Should a Southern Baptist Church be required to Affirm the BF&M 2000?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Hardsheller, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Should local Southern Baptist Churches be required to Affirm the BF&M 2000 in order to remain in the good graces of Baptist State Conventions and the SBC?

    This is a question that is going to be faced in the near future by Southern Baptists.

    While every Baptist Association and every Baptist Convention has the absolute right to set its own affiliation requirements is it not a change in Historic Southern Baptist Polity to require adherence to a Doctrinal Confession?
     
  2. TomVols

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    Absolutely not. Baptists have historically been confessional. Even when the seminaries were under the reign of terror from the left, profs were required to sign a doctrinal statement (Abstract at SBTS and SEBTS, BFM 63 at other institutions).

    Should all churches be required to sign the BFM 2000? No. Each church is free to draw their own confession of faith. But you cannot just believe anything and still be a Baptist. I'm Reformed in my thinking so creeds don't bother me as much as other Baptists, so I believe there should be some measure of doctrinal accountability among SB churches. How you flesh this out exactly I'm not sure. However, historical Baptist distinctives which many left leaning churches have unfortunately jettisonedm such as salvation alone in Christ, the inerrancy and infallability of Scripture, et. al., should be preserved, or else a church has given up its Baptist heritage.

    I personally don't know if this is going to be as big of an issue for SBC as it will be CBF. Recent outlandish and embarassing comments made by Daniel Vestal about Islam and prior comments made about "evangelism" has many CBF folks I know questioning the direction of this shaky group. Whether this will be as divisive as the issue of homosexuality in that fellowship remains to be seen, since most of the CBF folks I'm familiar with (especially at high levels) are either pluralists or universalists.

    Anyway, I digress. The struggle to maintain doctrinal freedom with accountability will probably always be a struggle. It's worthwhile, and it's certainly not boring :D
     
  3. Kiffin

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    Hi Hardsheller,

    It is not Historic Southern Baptist Polity to require it's churches to adhere to a Doctrinal Confession. The SBC point of unity has been the Cooperative program.

    It is however common historicaly among Baptists to have fellowship with one another based upon Doctrinal confessions. This was certaintly true of the early English Baptists, both General and Particular in the 1600's. The Associatian of Reformed Baptist Churches of America and the Sovereign Grace Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Canada all require their churches to hold to the 1644 or 1689 London Confession.

    The problem with the SBC making the [email protected] mandatory is,

    1. The SBC did not start out as a Confessional denomination while groups such as the ARBCA and the SGFBC were from the begininng.

    2. The SBC is all about Cooperative Program money. Would they risk a financial collaspe over this?

    3. The Baptist Faith and Message is a so so doctrinal confession. My Church holds to the 1646 London and regards the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message to be too Arminian leaning.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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  5. Baptist Believer

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  6. Rev. Joshua

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    I think it's a great idea. Any church wanting to contribute to the SBC or identify itself as an SBC church must affirm the BF&M. Then we can find out how many of those "16 million" baptists theyv'e been claiming really are behind the "resurgence."

    Joshua
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    I see you haven't had a chance to see my message. No worries, I'm also going to the CBF meeting tomorrow. I look forward to hearing about the universalists and "pluralists". By the way, please define "pluralist" so I'll know what you're talking about.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. OSAS

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    So tell us Reverend? :confused: is it? Joshua... What is your "vendetta" with the Southern Baptists? You do realize that no matter how much you bait, the Fundamentalists will never recognize double-mindedness as Christ-Like...
     
  9. OSAS

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    Pastors of SB Churches should affirm, but not the membership as a whole...
     
  10. KenH

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    I think the answer is yes. There should be some minimum doctrinal agreement between SBC churches. And with the BF&M of 2000 being so watered down theologically, I don't see how a church can fail to agree to it(doctrinally) and still be in at least a minimal sense orthodox in the faith.

    Will this happen - no. The SBC is basically a common pool for gathering missons money. The leadership is not going to risk cooking the proverbially goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Ken
     
  11. TomVols

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    Bapt Believer,
    Sorry it's taking so long between responses. Our church is in VBS this week, and as usual I've bitten off more than I can chew :eek:

    Pluralism is a philosophy which believes there is more than one legitimate way to receive salvation and get to heaven. As I said, there are several CBF folks I know and am familiar with at high levels in state and national affairs who believe this or are universalists.

    I'm looking for the link by Daniel Vestal (I should've bookmarked it, but I can't find it at ABP or CBF websites). It was a press release where he denounced the comments made by Dr. Jerry Vines regarding Islam. While I don't fault people for criticizing how Dr. Vines expressed himself, Vestal's failure to repudiate Islam as a legitimate religious expression of our one true God stood ominously present as the CBF sided with numerous other liberal, pluralistic/universalistic Christian groups and the Muslim community.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Wow! I'm surprised you're even checking in... VBS is fun for the kids but murder on the leadership!

    Hmmm... I would be very interested to hear some names. I've heard unsubstantiated charges before, but they have always been anonymous "CBF leaders".

    I have an excellent opportunity to talk to some of these people face to face tomorrow since the meeting is being held 8 miles from my home. I went tonight as was pleasantly surprised by the lack of reaction against the SBC. I've attended several CBF general assemblies over the past decade and previous meetings seemed be overshadowed by a common frustration about the situation with the SBC. This time however, that seems to be gone and the Fellowship seems poised to follow God's call unimpeded by their grief. It was an exceptionally positive meeting.

    I'm starting to think that the CBF and BGCT may one day started working together in a close relationship.

    Well I can understand why he would want to distance himself for Jerry Vines remarks...

    Five days after Jerry Vines made headlines with his remarks about Muhommad, I was seated at a wedding on the campus of the University of Chicago with a Muslim couple (as well as several unchurched couples and the son of Angel Martinez!). A former theology professor of mine (who preached the wedding sermon) were seated together at the table and we began very naturally talking about Jesus to each other and to the other people at the table. The first thing out of the Muslim man's mouth was a question about Jerry Vines remarks. He was digusted with what Vines had said. I told him I did not agree with the way Vines said what he said and that there is some dispute about the facts surrounding Muhommad's life (as I had read from Muslim scholars quoted in the newspaper). I said the Vines does not speak for all Baptists, not even all Southern Baptists, but only for himself. He immediately warmed up to me and we began a conversation about Jesus. Although I told him in no uncertain terms that I believed that Muhommad was a false prophet and I disagreed with Islam, we were able to have a discussion of religious things and I was able to share the gospel in a very comfortable and natural way. I know when we parted company a few hours later that the Spirit has used me to share God's love and truth with someone else and I know the Spirit will use our conversation to God's glory.

    Now some will say that God used Vines to provoke that man to think about his faith. I am willing to concede that. God used Balaam's [donkey] to speak the truth, but I think God would rather not use an [donkey] to do it. I would have shared my faith anyway and the man would probably have still been receptive.

    Please see if you can locate the story and I'll give it a shot too. I should have an opportunity to talk to Vestal tomorrow evening and I can ask him one-on-one about it.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Deitrich B

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  14. Deitrich B

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    Joshua
    What a fabulous idea!!! I wonder how many of those sweet Baptist ladies "where I suspect the cash really comes from" when they read the thing....ooooh delicious.

    I love what my 92 year old grandfather said about Mohler. We always thought he was silly when he edited the Christian Index, but everyone thought he would grow out of it.

    He bolted the SBC finally, the Disney boycott pushed him over the edge. You should see him talking to his old cronies about CBF. Drives his young up and coming fundy Pastor nuts. [​IMG]
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    There's nothing wrong with that statement...

    Now that Vines inflammatory statement is out of the way, the CBF can start talking to Muslims about Jesus again.

    [ June 28, 2002, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    Actually, Mohler seems to have ‘grown’ into the “resurgence” camp. While it is not well known, Mohler agitated for women in ministry (yes, including ordination) not many years ago. There are copies of a advertisement he and some others took out in a newspaper (I don’t recall if it was secular or a Baptist paper) that had all of their signatures and a statement affirming women in ministry. Does anyone have an image of that? I’m not sure I can find it anymore.

    It was the same convention for me (Dallas 1997). My wakeup call came when the motion to change the Baptist Faith and Message passed with only a few dissenting votes (one of them was mine). It was pitched as an anti-gay amendment promoting family, virtue, and loving God. When I and my friend stood up together to vote against it, a few people around me started speculating (in stage whispers) whether or not the two of us were gay lovers to vote against such an amendment.

    The Disney vote only confirmed it… the weepy, emotionally-manipulative “discussion” of the amendments clinched it – “When I was a little girl I met Mickey Mouse. I was thrilled. When I was 14, I met Jesus and he changed my life. Won’t you vote for Jesus over Mickey Mouse!?!?!?! (hysterical sobbing)”
    :rolleyes:
     
  17. Hardsheller

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    Why should a Pastor of an SB Church affirm the BF&M and the Membership not affirm it?

    What does affirm mean anyway?

    In a discussion with conservative leadership in Missouri we heard that to affirm means you don't have to agree with all the parts! I think that kind of thinking is indicative of the problems Southern Baptists will have if the BF&M ever becomes a mandatory confessional statement for Churches.

    Our Church - founded in 1826 predates both the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Covention. In our opinion our original articles of faith are quite sufficient.
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    Yep... If you're a friend of the "resurgence" you don't have to worry very much about agreeing with the BF&M. If you're a target of the "resurgence" you'll have to agree with every jot and tittle of the BF&M.

    I've seen it happen to a close friend of mine.
     
  19. By God's Grace

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    Baptist Believer:

    While you are at the CBF meeting, perhaps you can find out why they are seriously exploring open theism???
     
  20. Baptist Believer

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    Well the meeting ended on Saturday...

    This is the third place I've found that you've gone off about the CBF having a discussion session about Open Theism. Why is it such an issue to you that that perspective is explained in a meeting? Would you have the same issues with sessions explaining Arminianism and Calvinism? Even the Baptist Press article did seem to say that the session leaders wanted CBF members to accept it at face value -- they simply encouraged them to consider the view.

    And I'll say it a third time, my own theological views are similar to Open Theism so this is not something I think CBF should distance itself from... I just don't like the way people are trying to make it sound like a bad thing when different theological points of views are expressed and discussed. Ever take a theology class?
     

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