Fidelity – We owe it to our Heritage as Southern Baptists
This past week we’ve seen a group of Southern Baptist leaders and others express their freedom of religion and speech by putting together a confession of faith they have called “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” (Full article here).
My initial thoughts on this were disbelief that leaders in the SBC would actually put their names on such a heretical document – not because it disagrees with Calvinism but because it directly opposes Scripture in so many areas. Some of these men are supposed to be seminary presidents, theologians and church historians, so we cannot excuse them for ignorance and if it is not ignorance then it must be unfaithfulness. Unfaithfulness to our forefathers, unfaithfulness to our heritage as Southern Baptists, unfaithfulness to the founders the Lord used to establish this convention and unfaithfulness to the Lord Jesus and His Word. (See Tom Ascol’s section by section response here)
The opposite of this is “fidelity” which is defined by Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as: FIDEL´ITY, n. [L. fidelitas, from fides, faith, fido, to trust. See Faith.] 1. Faithfulness; careful and exact observance of duty, or performance of obligations. It has many synonyms such as: Fidelity, allegiance, fealty, loyalty, devotion, piety and they mean faithfulness to something to which one is bound by pledge or duty.
- Fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty 〈marital fidelity〉.
- Allegiance suggests an adherence like that of citizens to their country 〈pledging allegiance〉.
- Fealty implies a fidelity acknowledged by the individual and as compelling as a sworn vow 〈fealty to the truth〉.
- Loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray 〈valued the loyalty of his friends〉.
- Devotion stresses zeal and service amounting to self-dedication 〈a painter’s devotion to her art〉.
- Piety stresses fidelity to obligations regarded as natural and fundamental 〈filial piety〉.
Faithfulness to our obligations, duties, or observances is what is required of us by our forefathers in the faith. Southern Baptists have sacrificed for several generations so that we can have the convention of churches we have today. They did not sacrifice so we can let it go on our watch. Someone needs to stand up and speak out the truth about this and if it has to be me so be it.
The Bible says that “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20–21, ESV) Every Word in the Bible must be received as the self-revelation of God Himself. Scripture must interpret Scripture and we must submit to it as our sole authority.
This statement is neither traditional nor Southern Baptist – any 1st year student of Southern Baptist history could tell you that. These men need to repent and stand upon the confessional foundation that we have already established, in 1925, 1963, and again in 2000. The Baptist Faith and Message of 2000 is a clear and solid confession in which Southern Baptists have already agreed upon and it should be enough.
I fully support freedom of speech and freedom of religion, what I don’t support is historical revisionism. Misrepresenting historical Southern Baptist’s and making outrageous claims to the “majority” is why I will be posting from men in church history who were Southern Baptist and could truly claim to historical, traditional, Southern Baptist orthodox doctrine.
We owe it to our heritage as Southern Baptists to do nothing less.
Soli Deo Gloria