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 Information and Inspiration on Issues of Importance to Baptists
Sixth and Final Report of the SBC Funding Study
The Fifth and Final Report of the SBC
Stand For Marriage
Final Report of Ad Hoc CP Committee
Final Report of Ad Hoc CP Committee (Appendices)
Cooperative Program Advance Plan
Fourth Report of the SBC Funding Study Committee
Review of NOBTS's Sole Membership Charter Amend.
Response to reservations about sole membership
Reservations Concerning a Charter Amendment Prop.
Sole Membership - A Florida Layman’s Perspecti
A Letter to Dr. Denton Lotz
Letter from Albert W. Wardin
The Relation of the SBC to its Entities
SBC Funding Study - State of Giving
What is Sole Membership?
Sole Membership
Letter to Missouri Churches
Questions and Answers
Behind the Scenes at the SBC
Response by Morris H. Chapman to the BGCT
Does It Matter What Missionaries Believe?
Letter to the Baptist Standard
On Facts and Fallacies
Letter by SBC EC President to Dr. James L. Hill
A View from the Other Side
Carter's rift with SBC not a new development
SBTS Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee
Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee Report
SBTS Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee
Exec. Comm. Interacts with BGCT Funding Proposal
The Pastor's Point of View on the BGCT
Feasibility Study for Name Change
Report of the SBC Peace Committee
Doctrine, Cooperation, and Association
Report to the Fellowship of Deacons
Too High a View of Scripture?
The Truth about the SBC and Texas
Christ, The Bible, and Human Experience
Bibliolatry — A Fraudulent Accusation
BFM - Still Thoroughly Baptist!
Texas First, Texas Only - Not the Spirit
Anti-SBC Leaders Threaten Cooperative Program
Southern Baptists and Women Pastors
The Root of the SBC Controversy
Your Church Reaching the World for Christ
Together We're Carrying Out the Great Commission
Doctrinal integrity paramount for Serminary
Have Baptists replaced Jesus with a book?
Why theology matters for the Great Commission task
A survey of the 2000 BFM
Baptists, the Bible and confessions
Southern Seminary and the Abstract of Principles
An Open Letter to Southern Baptists
A Statement About the Baptist Faith & Message
An Example of the Need to Change The BFM
Incredible Vanishing Corporations
Committee on Cooperation - Report and Findings
An Open Letter from Dr. Allen to Dr. Wade
Why Cooperate?
The Southern Baptist Convention is Alive and Well
Letter by SBCEC President to TX Church Leaders
  Home > Reports, Articles & Papers
Selected Quote

"There should be an 'Abstract of Principles', or careful statement of theological belief, which every professor in such an institution must sign when inaugurated, so as to guard against the rise of erroneous and injurious instruction in such a seat of sacred learning."

James P. Boyce
from "Three Changes in
Theological Institutions"
- summarized by John Broadus, 1856

The Baptist Faith and Message - Still Thoroughly Baptist!
by staff of the Executive Committee of the SBC

Since the overwhelming approval of the Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) this summer, certain SBC critics have claimed that it is a radical statement portending ominous changes for Southern Baptists. These claims are patently false and can easily be demonstrated to be so by a simple reading of the document. The following questions have been raised by its opponents:

1. Is the SBC becoming creedal?

SBC detractors in Texas and elsewhere have accused the SBC of adopting a creed that will be used to coerce the conscience of individual Baptists or churches. This is contradicted by the preamble to the BF&M itself:

 "…the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience…they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life."

Baptists have adopted confessions for centuries as the BGCT did in 1998 when it affirmed the 1963 version of the BF&M. Some have hinted that the SBC will use the BF&M in a new way. Again, that is patently false. The confession will continue to serve, as Southern Baptist confessions always have, as "a consensus of opinion...for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us." We are not creedal. But, neither are we ashamed to publish what Southern Baptists believe the Bible teaches.

2. Have Southern Baptists abandoned those teachings which have been especially dear to Baptists such as the doctrines of the priesthood of believers, soul competency, or the separation of church and state?

Again, the answer is emphatically, "No!" The recently revised BF&M states, "Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God."

It further states, "A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power."

The BF&M demonstrates that the SBC remains soundly "Baptist" in every way. Those who say otherwise ought to take the time to read the BF&M. Those who have read it and continue to say the SBC is no longer Baptist make us wonder about their motivation.

3. Does the SBC affirm the autonomy of the local church?

Once again, listen to the BF&M: "A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers.…" The autonomy of the local church, as well as the autonomy of associations or conventions of local churches, has been and continues to be, strongly affirmed by the SBC.

As Baptists know, the exercise of autonomy by a local church does not mean it will never be disciplined or disfellowshipped by another Baptist body. This happens occasionally when associations or conventions have conflicts with local churches that find no other resolution. From time to time, the SBC has refused to seat messengers when circumstances have warranted. This in no way contradicts the doctrines of the priesthood of believers or the autonomy of the local church. Rather, it affirms an equally true proposition — that the autonomy of one Baptist body does not nullify the autonomy of others.

Much of the argument against the Baptist Faith and Message depends upon a distortion of truth. Those who misrepresent the BF&M may hope you won't read the document, but just take their word for it. See for yourself. For the full text of the BF&M, log on to www.sbc.net , click on the link above, or you can call 866-722-5433, and we'll send you a free copy.

Reprinted from The Truth about the SBC & Texas , by the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Copies of this brochure are available at no charge by
clicking here or by calling (866)722-5433.

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