Missouri to consider requiring BF&M
August 17 2001 by Tim Palmer , Missouri Word&Way

Missouri to consider requiring BF&M | Friday, Aug. 17, 2001
  • is in sympathy with the Statement of Purpose (Article 2) of the Convention;
  • made a contribution to the mission and ministry budget of the Convention in the previous year;
  • affirms the 1963 or 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement of the Southern Baptist Convention;
  • and which is a church in single alignment with the Southern Baptist Convention."

    Before discussing the proposed amendment, the committee on continuing review voted 4-3 to rescind an action it took in March proposing changes in Article 4. That version eliminated the words "single alignment."

    The revision approved last week would eliminate the current wording allowing MBC affiliation to "Any Baptist church in sympathy with the objects of the Missouri Baptist Convention and desiring to cooperate with the Convention in her program of single alignment with the Southern Baptist Convention?"

    Whether the "her" refers to a church or to the state convention became an issue last year after churches began to announce they were leaving the SBC. Hill said a substantial number of churches interpret it to mean that "her" refers to the state convention, leaving churches free to align or to not align with the SBC.

    Credentials committee chairman David Tolliver, pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs, said he interpreted Article 4 to mean a church must be part of the SBC.

    Hill said such a requirement implies a "connectionalism," as opposed to allowing a local Baptist church to decide.

    He said how the constitution is changed has the potential of driving 100-200 churches from the MBC, which would "significantly hamper" the state convention's work.

    Hill said requiring MBC churches to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message also could drive churches out of the state convention, including fundamental-conservative churches that would oppose making the BF&M a doctrinal statement.

    (EDITOR'S NOTE - Palmer is managing editor of Word&Way, the state Baptist paper in Missouri.)

  • Friday, Aug. 17, 2001

    Missouri to consider requiring BF&M

    By Tim Palmer Missouri Word&Way JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Any church that wants to be a member of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) will have to be a member of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and affirm either the 1963 or 2000 Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) if a proposed constitutional amendment passes. The amendment will be introduced this fall at the MBC annual meeting in Cape Girardeau and voted on during the 2002 MBC annual meeting in Springfield.

    MBC executive director Jim Hill said the amendment, if approved, could cause hundreds of churches to leave the state convention over the principles of local church autonomy and opposition to creedalism.

    Meeting jointly July 26, the MBC committee on continuing review and the MBC credentials committee approved the proposed amendment. The credentials committee then met and issued a statement saying it will apply the requirement of membership in the SBC to churches that seek to have messengers seated at the 2001 annual meeting.

    The two committees were charged with addressing the issue of MBC membership requirements by the 2000 MBC meeting after two churches that had voted to leave the Southern Baptist Convention sent messengers to the meeting. Their messengers were seated, but the convention asked the two committees to study the issue and report back in 2001.

    The proposed amendment would add a new section to "Article 4 - Membership" in the MBC constitution. Section 2 would read: "Messengers shall be seated from any Baptist church which

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    8/17/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tim Palmer , Missouri Word&Way | with 0 comments
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