ORLANDO, Fla. (June 16, 2010)—The Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told messengers Tuesday that the U.S. military will be destroyed if the don’t ask, don’t tell policy is repealed and gays can serve openly.
Land spoke Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting.
Land predicted massive resignations of troops and discord among those who remain if the policy is repealed and said the denomination is opposing efforts to overturn California's ban on gay marriage.
Messengers, meanwhile, approved a new evangelistic effort, despite concerns that it could redirect donations that support current programs.
One skeptic urged the assembly in Orlando, Fla., to remember Jesus' admonition to "count the cost,” but leaders of the denomination said the "Great Commission Resurgence" is needed to reinvigorate conversion efforts in a time when membership and baptisms have stagnated.
A former Southern Baptist president, the Reverend James Merritt, compared the denomination's present course to the Titanic sailing into an iceberg.
After two hours of debate, the Great Commission Resurgence was approved by about a 2-1 margin.