHEREAS the 2005 annual meeting reaffirmed this resolution because “society continues to be plagued by sexual values and practices which are both harmful to humanity and unfaithful to God”; and
WHEREAS the 1996 annual meeting adopted a report stating the “Bible teaches that the ideal for sexual behavior is the marital union between husband and wife and that all other sexual relations—whether premarital, extramarital, or homosexual—are contrary to God’s purposes and thus sinful”; and
WHEREAS the 1982 annual meeting adopted a resolution stating that “homosexual lifestyle is not normal or acceptable in God’s sight and is indeed called sin”:
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we maintain the consistent position of past convention statements and actions which affirm the biblical sexual ethic of fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, and also affirm the biblical image of marriage as the union before God between a man and a woman (Genesis 1:24); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED with the 1992 resolution that we “encourage all persons to uphold a lifestyle of biblical sexual values” and “affirm that the gospel provides forgiveness and restoration for all persons through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ;” and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED with the 1998 Executive Board statement that “churches should seek to minister to all persons” and that “the love of God embraces all persons and instructs all Christians to share God’s love with others.”
These resolutions reflect the consistent view of Texas Baptists, expressed as they have met together over the decades. These views have not be altered.
While Baptists often disagree on specific issues, these resolutions reflect the view of a large majority of Texas Baptists gathering through the years.
These resolutions do not go into the details about the biblical testimony which supports these views. More detailed understanding on these issues has been compiled by the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission to help churches deal with the issue of same-sex marriage. This information may be accessed here. The details expressed on the CLC website are consistent with Texas Baptist resolutions but have not been approved by messengers. That information reflects the work of the CLC, which is assigned the role of helping Texas Baptists think more deeply and biblically about personal and social ethical issues.