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Friday, February 02, 2007

The IMB to Dictate Baptist Doctrine

Feb.1st, 2007 BP article “IMB trustees hear challenge to expand missionary force, respond to Burleson SBC motion”

-- Regarding “new doctrinal requisites for eligibility to serve as employees or missionaries of the IMB beyond the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message,” trustees maintained that “(w)hile the Baptist Faith and Message represents a general confession of Southern Baptist beliefs related to Biblical teachings on primary doctrinal and social issues, the IMB retains the prerogative and responsibility of further defining the parameters of doctrinal beliefs and practices of its missionaries who serve Southern Baptists with accountability to this board.”

So now according to the current IMB trustees they, and they alone, have the “PREROGATIVE” of “FURTHER DEFINEING THE PARAMETERS OF DOCTRINAL BELIEFS AND PRACTICES” for Southern Baptist Missionaries ----- I THINK NOT!

So why do we even have the BFM if the trustees of our agencies are free to do whatever they wish anyway? Did not the BFM2000 receive an “overwhelming” vote of approval from the messengers of the Southern Baptist Churches? Are the trustees now telling the Southern Baptist Churches “We don’t care what you think or what you have approved as our doctrinal standard”? That is sure what it sounds like to me.

I happen to notice that the IMB referred to our Southern Baptist Missionaries as “ITS - Missionaries”… Excuse me good sirs but these Missionaries are not YOURS they are OURS! I think the IMB has forgotten who is the finial authority in the SBC and to whom all SBC employees are ultimately accountable?

So what will the IMB do next? Who knows, but since the BFM is only a “general confession suggestion” it is anyone’s guess. It pains me to say this but the IMB is operating like a rogue agency… what will they do next; change their bylaws to give themselves the authority to select their own trustees?

This is not a good day in the SBC!


CJ said...

I agree that the use of "its missionaries" was a poor choice of words - even possibly displaying a lack of appreciation for the accountability that the IMB has to the churches that make up the SBC.

I disagree with what you said about the IMB defining doctrinal beliefs and parameters. The BF&M is not exhaustive enough to be used as the only source of doctrinal policies. I don't believe the BF&M would restrict someone from serving who holds to Word-Faith doctrines. I don't think we want missionaries with those beliefs. (I'm sure there are other examples of this.)

It would be wrong for the IMB to develop policies that were against the BF&M. I do expect the trustees and IMB staff to make decisions that go beyond the BF&M.

That being said, I think the new guidelines on baptism are absolutely ridiculous and need to be changed. I think they had the right to make them, but they did a poor job of it.

G. Alford said...


I think I agree with what you are saying... actually I think we are saying much the same thing.

The BFM is not exhaustive enough to be the only source of doctrinal policies… and I would defiantly like to see the SBC adopt a full theological standard... The Abstract of Systematic Theology would be great... but I will not be holding my breath.

And yes the new guidelines on baptism are absolutely ridiculous and need to be changed... actually I do not think I could serve with the IMB as the guidelines now read...

They are way too Landmark.


Lee said...

It will get really interesting when one SBC institution trustee board requires a doctrinal position that another board, perhaps one of the seminaries, denies.

I can see that happening.

We've let a small group of individuals use their influence to get people they can control, and use to network, on all the boards. That has to stop, and the only way it is going to is for Southern Baptists to wake up to what has been going on, get out from under the belief that this is about "inerrancy and infallibility," understand that it is about power and control, and then continue to elect presidents who will ignore the influence peddlers in their trustee selections.

G. Alford said...


I agree with every-word you have said here…

The Conservative Resurgence is no longer about "inerrancy and infallibility," it’s about “power, prestige, and control”… I wonder if it ever truly was. Regardless of the truth of what it was really about in the beginning… this is the reality of what they are now fighting for!

To be honest brother Lee I see an unavoidable “Train Wreck” coming for the SBC… I hate to say that, but I do not believe that those who are currently in power will ever willingly give up the “power, prestige, and control” they now enjoy as Royalty in the SBC. I am left to wonder if perhaps the Train has no already left the tracks and we are all just holding our breath waiting for the impact?

Grace to all,