Affirming The Baptist Faith and Message
By Gerry Taillon
Reprinted from the April 2018 CNBC Horizon
Baptists have never been creedal people, but we have had confessions of faith in every generation to reflect our most important theological beliefs. These confessions have always been a representation of what the overall majority of our churches and leaders believed, while respecting cardinal Baptist tenets like the autonomy of the local church and the priesthood of the believer.
It has also always been understood that the confessions of faith we adopted together were never a replacement for the foundational conviction that the Bible is the only true source we use to dictate our faith and practice.
Our Southern Baptist heritage in the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) influenced us from our beginnings in 1985, when we were formed into a national convention. We adopted the then-current Southern Baptist Statement of Faith called The Baptist Faith and Message. The Southern Baptist Convention had adopted that confession of faith in 1963 at their annual convention in San Francisco. This was a revision of a confession of faith that had been adopted by Southern Baptists in 1925. From 1985 on, our confession of faith in the CNBC was The Baptist Faith and Message 1963.
In 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a revised version of The Baptist Faith and Message to rearticulate for a new generation their common beliefs and doctrines. A number of changes were made to the 1963 confession of faith, one of which was a new article presenting a biblical view on marriage and family. This new article strengthened our biblical theological position on homosexuality and biblical marriage.
Since 2000, we have continued with our CNBC statement of faith passed in our convention in 1985. We have also partnered with the Southern Baptist Convention, their agencies, state conventions, associations, and their churches, most of whom have affirmed the newest version of The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BF&M 2000). When we partnered with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to plant churches, our planters affirmed the BF&M 2000. Because the overall majority of our existing churches have been planted since the year 2000, it is reasonable to conclude that the majority of our churches and pastors have agreed with The Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
The CNBC ministerial staff have virtually all affirmed the BF&M 2000 as a result of their partnership and engagement with either NAMB or the International Mission Board (IMB). Our IMB missionaries helping us reach unreached people groups and our IMB professors at our seminary have all affirmed the BF&M 2000.
Since the majority of our churches, pastors, church planters, partners, and CNBC staff are in agreement with The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, our National Leadership Board has adopted a motion to adopt The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as the new statement of faith for the CNBC.
It will be presented first at our Annual Convention on June 1, 2018, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, for first reading, and then in turn at our Annual Convention in Edmonton the following year for final passage and adoption as our new statement of faith.
This action will bring our statement of faith in line with the overall beliefs and theological convictions of the CNBC. It will strengthen our theological positions and affirm our understanding of the biblical revelation. Our prayer is that God will also use our people and our churches to advance and extend His Kingdom based on the firm biblical foundation He has provided for us.
Click here to download a PDF version of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Read more CNBC articles in the CNBC Horizon.