Baptist Faith and Message

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) is the "statement of faith" of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The BF&M is not a formal confession or creed, as Baptists in general do not hold to such (accepting only the Bible as their standard), and furthermore the SBC (being congregational in organization) has no authority over any individual congregation. However, adherence to it is required for SBC-sponsored missionaries and faculty members at SBC-sponsored universities.

History

The BF&M originated in 1925 out of the much older New Hampshire Confession of Faith. It has been amended three times: in 1963, 1998, and 2000.

The 1998 version consisted of a single change: an entire new section (Section XVIII) on The Family. The 2000 revision added, among other notable changes, a sentence in Section XV (The Christian and the Social Order) supporting the sanctity of life and disavowing all forms of sexual immorality, homosexuality being specifically named.

The 1998 and 2000 revisions were controversial among the liberal elements of the SBC (and among supporters of the liberal splinter group Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) for the following changes:

  • The new section on The Family specifically held to the view of traditional marriage, and furthermore the BF&M added a sentence in Section XV denouncing all forms of sexual immorality which specifically referenced homosexuality.
  • A sentence in Section VI (The Church) specifically limited the role of pastor to men only. (It did not limit the role of deacon to only men, however.)
  • Finally, it removed the statement from Section I (The Scriptures) that Jesus Christ was the standard by which the Bible was to be interpreted, in response to liberal groups which were elevating the "red letter" words of Jesus (and, in some cases, what He specifically did not say, an example being the subject of homosexuality) over the remainder of Scripture (the traditional view of the SBC has been, and is, that all Scripture is equally inspired by God).

Format

The BF&M is arranged into 18 individual topics, one of which (God) is divided into three sub-sections, one for each Person of the Trinity. Each section is followed by Bible verses supporting the statement (the online version has links to the Bible text, using the SBC-published Holman Christian Standard Bible as the official version).

I. The Scriptures
II. God
A. God the Father
B. God the Son
C. God the Holy Spirit
III. Man
IV. Salvation
V. God's Purpose of Grace
VI. The Church
VII. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
VIII. The Lord's Day
IX. The Kingdom
X. Last Things
XI. Evangelism and Missions
XII. Education
XIII. Stewardship
XIV. Cooperation
XV. The Christian and the Social Order
XVI. Peace and War
XVII Religious Liberty
XVIII. Family

External links