Committee on Cooperation - Report and Findings
by Lakeland Baptist Church

Committee on Cooperation
Report and Findings

In the deacon's meeting of October 1, 2000, the Deacon Council commissioned the formation of "a seven member committee (with four deacons serving) to research the funding issues that may be brought about by the upcoming rift between the two Baptist conventions."

This committee reported back to the Deacon Council concerning the funding issues on January 7, 2001, and was asked to by the council to examine "the need for dual alignment" and "the points of theological controversy that affect cooperation between Lakeland, BGCT, and the SBC." The findings are included in this report. Within this report you will find:

Definition of Terms

2

Clarifying Questions Relating to the State of Affairs

5

Supporting Evidence for Resolution

9

Resolution on BGCT Cooperation

17

Resolution on Affiliation with the SBTC

19

This decision has not been easy, especially considering the historical ties that exist between Lakeland Baptist Church and the Baptist General Convention of Texas. However, we feel action is necessary because the theological, methodological, and financial commitments of Lakeland Baptist Church are no longer echoed in the BGCT; in fact, the current leadership of the BGCT is at odds with what our church has historically believed since her inception in 1962.

Please consider this report with the utmost regard as you examine the findings. May God grant you wisdom as you grapple with these tough issues. It is our prayer that God will use this decision to increase Lakeland's effectiveness in delivering hope to human hurt for the glory of God.

Definition of Terms

The following three terms are best understood along a continuum and not as a blanket characterization of what individuals believe.

Liberal – A liberal in the area of theology usually upholds the validity of the different areas of higher criticism (defined below) and looks at the Bible as containing particles of truth. These particles of truth always concur with natural law, the scientific method, and archaeological findings and must be sifted away from the mass of myth. The Bible we have today is a corrupted book and was originally corrupted at its writing by the first church trying to impose fanciful stories and cultural forms upon people.

Moderate – A moderate in the area of theology would normally question the validity of higher criticism, however they also question the Bible in various areas. They normally question anything in Scripture that does not correspond with scientific, archaeological, and historical data that is currently known. Some might say that the Bible contains the words of God, but not all would embrace such a statement. Finally, Neo-orthodoxy (defined below) can characterize people in this group but not all. Many moderates are in this camp not because of theology but because of politics, however the theological base does exist.

Conservatives – A conservative in the area of theology normally accepts the Bible as inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts. They normally reject the validity of higher criticism. They would state that the Bible is the word of God and doesn't merely contain the word of God. They see the Bible as an accurate report and uphold its historicity and scientific nature, but would deny the right to impose the stricter contemporary standards in these fields back upon the reports given thousands of years ago.

A good statement to outline the differences between Conservatives and Moderates follows:

"The SBC Peace Committee (with both Moderate and Conservative representation), after many months of investigation and analysis, reported to the Southern Baptist Convention in June of 1987 that differences in theology indeed marked the division between traditional Conservatives and denominational Moderates. According to the report, the points in dispute included:

    Some accept and affirm the direct creation and historicity of Adam and Eve while others view them instead as representative of the human race in its creation and fall.

    Some understand the historicity of every event in Scripture as reported by the original source while others hold that the historicity can be classified and revised by the findings of modern historical scholarship.

    Some hold to the stated authorship of every book in the Bible while others hold that in some cases such attention may not refer to the final author or may be pseudonymous.

    Some hold that every miracle in the Bible is intended to be taken as an historical event while others hold that some miracles are intended as parabolic."i

Higher Criticism – Higher criticism seeks to find the real story behind the Bible. The major categories are form, source, and redaction criticism.

    1. Form – Form criticism focuses on discovering the true text of the Bible by rediscovering the oral tradition before the text was actually written. Form critics believe that the church added stories (myths) to the Bible to further their cause. (Such as the miracles) They believe you must strip the Bible of these added fanciful stories. They insist that there is a difference between the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith.

    2. Source – Source criticism focuses on discovering the true text of the Bible by rediscovering the written sources from which the text came. They believe there are in existence documents, which were used by the writers of Scripture from which they drew their information prior to and while writing their book.

    3. Redaction – Redaction criticism focuses on discovering the true text of the Bible by rediscovering the true facts behind what was written in the Bible. They believe that the writers of Scripture acted as editors. Therefore, as editors they changed the facts to fit their theology. They want to get back to the true fact and separate the author/editor's theology from the fact.

Neo-orthodoxy – Neo-orthodoxy (new orthodoxy) originated as a reaction against liberalism. It sought to return to a serious study of the Bible because of liberalism's failure. It stresses an experiential encounter with God and retains many of liberalism's beliefs. It is said to have begun in 1919 with Karl Barth who taught that God could not be known objectively because He is transcendent; He must be known subjectively through experience. The major tenets of neo-orthodoxy are:

    1. The Bible is not revelation but a witness to revelation. It is not to be equated objectively with the Word of God; the revelation of God is not in words. The authority of the Word of God is seen not in the sense that the Bible itself can be fully and rightfully called the Word of God but in the sense that the Bible may become the Word of God when God speaks by encounter to modern man through it.

    2. Jesus Christ is the focal point of God's revelation. Man meets God in an experiential encounter with Jesus Christ.

    3. The events of Scripture are termed story in contrast to history. Story refers to the transcendent, experiential truth of God that is unaffected by the truth or error that may characterize the earthbound particulars of history. It is unimportant, therefore, whether or not the stories of the Bible really took place in space and time.

Calvinism – Calvinism is a theological system named for John Calvin who was the reformer of Geneva, Switzerland during the Reformation. It is rooted firmly in Scripture and was expressed by Paul, Augustine, and then Calvin. Many Baptists have been Calvinists including Charles Spurgeon and William Carey, the founder of Modern Missions. Calvinism is usually defined along the lines of the acronym TULIP that was formulated to counter a proposal by Arminians, which express the opposites of each point in TULIP. A great source of information on the subject is available at http://www.bbcmpls.org under Doctrinal Distinctives entitled "What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism".

 T – Total Depravity – Total Depravity simply states that all of mankind is corrupted by sin and that they can do nothing to obtain salvation. We are all sinners and we can do nothing to merit the favor of God.

  U – Unconditional Election – Unconditional Election simply states that God chose certain individuals without regard for any condition they had to meet, for salvation. In other words, salvation is wholly of God.

 L – Limited Atonement – Limited Atonement simply states that the effects of Christ's atonement are limited to the elect. This does not mean that Christ's death was not for the whole world, rather that it is only effective for the elect. It boils down to what Christ's death actually accomplished. Did His death make salvation possible or did it secure salvation for those who will believe (the elect)? If He actually accomplished salvation for people then either all are saved or His atonement is limited to those who are saved. A good way to describe limited atonement is to say that Christ's death was sufficient for all but only efficacious for the elect.

 I – Irresistible Grace – Irresistible Grace simply states that all that God has chosen will eventually come to salvation. The response may not be instantaneous but the Holy Spirit will draw the elect to Christ.

  P – Perseverance of the Saints – Perseverance of the Saints states that all people who have been truly saved will persevere to the end. No one can lose his or her salvation, and the truly saved will not abandon the faith.

This is an extremely simplistic explanation. If this doesn't make sense please read the article mentioned earlier.

Fundamentalism – Historically, fundamentalism has been used to identify one holding to the five fundamentals. These are identified as the miracles of Christ, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the substitionary atonement of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the inspiration of Scripture. In the early 1900's fundamentalism had a good record in defending orthodoxy. The intellectual giants of orthodoxy as well as the prominent preachers of that day stood for the historic Christian faith. These leaders defended the doctrines that have been believed by devout Christians throughout the centuries. Later in the twentieth century the emphasis shifted to some extent. Separation became as important a doctrine as the historic fundamentals.

 The doctrinal affirmations of fundamentalism:

    1. Verbal Plenary Inspiration – The belief that the end result of inspiration is that each and every word of Scripture is inspired by God. Thus the Bible itself is completely inspired. Inspiration is not seen as dictation where the writer is used merely as the pen with no regard for his personality or vocabulary. Nor is it seen as dynamic where God inspired the concepts and thoughts but not the words.
    2. Inerrancy of the Scriptures – The original autographs are inerrant and God has guarded His word from error through the ages.
    3. The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
    4. Reliability of the Scriptures in affirming the miracles of Jesus Christ.
    5. The substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ did not merely die as an example or as a martyr; He died as a substitute, the Righteous One in the place of sinners.
    6. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
    7. The literal return of Jesus Christ from heaven.
    8. The deity of Jesus Christ.
    9. God's direct creation of all things.
    10. The literalness of hell.
    11. The reality of Satan and demons.
    12. Man's need for spiritual salvation through believing in the gospel.
    13. The inadequacy of the social gospel.
    14. Separation not only from sin and worldliness, but also from liberals and others who deny the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

Cooperative Program – launched in 1925 the program called for churches to send their offerings for denominational ministries to their state conventions. The states, in turn, would retain a portion of the funds for work within the state, forwarding the rest to the SBC office in Nashville. There the Executive Committee, made up of representatives from each state, would recommend percentage allotments for the work of each agency, the final decision to be ratified by the convention. The Cooperative Program has depended upon a high degree of trust and mutual confidence and a willingness to forego most designated gifts and special offerings in favor of casting most Baptist funds into a common pot for convention distribution. Lakeland Baptist Church gives directly to the state convention (BGCT) and directly to the association (Denton Baptist Association). The state convention then forwards funds to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Works consulted for information contained in definitions:

The Moody Handbook of Theology, Paul Enns, Moody Press, Chicago, 1989.
Class Notes from New Testament I, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Instructed by Dr. Jim Wicker, taken by Brett Stair, Fall 2000 semester.
The Baptist Heritage , Dr. Leon McBeth, Broadman Press, Nashville, TN, 1987
The Sourcebook for Baptist Heritage, Dr. Leon McBeth, Broadman Press, Nashville, TN, 1990.
Systematic Theology , Vol. 1, Dr. James Leo Garrett, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, 1990.
Systematic Theology, Vol. 2, Dr. James Leo Garrett, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995.

Clarifying Questions Relating to the State of Affairs
Affecting Cooperation of Lakeland Baptist Church with other Baptist Entities

What are the points of divergence in the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message Statements?

Identify the difference between these two statements:

1963 BF&M

"The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man."

2000 BF&M

"The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man."

Comments:

In the 1963 statement, the phrase "the record of" places the Bible at a lower level of authority than the 2000 statement. If one does not consider the Bible to BE God's revelation, then one can feasibly denigrate the Bible while still giving lip service to a strong belief in the authority of God. This statement would allow some to say that the Bible is a document and not the actual revelation itself.  It may leave room for those who support the fallibility of the Bible.

Comments:

By elevating the Bible to BEING God's revelation, one removes all questions or debates about its authority, accuracy, or trustworthiness.

This statement says the Bible is the revelation of God. It does not leave room for supporters of the fallibility of the Bible.

Identify the difference between these two statements:

1963 BF&M

"The Criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ."

2000 BF&M

"All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation."

Comments:

This statement appeals to one's own understanding of Jesus Christ. Thus, by claiming to speak "as Jesus would," one can come up with an interpretation of Scripture contrary to the larger biblical revelation.

The statement leaves an open window to those who say we can't really know what Jesus said because the New Testament was written by the Christian community and adapted for their needs. 

Comments:

Jesus Christ Himself said, "It is these (the Scriptures) which testify about me." (John 5:39, NASU)

 Jesus remains the final authority and the only object of our worship and devotion—but He is the Jesus whom we know from the inspired pages of the Bible.

The Bible must be used to interpret itself and Jesus is the central character and focus of the Bible.

James 4:11, 12 warns us against the arrogance of making judgment on the Bible11 "My friends, don't say cruel things about others! If you do, or if you condemn others, you are condemning God's Law. And if you condemn the Law, you put yourself above the Law and refuse to obey either it or God who gave it…"   

What is the difference between these two statements?

1963 BF&M

"Such statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as official creeds carrying mandatory authority."

2000 BF&M

"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."

Comments:

Churches accept it voluntarily. The BF&M has been signed for years [at least since 1953] to help maintain the doctrinal integrity of those who lead and teach in seminaries and serve in Boards, Commissions and Agencies. The Foreign Mission Board adopted the first statement of faith its missionaries were required to sign in 1920.

Comments:

Churches accept it voluntarily. The BF&M has been signed for years [at least since 1953] to help maintain the doctrinal integrity of those who lead and teach in seminaries and serve in Boards, Commissions and Agencies. The Foreign Mission Board adopted the first statement of faith its missionaries were required to sign in 1920.

2000 BF&M Women in Ministry:

"While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture."

    Scripture

    9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Timothy 2:9-14)

    Lakeland Baptist Church Constitution:

    "The ordination of women, defined as 'the church appointing a person to the role of authority in the church to preach the word and administer the ordinances,' is not consistent with Lakeland's understanding of created order and the roles of authority in the church.

    Scripture teaches that the role of women is equal to that of men. Scripture also teaches that the role of women in ministry is not identical to that of men in every respect. I Cor. 11:3, Gen. 1:27, 2:21-23, 2:24, John 4, Mark 5:25-34, I Tim. 3:8-13, I Tim. 2:11-14, I Cor. 14:34-35.

    Women are members of the priesthood of all believers. Their role is crucial, their wisdom, grace, and commitment exemplary. Women are an integral part of our church. We celebrate their Great Commission impact. "

    Selected leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas take the position that this statement violates the autonomy of the local church. Some use this statement to assert that Jesus taught women thus elevating their status, and subsequently overriding Paul's teachings as cultural and not operative in today's church. The 2000 BF&M statement about women pastors in no way dictates what a church can or cannot do. It is simply an expression of the SBC's convictions on what the Bible states about women in ministry.

Can we identify ways in which the BGCT is separating from the SBC?

The BGCT is separating from the SBC by diverting funds away from SBC causes and by dramatically opposing the leadership and doctrinal positions of the SBC. The SBC is separating from the BGCT by dramatically opposing the BGCT leadership and doctrinal positions and by withholding appointments to boards and agencies of the SBC from the select leadership of the BGCT.  The BGCT appears to be moving toward independence from the SBC instead of interdependence and cooperation.

Each side is saying that the other is moving away. Who do you perceive as moving and why?

     "Following, is a timetable that outlines key events in the battle between conservatives and moderates in the BGCT:

    -- August 1997 . A Texas Baptist study committee, created in 1995, releases a 20-page report that would make historic changes in the partnership between the state convention and the SBC. The report includes recommendations that Texas Baptists approve sending out "lay envoy" missionaries throughout the world, publish their own Sunday School and church literature, and create a "Texas Baptist Theological College."

    --Nov. 10-11, 1997. Messengers to the BGCT convention in Austin approve the recommendation from a Texas Baptist study committee.

    -- November 20, 1997. A conservative group disenchanted with the BGCT begins the process of creating a new state convention, the Southern Baptists of Texas.

    -- Oct. 16, 1998. Articles of Incorporation for "The Baptist Convention of the Americas" were quietly filed by former Baylor president Herbert Reynolds. The board of directors includes John F. Baugh of Houston, W. Winfred Moore of Waco, and Paul W. Powell of Tyler.

    -- September 28, 1999. Charles Wade is elected as BGCT executive director by the BGCT executive board. Wade was among the organizers of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a denomination-like shadow organization formed in protest of the SBC's leadership.

    -- November 8-9, 1999. Messengers to the BGCT meeting in El Paso rejected a move to affirm the 1998 SBC statement on marriage and family, which included wives submitting to their husbands in tandem with husbands loving their wives; the BGCT approved the formation of two study committees relating to the BGCT's relationship with the SBC.

    -- November 1999. An in-depth study by a deacon committee at the First Baptist Church, Dallas, reveals that for 14 of the past 16 years, BGCT presidents have been linked in some capacity with the CBF. The report recommended the church join the new, more theologically conservative Southern Baptists of Texas.

    -- November 17, 1999. First Baptist Church, Dallas, votes to loosen its nearly century-long relationship with the BGCT and join the Southern Baptists of Texas. The church remains duly aligned with both organizations.

    -- February 28, 2000. A group of conservative pastors meet at Prestonwood Baptist Church to discuss doctrinal issues and the possibility that the BGCT is planning on creating a national "shadow" Baptist convention. Jack Graham, pastor at Prestonwood, predicted that more than 40 percent of the churches in the BGCT are unhappy with its current direction.

    -- April 13, 2000 . Leaders of the SBC and BGCT met in a closed-door meeting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to discuss relations between the two groups. Participants of the meeting called it friendly and helpful.

    -- May 18, 2000. Houston Baptist University, a traditionally conservative school, voted to declare autonomy from the BGCT in an effort to stop the removal of some trustees who attend churches that "did not meet the threshold requirements of being a BGCT cooperating church."

    -- May 23, 2000. The BGCT executive board votes to withhold $1.5 million in funding for Houston Baptist University.

    -- June 14, 2000. A Texas Baptist pastor tells messengers to the SBC meeting in Orlando that the "Bible is just a book." The comment came during a floor discussion on the 2000 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message. The BF&M contains language that acknowledges the Bible as divinely inspired without any mixture of error. The BF&M is overwhelmingly approved.

    --June 24, 2000. Clyde Glazener, president of the BGCT, said the convention might leave the SBC. The issue will be discussed at the annual BGCT meeting in October."

(From "Timetable outlines events in Texas dispute between conservative, moderate Baptists", Baptist Press, By Staff, June 26, 2000.)

The BGCT has redirected funds from the SBC Seminaries. Does this action violate the Cooperative Program?

The Cooperative Program was launched in 1925 and called for churches to send their offerings for denominational ministries to their state conventions. The states, in turn, would retain a portion of the funds for work within the state, forwarding the rest to the SBC office in Nashville. There the Executive Committee, made up of representatives from each state, would recommend percentage allotments for the work of each agency, the final decision to be ratified by the convention. The Cooperative Program has depended upon a high degree of trust and mutual confidence and a willingness to forego most designated gifts and special offerings in favor of casting most Baptist funds into a common pot for convention distribution.

    The BGCT designates to various sections of the SBC budget. The BGCT budget reduces the funds to the SBC Executive Committee to $10,000 (from $746,291) and completely defunds ($364,582) the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, a total cut of $1.09 million.  The BGCT has also redirected at least $4.3 Million from SBC Seminaries by placing a $1 million dollar cap on all funds given through the BGCT as Cooperative Program funds. Funding guidelines received by churches after Corpus Christi Convention state that "If churches give $1 million through the traditional plan of giving through the BGCT, then the Preferred Budget cap of $1 million will be considered to have been met."

   Is Texas Baptists' first and only responsibility to educate Texas Students? What would happen if churches began to redirect their own funds to meet only the needs in their own neighborhood?

   Is it fair for Texas Baptist to allow churches from other states to supplement the theological education of Texans and in turn refuse to assist in funding the theological education of students from other states?

   The historical attitude of amiable cooperation and mutual benefit is eroding. Does this action of the BGCT violate the Cooperative Program?

Is the BGCT moving to regionalize or nationalize, thus duplicating or replacing the work of the SBC?

Whether the intent is to duplicate the work of the SBC or not, the BGCT is becoming more of an affinity-based convention attracting anti-SBC constituents. The BGCT is looked upon as an example by other "moderate" state conventions on how to distance themselves from SBC.

Some services are currently duplicates.

    1. Truett and Logsdon Seminaries are alternatives to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    2. Working with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) for mission projects rather than The International Mission Board (IMB) and the North American Missions Board, (NAMB).

    3. A study on annuities and health insurance offered through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) in cooperation with an American Baptist Annuity Board is being studied as an alternative to the Annuity Board of the SBC.

    4. Bible Study Materials are published with a Texas slant that could be used as an alternative to LIFEWAY.

With what National, State and Associational Entities should Lakeland Baptist Church Cooperate? 

    Southern Baptist Convention
    Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
    Baptist General Convention of Texas
    Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
    Denton Baptist Association
    North Texas Baptist Association

Supporting Evidence for Resolutions
Lakeland Baptist Church
Lewisville, Texas 75067
 

WHEREAS Lakeland Baptist Church, since her inception in 1962, has given $5,581,342 through the Cooperative Program and Mission Offerings to the Denton Baptist Association, Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) and the Southern Baptist Convention. Lakeland Baptist Church gave $67,500 to the BGCT and  $67,500 to the Cooperative Program of worldwide mission support in the year 2000;

YEAR

RECEIPTS

MISSIONS GIFTS

DESIGNATED

COOPERATIVE

ASSOCIATION

62-63

         

63-64

$12,050.00

$247.00

     

64-65

$17,221.00

$1,075.00

     

65-66

$20,209.00

$3,888.00

     

66-67

$28,990.00

$4,399.00

     

67-68

$37,426.00

$5,098.00

     

68-69

$37,749.00

$7,128.00

     

69-70

$47,200.00

$6,887.00

     

70-71

$44,709.00

$8,102.00

     

71-72

$52,764.00

$8,894.00

     

72-73

$93,167.00

$12,706.00

     

73-74

$111,494.00

$17,577.00

     

74-75

$154,754.00

$23,606.00

     

75-76

$225,576.00

$32,732.00

     

76-77

$275,726.00

$39,446.00

     

77-78

$276,414.00

$52,193.00

     

78-79

$342,644.00

$61,836.00

     

79-80

$445,216.00

$79,791.00

     

80-81

$556,952.00

$95,159.00

     

81-82

$817,460.00

$105,472.00

     

82-83

$944,950.00

$135,053.00

     

83-84

$1,113,997.00

$170,151.00

     

84-85

$1,138,110.00

$263,513.00

     

85-86

$1,137,057.00

$186,018.00

     

86-87

$1,143,731.00

$261,743.00

     

87-88

$1,424,263.00

$336,388.00

     

88-89

$1,289,580.00

$315,754.00

$162,606.00

$127,166.00

$25,982.00

89-90

$1,266,479.00

$345,888.00

$194,825.00

$122,641.00

$28,422.00

90-91

$1,319,780.00

$472,824.00

$306,098.00

$137,024.00

$29,702.00

91-92

$1,482,662.00

$439,645.00

$231,509.00

$176,674.00

$31,462.00

92-93

$1,370,033.00

$377,941.00

$209,876.00

$130,571.00

$37,494.00

93-94

$1,086,083.00

$146,943.00

$40,018.00

$77,428.00

$29,497.00

94-95

$1,625,125.00

$318,600.00

$142,717.00

$127,364.00

$48,519.00

95-96

$1,507,824.00

$245,415.00

$68,840.00

$128,056.00

$48,519.00

96-97

$2,395,383.00

$228,095.00

$56,696.00

$125,556.00

$45,843.00

97-98

$1,621,197.00

$202,600.00

$38,056.00

$122,696.00

$41,848.00

98-99

$2,313,908.00

$266,536.00

$111,275.00

$119,613.00

$35,648.00

99-2000

$2,894,153.00

$301,999.00

$146,399.00

$125,000.00

$30,600.00

TOTALS

$30,672,036.00

$5,581,342.00

$1,708,915.00

$1,519,789.00

$433,536.00

(Source: Lakeland Baptist Church files and records)

***

WHEREAS the BGCT rejected the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message and reaffirmed the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message on theological grounds;

WHEREAS selected leaders of the BGCT expressed the following theological assumptions: The Bible is not revelation but a witness to revelation. The authority of the Word of God is seen not in the sense that the Bible itself can be fully and rightfully called the Word of God, but in the sense that the Bible may become the Word of God when God speaks by encounter to modern man through it, revealing the true, objective Word of God, Jesus Christ.  The events of Scripture are termed story in contrast to history. "Story" refers to the transcendent, experiential truth of God that is unaffected by the truth or error that may characterize the earthbound particulars of history. It is unimportant, therefore, whether or not the stories of the Bible really took place in space and time.

    Moreover, I was horrified to hear one of the four primary framers of the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message say on nationwide television that Jesus submitted himself to the word of God (read Bible). The debate concerned the ordination of women pastors. The issue was poorly taken. The New Testament was not written in Jesus' day. Such a statement was robbing Jesus to pay Paul, not an unknown phenomenon in current Baptist disagreements. Jesus submitted (a favored verb of the new Baptist Faith & Message) only to God. While respecting the law and the prophets, he felt free to reinterpret them and to point out where they were being misused by the religious leaders of his day.

    (William Hendricks, "The Baptist Faith and Practice," Baptist Standard, July 31, 2000)

    ***

    It [the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message] removes the statement that the Bible is the record of God's revelation to man and substitutes that the Bible is God's revelation to man. This makes the Bible equal to God. The Bible accurately and truthfully records God's revelation to mankind and records the events associated with that revelation.

    (Bob Campbell, "BGCT Seminary Study Committee Report," Baptist General Convention of Texas, Office of Communications, pamphlet mailed to churches, p. 10, emphasis in original)

    [ed. The term "revelation" is understood to be only Jesus Christ, the Bible being the document that records information about Him.]

    ***

    The first sentence of the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message, reaffirmed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas at its annual meeting in El Paso last year, says, "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of himself to man." The proposed 2000 statement of faith deletes the words "the record of."

    This deletion is a crucial distinction, Wade said. "Jesus is the revelation of God. The Bible is the divine and inspired record of that revelation."

    (Ken Camp, "Wade Responds to Revised Baptist Faith & Message," Baptist General Convention of Texas NEWS, May 24, 2000)

    ***

    Discussion of the new Baptist Faith & Message statement last week at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting distilled decades of denominational debate: Which is paramount, Jesus or the Bible?

    The SBC's current leadership affirmed the whole Bible as the normative guide for all faith and practice. Others, however, believe that while the Bible is indeed normative and authoritative for Christians, Jesus should stand over Scripture, providing the guide for how the Bible is read and followed.

    Among other changes, the study committee that proposed the new Baptist Faith & Message revised the 1963 statement's article on Scripture. The committee described the Bible as "God's revelation of himself to man," while the 1963 document--reaffirmed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas last fall--described the Bible as "the record of God's revelation of himself to man." The new SBC committee declared, "All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is himself the focus of divine revelation," while the 1963 document identified Jesus as "the criterion (or guiding principle) by which the Bible is to be interpreted."

    These differences are huge. If the Bible alone is our primary guide, then all parts of the Bible receive equal weight. It is a flat Bible. For example, the words of Moses, Jesus and the Apostle Paul are equally authoritative. If, however, Jesus is the guide to interpreting Scripture, then Jesus' words and clear actions take precedence over their apparent discrepancies with other Scripture passages, such as the Old Testament codes and some of Paul's admonitions.

    (Marv Knox, "Debate distills decades of division," Baptist Standard, June 19, 2000)

    [ed. To imply that the words of Moses or Paul are somehow less authoritative than the words of Jesus is to reduce their writings to less than God-breathed. This is especially interesting understanding that the words and actions of Jesus were recorded by men such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, does this make their words less authoritative than the words of Jesus they reported? Also, to suggest discrepancies within Scripture is to question the text over the interpretation, which is not sound exegesis.]

    ***

    From one perspective, Southern Baptists have cemented their conviction that the Bible is the supreme revelation of God and Jesus Christ. From another perspective, the SBC has elevated the Bible to be more sacred and authoritative than Jesus.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, this is what it all comes down to. The issue is whether the Bible is the word of God or merely a record of God's word," Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said from the platform at one point during the debate. Mohler was a prominent member of the SBC study committee.

    …[Charles] Wade said he agreed with Mohler's statement that "this is what it all comes down to."

    The question, he said, is "Can you have a high view of the Bible but have a higher view of Jesus?"

    "It all comes down to this: The Bible, as high as we hold it as a source for doctrinal understanding--Jesus Christ is the criterion by which we interpret the Bible."

    If Jesus is not the guiding principle for biblical interpretation, Wade asked, "then who or what is?"

    That question was put to four members of the study committee during a news conference minutes later. Mohler spoke for the committee to explain there were "dangers" in the language identifying Jesus as the criterion for biblical interpretation.

    "We do believe in a Christological hermeneutic" or framework for biblical interpretation, he said. However, "the danger is when Christ is set against Scripture," he added.

    Making Jesus the criterion by which the Bible is interpreted allows anyone to assert anything and claim Jesus told them that was truth, he suggested.

(Mark Wingfield, "What would Jesus do? vs. What does the Bible say?," Baptist Standard, June 19, 2000)

***

    In a telephone interview with Baptist Press, [Anthony] Sizemore [pastor of FBC Floydada and member of BGCT executive committee] said he didn't mean to draw so much attention, but he stands by his motion.

    "I don't care what Al Mohler said, the Bible is not the full revelation of God. Jesus Christ is God's revelation," the Texas pastor said.

    "As I shared, I believe the Bible is a book that God has given us for guidance. It's a book that points us to the truth," Sizemore added. "We're not supposed to have a relationship with a book."

    (Todd Starnes, "6 words: 'defining moment' between conservative & moderate Baptists," Baptist Press, June 21, 2000)

    [ed. The "6 words" referred to in this article's title are "The Bible is just a book," spoken by Anthony Sisemore during his address to the SBC convention in Orlando, Florida, June 2000.]

    ***

    In his address to the convention, [Anthony] Sisemore stressed his faith in the Bible.

    "Without any hesitation, I believe the Bible is God's word, and I strive to obey the standards it prescribes," he said at the annual meeting. "The Bible is a book that we can trust. The Bible is a book that points toward the Truth.

    "With that being said, the Bible is still just a book. Christians are supposed to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Living Word, not a book. Jesus Christ redeems us, not a book."

    He quoted to messengers words about Jesus from the first chapter of the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through him."

    "If Christ is the Word and the Truth, then he is the answer and the revelation," Sisemore said in Orlando. "One must see the Bible is a record of what Christ has done and will continue to do until his return.

    "I trust everyone present will understand that Christ is the revelation of God. He is not the focus of divine revelation; instead, he is the full revelation of God.

    "He is the standard by which Christians must measure everything. Brothers and sisters, today we must be careful not to elevate the written record above the one to whom it points.

    "The Bible is a record that focuses on the Word, Jesus Christ, who is God's revelation to humanity."

    (Marv Knox, "Sisemore defines Bible statement," Baptist Standard, July 10, 2000)

    ***

    The Bible is the faithful, divinely inspired and totally true witness of God to man concerning all he has done to bring us to salvation, but the Bible is not Jesus.

    (Charles Wade, "Who are we? What can we hope for?," from text of his address to the BGCT annual meeting in Corpus Christi, Oct. 30, 2000, published by Baptist Standard, November 13, 2000)

    [ed. Careful attention must be paid to the words "witness" and "concerning." Notice Dr. Wade's careful choice of words: that the Bible is a "witness" rather than direct revelation, though it is "faithful, divinely inspired and totally true." Also, notice that he qualifies this statement by the word "concerning," which limits the "witness" to what God "has done to bring us to salvation." Thus the Bible need not be "faithful, divinely inspired and totally true" in areas such as creation, history, order of the church, and any other issue not specifically related to salvation.]

    ***

    We are attached inextricably to God's written word, the Bible, which bears witness to the revelation of God in the people of Israel and in his son, Jesus Christ. The Bible participates in revelation as God inspired the writers to know the meaning of what they saw and experienced.

    (Charles Wade, "TOGETHER: Is it worth the struggle to maintain Baptist identity?," Baptist Standard, January 15, 2001.)

    ***

    The SBC Peace Committee (with both Moderate and Conservative representation), after many months of investigation and analysis, reported to the Southern Baptist Convention in June of 1987 that differences in theology indeed marked the division between traditional Conservatives and denominational Moderates. According to the report, the points in dispute included:

      Some accept and affirm the direct creation and historicity of Adam and Eve while others view them instead as representative of the human race in its creation and fall.

      Some understand the historicity of every event in Scripture as reported by the original source while others hold that the historicity can be classified and revised by the findings of modern historical scholarship.

      Some hold to the stated authorship of every book in the Bible while others hold that in some cases such attention may not refer to the final author or may be pseudonymous.

      Some hold that every miracle in the Bible is intended to be taken as an historical event while others hold that some miracles are intended as parabolic."

(L. Russ Bush and Tom J. Nettles, Baptists and the Bible, Broadman & Holman, Nashville, TN: 1999.)

***

WHEREAS selected leaders of the BGCT have elevated the doctrine of autonomy of the local church over Scripture, as illustrated by the issue of women in ministry. The leaders of the BGCT take the position that churches may call women as senior pastors.

    In another statement attributed to Wade in his sermon at the BGCT annual meeting, Baptist Press reported Wade told messengers he supports ordaining women as senior pastors. BGCT officials provided a portion of Wade's comments regarding women in ministry, in which Wade said, "It troubles many of us when women who feel God has called them to be ministers of God's gospel are told they must be mistaken, they and their churches are not free to interpret and acknowledge God's call in their life, and no Southern Baptist leader steps forward to defend their freedom in Christ to respond to God's calling. The church where I am a member believes the world is too lost and the needs too great for us to be telling people, whom God has called and gifted, what they can't do rather than setting them free to do what God has gifted and called them to do."

    (Herb Hollinger, "Texas Baptist leaders respond to new convention," Baptist Press, November 25, 1997)

    ***

    Wade also took issue with the article on the church in the revised Baptist Faith & Message. The proposed statement adds a sentence, "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture."

    He acknowledged that few Southern Baptist churches, in Texas or elsewhere, have female senior pastors. However, he found it objectionable that the Baptist Faith & Message study committee would violate the right of an individual congregation to make that decision for itself.

    "Even among those who personally do not support women serving as pastor, there are many who would not presume to tell another church whom that congregation could or could not call," Wade said.

    "The right of a church to determine who should be pastor is severely limited by this statement. It is a violation of local church autonomy that many Baptists would find offensive."

    (Ken Camp, "Wade Responds to Revised Baptist Faith & Message," Baptist General Convention of Texas NEWS , May 24, 2000)

    ***

    For the first time in Baptist history we have this statement, "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture" (section 6). However, Baptists have always championed the principle of local church autonomy. We have made clear the fact that a local congregation can do exactly as it pleases in seeking and following God's will.

    (Jim Denison, "How to end Baptist battles," Baptist Standard, July 24, 2000)

    ***

    "We are taking Jesus' view of women over Paul's," said Rev. Kristina Yeatts, associate pastor of First Baptist Church, Clayton, N.C. "Adrian Rogers and Al Mohler are focusing way too much on the apostle Paul's letter rather than Jesus…We're talking about the Son of God vs. a biblical writer."

    Yeatts said that conservative appeals to biblical texts which restrict the pastorate to men fail to take into account the fact that the Bible contains the cultural biases of its context and human authorship.

    "Biblical scholars wrote the Bible and anytime there is a human involved there are going to be some biases," she said. "The Bible is God's holy word, but we should interpret in light of tradition and the particular circumstances going on. We should never put the Bible on a pedestal."

    (Russell D. Moore, "CBF affiliated group urges women to leave the SBC," Baptist Press, June 30, 2000)

    ***

WHEREAS the BGCT violated the spirit of harmony and voluntary cooperation among Baptists by redirecting at least $4.3 million from Southern Baptist seminaries, with a cap of no more than $1 million being allowed through its budget, and by redirecting $1.09 million from the Executive Board of the SBC and the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission;

    By an estimated 3-to-1 margin or greater, Texas Baptists approved the recommendations of the Seminary Study Committee Oct. 30 that will reduce funding for the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries beginning in January.

    In a separate decision the same afternoon, Texas Baptists voted to completely defund the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and defund all but $10,000 going annually to the SBC Executive Committee--a combined reallocation of more than $1 million.

    The actions mark the most severe reallocation of funds by an autonomous state Baptist convention since the SBC formed its Cooperative Program unified budget in 1925. Proponents of the funding changes said they were precipitated by theological and political changes brought about in the SBC over the last 21 years as conservatives have reshaped the national convention.… 

    The $4.3 million in money diverted from the SBC seminaries will be given to three Texas Baptist schools--Truett Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and Hispanic Baptist Theological School in San Antonio.…

    The $736,291 diverted from the SBC Executive Committee will go to "Texas priority" projects such as Hispanic ministry and human welfare programs, and the $364,582 diverted from the ERLC will go to the Texas Christian Life Commission.

    (Mark Wingfield and Marv Knox, "Texas Baptists affirm change in funding SBC," Baptist Standard, November 6, 2000)

    ***

    The Baptist General Convention of Texas should "divest" itself of funds received from Southern Baptist Convention agencies, the state's moderate political organization has urged.
    ___Texas Baptists Committee's executive board voted overwhelmingly to urge the BGCT to "immediately begin to divest itself of funds from the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources" Jan. 9 at its annual winter meeting in Dallas.
    ___In the 2001 budget, the BGCT is expected to receive $96,076 from LifeWay and $1,303,888 from the mission board.

    (Marv Knox, "Texas Baptists Committed urges BGCT to divest income from SBC," Baptist Standard, January 15, 2001.)

    ***___

AND WHEREAS the BGCT now publishes its own literature and has approved relationships with churches outside of Texas who wish to affiliate, thus duplicating the historical role of the Southern Baptist Convention and its agencies;

    The materials will feature a 144-page pupil's guide and a 72-page teaching guide. They will be printed in four-color and in a paperback book format.

    The first issue of the BGCT Bible study material will be titled "The Gospel of Luke: Meeting Jesus Again, Anew." It is dated for March 2000 but may be used at any time.

    "The adult Bible study materials are planned, written and published to meet the specific needs of Texas Baptists, and they are written by Texas Baptists," said Bernie Spooner, director of the Sunday School/ discipleship division of the BGCT.

    "They are designed primarily for use in adult Sunday School classes of BGCT churches, but the material may be used at other times according to a church's needs and wants," he added.

    The materials are designed to be quality resources that focus on meeting the needs of adults and that include an emphasis on the priorities and values of the state convention, he said.

    In addition to lesson material…teaching guides also are available….

    Future issues of Bible Study for Texas will feature materials on Acts in the second quarter of 2000, Romans in the third quarter and a survey of the Old Testament in the fourth quarter. The study for the first quarter of 2001 will feature the Gospel of Matthew. Second quarter of 2001 is projected to focus on Galatians and Ephesians.

    (Dan Martin, "BGCT names first writers for new Texas lessons, which begin in March," Baptist Standard, November 10, 1999)

    ***_

    Members of churches outside Texas that affiliate with the Baptist General Convention of Texas now will be allowed to serve on convention committees and boards.

    The change was approved by messengers to the BGCT annual session in Corpus Christi Oct. 30. With only scattered opposition, messengers gave the required second affirmation to a constitutional amendment that removes geographical limitations on nominees for convention committees and boards.

    The Texas convention has not had any limitation on churches outside the state joining the convention, and the BGCT currently has about a half dozen churches from other states among its cooperating churches. Those churches generally are in border communities.

    However, speculation has escalated over the past year that the BGCT could become a refuge for moderate Baptist churches nationwide as some state Baptist conventions align more closely with the conservative direction of the Southern Baptist Convention. Critics of the BGCT have charged the Texas convention is transforming itself into a new national convention.

    Texas Baptist leaders, however, have said they have no intention of recruiting churches from outside the state. If churches from other states desire to seek affiliation with the BGCT, they will be welcome as they always have been, the convention leaders have said.

    "We're not bent on forming a new denomination," said BGCT President Clyde Glazener. "Every time the SBC does something, it seems that Texas has to make some kind of move to ensure Texas people will still be free. Consequently, we do keep finding ourselves doing things that would generate a full-service convention. That didn't start out as our intention."

    (Mark Wingfield and Ferrell Foster, "Constitutional amendment passes, allows out-of-state representation," Baptist Standard, November 6, 2000)

***

And WHEREAS Lakeland Baptist Church sees no theological discrepancy between the 1963 and the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message;

And WHEREAS the members of Lakeland Baptist Church bear witness that the Scripture is inerrant and infallible in its autographs. Scripture remains totally true and trustworthy to this day. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, it does not merely contain the Word of God. The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to man. Finally, Scripture itself bears witness that it is God-breathed. It carries the authority of its author who is God. (Exo 24:4; Deut 4:1-2; Psa 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isa 34:16; 40:8; Matt 5:17-18; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 17:17; Rom 16:25; 2 Tim 3:15-17; Heb 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Pet 1:25; 2 Pet 1:19-21)

    Considerable attention was focused on our revisions in Article I, "The Scriptures." The 1963 version stated that the Bible "is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man." We removed the word "record" in order to remove confusion about the nature of God's revelation in the Bible. The Bible is not merely a record of revelation, it is revelation itself. The Bible is not a fallible witness to the revelation of God, it is God's perfectly inspired Word. The written Word testifies of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, as our Lord Himself explained.

    We stated clearly that "All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation." This replaces the language stating that Jesus Christ is "the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted." Why? Simply put, because thirty years of abuses and attacks upon the integrity of the Bible made clear that some were using this language to deny the truthfulness and authority of the Word of God.

    Some who have taught in our seminaries over the past several decades claimed that this allowed them to deny the truthfulness of whatever biblical passages did not rise to their standard of Jesus' intention. Professors and pastors have denied that God ordered the conquest of Canaan, tested Abraham in the sacrifice of Isaac, or inspired the Apostle Paul when he wrote about the family or roles in the church.

    (Al Mohler, "Southern Baptists: Facing the Future from the High Ground," Western Recorder, June 28, 2000, available at http://www.sbts.edu/mohler/fidelitas/fidelitas062800.html)

    ***

    Others have asked why we changed language in Article I, "The Scriptures." Events in recent years have demonstrated that we needed to clarify that the Bible is not merely the record of God's revelation, but is itself God's revealed Word in written form. With Christians throughout the ages, most Southern Baptists believe in verbal inspiration. The Bible itself teaches that every word of Scripture was inspired by God, and is therefore completely true and trustworthy (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is inerrant, infallible, and is our sole authority for faith and practice in the Church. As Herschel Hobbs repeatedly declared to the Convention, this was all implied in the 1963 statement. We made these affirmations clear in our proposal.

    The closing sentence of the 1963 statement on the Scriptures has been a cause of controversy. Some have used the language defining Jesus Christ as "the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted," to drive a wedge between the incarnate Word and the written Word, and to deny the truthfulness of certain passages. We use stronger and more historic language in affirming the fact that "all Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation." As Christ said of the Scriptures, "These are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).

("Committee Response to Initial Feedback," http://sbc.net/default.asp?url=bfam_2000.html)

***

And WHEREAS Scripture teaches that while the role of women is equal to that of men; the role of women in ministry is not identical to that of men in every respect. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. (Gen 1:27; 2:21-24; John 4; Mark 5:25-34; 1 Cor 11: 3; 14:34; 1 Tim 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14)

    The secular media have directed their focus to the revisions in Article VI, "The Church." Why did our committee decide to deal with the issue of women in the pastorate? Simply because we were driven by biblical authority, a sense of urgency, and the near unanimous verdict of our churches.

    First, we faced the fact that the Bible is clear in presenting the office of pastor as restricted to men. There is no biblical precedent for a woman in the pastorate, and the Bible teaches that women should not teach in authority over men. Second, the issue of women in the pastorate demands attention in our time, when other denominations are abandoning biblical teaching and calling women to serve as pastors. Third, we spoke to the issue because Southern Baptists are united in conviction. Far less than one percent of churches cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention have ever called a woman as pastor. For the sake of generations to come, we should state our convictions boldly.

    ("Committee Response to Initial Feedback," http://sbc.net/default.asp?url=bfam_2000.html)

Resolution on BGCT Cooperation
Lakeland Baptist Church
Lewisville, Texas 75067

In 1925, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted the Cooperative Program and the Baptist Faith & Message. In this Baptist confession, the SBC included an article on "Co-operation" that included this statement: "Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary co-operation for common ends by various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such co-operation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and his Word as revealed in the New Testament."

Therefore it has become necessary to adopt the following resolution:

WHEREAS Lakeland Baptist Church, since her inception in 1962, has given $5,581,342 through the Cooperative Program and Mission Offerings to the Denton Baptist Association, Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) and the Southern Baptist Convention. Lakeland Baptist Church gave $67,500 to the BGCT and  $67,500 to the Cooperative Program of worldwide mission support in the year 2000;

WHEREAS the BGCT rejected the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message and reaffirmed the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message on theological grounds;

WHEREAS selected leaders of the BGCT have expressed various theological positions such as: The Bible is not revelation but a witness to revelation. The authority of the Word of God is seen not in the sense that the Bible itself can be fully and rightfully called the Word of God but in the sense that the Bible may become the Word of God when God speaks by encounter to modern man through it revealing the true, objective Word of God, Jesus Christ.  The events of Scripture are termed story in contrast to history.  "Story" refers to the transcendent, experiential truth of God that is unaffected by the truth or error that may characterize the earthbound particulars of history. It is unimportant, therefore, whether or not the stories of the Bible really took place in space and time.

WHEREAS selected leaders of the BGCT have elevated the doctrine of autonomy of the local church over Scripture, as illustrated by the issue of women in ministry. The leaders of the BGCT take the position that churches may call women as senior pastors.

WHEREAS the BGCT violated the spirit of harmony and voluntary cooperation among Baptists by redirecting at least $4.3 million from Southern Baptist seminaries, with a cap of no more than $1 million being allowed through its budget, and by redirecting $1.09 million from the Executive Board of the SBC and the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission;

WHEREAS the BGCT now publishes its own literature and has approved relationships with churches outside of Texas who wish to affiliate, thus duplicating the historical role of the Southern Baptist Convention and its agencies;

And WHEREAS Lakeland Baptist Church sees no theological discrepancy between the 1963 and the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message;

And WHEREAS the members of Lakeland Baptist Church bear witness that the Scripture is inerrant and infallible in its autographs. Scripture remains totally true and trustworthy to this day. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, it does not merely contain the Word of God. The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to man. Finally, Scripture itself bears witness that it is God-breathed. It carries the authority of its author who is God. (Exo 24:4; Deut 4:1-2; Psa 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isa 34:16; 40:8; Matt 5:17-18; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 17:17; Rom 16:25; 2 Tim 3:15-17; Heb 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Pet 1:25; 2 Pet 1:19-21)

And WHEREAS Scripture teaches that while the role of women is equal to that of men; the role of women in ministry is not identical to that of men in every respect. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. (Gen 1:27; 2:21-24; John 4; Mark 5:25-34; 1 Cor 11: 3; 14:34; 1 Tim 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14)

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the members of Lakeland Baptist Church, Lewisville, Texas, enter into a concert of extraordinary prayer for the leadership of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), and Texas Baptists Committed (TBC). Those leaders include but are not limited to Clyde Glazener, President, BGCT; Charles Wade, Executive Director, BGCT; Jim Denison, Chairperson of Missions Sending Agency Study Committee, BGCT; Russell Dilday, former president, BGCT; Stephen Hatfield, Chairperson, Administrative Committee, BGCT; James Merritt, President, SBC; Morris Chapman, President and CEO, Executive Committee, SBC; Claude Thomas, Chairperson, Executive Committee, SBC; Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary and SBC spokesperson; Rudy Hernandez, President, SBTC; Jim Richards, Executive Director, SBTC; Daniel Vestal, Coordinator, CBF;  Herbert Reynolds, Chairperson, TBC, and David Currie, Coordinator, TBC.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of Lakeland Baptist Church, Lewisville, Texas, reject all doctrine that questions the absolute authority of the Holy Scriptures and oppose all actions that disrupt the spirit of the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the members of Lakeland Baptist Church discontinue our historical relationship with the BAPTIST GENERAL CONVENTION OF TEXAS effective January 1, 2001.

Resolution on Affiliation with the SBTC
Lakeland Baptist Church
Lewisville, Texas 75067

In 1925, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted the Cooperative Program and the Baptist Faith & Message . In this Baptist confession, the SBC included an article on "Co-operation" that included this statement: "Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary co-operation for common ends by various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such co-operation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament."

Since her inception in 1962, Lakeland Baptist Church has sought to cooperate with other churches, associations of churches, and conventions of churches for the sole purpose of spreading the message of Jesus Christ to all people.  The heartbeat of Lakeland Baptist Church is a commitment to missions both nationally and internationally. This commitment calls for a cooperative agreement with a state convention committed unswervingly to the Bible and unapologetically to the mission endeavor.

Therefore, we adopt the following resolution:

WHEREAS Lakeland Baptist Church has given a total of $5,581,342 to mission causes in her thirty-eight-year history and is committed to reaching the world for Jesus Christ and is in agreement with the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message;

WHEREAS the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) unanimously approved the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message as a convention;

WHEREAS the SBTC was founded with a commitment to missions and evangelism, demonstrating its commitment by forwarding 51% of undesignated Cooperative Program gifts directly to the Southern Baptist Convention while 49% is retained for in-state work;

WHEREAS the SBTC was founded "to facilitate, extend, and enlarge the Great Commission ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist churches and associations in Texas, upon the authority of God's inerrant word, to the glory of God the Father, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.";

WHEREAS the SBTC values theological agreement with the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message, asserting: "What we believe defines who we are";

WHEREAS the SBTC values missiological activity through missions and evangelism, stating: "What we do shows who we are";

WHEREAS the SBTC values a methodological approach through the Cooperative Program to accomplish the Great Commission, claiming: "How we do what we do is important";

BE IT RESOLVED that the members of Lakeland Baptist Church, Lewisville, Texas, establish a cooperative relationship of unique affiliation with the SOUTHERN BAPTISTS OF TEXAS CONVENTION effective January 1, 2001.

Lakeland Baptist Church
www.lakelandbaptist.org

 

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