The BF&M 2000 & Related Issues

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Hardsheller, May 3, 2003.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    On another forum the fact that the Birmingham, AL Baptist Association had rejected the BF&M 2000 garnered a couple of pages of responses and the moderator suggested that we move here to continue our discussion since the "Sun does not rise and set on Nashville" and a lot of folks are just not interested in the subject.

    The point was well taken and so here goes an attempt to restart that discussion in a more appropriate board location.

    Q. Is the current use of the BF&M 2000 a step toward creedalism in the SBC? Please elaborate on your answer.
     
  2. Jonathan

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    I'll elaborate first. The thinking that creeds are new to Southern Baptist life is a myth. A creed is nothing more than a statement that is utilized as a boundary for a set group of people. The moderate Southern Baptist hero, E.Y. Mullins outlined a very clear defense of creeds in the 1920's and stated that any group of Baptists has both the right and the responsiblity to establish doctrinal boundaries for those who would serve in positions of leadership and teaching.

    With this in mind, it may be that the BFM2000 is a return to what Mullins was speaking of (not to mention 4 centuries of Baptist history involving creeds) from an era where egalitarianism reigned in SBC institutional life.
     
  3. bapterian

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    Q. Is the current use of the BF&M 2000 a step toward creedalism in the SBC? Please elaborate on your answer.

    Probably not. If the local churches are required to subscribe to the 2000 BF&M as a condition for SBC affiliation, then that would be considered creedalism. At the present, the SBC does not impose that requirement on the local churches and I do not see them doing that in the future.

    That being said, creedalism is not wrong as long as it does not take the place of authority that belongs only to the Bible. A creed is a summary statement of what you believe as a Christian. Baptists have a long history of using confessions and creeds to define what we believe the Bible teaches.

    I often become tired when I hear Baptists say: "Baptist are non-creedal. The Bible is our only creed." It's good and right that we believe the Bible, but what do we believe the Bible teaches? Even Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible.
     
  4. Speedpass

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    While any Baptist body has the right to set parameters for its members/employees, I sense what the IMB is doing as setting a dangerous precedent. What if the SBC requires all co-operating state conventions to endorse BFM2K, or local associations? what if the SBC requires all seminary students at the 6 SBC seminaries(even students who are not SBC)? What if the BFM is revised in later years to include a Calvinistic view of salvation/election, or to include a dispy-premil view of the end times? That is my concern about what could happen during the next 50 years in Southern Baptist life.
     
  5. Daniel David

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    I hope they do all of those things. It is a shame that it hasn't already been done.
     
  6. KPBAP

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    Local Baptist Associations are being "encouraged" by SBC leaders to have their churches adopt and sign the BFM2K.
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    It already includes a Calvinistic view of Salvation/Election - Read the article on grace. Not that I'm complaining, you understand. :D
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    Somebody please explain to me how Baptists can be in an association and not be likeminded and unified and hope to get anything done for the kingdom.

    I'm not saying it has to be the BFM2K but it has to be something that they can all agree upon.
     
  9. Hardsheller

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    It seems to me that we are rapidly getting to the point where the "unofficial" take in the SBC is that if you as an individual do not affirm the BFM2K or if your church does not affirm it then you are suspect within the "Conservative Ranks", even if your church is singly aligned with the SBC or a Conservative State Convention and sends all its mission money through the Cooperative Program.

    I asked one of the Conservative Leaders in our state who is a good friend what was the definition of the word "Affirm". He said that a church could affirm the BFM2K without agreeing with all its parts. I find that interesting.

    I personally affirm the BFM2K as a denominational doctrinal statement that all employees of the denomination should be required to sign signifying that they will not teach outside of its parameters. I think it is a better document than the 63 statement. However it is not without problems of its own.
     
  10. KPBAP

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    I think it is interesting that the SBC started in 1845 and needed no "statement" until 1925.
     
  11. Speedpass

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    :eek: For some strange reason I am torn between believing that BFM2K is a creed which is a higher authority than Scripture alone is, and believing that any group of Baptists may set parameters regarding what they expect their ministers/missionaries to believe. :confused:
     
  12. Hardsheller

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    But when they did start their first seminary they thought they needed a statement and wrote "the Abstract of Principles" for Southern Seminary which every professor had to sign in order to teach there. That was in 1859.
     
  13. mark

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    Do you have a link to the BFM?
     
  14. mark

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    When I was saved, then baptized into University Baptist Church in Ames, Iowa, in 1979 I was given a copy the BFM and asked if I agreed with it. I don't know what would have happened if I had said "no", but I do know I did agree with it. [​IMG]
     
  15. Rev. G

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    Because doctrinal statements and disputes regarding doctrine were matters for the local church and the local associations, not the convention. The reason they adopted the BFM in 1925 was because the doctrinal conformity eroded and the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy erupted. The BFM was an attempt to bring back unity and keep things together. That was true of the 1963 BFM as well.
     
  16. Rev. G

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  17. atestring

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    There was nothing wrong with the BF&M of 1963 or 1925. I don't even have a problem with the 2000 version but I don't understand why missionaries are being fired just becasue they don't pronounce "sheboleth" the right way.
    It is simply a political smokescreen and a matter of who is in control.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    As an outsider, I would only comment that this makes an assumption that the BFM2K is contains things Scripture does not. Having browsed through it, I see nothing of the sort. It is rather a condensation of what some believe is the Scriptural teaching. We practice this all the time. We use a phrase like "deity of Christ," something Scripture never uses. However, asking one if they believe in the deity of Christ is not asking them to subscribe to a higher authority. It is simply a summary statement of biblical teaching.

    I think the point here is that the SBC is saying, "If you are going to take our missions dollars, then you are going to have do with our missions dollars what we would do with them."

    It is a strange world indeed when asking someone to subscribe to a minimum of orthodox theology raises the hackles. It is unfortunate that we live in a day when we cannot expect those who minister in the name of Christ to actually teach what Christ taught in his word. However, since it has been that way for 2000 years, I suppose we shouldn't expect it to be any different now.
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    As an outsider, I would only comment that this makes an assumption that the BFM2K is contains things Scripture does not. Having browsed through it, I see nothing of the sort. </font>[/QUOTE]Here's a comparison put forward by the Baptist General Convention of Texas: www.bgct.org/bfm/bfmcomp.pdf

    And here's a page with multiple links that explains the BGCT's current relationship to the SBC: http://www.bgct.org/believe/pos.cfm?CFID=450982&CFTOKEN=79954422
     
  20. Speedpass

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    This is what I sent as a PM to a fellow BB-er a while back. While this is not an actual event, this represents what could happen as a result of the IMB's actions requiring all their missionaries to sign on to BFM2K:

    "Brother and Mrs..., we really appreciate your commitment and sacrifice as you serve our Lord and Savior in ... . And even though you've labored for more than 20 years for God and for Southern Baptists everywhere, we need you to affirm this creed we approved a while back, and put ya'lls 'John Hancocks' on it to affirm that you will preach and teach in accordance with this creed, and not against it. But if you don't, I'll be in touch with Russell Moore and some of my buddies at Baptist Press to slander the daylights out of you. You might even be called 'liberals' and 'infidels' for not cooperating; and we'll make sure you can't find a decent Baptist congregation to serve in. So it's your decision. What'cha gonna do? ... "
     

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