Faith and Message
A Statement Adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention
These beliefs are based on many scripture verses. James
McCullen agrees with this statement of faith. He encourages all interested
persons to check the scriptures to dicover the basis for this statement
called; The Baptist Faith and Message.
On May 9, 1963, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a revised summary
of our faith. The committee's report says in part:
Baptists emphasize the soul's competency before God, freedom
in religion, and the priesthood of the believer. However, this emphasis
should not be interpreted to mean that there is an absence of certain definite
doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been
and are now closely identified. It is the purpose of this statement of
faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe.
The complete text of the entire Baptist Faith and Message (as printed in
the Baptist Sunday School Board Tract) can be found below.
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of
God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine
instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth,
without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles
by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of
the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard
by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.
The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Psalm 19:7-10; 119:11, 89,
105, 140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36; Matt. 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke
21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16 ff.; 17:11; Rom.
15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual,
and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the
universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him
we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals
Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes,
but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures,
and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of
His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father
in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Gen. 1:1; 2:7; Ex. 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11 ff.; 20:1 ff.; Lev. 22:2; Deut.
6:4; 32:6; 1 Chron. 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isa. 43:3, 15; 64:8; Jer. 10:10;
17:13; Matt. 6:9 ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26;
14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 4:6;
Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He
was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly
revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities
of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without
sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death
on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was
raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples
as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into
heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One
Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose Person
is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power
and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission.
He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.
Gen. 18:1 ff.; Psalm 2:7 ff.; 110:1 ff.; Isa. 7:14; 53; Matt. 1:18-23;
3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16, 27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6, 19; Mark 1:1; 3:11;
Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18, 29; 10:30, 38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50;
14:7- 11; 16:15-16, 28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22- 24;
7:55-56; 9:4-5, 20; Rom. 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3, 34; 10:4; 1 Cor.
1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8, 24-28; 2 Cor. 5:19- 21; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:20;
3:11; 4:7-10; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 1 Tim.
2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15, 24-28;
12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John
7-9; Rev. 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write
the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth.
He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian
character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which
they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of
final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God
to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens
and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Gen. 1:2; Judg. 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalm 51:11; 139:7 ff.; Isa. 61:1-3;
Joel 2:28-32; Matt. 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke
1:35; 4:1, 18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26;
16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2;
15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Cor. 2:10- 14; 3:16;
12:3-11; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; 1 Tim. 3:16;
4:1; 2 Tim. 1:14; 3:16; Heb. 9:8, 14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7;
Rev. 1:10; 22:17
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Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the
crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin
and was endowed by His Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice
man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the
temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from
his original innocence; whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment
inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action become
transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring
man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose
of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created
man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every
man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Gen. 1:26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalm 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isa.
6:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26- 31; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23;
5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; 1 Cor. 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Eph.
2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:9-11
Salvation involves the redemption or the whole man, and is offered freely
to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood
obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation
includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. A. Regeneration,
or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new
creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy
Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance
toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are
inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from
sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment
of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour. Justification is
God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness
of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the
believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God. B. Sanctification
is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believeris set
apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual
perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in
him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's
life. C. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final
blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Gen. 3:15; Ex. 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21; 4:17; 16:21- 26; 27:22 to
28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:9,
28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32;
Rom. 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3 ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18, 29-39; 10:9-10,
13; 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18, 30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:17- 20; Gal. 2:20;
3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11- 16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22;
3:1 ff.; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3; 5:8-9;
9:24-28; 11:1 to 12:8; 14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6 to
2:11; Rev. 3:20; 21:1 to 22:5
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V. Godís Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates,
sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency
of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is
a glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise,
holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All
true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ,
and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the State of grace,
but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect
and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and
comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments
on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith
Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-8; 1 Sam. 8:4-7, 19-22; Isa. 5:1-7; Jer. 31:31
ff.; Matt. 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22, 31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32;
19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45, 65; 10:27-29; 15:16;
17:6, 12, 17-18; Acts 20:32; Rom. 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7, 26-36;
1 Cor. 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Eph. 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Col. 1:12-14; 2 Thess.
2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:12; 2:10, 19; Heb. 11:39 to 12:2; 1 Peter 1:2-5, 13;
2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized
believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of
the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings,
exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word,
and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This church
is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the
Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible.
Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. The New Testament speaks
also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed
of all the ages.
Matt. 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3;
14:23, 27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17;
9:13-14; 12; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11, 21; 5:22-32; Phil. 1:1; Col.
1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Rev. 2-3; 21:2-3.
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VII. Baptism and the Lordís Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing
the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's
death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk
in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the
final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite
to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's
Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through
partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death
of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22;
22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; Acts 20:7; Rom. 6:3-5;
1 Cor. 10:16, 21; 11:23-29; Col. 2:12.
VIII. The Lordís Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution
for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from
the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion,
both public and private, and by refraining from worldly amusements, and
resting from secular employmentís, work of necessity and mercy only being
Ex. 20:8-11; Matt. 12:1-12; 28:1 ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1- 7; Luke 24:1-3,
33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1, 19-28; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Col. 2:16;
3:16; Rev. 1:10.
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IX. The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe
and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King.
Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter
by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to
pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth.
The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ
and the end of this age.
Gen. 1:1; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5-6; Matt. 3:2; 4:8-10, 23; 12:25-28;
13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32;
17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Rom. 5:17; 8:19;
1 Cor. 15:24-28; Col. 1:13; Heb. 11:10, 16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13;
Rev. 1:6, 9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
X. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate
end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and
visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will he raised; and Christ will
judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell,
the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected
and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in
Heaven with the Lord.
Isa. 2:4; 11:9; Matt. 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27, 30, 36, 44; 25:31-46;
26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40, 48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28;
John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 15:24-28, 35-58;
2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 5:1 ff.; 2
Thess. 1:7 ff.; 2; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28;
James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7 ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Rev. 1:18; 3:11;
20 to 22:13.
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XI. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church
of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations.
The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love
for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual
necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded
in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek
constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other
methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt. 9:37-38; 10:5- 15; 13:18-30,
37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12;
15:7-8, 16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom.
10:13-15; Eph. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39 to 12:2;
1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17.
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the
causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with
these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian
schools is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.
In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic
freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship
of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher
in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence
of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by
the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
Deut. 4:1, 5, 9, 14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Neh. 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalm
19:7 ff.; 119:11; Prov. 3:13 ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1- 7, 11; 15:14; Eccl. 7:19;
Matt. 5:2; 7:24 ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Cor. 1:18-31; Eph. 4:11-16;
Phil. 4:8; Col. 2:3, 8-9; 1 Tim. 1:3-7; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:14-17; Heb. 5:12
to 6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.
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God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we
have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the
whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship
in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him
with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize
all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping
others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their
means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally
for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4, 19-21;
19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21, 42; 16:1- 13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11;
17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4;
2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations
and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of
the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another
or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to
elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective
manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another
in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries
for the extension of Christís Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament
sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by
various group of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the
various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself
justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience
or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New
Ex. 17:12; 18:17 ff.; Judg. 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Neh.
4; 8:1-5; Matt. 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1
ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1 ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:5-15;
12; 2 Cor. 8-9; Gal. 1:6-10; Eph. 4:1-16; Phil. 1:15-18.
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XV. The Christian and the Social Order
Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ
supreme in his own life and in human society. Means and methods used for
the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among
men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the
regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus.
The Christian should oppose, in the spirit of Christ, every form of greed,
selfishness, and vice. He should work to provide for the orphaned, the
needy, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. Every Christian should seek
to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of
the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to
promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good
will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love
without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
Ex. 20:3-17; Lev. 6:2-5; Deut. 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Mic. 6:8;
Zech. 8:16; Matt. 5:13-16, 43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3 ff.;
10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Rom. 12; 13; 14;
1 Cor. 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20- 24; 10:23 ff.; 11:1; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 6:5-9;
Col. 3:12-17; 1 Thess. 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.
XVI. Peace and War
It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of
righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they
should do all in their power to put and end to war. The true remedy for
the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world
is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations,
and the practical application of His law of love.
Isa. 2:4; Matt. 5:9, 38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36, 38; Rom. 12:18-19;
13:1-7; 14:19; Heb. 12:14; James 4:1-2.
TO BFM INDEX
XVII. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines
and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained
in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church
protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing
for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored
by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God,
it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things
not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort
to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates
spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right
to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no
right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church
in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free
and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form
and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion withoutinterference by
the civil power.
Gen. 1:27; 2:7; Matt. 6:6-7, 24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20;
Rom. 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Gal. 5:1, 13; Phil. 3:20; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; James 4:12;
1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.
During the 1997 Southern Baptist Convention in
Dallas a motion was made as follows: "That the
President of the Southern Baptist Convention
appoint a committee to review the Baptist Faith and
Message of May 9, 1963, for the primary purpose
of adding an Article on The Family, and to bring the
amendment to the next convention for approval."
In response, Convention President Thomas D. Elliff
appointed The Baptist Faith and Message Study
Committee, which presented the following motion to the
Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake, 1998.
The motion passed on June 9. This new section was the
first change to the Baptist Faith and Message
since its revision in 1963.
XVIII. The Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human
society. It is composed of persons
related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment
for a lifetime. It is God's
unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church, and
to provide for the man and the woman
in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel for
sexual expression according to
biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created
in God's image. The
marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband
is to love his wife as Christ
loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for,
to protect, and to lead his family. A
wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her
husband even as the church willingly
submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as
is her husband and thus equal to him,
has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve
as his helper in managing the
household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage
from the Lord. Parents are to
demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are
to teach their children spiritual and
moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example
and loving discipline, to make choices
based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25; 3:1-20; Ex. 20:12; Deut 6:4-9; Josh 24:15; 1
Sam. 1:26-28; Ps. 51:5; 78:1-8; 127;
128; 139:13-16; Prov. 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6;
18:22; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 24:3;
29:15, 17; 31:10-31; Eccl. 4:9-12; 9:9; Mal. 2:14-16; Matt. 5:31-32;
18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Rom.
1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; 1 Tim. 5:8,
14; 2 Tim. 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Heb.
13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7.
Reprinted from the "Southern Baptist Convention Bulletin, First Day,
Part II." See also the "Report of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee
Southern Baptist Convention," June 9, 1998.
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