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I live in Kentucky, and a predominant preacher in this state is a man named Paul Chitwood, who is the executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. In 2015, Chitwood wrote an article called Kentucky Baptist and marijuana. My concern is not whether a child should be taken from their parents for consuming a plant that’s less harmful than sugar.

According to the Southern Baptist Convention, what is the Biblical basis for using the government’s aggression against people who do not live up to their own ideological standards- such as people with dependency issues?

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    Your question in the title is quite reasonable. The question in your second paragraph sounds very biased... I very much doubt they would talk in terms of the government's "violence". – curiousdannii Jul 30 '18 at 0:37
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    @curiousdannii It is true that in order to enforce any law, the state must use aggression. Have you ever read Common Sense by Thomas Paine? If you don’t pay taxes, you will probably get a few letters and court notices, but eventually the government will send their guns. – anonymouswho Jul 30 '18 at 0:47
  • @anonymouswho you might be interested in asking about the other side of this question: to see what the Anabaptists, especially in their older statements, considered the limit of responsibility for government-ordered actions. – disciple Jul 30 '18 at 1:24
  • @anonymouswho I don't think that kind of libertarianism is officially endorsed by the SBC. For good reason IMO ;) – curiousdannii Jul 30 '18 at 3:18
  • @curiousdannii I guess you’ve never been to Kentucky lol. A few years ago, the KBC was encouraging their churches to give away guns. We also have Lee Watts, the so-called Chaplain of the Capitol. – anonymouswho Jul 30 '18 at 12:50
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+100

The Southern Baptist Convention in the Public Sphere

There is no evidence that the SBC believes itself to be barred from issues relating to public policy, and there is much evidence to the contrary. First, let's look at the SBC's understanding of the Resolutions it issues (emphasis mine):

[...] Covering a wide range of theological, social, and practical topics, resolutions educate our own people about important moral, ethical, and public policy issues; speak to the broader culture about our beliefs; and provide helpful tools for our churches and entities to speak with authority in the public square about the biblical application of timely and timeless matters. [...]

-Southern Baptist Convention: A Closer Look

Other Examples of the SBC opining on Public Policy

Let me give four easy examples of official SBC resolutions which relate to public policy and were given in the last three years:

  1. Resolution on Immigration (2018)
  2. Resolution on Defunding and Investigating Planned Parenthood (2017)
  3. Resolution on Freedom of the Press (2016)
  4. Resolution on Women Registering for the Draft (2016)

Concluding Answer

Paul Chitwood believes that the legalization of marijuana will have a detrimental effect on the well being of children. He therefore decided to publicize and garner support for this issue within the churches of the SBC. His decision to involve the SBC in a question of public policy is consistent with the stated principles of the SBC and is also consistent with SBC precedent.


(While I acknowledge that this answer is not Biblical, it does draw on official SBC sources as requested by the original questioner's bounty description, "Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources." Given the theocratic nature of all cultures found within the Bible, seeking Biblical support on this issue may well be an anachronistic endeavor.)

  • Thanks for the answer. I like it, but there’s something that the resolutions you posted have in common that differentiate them from my question. They all involve limiting government involvement, rather than requesting the government to use their weapon against citizens. IOW, the resolutions request the government to put away their weapon and find morally superior means to dealing with issues, whereas Chitwood is telling the government to use more weapons to increase enforcement against non-violent offenders. – anonymouswho Aug 7 '18 at 7:45
  • While I see what you are saying, I am wary of interpreting the SBC through a "limited government" lens. I just don't see evidence that the SBC interprets itself that way. Regardless, what do you think of the Resolution on Immigration? It includes a number of measures intended to shape government policy on immigration which do not favor limited government in any clear way. To take one example, securing borders requires government intervention rather than a limitation of government. – zippy2006 Aug 7 '18 at 21:54
  • I read the resolution about immigration, and while it doesn’t request complete abandonment of immigration laws, it does ask the government to handle matters in a more humane way- which seems to be limiting the government's aggression. But I’ve never heard anything from the SBC that says they would like to see cannabis laws handled in a more humane way. It looks like they would also like to bring back alcohol prohibition. I found this interesting article from a reformed church if you’re interested. – anonymouswho Aug 8 '18 at 4:45

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