Baptist Faith and Message


Baptist Faith and Message

The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) is the Southern Baptist Convention confession of faith. It summarizes key Southern Baptist thought in the areas of the Scriptures (Bible) and their authority, the nature of God as expressed by the Trinity, the spiritual condition of man, God's plan of grace and salvation, the purpose of the local church, ordinances, evangelism, Christian education, interaction with society, religious liberty, and the family. [ [http://www.baptist2baptist.net/b2barticle.asp?ID=110 BGCT's new fund for missionaries, chaplaincy board expands SBC rift] , February 27, 2002, accessed January 20, 2007.]

History

Although the Southern Baptist Convention was organized in 1845, no formal confession of faith was adopted until internationally known Baptist theologian Edgar Y. Mullins led the denomination to adopt the "Baptist Faith and Message" statement in 1925. It was updated in 1963 under the chairmanship of the distinguished Baptist pastor-theologian Herschel H. Hobbs, to be followed by a more major revision to incorporate sociological as well as theological changes in 2000. The BF&M closely parallels the New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833.

Position Statements

The BF&M includes 18 topics which are position statements of the SBC. Each article or position is followed by Scripture which they use to support their position.

Revisions

The BF&M was revised in 1963, amended in 1998, and again revised in 2000. [http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp The Baptist Faith and Message, accessed January 20, 2007.] ]

Reactions to the changes

There was both praise and criticism for the significant changes to the BF&M in the 2000 revision.

Affirmations

Some of the changes that were particularly well received (affirmations) by some Baptist theologians include the following:
*The controversial use of the word “inerrancy” was not inserted into the section on Scripture. Some were concerned that it would be included.
*No inclusion of more restrictive views of eschatology, such as dispensationalism. Apprehension had been expressed that such views might be espoused in the revisions.
*Inclusion of a statement that Baptists honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believer.
*Reaffirmation of most historical Baptist convictions.
*Addresses issues of contemporary concern — soteriological inclusivism (Section IV), family (Section XVIII), gender (Section III), sexual immorality, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, and abortion (Section XV).
*Clear expressions about the future direction of the SBC under the "conservative resurgency" leadership.
*Editorial changes, such as the use of gender-inclusive language, considered improvements of the form of the statement.

Criticisms

Baptists say their only creed is the Bible. Historically, Baptists have tenaciously defended the privilege of every believer, with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, to interpret Scripture according to his or her own conscience. This deeply engrained anti-creedal sentiment is said to be responsible for many negative reactions to the newly revised document.Dilday, Russell. "An Analysis of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000." Online: http://www.centerforbaptiststudies.org/hotissues/dildayfm2000.htm]

Additionally, both the 1998 and 2000 revisions were particularly controversial in the following three respects: [Smith, James A., Sr. "A confession of faith worthy of support." Editorial, "Florida Baptist Witness", April 25, 2002. Accessed July 11, 2007.]
*Male priority in marriage and in ministry
*Exegetical standard
*Homosexuality

Gender-based roles

For the first time in Baptist history, provisions were added to define male-dominant gender roles in both the ministry and in marriage.

In ministry

The "Baptist Faith and Message" now explicitly defines the pastoral office as the exclusive domain of men — thus prohibiting female pastors.

In marriage

Exegetical standard

Second, the 2000 revision of the BF&M removed the assertion that the person of Jesus Christ was to be the exegetical standard by which the Bible was to be interpreted, over concerns that some groups were elevating the recorded words of Jesus in Scripture (or, more often, what Jesus "did not" say) over other Scriptural passages. The traditional SBC view is that "all" Scripture is "equally" inspired by God. [Article I, The Scriptures] This revision was particularly objectionable to the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the largest Baptist convention in Texas, which was split by the formation of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in the late 1990s.

Homosexuality

The 2000 BF&M is also noted as taking a stand on the issue of a homosexual lifestyle. This section was originally added as an amendment in 1998 to the 1963 BF&M. [http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp The Baptist Faith and Message, accessed January 20, 2007.] ]

Role in Baptist life

In Southern Baptist polity, actions by the Convention are nonbinding on local churches — they are considered autonomous. An individual church may choose to adopt the BF&M or may create their own statement. Despite the fact that the BF&M is not a creed, faculty at SBC-owned seminaries and missionaries who apply to serve through the various SBC missionary agencies must affirm that their practices, doctrine, and preaching are consistent with the BF&M.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baptist General Association of Virginia — In continuous service since its founding in 1823, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) is an umbrella organization of churches that supports and assists them in their various ministries and missions. [http://www.vbmb.org/history.htm …   Wikipedia

  • Baptist beliefs — The Beliefs of Baptist Churches are not totally consistent from one Baptist church to another, as Baptists do not have a central governing authority, unlike most other denominations.However, on major theological issues, Baptist distinctives are… …   Wikipedia

  • Baptist General Convention of Texas — The Baptist General Convention of Texas is the oldest surviving Baptist convention in the state of Texas.BackgroundThere were Baptists among the first Anglo American settlers of Texas, but under Spain (and later Mexico), non Catholic religious… …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Baptist Convention Conservative Resurgence/Fundamentalist Takeover — The Southern Baptist Convention Conservative Resurgence/Fundamentalist Takeover are terms used to describe a major controversy within the Southern Baptist Convention The United States largest evangelical denomination. Conservative Resurgence is… …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Baptist Convention — Reaching the world for Christ. Classification Protestant Theology Evangelical Baptist Governa …   Wikipedia

  • Malaysia Baptist Convention — Logo of the Malaysia Baptist Convention Classification Protestant Orientation Baptist Polity …   Wikipedia

  • List of Baptist confessions — 1600s * 1644 First London Baptist Confession revised in 1646 * 1651 The Faith and Practice of Thirty Congregations * 1654 The True Gospel Faith Declared According to the Scriptures * 1656 The Somerset Confession of Faith * 1655 Midland Confession …   Wikipedia

  • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — Part of a series on the Southern Baptist Convention Background …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Baptist Convention — Die Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) (im deutschen Sprachraum meist Südliche Baptisten in den USA genannt) ist ein Verband baptistischer Gemeinden und Kirchen mit Sitz in den Vereinigten Staaten, der baptistische Kirchen in aller Welt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Reformed Baptist — The name Reformed Baptist refers both to a distinct Christian denomination, and to a description of theological leaning. Not all churches or individuals that are reformed in doctrine identify themselves as Reformed Baptist. Reformed Baptists are… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.