Article I of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is 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. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. 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. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
- Article I of the BF&M 1925, Article I of the BF&M 1963, and Article I of the BF&M 2000 are quite similar.
- The 1963 edition adds that the Bible is “the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man.” It closes with a further addition: “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” Many Southern Baptists come to believe this statement is theologically liberal, or at least vague, and needs to be corrected.
- The BF&M 2000 addresses this challenge with the addition of two statements: “Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy,” and, “All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”
- Visit bfm.sbc.net for a side-by-side comparison.
During the 2021 Annual Meeting of Missouri Baptists in Branson, Missouri, messengers adopted a resolution encouraging all Missouri Baptist pastors “to consistently provide instruction to their congregations on the content of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.”
The resolution cited general unfamiliarity with The Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M). It also said agreement on the gospel and the core doctrines of our faith is essential both for unity and effective Great Commission work. Finally, the resolution noted that the BF&M 2000 is “the accepted guiding statement of faith for the Southern Baptist Convention.”
The missionary staff of the Missouri Baptist Convention offers the following study in support of this resolution. At the same time, we believe the confessional statements in the BF&M are vital, not only to Missouri Baptists, but to all Southern Baptists and our cooperative work of obeying the Great Commission. Our goal is to help pastors and other church leaders equip their members to understand the biblical truths that unite us as Southern Baptists. This is the first in a series of columns exploring the BF&M.Continue reading →