SBC Referral: On Requesting That SBC Entities Not Require Their Employees to Sign The Baptist Faith and Message
from the 2001 SBC Annual
Motion by Fred Steelman, Tennessee:
That we request Southern Baptist institutions and seminaries not to require employees to sign The Baptist Faith and Message as a condition of employment.
Response from SBC entities:
The Executive Committee reports to the Southern Baptist Convention that the Executive Committee affirms The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as the accepted confession governing its work, and acknowledges the responsibility of each Southern Baptist Convention entity to utilize The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 consistent with its Southern Baptist Convention ministry assignment.
The Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention affirms The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as the accepted confession governing its work, and acknowledges the responsibility of each Southern Baptist Convention entity to utilize The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 consistent with its Southern Baptist Convention mission statement and ministry assignments.
International Mission Board:
The trustees of the International Mission Board, in covenant with the Southern Baptist Convention, wholeheartedly affirm the current edition of The Baptist Faith and Message as the standard for carrying out the programs and ministries of the board.
Additionally, in keeping with the historical practice of the International Mission Board, the trustees adopted the following policy: Missionary candidates shall be required to read the current The Baptist Faith and Message, affirming its statements or noting and clarifying points of disagreement. Such affirmation or disagreement shall be noted in writing in the candidate's doctrinal statements of the application process.
LifeWay Christian Resources:
Based upon an action of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 12, 1969, LifeWay Christian Resources continues to implement the action of its trustees made in July 1969. That action instructs LifeWay employees to carry out their assigned programs and tasks in a manner consistent with, and not contrary to, The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention.
North American Mission Board:
In the One Hundred Twelfth Session of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, June 10-13, 1969, a motion was made by Thomas Simmons (Arkansas). The motion was presented on Monday morning June 11, 1969, stating, "that the Convention urge the Sunday School Board to have all writers to sign a statement with each manuscript of belief in the infallibility of the entire Bible, that the seminaries secure from professors a like statement annually, and that the Sunday School Board and seminaries be urged to report to the president of the Convention as to the implementation of this motion, who would in turn report to the Executive Committee in the regular meetings." (1969 SBC Annual, p. 58)
The motion was discussed on Thursday morning, June 12, 1969. James L. Sullivan (Tennessee) offered the following substitute motion: "That the Convention call to the attention of its agencies the doctrinal statement framed after careful study and much discussion at its annual session in Kansas City in 1963 and vigorously urge the elected trustees responsible for these agencies to be diligent in seeing that the programs assigned to them by the Convention are carried out in a manner consistent with and not contrary to the Convention's afore-said statment of faith." The vote was taken and the substitute motion passed. (1969 SBC Annual, p. 70.)
Whereas, such action requested in this motion appears to be a departure from the 1969 Southern Baptist Convention's action, we respectfully stand with the Convention's action of 1969.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary:
The cardinal beliefs upon which Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is founded, and in harmony with which it will operate, are expressed in The Baptist Faith and Message, ,approved by the Southern Baptist Convention; to these principles, trustees, administrative officers, and faculty members must subscribe.
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees affirm and adopt The Baptist Faith and Message, as revised on June 14, 2000, as the Articles of Faith for the Seminary, and direct that all faculty handbooks, employment handbooks, and related policies shall be amended to reflect this revision, and further direct that faculty members shall, at the time of election or renewal of contracts, sign an affiremation of The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, agreeing to teach in accord with, and not contrary to, the Articles of Faith; and this affirmation shall be used in lieu of the Faculty Questionnaire.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:
In response to the motion of Fred Steelman of Tennessee requesting that Southern Baptist entities not require their employees to sign The Baptist Faith and Message, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has every intention of supporting the actions of the Southern Baptist Convention, including the Convention's adoption of a confessional statement.
At its April 2000 meeting, the Trustees of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary approved and adopted a change to the Seminary's bylaws which requires all faculty to "subscribe to" and "publicly sign" The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and the Abstract of Principles, the historic confession signed by all faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary since its inception in 1950. In so doing, professors commit themselves to teach within and not contrary to the parameters of The Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
In addition to that, Southeastern presently prints The Baptist Faith and Message in our catalog and makes it crystal clear to all employees that since it is the statement of faith adopted by the Convention that we will, in fact, teach within and never contrary to that statement.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is fully committed to confessional accountability to the Southern Baptist Convention and gladly requires its faculty to sign the Abstract of Principles and The Baptist Faith and Message.
These instruments represent a sacred trust between the Seminary and the Southern Baptist Convention. Furthermore, this policy is in no way an innovation, since the signing of the Confession of Faith has been required of all faculty members since the founding of the institution in 1859.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:
In keeping with its charter and bylaws, the board of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has asked that each member of the elected and adjunct faculty subscribe in writing to the current The Baptist Faith and Message.
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission expects all program staff to affirm The Baptist Faith and Message and to minister from the perspective of its doctrinal foundations and theological tenets.
Last modified 18 June 2001.
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