In another cultural pushback, Baptists affirmed "the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife" and criticized best-selling movies and books that have focused on heaven and suggested descriptions of it.
"Many of these books and movies have sought to describe heaven from a subjective, experiential source, mainly via personal testimonies that cannot be corroborated," they said.
In the same session where the resolution was passed, a messenger asked that Heaven Is for Real be removed "for theological reasons" from LifeWay Christian Stores, which are affiliated with the SBC. The request was ruled out of order.
The Baptists, whose denomination was founded by supporters of slave-owning missionaries, passed another statement marking the 50th anniversary of enactment of the Civil Rights Act.
It said they "lament and repudiate this nation's long history of racial segregation as well as the complicity of Southern Baptists who resisted or opposed the dismantling of the evil of racial hierarchy in our churches or society."
Yet another resolution affirmed their opposition to government sponsorship of casinos and lotteries and asked Americans of all religious and political convictions to join in a call to end the practice, which they say has amounted to "corrupt deals" and "broken dreams."
They also rejected predatory payday lending, calling those who are engaged in it to "consider the great damage they are causing in the lives of vulnerable people and to adopt a just lending model." The Baptists suggested churches and employers should provide other ways to solve short-term financial problems in their communities, including financial stewardship classes.
Copyright 2014 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.
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