Questions For Southern Baptists

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    The Southern Baptist Convention has recently cracked down on liberalism in it's missionary ranks, requiring missionaries to sign allegiance to the Baptist Faith and Message. This is an attempt to insure that the missionaries are committed to the doctrine of the inerrancy and authority of the Scriptures.

    But just as surely as the Baptist Faith and Message teaches biblical inerrancy, it prescribes the practice of restricting communion to immersed believers.

    The question: will the Southern Baptist Convention now make restricted communion a test of missionary fitness?

    The Baptist Faith and Message also teaches that there is a universal church composed of all believers. Not a few Southern Baptists don't believe in this item which was added in the 1960s.

    Will the Foreign Mission Board refuse to hire a missionary who does not subscribe to the universal church doctrine?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. John Wells

    John Wells
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    I, as a member of the SBC do not have a problem with that. I see no connection here with the idea of a "universal church." Will some missionaries disqualify themselves because of their position here? Perhaps!
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    Rick and Nancy Dill, two friends of mine who were missionaries in Weimar, Germany, where I have spent time as a summer missionary myself, were recently removed from the rank because of the issue in question. Thankfully, the support from over here is sufficient for them to continue serving God. They disagreed ever so slightly with the BFM, taking a moderate (not a liberal) stance concerning the role of women and Biblical inerrancy. They followed their hearts and chose to not sign, even after being missionaries for almost 15 years.

    As I understand it, anything that it found in the BFM is up for grabs. If a person does not agree with it, and cannot sign it in good conscience, then the person must find another way to follow the call of God.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Mark, would you be willing to have an invitation and baptism just before each time you celebrate the Lord's supper?

    Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? Is he just as much a believer as someone who is immersed? Some are immersed and all they did was get wet. A few years ago the Dallas Association did a study and found that there were some pastors who baptized some of the same people up to five times.

    Perhaps maybe some of you read about those who had reservations about the BF&M and signed it anyway. Is that integrity? Some would say it is because signing a document does not compare to the ministry they have now. Would you be willing to leave behind an entire ministry because of a document? So there are several who have opted to sign and stay rather than leave. So that does tell us that there are some missionaries who are stil there who did sign, even in some disagreement and stayed.

    Sometime read about A.T. Robertson and some of the things that surrounded him. Read about Whitsitt who taught at Southern that Baptist have only been around for four centuries. He was terminated for teaching that. Today that same view is widely taught. Maybe you know about B.H. Carroll who was the founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was divorced, smoked cigars and once pastored a church in Waco. TX. The cigar in his picture in the rotunda at SWBTS is painted over.

    Jesus would have been viewed as radical in his day. Salvation produces a radical Christianity. Jesus never calls anyone to be conservative or liberal. He calls them to lose their life for His sake.
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    gb, I hope this isn't too far off of Mark's subject, but I can't help but ask? Is pastoring a church in Waco, Texas, the moral/immoral equivalent of divorce and smoking cigars??
    :eek: :confused:
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    It's worse! [​IMG]
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    Whatever the SBC in its annual meeting tells its agencies and institutions and boards is the current hiring/firing policy will have to be implemented in the said entities. That's the way we work and always have worked.

    On the other hand local churches never have to sign doctrinal statements in order to participate in the SBC.
     
  8. gb93433

    gb93433
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    The point I tried to make was that the SBC is not consistent throughout time. Baptists have changed in their doctrine over time but the Bible has not. That's the reason why it is so important to study scripture and forget about creeds. The book of James speaks about the issue of a creedal faith versus a genuine faith. There are many in the SBC who say there is no way a man can be divorced and pastor. Well B.H. Caroll did, and in fact started SWBTS. It kind of causes you to think about the idea that God can't use a divorced person.

    I am not sure there is any connection between Waco and B.H. Carroll other than he pastored there.

    Can anyone think of a denominatiuon that has maintained its focus on scripture without turning to a focus on politics and creedalism? The only church I can think of is the Worldwide Church of God that began to take a serious look at the Bible and took a stance on scripture but at the same time lost about 2/3 of its membership.

    [ July 07, 2003, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: gb93433 ]
     
  9. John Wells

    John Wells
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    This side of heaven we are not going to find a perfect church, a perfect denomination, nor a perfect Christian for that matter! [​IMG] But as a proud member of an SBC church I am standing firm, seeking reformation one member and one church gathering at a time! Too many people want to run for greener pastures. I'm fertilizing the soil I'm on! ;)
     
  10. gb93433

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    The previous posting reminds me of the time a young man was complaining about his church and how poor it was. I asked him about how long he had lived in the area. He told me most of his life. At the time he was 21. I said "Let me ask you a question, who's living for Jesus Christ because of your life?" I then followed up with another question, "Who have you discipled and it now going on to lead others to Christ and discipling them?" He had to admit that there was not one person he could name. Yet he called himself a Christian and was raised in a Christian home that read the Bible regularly, But he was out to lunch when it came to helping others to grow in such a way that they would reproduce.

    What we truly believe is always carried out in our actions.
     
  11. Trotter

    Trotter
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    (Here I go again...)

    As a Southern Baptist, I uphold the Baptist Faith & Message (I taught a discipleship course on it). I do have to say that it is a document that was written by men, and all men are still "in the flesh", but it is a rather good read (especially if you run all the references). It is at least something that all SBC should look to and hold in common (did I almost say creed? Oooooh, I better be more careful...).

    As was stated above, SBC's do not have to sign a doctrinal statement, nor do they report to "higher powers". The recent casting out of a lesbian pastor (can we say oxymoron?), while called for by the denominational headquarters, was still up to the church itself.

    I am very conserative, myself. I do not agree with a vast majority of anything I have heard from liberals. As far as the Southern Baptist denomination goes, I stand by it.

    I am a Southern Baptist because I agree with the stance and views that are espoused by the SBC. If those views were to change within the denomination, I would find another place to hang my theology.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  12. Johnv

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    Words taken from my own mouth. I take my denominational affiliation very seriously. I don't think it's appropriate for people to join a denom, and then pick & choose what denominational practices they're going to adhere to. As a member of the SBC, I'm bound to adhere to the distinctives as a matter of scriptural living for the Baptist. As for the Baptist Faith and Message, this is a foundation of Baptist faith, and I stand by it as a matter of allegience for the Baptist.
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

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    I still haven't got an answer as to whether the Foreign Mission Board will require missionaries to follow the restricted communion and universal church aspects of the BF&M as it has the innerancy aspect.

    Does anyone know?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. KenH

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    Those are not dividing issues. Inerrancy was the horse ridden to get control of the denominational machinery from the moderates/liberals. Inerrancy is THE issue that divides the sheep from the goats in the SBC, so to speak.
     
  15. All about Grace

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    1. You read too much Landmarkism into the statement.

    2. The guideline for the missionaries was to work in "accordance with" and not "contrary to" the BF&M. If they could not, they are encouraged to explain their differences. Whether one practices open or closed communion (or prior to or after baptism communion) does not jeopardize whether they can work within the doctrinal parameters of the overall statement.

    3. The BF&M is not a contractual agreement. It is a consensus of beliefs. Those who represent the convention (such as missionaries) naturally should believe the primary doctrines of the people they represent. Ethics demands it.
     
  16. Mark Osgatharp

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    What is seems to me you folks are saying is that the SBC will require missionaries to follow the BF&M on some points but not on others.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  17. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    What is seems to me you folks are saying is that the SBC will require missionaries to follow the BF&M on some points but not on others.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  18. KenH

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    It will be whatever those in control desire to be a dividing line.
     
  19. j_barner2000

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    If you read the body of the letter sent to the missionaries... it says in essence that the missionaries are welcome to comment on what they may dissagree with. They were also asked not to teach contrary to the BFM. There is a difference between being told to toe the line and to refrain from speaking against those who support you. You see we as Southern Baptists, choose to support our missionatries through a board which has been asked to train and assess whether they are following certain standards. Part of the standards are called out in the BFM. Can you tell me that if your church is supporting missionaries and they disagree with your basic statement of faith and message, your church would continue to support them?
    I think not.
     
  20. TomVols

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    This question is entirely too loaded. You could go down the line and pick supposedly "controversial" doctrines. However, there are clear essentials and then there are issues where a variety of beliefs are compatible with the BFM (Eschatology, Election, Free Will, et.al.).

    All that has been asked is that the missionaries sign the statement. An extraordinarily small percentage refused to sign. So this is muchado about nothing.
     

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