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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Benjamin, Jun 6, 2012.

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Would you sign the Articles of Affirmation and Denial?

  1. Yes, I could sign it in good faith that it is representative of my views.

    14 vote(s)
    48.3%
  2. No, I could not sign it in good faith that is representative of my views.

    14 vote(s)
    48.3%
  3. I prefer to avoid conflicts at all cost. Please don’t make me choose!

    1 vote(s)
    3.4%
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  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Articles of Affirmation and Denial


    Article One: The Gospel


    We affirm that the Gospel is the good news that God has made a way of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for any person. This is in keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved.

    We deny that only a select few are capable of responding to the Gospel while the rest are predestined to an eternity in hell.

    Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:1-12; Ezekiel 18:23, 32; Luke 19.10; Luke 24:45-49; John 1:1-18, 3:16; Romans 1:1-6, 5:8; 8:34; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 4:4-7; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-16; 2 Peter 3:9


    Article Two: The Sinfulness of Man


    We affirm that, because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is capable of moral action will sin. Each person’s sin alone brings the wrath of a holy God, broken fellowship with Him, ever-worsening selfishness and destructiveness, death, and condemnation to an eternity in hell.

    We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned. While no sinner is remotely capable of achieving salvation through his own effort, we deny that any sinner is saved apart from a free response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel.

    Genesis 3:15-24; 6:5; Deuteronomy 1:39; Isaiah 6:5, 7:15-16;53:6; Jeremiah 17:5,9, 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-18, 5:12, 6:23; 7:9; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 6:9-10;15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 20:11-15

    Article Three: The Atonement of Christ


    We affirm that the penal substitution of Christ is the only available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person.

    We deny that this atonement results in salvation without a person’s free response of repentance and faith. We deny that God imposes or withholds this atonement without respect to an act of the person’s free will. We deny that Christ died only for the sins of those who will be saved.

    Psalm 22:1-31; Isaiah 53:1-12; John 12:32, 14:6; Acts 10:39-43; Acts 16:30-32; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:10-14; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-20; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 9:12-15, 24-28; 10:1-18; I John 1:7; 2:2


    Article Four: The Grace of God


    We affirm that grace is God’s generous decision to provide salvation for any person by taking all of the initiative in providing atonement, in freely offering the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in uniting the believer to Christ through the Holy Spirit by faith.

    We deny that grace negates the necessity of a free response of faith or that it cannot be resisted. We deny that the response of faith is in any way a meritorious work that earns salvation.

    Ezra 9:8; Proverbs 3:34; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 19:16-30, 23:37; Luke 10:1-12; Acts 15:11; 20:24; Romans 3:24, 27-28; 5:6, 8, 15-21; Galatians 1:6; 2:21; 5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 3:2-9; Colossians 2:13-17; Hebrews 4:16; 9:28; 1 John 4:19


    Article Five: The Regeneration of the Sinner


    We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.
    We deny that any person is regenerated prior to or apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel.

    Luke 15:24; John 3:3; 7:37-39; 10:10; 16:7-14; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 6:4-11; 10:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; 6:15; Colossians 2:13; 1 Peter 3:18


    Article Six: The Election to Salvation


    We affirm that, in reference to salvation, election speaks of God’s eternal, gracious, and certain plan in Christ to have a people who are His by repentance and faith.

    We deny that election means that, from eternity, God predestined certain people for salvation and others for condemnation.

    Genesis 1:26-28; 12:1-3; Exodus 19:6; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Matthew 24:31; 25:34; John 6:70; 15:16; Romans 8:29-30, 33;9:6-8; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2:11-22; 3:1-11; 4:4-13; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 7:9-10
     
  2. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Article Seven: The Sovereignty of God

    We affirm God’s eternal knowledge of and sovereignty over every person’s salvation or condemnation.

    We deny that God’s sovereignty and knowledge require Him to cause a person’s acceptance or rejection of faith in Christ.

    Genesis 1:1; 6:5-8; 18:16-33; 22; 2 Samuel 24:13-14; 1 Chronicles 29:10-20; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Joel 2:32; Psalm 23; 51:4; 139:1-6; Proverbs 15:3; John 6:44; Romans 11:3; Titus 3:3-7; James 1:13-15; Hebrews 11:6, 12:28; 1 Peter 1:17


    Article Eight: The Free Will of Man

    We affirm that God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with actual free will (the ability to choose between two options), which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

    We deny that the decision of faith is an act of God rather than a response of the person. We deny that there is an “effectual call” for certain people that is different from a “general call” to any person who hears and understands the Gospel.

    Genesis 1:26-28; Numbers 21:8-9; Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 8:1-22; 2 Samuel 24:13-14; Esther 3:12-14; Matthew 7:13-14; 11:20-24; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 9:23-24; 13:34; 15:17-20; Romans 10:9-10; Titus 2:12; Revelation 22:17


    Article Nine: The Security of the Believer

    We affirm that when a person responds in faith to the Gospel, God promises to complete the process of salvation in the believer into eternity. This process begins with justification, whereby the sinner is immediately acquitted of all sin and granted peace with God; continues in sanctification, whereby the saved are progressively conformed to the image of Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit; and concludes in glorification, whereby the saint enjoys life with Christ in heaven forever.

    We deny that this Holy Spirit-sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny even the possibility of apostasy.

    John 10:28-29; 14:1-4; 16:12-14; Philippians 1:6; Romans 3:21-26; 8:29,30; 35-39; 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19; 3:2; 5:13-15; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 13:5; James 1:12; Jude 24-25

    Article Ten: The Great Commission

    We affirm that the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned His church to preach the good news of salvation to all people to the ends of the earth. We affirm that the proclamation of the Gospel is God’s means of bringing any person to salvation.

    We deny that salvation is possible outside of a faith response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Psalm 51:13; Proverbs 11:30; Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 28:19-20; John 14:6; Acts 1:8; 4:12; 10:42-43; Romans 1:16, 10:13-15; 1 Corinthians 1:17-21; Ephesians 3:7-9; 6:19-20; Philippians 1:12-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5
     
  3. TadQueasy

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    Not signing anything that states the Gospel is "a" way of salvation.
     
  4. Winman

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    I could sign it.
     
  5. Bob Alkire

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    Sounds OK to me, I could sign it.
     
  6. 12strings

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    This section means one of 2 things:

    -Babies who die are saved because they are sinless, and have no need of the atonement of Christ.
    -Babies who die cannot be saved.
     
  7. webdog

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    Where did you see that?

    Amazing what one can do when they do not quote things wholly and in context.

    Using your approach I can quote the Bible: There is no God.
     
    #7 webdog, Jun 7, 2012
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  8. webdog

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    Or...

    Babies who die are affected by sin, yet are not dead in their trespasses and sins, hence deemed "not guilty".

    Unfortunately, Augustiniansim renders your #2 option as the only one.
     
  9. webdog

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    I would sign it.
     
  10. TadQueasy

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    We affirm that the Gospel is the good news that God has made a way of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for any person. This is in keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved.
     
  11. jonathan.borland

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    LOL! Perhaps some don't know that "a" in the English language can mean "one," "single," etc. But here it's just introducing the subject that follows. Or do you really think that these people mean what you think they mean.

    I'm reminded of the short Sicilian in The Princess Bride movie who keeps saying "Inconceivable!" whenever something he didn't anticipate occurs. Finally the Spaniard confronts him and says something to the effect of: "Why do you keep using that word? You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

    Too funny!
     
  12. TadQueasy

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    This is supposed to be a serious statement on beliefs, it is no place to be ambiguous with words. At the very least it is sloppy work for a statement that is supposed to be important.

    But more importantly, the SBC does not need this statement. There is already a very clear statement of beliefs in the BF&M 2000.
     
  13. annsni

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    There is no way I could sign it since it goes against Scripture.
     
  14. jonathan.borland

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    Didn't you see all the Scripture references?
     
  15. annsni

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    Yep, I saw the Scripture references. However, since most of the ideas they deny are in Scripture, it seems they proof text and ignore the whole counsel of the Word of God.
     
  16. jonathan.borland

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    Naturally!
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    Yes. When I was reading through it, I was surprised that a rejection of the doctrine of original sin was considered a "traditional" Southern Baptist understanding.

    While I don't like the doctrine of original sin in the way that it is usually formulated (guilt, not inclination), my like or dislike of the doctrine doesn't make it any more or less true.

    I'm not actually sure what I think of the doctrine of original sin and have had some vigorous discussion on the doctrine in both a Texas Baptist university theology class and a Southern Baptist seminary. In both places, the doctrine of original sin (guilt, not just inclination) was alleged to be the "traditional" Baptist view. I tend to believe that our sin nature is an inclination toward sin, not guilt, but I am not dogmatic on that point.

    Although I am not a five-point Calvinist, I have a number of other issues with the document, not the least of which is that the document doesn't define what "the Gospel" is exactly. The context tells me that the writers think that primary focus of the gospel is getting people to heaven, but that's not what my reading of the scripture tells me - it's about the Kingdom of God. Yes, those who enter the Kingdom of God will experience heaven (and a new earth with a physical resurrection of the body), but the focus of Jesus' teaching and the message of the early church is not about getting to heaven.

    Furthermore, the language "God's Plan of Salvation" is completely extra-biblical and makes it sound like God is somehow setting out a series of tasks for us to complete so we can experience salvation. I can imagine that others will rightly insist that salvation is initiated, directed, and completed by God (in my understanding, with our assent and participation), so the "plan" is entirely on God's side. If so, I think the framers of this document should have chosen other words to more accurately reflect that truth.

    Overall, I think this is yet another way certain leaders in the SBC are trying to provoke a fight over an important, but not essential, doctrinal issue. It seems to me that they might be trying to blame the Calvinists for the overall lack of vitality and growth of the SBC over the past few decades instead of realizing that most churches in the SBC (and every other denomination in the United States) have essentially ignored practical discipleship training. The people in the pews have been taught that the gospel is about getting to heaven and you do it by affirming certain theological statements, walking an aisle, getting baptized, and staying out of trouble until you die. Our churches tend to ignore the teachings of Jesus about entering into a transformed Kingdom life by doing the things he does. We also tend to read Paul with our biases that Paul is interested in just getting people into heaven, rebuking women who allegedly overstep their freedoms, and denouncing homosexual acts. Paul clearly identifies himself as a disciple/slave of Jesus and, if you read Paul in the context of Jesus' teachings, you'll see that Paul's focus is actually about how to put the words and teachings of Jesus into action on the mission field and in the church.

    Even though I disagree with much of the theological position, I have enormous respect for five-point Calvinists. In my opinion, this document is an unwarranted broadside against them.
     
  18. TadQueasy

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    Very good points. It has never made sense to me that if all the studies show that Calvinists make up a small minority in the SBC how can they be the reason for the declining numbers. It seems they are just the convenient group to place blame. If the SBC wants to do something they should dig into the problems you have listed here instead of trying to place blame on a select group of brothers within the convention.
     
  19. 12strings

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    Their document doesn't say anything about being dead or affected by sin, it says (1) a person is NOT rendered guilty before he has individually sinned (2) Each person's sin brings the wrath of God...etc, (3) We deny that any sinner is saved apart from a free response to the H.S. drawing....

    This does not leave room for a "sinful" yet "not guilty" infant. It only leaves room for sinless infants who have no need to be saved, or sinful infants who because of their inability to respond to the gospel, will not be saved.

    I don't know what Augustine believed about this issue.
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    James White pointed out how almost all the verses offered do not support what the statement says. Jonathan...give it a listen.
     
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