Vol. 3, No. 4 Sept. 2000 Editor: Bruce Prescott
Mainstream Organization Sponsors Forums on Baptist Faith and Message Changes
In June the Southern Baptist Convention approved changes to the Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M). Many Baptists, including an overwhelming majority in Texas and Virginia, believe that the changes are so radical that they defy the most basic Baptist principles. Those principles involve the freedom for every believer to interpret the Bible under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, the responsibility for every believer to be primarily accountable to Christ, and the autonomy of the local church. Many believe the effect of the changes is to elevate the Bible above Jesus and then to elevate a creed (an "instrument of doctrinal accountability") above the Bible.
One Southern Baptist leader said the BF&M needed to be changed because, “The 1963 committee was in many ways naïve and they permitted neo-orthodox language to be inserted unbeknownst to most of them.” (Baptist Press June 21, 2000)
Mainstream Baptists reject insinuations that Herschell Hobbs, Chair of the 1963 BF&M committee and former pastor First Baptist OKC, deceived his committee by leading them to insert unorthodox language into our confession of faith. We do not believe that the members of the 1963 committee were theologically naïve. Nor do we believe that the scores of Baptists who approved the 1963 BF&M by incorporating it into the constitutions of their churches and associations were “naïve” or in need of theological enlightenment.
Before your church and/or local association adopts the 2000 BF&M we encourage you to study it carefully. To help you do that, the Mainstream organization is sponsoring BF&M Forums in more than twenty Oklahoma cities during the month of September. We invite you to attend one of our public forums.
Each forum will include a panel discussion and question answer session to discusses the differences between the 1963 and 2000 BF&M. Panel participants will include a pastor, a layman, and a woman. The Associational Director of Missions for the cities in which forums are held have also been invited to speak and participate.
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