Baptist Confessions/Articles Of Faith

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by tyndale1946, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    The doctrinal teachings that separate Baptist from all other denominations is what Old Line Primitive Baptist brethren call their Articles Of Faith. Baptist of other orders call them Confessions and these doctrinal documents have been passed down through the ages. Some are hundreds of years old and other are fairly new in relation to the Baptist family. The Baptist Board is almost 2 years old and we have to have section for these documents or the web sites to them. How many here know their Articles Of Faith or Baptist Confessional. I for one know mine but how many others do?

    I not only think of us but of the new Baptist christians that come here daily. Some of these are to lengthy to post but the web site could be found and posted for those interested. I'm also interested in those doctrinal documents before the split of 1832 of the various line of Baptist and their doctrinal brethren... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ March 16, 2002, 12:00 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    1655 Midland Confession of Faith
    (Various Churches of the Midlands in England)
    1st. We believe and profess, that there is only one true God, who is our God, who is eternal, almighty, unchangeable, infinite, and incomprehensible; who is a Spirit, having His being in Himself, and giveth being to all creatures; He doth what He will, in heaven and earth; working all things according to the counsel of His own will.

    2nd. That this infinite Being is set forth to be the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three agree in one. I John v.7.

    3rd. We profess and believe the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, to be the word and revealed mind of God, which are able to make men wise unto Salvation, through faith and love which is in Christ Jesus; and that they are given by inspiration of God, serving to furnish the man of God for every good work; and by them we are (in the strength of Christ) to try all things whatsoever are brought to us, under the pretence of truth. II Timothy iii.15-17; Isaiah viii.20.

    4th. That though Adam was created righteous, yet he fell through the temptations of Satan; and his fall overthrew, not only himself, but his posterity, making them sinners by his disobedience; so that we are by nature children of wrath, and defiled from the womb, being shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin. Psalm li.5; Romans v.12-15.

    5th. That God elected and chose, in His Eternal counsel, some persons to life and salvation, before the foundation of the world, whom accordingly He doth and will effectually call, and whom He doth so call, He will certainly keep by His power, through faith to salvation. Acts xiii.48; Ephesians i.2-4; II Thessalonians ii.13; I Peter i.2, etc.

    6th. That election was free in God, of His own pleasure, and not at all for, or with reference to , any foreseen works of faith in the creature, as the motive thereunto. Ephesians i.4, Romans xi.5,6.

    7th. That Jesus Christ was, in the fulness of time, manifested in the flesh; being born of a woman; being perfectly righteous, gave himself for the elect to redeem them to God by his blood. John x.15; Ephesians v. 25-27; Rev. v.9.

    8th. That all men until they be quickened by Christ are dead in trespasses -- Ephesians ii.1; and therefore have no power of themselves to believe savingly -- John xv.5. But faith is the free gift of God, and the mighty work of God in the soul, even like the rising of Christ from the dead -- Ephesians 1.19. Therefore consent not with those who hold that God hath given power to all men to believe to salvation.

    9th. That Christ is the only true King, Priest, and Prophet of the Church. Acts ii.22-23; Hebrews iv.14, etc; viii.1, etc.

    10th. That every man is justified by Christ -- Romans; viii.33; I Cor. vi.11; apprehended by faith; and that no man is justified in the sight of God partly by Christ and partly by works. Romans iii.20,28,30; Gal. v.4.

    11th. That Jesus of Nazareth, of whom the scriptures of the Old Testament prophesied, is the true Messiah and Saviour of men; and that He died on the cross, was buried, rose again in the same body in which He suffered and ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high, and appeareth in the presence of God, making intercession for us.

    12th That all those who have faith wrought in their hearts by the power of God, according to his good pleasure, should be careful to maintain good works, and to abound in them, acting from principles of true faith and unfeigned love, looking to God's glory as their main end. Titus iii.8; Heb. xi.6; I Cor. vi.10 and 31.

    13th. That those who profess faith in Christ, and make the same appear by their fruits, are the proper subjects of Baptism. Matthew xxviii.18,19.

    14th. That this baptizing is not by sprinkling, but dipping of the persons in the water, representing the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Romans vi.3,4; Colossians ii.12; Acts viii.38,39.

    15th. That persons so baptized ought, by free consent, to walk together, as God shall give opportunity in distinct churches, or assemblies of Zion, continuing in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers, as fellow-men caring for one another, according to the will of God. All these ordinances of Christ are enjoined in His Church, being to be observed till his Second Coming, which we all ought diligently to wait for.

    16th. That at the time appointed of the Lord, the dead bodies of all men, just and unjust, shall rise again out of their graves, that all may receive according to what they have done in their bodies, be it good or evil.

    From the PB Web Site... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Waldensian Confessions of Faith
    (Reproduced from Jone's Church History)

    Waldenses Confession of 1120
    1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles' creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.

    2. We believe that there is one God - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)

    4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.

    5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.

    6. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born - a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.

    7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness - our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.

    8. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.

    9. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places - one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.

    10. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.

    11. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.

    12 We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.

    13. We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord's supper.

    14. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment.

    Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    From Jones Church History

    Waldenses Confession of 1544
    1. We believe that there is but one God, who is a Spirit - the Creator of all things - the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all; who is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth - upon whom we are continually dependent, and to whom we ascribe praise for our life, food, raiment, health, sickness, prosperity, and adversity. We love him as the source of all goodness; and reverence him as that sublime being, who searches the reins and trieth the hearts of the children of men.

    2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son and image of the Father - that in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, and that by Him alone we know the Father. He is our Mediator and advocate; nor is there any other name given under heaven by which we can be saved. In His name alone we call upon the Father, using no other prayers than those contained in the Holy Scriptures, or such as are in substance agreeable thereunto.

    3. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, proceeding from the Father, and from the Son; by whose inspiration we are taught to pray; being by Him renewed in the spirit of our minds; who creates us anew unto good works, and from whom we receive the knowledge of the truth.

    4. We believe that there is one holy church, comprising the whole assembly of the elect and faithful, that have existed from the beginning of the world, or that shall be to the end thereof. Of this church the Lord Jesus Christ is the head - it is governed by His word and guided by the Holy Spirit. In the church it behooves all Christians to have fellowship. For her He [Christ] prays incessantly, and His prayer for it is most acceptable to God, without which indeed their could be no salvation.

    5. We hold that the ministers of the church ought to be unblameable both in life and doctrine; and if found otherwise, that they ought to be deposed from their office, and others substituted in their stead; and that no person ought to presume to take that honour unto himself but he who is called of God as was Aaron - that the duties of such are to feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre's sake, or as having dominion over God's heritage, but as being examples to the flock, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, and in chastity.

    6. We acknowledge, that kings, princes, and governors, are the appointed and established ministers of God, whom we are bound to obey [in all lawful and civil concerns]. For they bear the sword for the defence of the innocent, and the punishment of evil doers; for which reason we are bound to honour and pay them tribute. From this power and authority, no man can exempt himself as is manifest from the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who voluntarily paid tribute, not taking upon himself any jurisdiction of temporal power.

    7. We believe that in the ordinance of baptism the water is the visible and external sign, which represents to as that which, by virtue of God's invisible operation, is within us - namely, the renovation of our minds, and the mortification of our members through [the faith of] Jesus Christ. And by this ordinance we are received into the holy congregation of God's people, previously professing and declaring our faith and change of life.

    8. We hold that the Lord's supper is a commemoration of, and thanksgiving for, the benefits which we have received by His sufferings and death - and that it is to be received in faith and love - examining ourselves, that so we may eat of that bread and drink of that cup, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures.

    9. We maintain that marriage was instituted of God. That it is holy and honourable, and ought to be forbidded to none, provided there be no obstacle from the divine word.

    10. We contend, that all those in whom the fear of God dwells, will thereby be led to please him, and to abound in the good works [of the gospel] which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them - which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, sobriety, and the other good works enforced in the Holy Scriptures.

    11. On the other hand, we confess that we consider it to be our duty to beware of false teachers, whose object is to divert the minds of men from the true worship of God, and to lead them to place their confidence in the creature, as well as to depart from the good works of the gospel, and to regard the inventions of men.

    12. We take the Old and the New Testament for the rule of our life, and we agree with the general confession of faith contained in [what is usually termed] the apostles' creed.

    Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Articles of Faith
    (Various Churches of California)

    1. We believe in only one true and living God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three in one.

    2. We believe that Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are Divine authority and the only rule of faith and practice.

    3. We believe in the total depravity of the human nature and that a recovery from that state is wholly of the free sovereign mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ.

    4. We believe that God from eternity purposed to save a people from their sins for His own name's sake, and in His infinite wisdom, He devised the plan and appointed every means necessary to accomplish the great end of their redemption, which He effects in His own time by the operation of the Holy Spirit.

    5. We believe that God from eternity purposed in himself for His own glory to make a display of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and truth in the world of creation and revelation which He made in the disposition of His providence.

    6. We believe that sinners are justified before God by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ and such as are born of the Spirit of God are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.

    7. We believe that good works are the effects of the faith of God's elect and follow being born of the Spirit of God and are evidence of a gracious state.

    8. We believe that Baptism, The Lord's Supper and washing of the saints' feet are ordinances of Jesus Christ and none but those who have professed in Christ according to His will are fit subjects for either.

    9. We believe that Baptism by the burial of the person in water is the gospel baptism of the penitent in Jesus Christ.

    10.We believe that no minister has any right to administer the ordinances of Baptism only such as have been regularly baptized and come under the imposition of the hands of the Presbytery by the authority of the Church of Christ.

    11.We believe in the resurrection of the dead and that their vile bodies will be raised and fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ, when they will be fitted for eternal happiness and the bodies of the wicked will be raised unto everlasting contempt.

    This is the Articles of Faith for Little Bethany Primitive Baptist Church in San Diego... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Here is a link to the Philadelphia Confession of Faith. It is basically the 1689 London Confession with articles added on singing and the laying on of hands. It is the most important historical confession of faith for Baptists in America, and was used by the vast majority of churches and associations in early colonial days (1742 onward). I believe that its popularity waned with the waning influence of "Calvinism". Its strong statement in favor of the catholic (universal) and invisible church also contributed its loss of popularity. Compare the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833) which is more general in its statements on salvation, watering down the "Calvinism", and makes no mention of the universal invisible church. The New Hampshire Confession supplanted the Philadelphia Confession in many areas. The New Hampshire Confession is still quite popular among old time missionary Baptists (e.g. unaffiliated associations in middle Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri). It was also the foundational confession of the American Baptist Association (org. 1924) - their other doctrinal statements were intended to give details or specifics on their stands not addressed in the New Hampshire Confession. Most of the ABA people today do not know the New Hampshire Confession is their confession of faith.
     
  8. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    RLV wrote:

    And that is exactly why it is unacceptable confession to Primitive Baptists.

    Jeff.
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Perhaps one of you gentlemen would define the term "Confession of Faith." How is it different than a creed? Would all confessions of faith be guilty of excluding some New Testament teachings?

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  10. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Clint

    I take a confession of faith to mean a brief reduction of the essence of biblical teaching.

    Most Protestants would claim to be "Bible based," "sola scriptura," etc., but it is obvious that there are some severe disagreements in the world on how to interpret the scriptures, otherwise there wouldn't be such a divseristy of Christian thought. A Confession of Faith can be much like a Creed, but is not intended to replace the scriptures, but rather to make a brief statement of belief.

    Like the SBC has the BFM 1925 or 2000 or what ever, the Confessions Bro. Glen posted are older works, and represent Baptist thought in years gone by, but yet held by some of us in the present time. I personnally think the 1689 London Confession best represents what I think the scriptures teach. Do I agree with every iota of it -- No. Is it inerrant -- No. Is it inspired -- No. I would say the same about any other confession of faith. But for me the 1689 London is the closest to my personal faith. Others would have more in common with the Midland, 1644 London, New Hampshire, or BFM, or others. It represents what I consider essential theology.

    Clear as mud now?

    Jeff.
     
  11. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Would some please explain to me what a Catechism is in relation to Confessions, and Creeds. I thought a Catechism applied only to the RCC but I see Baptist have them also... I know for a fact Old Line Primitive Baptist don't have them. Is it required reading of all other Baptist? Excuse me for my ignorance I'm as dumb as a box of rocks... Here's a web site that will interest you all... Brother(no nothing)Glen :eek: ... Would you look at all these Confessions, Creeds, and Catechisms... Did I open a can of worms! - www.reformedreader.org/ccc/hbd.htm

    [ March 16, 2002, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Brother Glen - a catechism is a summary of religious doctrine usually in the form of questions and answers. Catechisms are often based on and follow the format of a Confession of Faith. For example, following the Midland Confession, the first questions would be what we believe about God; then about the scriptures, etc. They are used as a form of instruction in basic beliefs.

    Brother Jeff - I am curious, you said that the London Confession (1689) is closest to what you believe. Do you prefer it over the Philadelphia Confession (1742)? And, if so, do you disagree with the additions (chapters 23 &31)?

    Personally, I would say that I look at the confessions more historically than anything else, revealing dominant trends, changes in thought, etc. As mentioned above, the change in popularity from Philadelphia to New Hampshire reveals something of the changes in Baptist thought from 1742 to 1833. The changes in the Baptist Faith and Message do some of the same thing for the SBC. Over the years, the New Hampshire Confession lost popularity among Baptists who have embraced premillennialism. The fact that Confessions (Doctrinal Statements, Articles of Faith) wax and wane, and are subject to change, shows that Baptists do not embrace them as inspired or on par with the Bible. When understandings change, confessions will eventually change.
     
  13. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    RLV wrote:
    Yes,I prefer the 1689 version. I do disagree with chapters 23 & 31, making singing and laying on of hands ordinances. Ordinances being a key word here.

    Jeff
     
  14. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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  15. rlvaughn

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    I am not too put off by their use of the word "ordinance". There are a number of rites or practices (feetwashing, right hand of fellowship, laying on of hands, etc.) which I view as ordained by God (therefore ordinances in a sense), that I nevertheless do not view as equivalent to baptism and the Lord's supper (which I am not sure the Bible ever terms 'ordinances'). So I guess this is somewhat of a matter of semantics to me. But as far as practice is concerned, I agree with the intent of chapter 23 on singing, and disagree with chapter 31 on laying on of hands. We practice laying on of hands at ordinations only, not at baptisms. It is interesting that the Philadelphia Association agreed with the Six-Principle Baptists on this laying on of hands at baptism practice.
     
  16. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I tend to prefer the shorter articles of faith often adopted by associations and churches, over the much more wordy confessions such as 2nd London or the Philadelphia. Ten or twelve articles, IMO, are usually sufficient, such as the eleven of Little Bethany PBC (San Diego, CA) that Glen posted above, or the ten Principles of Faith of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association (NC), 1758.

    PRINCIPLES OF FAITH

    I. We believe that there is only one true and living God; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, equal in essence, power and glory; yet there are not three Gods but one God.

    II. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and only rule of faith and practice.

    III. That Adam fell from his original state of purity, and that his sin is imputed to his posterity; that human nature is corrupt, and that man, of his own free will and ability, is impotent to regain the state in which he was primarily placed

    IV. We believe in election from eternity, effectual calling by the Holy Spirit of God, and justification in his sight only by the imputation of Christ's righteousness. And we believe that they who are thus elected, effectually called, and justified, will persevere through grace to the end, that none of them be lost.

    V. We believe that there will be a resurrection from the dead, and a general or universal judgment, and that the happiness of the righteous and punishment of the wicked will be eternal.

    VI. That the visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful persons, who have obtained fellowship with each other, and have given themselves up to the Lord and one another; having agreed to keep up a godly discipline, according to the rules of the Gospel.

    VII. That Jesus Christ is the great head of the church, and that the government thereof is with the body.

    VIII. That baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of the Lord, and to be continued by his church until his second coming.

    IX. That true believers are the only fit subjects of baptism, and that immersion is the only mode.

    X. That the church has no right to admit any but regular baptized church members to communion at the Lord's table.
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Here is A Confession written by F. H. Kerfoot, while pastor of Eutaw Place Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD. I found it interesting because of he divides it into two parts: (1) DOCTRINES WHICH WE HOLD IN COMMON WITH OTHER DENOMINATIONS; and (2) DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF BAPTISTS.
     
  18. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    The Baptists of the United States are deeply indebted to the influence of the Particular Baptists. But the General Baptists of England, especially John Smyth and Thomas Helwys, are historically significant. Here are links to some English General Baptist Confessions.
     

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