Southern Baptist Resolutions on The Lord’s Day

The Southern Baptist Convention has a long history of observing, promoting, and protecting the Lord’s Day as the Christian Sabbath. Numerous resolutions from the floor of the SBC indicate that Southern Baptists have historically believed that the Lord’s Day deserves and requires special consideration.

1992: Resolution On Keeping The Lord’s Day

Indianapolis, Indiana

WHEREAS, The Creation account recorded in Genesis 2:1-13 states that God completed His work of Creation in six days and rested on the seventh day; and

WHEREAS, The Fourth Commandment recognizes the importance of keeping one day holy; and

WHEREAS, Jesus by example and teaching kept one day for worship; and

WHEREAS, Since much of the moral breakdown in our society has come since keeping the Lord’s Day holy has been largely disregarded.

Therefore, Be it RESOLVED, That this 135th session of the Southern Baptist Convention affirms the biblical teaching concerning the Lord’s Day as a matter of faith and practice; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptist churches to teach the importance of the proper use of The Lord’s Day to strengthen families and give proper recognition to God as Creator; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists express concern over the continuing secularization of the Lord’s Day.

1982: Resolution On Keeping The Lord’s Day

New Orleans, Louisiana

WHEREAS, Baptists traditionally have believed in and espoused the biblical teaching of the Lord’s Day and

WHEREAS, The truth is evident that society, the family, and the church fare better observing the Creator’s principle of cyclic work and rest, and

WHEREAS, The erosion of the Lord’s Day as a special day for worship and rest is constantly on the increase.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That this session of the Southern Baptist Convention strongly affirm the Judeo-Christian teaching of the Lord’s Day and encourage local congregations periodically to focus special emphasis on the meaning of keeping the Lord’s Day.

Be it further RESOLVED, That this session of the Southern Baptist Convention express concern over any move which further erodes the place of the Lord’s Day.

1976: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Norfolk, Virginia

WHEREAS, The Lord’s Day commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be observed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, with a wholesome use of the day, by resting from secular employments with the exceptions of work of necessity and mercy.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we encourage supporting and strengthening the observance of the Lord’s Day as a day of unique religious experience and significance and keeping alive an awareness of the “first day of the week” as the Lord’s Day and the importance of keeping it “as unto the Lord,” and (1) to use it as a day of worship, religious instruction, of family culture, and of service to others, and as it strongly contends against the adverse influences that threaten the integrity of this blessed day, and (2) that we make a strong appeal to all of our churches and people to call our generation back to the proper observance of this fundamental order of Christian faith, that all people may enjoy one day out of seven as a day of rest and worship.

1973: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Portland, Oregon

WHEREAS, We are seeing an accelerated secularization of Sunday in America, we reaffirm our belief that, for Christians, Sunday should be the Lord’s Day, a day for worship, spiritual renewal, and family life, and

WHEREAS, Many deacons, choir members, Sunday School teachers, and others of our people, including our youth, are facing, or may soon face, the need for choosing between their Sunday worship and Sunday work, we reaffirm our belief in each individual’s right to a time for worship according to the dictates of his conscience, and

WHEREAS, As Christians, we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection on this Day, and

WHEREAS, Sunday as a day of rest has made a unique contribution to our nation’s strength and life.

Therefore, Be it RESOLVED, That we humbly petition the governing bodies of states and municipalities to take primary responsibility for preserving the unique character of Sunday as a day for rest and human welfare, and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge all pastors, teachers, and leaders to provide instruction as to the true significance of this day, in its spiritual values, in its proper use, and in the abiding obligations we have under God’s moral law, and

Be it therefore further RESOLVED, That we instruct all agencies, boards, and committees to make due efforts to protect Sundays from scheduled activities and employ on Sunday only those personnel needed to carry on only absolutely necessary activities.

1968: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Houston, Texas

WHEREAS, There is a growing disregard of Sunday as the Lord’s Day, and

WHEREAS, There is under consideration in the Congress of the United States a bill to fix certain national holidays on Monday, and

WHEREAS, Such a bill, if passed, will encourage further disregard of Sunday as the Lord’s Day,

Therefore, Be it RESOLVED, That we appeal for a proper and faithful Observance of Sunday as the Lord’s Day by our people.

1962: Resolution On Lord’s Day Observance

San Francisco, California

WHEREAS, There is a wide tendency in many communities toward a seven-day business week;

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States has recently made a far-reaching decision supporting the legality of a law setting aside a day of rest; and

WHEREAS, There are requests for the designation of Sunday as a day of worship by the laws of the land

THEREFORE, The Southern Baptist Convention requests the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs to assemble and disseminate full information on the developments and the values in this matter, and that it encourage a broad study and discussion of this information in the Convention so as to clarify the meaning of Baptist concern for religious liberty as it applies in this area; and that the Baptist Sunday School Board and the Christian Life Commission give attention as to the religious and ethical implications of this problem.

1936: Resolution On The Christian Sabbath

St. Louis, Missouri

1. That we renew our efforts to preserve the Christian sabbath and urge our people everywhere to abstain from purely secular and worldly engagements on the Lord’s day.

2. That we especially deplore the wide use of the radio for advertising and for flippant jazz entertainment on the Lord’s day, and we would favor legislation to prevent all Sunday advertising over the radio and all cheap vaudeville programs on Sunday.

1934: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Fort Worth, Texas

The Southern Baptist Convention hereby reaffirms its devotion to the sanctity of the Christian Sabbath as a day of rest and worship, to be faithfully observed by all Christians in keeping with their Christian privileges and obligations, and to the civil Sunday as a day of rest and quiet for man and beast. The Convention would urge upon our people to “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy,” to abstain from secular employment and to assemble regularly and faithfully in the Lord’s House for worship, and would urge upon all public officials and private citizens for necessity and obligation for the enactment, maintenance and enforcement of all legislation necessary, as a matter of public morality, to safeguard Sunday against commercialization and to preserve Sunday as one of the most distinctive and most necessary features of our civic life.

1920: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Washington, D.C.

WHEREAS, There is no Sunday closing law in Washington City; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention, in meeting assembled, requests its membership over the South to press upon their Congressmen the vital importance of observing the day as a civil institution in this critical period of our national history, and urging legislation on this pressing question in the District of Columbia.

1915: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Houston, Texas

WHEREAS, At the meetings of this Convention from year to year there is a fearful exodus of messengers on the Lord’s day, crowding stations, filling trains and otherwise breaking up the rest and worship of the day for themselves and also for others; therefore,

RESOLVED, That it is the sense of this Convention that no messenger to this body should depart from its session on the Lord’s day, set apart by the Christian conscience of the centuries, the law of our country and the Word of God as a day of rest and religious worship.

Resolution On The Lord’s Day
Atlanta, Georgia – 1892

RESOLVED, That in the judgment of this Convention the opening of the Columbian Exposition on the Lord’s day would be an outrage upon the Christian sentiment of America which should be resisted by all proper influence and effort.

That a copy of this resolution be sent by our Secretaries to the Congressional Committee having the matter in charge.

1891: Resolution On The Lord’s Day

Birmingham, Alabama

WHEREAS, Great pressure is being brought to bear on the management of the World’s Fair to openly and officially desecrate the Lord’s day in full view of the whole world; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptists, in convention assembled, representing a constituency of 1,235,765 Baptists, respectfully petition to the World’s Fair management to close its gates on Sunday, thus giving due respect to the God of nations and to that Christian sentiment that underlies our civilization.

RESOLVED FURTHER, That a copy of this preamble and resolutions be cordially forwarded from this Convention to the managers of the World’s Fair.

1882: Resolution On Sabbath Observance

Greenville, South Carolina

The Committee to whom was referred the communication from the Southern Presbyterian Church, touching the desecration of the Sabbath day, submit the following;

We have considered the subject of the communication and recommend that the Secretary of this Convention reply to the same, assuring that body,

First. That we in common with all law-loving, law-abiding, and Christian people, deprecate the widespread desecration of the Sabbath, as a day of physical rest and spiritual culture, and hail with pleasure all proper efforts to secure a better and a more general observance of the day.

Second. That when the proper time shall come we will recommend our people to unite with all law-abiding citizens in seeking, as citizens’ for such legislative enactments as will guarantee to all classes of society, the Sabbath as a day of recreation; and will give such protection as will enable all who may desire on that day to worship in forms and ways of their own choosing without hinderance or molestation.