Are SBC Ministers required to believe in the Immaculate Conception of Christ?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    In this book that I recently came across - rescuing Jesus from Christinas written by Clayton Sullivan who is a minister with the SBC, he states the following on pg 40

    "Scores of Christans live under the illusion that the Christian religion, 'stands or falls' on the virgin birth of Jesus. This belief is one of the five basic beliefs of Protestant Fundamentalism. It is also a cornerstone belief in Roman Catholic Theology. Was Jesus a virgin's son? The answer I suggest is no. The pagan virgin birth belief, historians now recognise, was one of the first steps taken by the early church in the simultaneous de-judaising of and hellenizing of teh Christian message as it spread into the Greco-Roman world".

    True Baptists do have the Baptist Distinctives and Freedom of thought, but does that extend to denying the virgin birth of Christ?
     
  2. blackbird

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    I suppose, Ben, that Baptist are free to believe what they want to believe---as in this Baptist Distinctives and Freedom of thought-----but if they don't believe in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ---they're believing wrong and are calling God a liar!
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Clayton Sullivan is a heretic of the same order of the Jesus Seminar and John Shelby Spong. He may very well be a Baptist, but he is not a Christian.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. patrick

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    Read your Bible, Mary knew no man. One who doesn't believe in the virgin birth they are only fooling themselves.
     
  5. Jeffrey H

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    The SBC believes in the virgin birth of Christ and affirms that belief in their Statement of Faith (BF&M 2000) and their Seminaries. An SBC minister that does not believe in the virgin birth would need to find work somewhere else.
     
  6. Debby in Philly

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    The term "Immaculate Conception" is used by the RCC to mean that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was without sin, not just that she was a virgin. So strictly speaking, the answer is no.
     
  7. Jeffrey H

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    If there is no "virgin birth", then Jesus would be born in sin (like the rest of us) and there would be no substitutionary atonement for our sin and no promise of eternal life.

    Baptists are free to think and question, but there are beliefs that are essential for Christianity. These beliefs are taught in the Bible and were affirmed in the great church councils prior to the 5th century.
     
  8. Magnetic Poles

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    Debby in correct. The Imaculate Conception is a Catholic doctrine that Mary herself was born without the effect of original sin. Her virginity at the conception of Jesus is another matter altogether. As I understand it, Catholics also believe Mary remained a virgin for her entire life.
     
  9. gb93433

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    Jesus always commanded people to follow him not just believe the Bible. So many churches today have sold the people a bill of goods in leading them to believe that if they believe the "right stuff" they obtain heaven. The war begins when Jesus calls to come follow him.
     
  10. AdrianDavila

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    Magnetic Poles, you are also correct, Catholics and Orthodox believe that Mary remained a virgin forever and that Christ's brothers were actually His cousins or stepbrothers from a Joseph's previous marriage (they think that Joseph was an elderly widower at the time he married Mary).
     
  11. Lifter

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    Clayton Sullivan was a professor of religion at the University of Southern Miss. I took an intro. to religion class under him in the late '70's. He was off base then and still is. I've read some reviews of this book both pro and con and it seems he just took all the drivel he said in class and put it in a book.
     
  12. Petrel

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    It's really completely unnecessary for Mary to remain a virgin all her life, and also not indicated by the Bible. In every translation I've read Matthew 1:25 has the word "until"--Joseph did not have relations with Mary until Jesus was born. With Joseph's abrupt departure from the record it's possible that he died before Mary had another baby, but in that case why couldn't Jesus' older half-brothers take care of Mary? John being given care of Mary only makes sense if the half-brothers were too young to be financially stable or perhaps if they just had no sense of familial responsibility. Knowing Mary and Joseph to be righteous people, that's not likely.

    The challenge against the Virgin Birth arises from the belief that Matthew and Luke were newer gospels and that before they were written Jesus was thought to have been born normally of human parents. We're not helped by the fact that the Virgin Birth is nowhere explicitly prophesied--we only have the double prophecy about a young woman bearing a child. Nevertheless I think that it is a required doctrine. If Jesus was born normally and Joseph was really his father, than he would be fully human and would have the normal fallen nature that we all have.

    Additionally, if Joseph was Jesus' biological problem there's a glitch back some generations. Jeconiah, aka Jehoiakim, is listed in Joseph's lineage. Jeremiah 22:30 places a curse on Jehoiakim that none of his descendants will ever sit on the throne of David. In order for Jesus to be the prophesied heir of the throne of David, he could not be traced back to Jehoiakim. Since Joseph is not his biological father, he can trace back through Mary's lineage back to David, bypassing Jehoiakim, and the prophesy is intact.

    If people want to dismiss the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, they need to dismiss the possibility of Jesus being God and man, dismiss the sinless sacrifice, and dismiss redemption.
     
  13. Artimaeus

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    I am curious as to whether this would be required or merely voluntary for that minister. Is it a deal breaker or just advised?
     
  14. Jeffrey H

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    I am curious as to whether this would be required or merely voluntary for that minister. Is it a deal breaker or just advised? </font>[/QUOTE]It depends on the local church where the minister is serving. My point is that an SBC minister that denies the virgin birth would have difficulty finding a staff position at most SBC churches.
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    Its up to the local church always. But our traditions would be sorely strained by such a pastor and he would be unlikely to be able to get a job or keep his job in any Southern Baptist church I have ever been acquainted with. The members would either vote him out or have a severe church split.
     
  16. Johnv

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    The Virgin Birth is a core Scriptural doctrine. It's mandatory as a belief of Baptists, as well as all Christians.
     
  17. TexasSky

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    If you identify yourself as a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, you are saying to the world that you agree with their belief statement.

    This is part of the SBC belief statement:
    B. God the Son

    Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.


    Regarding "deal breakers". . . The SBC does not dictate to the individual churches, ergo, it is possible for someone to claim to be SBC and not even be Christian, just as it is always possible for anyone to claim to be Baptist or Christian, and not really be Baptist or Christian.
     
  18. Johnv

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    I must concur with TS.
     
  19. Aaron

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    Though I agree the Virgin Birth must be affirmed for one to even call himself a Christian, I don't agree with this statement.

    The Virgin Birth was not of necessity, it was for a sign. God just as easily could have created a body for Christ in "the family way" (so to speak) as to make a body for Him from a virgin. With God all things are possible. Sin is not something that the man alone passes to his progeny. It's just that neither the man nor the woman can impart spiritual life.
     
  20. FundamentalDan

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    Really? That is not backed up with Scripture, my friend. The Bible clearly teaches that it was not just a sign. It was necessary for our salvation because it was prophesied, but it was also necessary because it was the plan of God. Unlike you and I, God has a specific reason for all of His plans. I could tell you what that reason was (it is in the Bible) but that would ruin the suspense. So, instead, I am just going to ask you to give Scriptural support (other than the out-of-context phrase) for your opinion. That would be more fun.
     

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