Preamble to CNBC Statement of Faith

PROCESS

In May of 2017, the National Leadership Board passed a motion to adopt the SBC Baptist Faith and Message 2000, as the CNBC Confession of Faith.

The new Confession was incorporated into the new CNBC Constitution and By-Laws proposed and adopted as the first reading at our Annual Convention in Charlottetown, PEI, in June 2018.

Based on the discussion of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 in Charlottetown, June 2018, the National Leadership Board provides the following clarification: In order to be faithful to the biblical revelation and also honor the autonomy of the local church, the CNBC will interpret the phrase “the office of the pastor” as “senior or lead pastor” in Article 6 of the BFM2000.

The new Constitution and By-Laws, which contains the new CNBC Confession will be presented for the second reading and adoption at our Annual Convention in Edmonton, AB on May 31, 2019.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Baptists are a people of deep beliefs and cherished doctrines. Throughout our history we have been a confessional people, adopting statements of faith as a witness to our beliefs and a pledge of our faithfulness to the doctrines revealed in Holy Scripture.

Our confessions of faith are rooted in historical precedent, as the church in every age has been called upon to define and defend its beliefs. Each generation of Christians bears the responsibility of guarding the treasury of truth that has been entrusted to us [2 Timothy 1:14].

(Quoted from Baptist Faith and Message 2000 Preamble)

BAPTIST UNDERSTANDING OF CONFESSIONS OF FAITH

The historic Baptist understanding of the nature and function of Baptist confession of faith is as follows:

  • (1) That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
  • (2) That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future, Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.
  • (3) That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.
  • (4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.
  • (5) That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.

( Quoted from the Baptist Faith and Message Preamble 1925, 1963, 2000 )

OTHER BAPTIST BODIES

Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.

( Quoted from Baptist Faith and Message 2000 Preamble)


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