re 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (unamended)

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    When we left the geopgraphical area served by the SBC, the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (pre 1998) was active. Since returning further south, we find the SBC much changed. (Please do not turn this into a debate of the good or ill of the changes.)

    I am trying to find a print copy of the old version and would appreciate pointers where to look.

    I am also trying to find out if there are any areas of the country where either SBC churches still follow the older version of BFM, or where another convention does so.

    Sorry if this is asked and answered before--new user, not all that computer savvy.
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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  3. nodak

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    Thank you much!
     
  4. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Here is the SBC site that lays out all 3 (1925, 1963, and 2000). I really do not see a big difference between them. The section on the family was added to the 1963 version in 1998 by ammendment and then became part of the 2000 edition as well.

    Is there anything particulary that you like better in the 1963 version?

    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp
     
  5. Dale-c

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    I am not a member of an SBC church so I don't have a dog in this fight but I would like to know what types of things have changed since then?
    I have heard that there has been a rise in calvinism but beyond that I am not familiar.
    being a calvinist myself I would see that as a good thing but perhaps there are other changes that wouldn't be good in my view.

    I don't want to start an argument, I am just curious as to what all the changes are.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    I like the 1963 over the 2000. :)
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    In terms of the changes to the entire SBC, during the 1980's there was a conservative resurgence that recaptured our historical committment to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. (that will set some people off, right there :laugh: ).

    Personally, I think there has always been Calvinism in the SBC, so I think the so-called rise has been one of publicity rather than a huge titdal wave of Reformed thinking, although there are more reformed thinkers coming out of seminaries like SBTS.

    As to the differences between the 1963 and the 2000, NC Tentmaker had a great website to see how it has changed.
     
  8. nodak

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    Thanks to all. I have learned I can get a print copy from the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

    For me the biggest issue with the BFM2000 is the part about timeless truths vs Jesus Christ as final arbiter of our faith.

    Reading the comparison versions on line makes me believe that soul competency and the priesthood of the believer and autonomy of the local church are being downplayed.

    It isn't that I disagree with BFM2000 on any major points of doctrine. It is more a feeling that I left a cooperative convention of local churches when we moved away, and returned to a hierarchical denomination.

    I want a print copy both for my own use and to have to show my grandkids their spiritual heritage.
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    Baptist Faith and Message

    You are right, the SBC is much more hierarchical and creedal than when I was a kid wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back when.
     
  10. Zenas

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    Beauty (or ugliness) is in the eye of the beholder, but no church or church member is obligated to subscribe to any version of the BF&M. Now if you are an employee of the SBC that is a different matter.
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Which section is that in? I can't find it.
     
  12. Zenas

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    1963 BF&M:

    "The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ."

    2000 BF&M:

    "All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation."

    Each of these respective sentences is the last sentence of SECTION I: The Scriptures.
     
  13. go2church

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    There are three state conventions that still use the 63 BFM; BGCT(exas), BGCM(issiouri) and BGCV(irginia). Most of the others have made the switch to the 2000 officially but certianly unofficially.

    As for no one being forced to sign that is not a SBC employee, well that is not exactly true. Florida, SBT(exas)C, Oklahoma and I think Alabama are just a few state conventions that require churches to use the 2000 BFM. There may be more.

    I could never sign the 2000 BFM, Jesus is at the center of my faith not "timeless truths". I believe women to be called to be pastor's. It is none of the SBC's business how graciously my wife and I submit to one another and it is priesthood of the believer, not priesthood of believers, HUGE difference
     
  14. JerryL

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    A major change is in the Stewardship text. They added tithe Scriptures in 1963.
    XXIV. Stewardship
    God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to him. We have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in our possessions. We are therefore under obligation to serve him with our time, talents and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to us to use for the glory of God and helping others. Christians should cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally, contribute of their means to advancing the Redeemer's cause on earth.
    Luke 12:42; 16:1-8; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Cor. 8:1-7; 2 Cor. 8:11-19; 2 Cor. 12:1-15; Matt. 25:14-30; Rom. 1:8-15; 1 Cor. 6:20; Acts 2:44-47.


    XIII. Stewardship
    God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
    Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.


    XIII. Stewardship
    God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
    Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19


    Comparison of different Baptist Faith and Message texts.

    Gold is from 1925. Pink is from 1963. Black is from 2000. Notice the difference in the wording of the 1925 and the 1963, they are exactly the same. The difference comes in the addition of Scripture verses that include references to the tithe. It took until 1963 to change historical Baptist doctrine. It took 319 years to change the Baptists confession to use the Scriptures to reference tithing. No historical Baptists confession ever references tithing. Neither of these text, the 1120 Waldenses Confession, 1544 Waldenses Confession ,1644 London Baptist Confession, 1689 London Confession,1742 The Philadelphia Confession, 1813 Charleston, or the 1833 New Hampshire. Baptists churches had thrived and grown for hundreds of years before the addition of tithe texts. Major theologians agree that New Testament Christians aren’t under the obligation to tithe. Martin Luther, in 1525, expressly taught that we weren’t under the law or any part of it, he included the tithe. The list is endless of modern day theologians also.
     
  15. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Wow, I guess I always knew there were some objections to the BFM, but other than the Family section I had not heard them specified before.

    So JerryL, you don’t have a problem with the text of the BFM as far as the stewardship section goes, but you have a problem with the verses listed, starting in 1963, to support that section. Is that right? The BFM does not say we are under law or even reference the tithe, only the verses listed do. So the way I read your post your problem is with the Bible not with the BFM. Is that right? Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Go2church, I still can’t find the timeless truths clause. Where is it? The closest thing I can find is in the 2000 preamble where it says
    And later it says
    Is this what you're talking about? To me there is a big difference between timeless truths vs eternal truths. Timeless truths to me implies the traditions of men (ie Romanism) while eternal truths points back to the scripture (sola scripture). Semantically they may be close but to me there is a definite difference.

    Now as far as you believing that women can be called to pastor I can understand that objection to the BFM because that is in there pretty clear in section V, The Church. I disagree with you but understand how you feel and your objection.
    The line in section XVIII, The Family about women submitting to their husbands has created a fair amount of objections.
    But even you have to admit that it is pretty close to Ephesians 5

    Yes in the preamble the 2000 BFM changes priesthood of the believer to priesthood of the believers. But if you look at the entire paragraphs in context I think it is clear that the 2000 change is simply to imply the plural of many believers not to change the doctrine into some kind of joint priesthood. The idea of an individual’s liberty and singular accountability and access to God is IMHO much clearer and more emphasized in the 2000 version.
    I like the 2000 version, but then, hey I am a Southern Baptist (at least today I am):praying:

     
  16. Tom Bryant

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    The BF&M is a changing document that reflects the times in which the writer and the additions are living.

    In 1925 and 1963, the idea of the priesthood of a believer was understood that there was no human mediator between God and man and that each soul was answerable to God. Everyone knew and agreed with the issue of inerrancy

    By 2000, people were saying that it meant that I could be SBC and not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and no one could take me to task because of the priesthood of a believer. The changes reflected the changing time. The moderates/liberals could agree with the 1963 document because there was "wiggle room". the 2000 document reduced the wiggle room.

    In 1963, there was never a thought that in a SBC church that a woman would be a pastor. By 2000, it was clear that something needed to be added.

    the 2000 document closed the loopholes. And I am thankful.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    As am I.:thumbs:
     
  18. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I for one am glad that we have a document like the BFM. I understand that some believers will object to certain sections, and that is ok. But those people don’t need to be employed by the SBC. I understand the priesthood of the believer and the antonomy of the local church. Believe anything you want, and run your church however you see fit. But if you are going to but “Southern Baptist” on your sign out by the road, if you are going to participate in cooperative missions and evangelistic programs, if you are going to associate with me, then I think I have a right to ask what you believe.

    One of the biggest problems we had within the SBC going back 40 years was missionaries and schools that were teaching doctrine substantially different than the BFM in any version. When the international mission board asked SBC missionaries to sign the 2000 BFM many objected and 80 missionaries refused to sign. You know what, I have no problem with that. I actually respect those 80 more than some included in the 5000 or so who you know just signed it even though they did not believe it or intend to follow it. There are strong Christians who believe differently than I do on major doctrines of scripture. I do not believe these people are evil or lost, but I don’t want to send them my money. I want to send my money to Christians who believe what I do.

    I am glad we have a foundational document like the BFM and I think it keeps SBC churches from being led astray by false doctrine and individual interpretations. I would encourage all churches regardless of denomination to carefully examine their doctrinal statement and what they believe. I interim pastored an independent church one time and one of my first questions was for a copy of their belief statement. They did not have one. One of our fist goals was to put down on paper what we as a church believed and how we were going to practice that belief. I have served other churches that proudly displayed their believe statement on the wall of the sanctuary, but they were empty words that did not describe the real beliefs or practices of the church. I would be willing to bet that a majority of SBC church members have never read the BFM in any version. I don’t understand that but I guess I take things like that more seriously than most people.
     
  19. Zenas

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    You've got that right. Unlike the Independents, Southern Baptist congregations pay very little attention to matters of doctrine.
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    Apparently you have no idea what Southern Baptists pay attention to.
     

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