Letter from Gordon Fort to the Baptist Standard
by Gordon Fort, IMB Missionary, Regional Leader
February 14, 2002

I have read with surprise and disappointment the misinformation being circulated about the request that IMB missionaries affirm the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

As an IMB missionary for 17 years, the son of an IMB missionary from Texas, and a Texas pastor for 10 years, it is my honor to affirm the 2000 BF&M to all Southern Baptists. This has long been the practice for missionary candidates, even under previous IMB leadership. Southern Baptists -- and Texas Baptists -- have a right to expect that the missionaries they support are in step with the statement of faith adopted by the SBC. It is IMB administration’s responsibility to keep that trust.

To affirm my agreement with the BF&M and to note any areas of disagreement is not signing a creed. To promise to carry out my responsibilities “in accordance with and not contrary to” the BF&M is a reasonable expectation of any SBC employee. I do not consider it a lack of trust or an infringement on my conscience.

In accountability to Texas Baptists, who support us and pray for us, we are seeking to fulfill the mission mandate to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ. Great opportunities lie before us in this generation. We are seeing thousands of souls swept into the Kingdom. Thousands of Southern Baptists are responding to the call of missions. Let us not fail in this generation when so much is at stake.

Thank you, Texas Baptists.

Gordon Fort
IMB missionary
Regional Leader, Southern Africa

 

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