C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Baptist Faith and Message: Mistakes or Changes

At one of the blogs I sometimes visit they ask the question of why the wording of the Baptist Faith and Message has been changed regarding the condemnation of persons regarding fallen man.

Here is the different wording:

1925:
He was created in a state of holiness under the law of his Maker, but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and in bondage to sin, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.

1963:
Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence; whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action become transgressors and are under condemnation.

2000:
Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.

The 1925 edition places the condemnation of man from conception being that we have the corrupt sin nature from Adam and are in bondage to sin, whereas the 1963 and 2000 editions place condemnation not at conception, but after one personally is “capable of moral action” (which is very broad and no one seems to be able to give specifics).

I noticed another difference is in the 1925 it claims man “inherit[s] a nature corrupt and in bondage to sin”, whereas the 1963 and 2000 claim man “inherit[s] a nature and an environment inclined toward sin”. Are the words “in bondage to” and “inclined toward” really synonyms?

What happened between 1925 and 1963 as regarding the people behind the writing/amending the Baptist Faith and Message? Regardless of which version you prefer, there is clearly a distinction.

2 comments:

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Mark Coppenger published an article on this point in the Founders Journal, Summer 1996 entitled "The Ascent of Lost Man in Southern Baptist Preaching."

He writes:

When we read the 1859 Abstract of Principles of Southern Seminary, we find that lost man inherits "nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law." Sixty-six years later, the first Baptist Faith and Message said men "inherit a nature corrupt and in bondage to sin." The 1963 revision stated that men "inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin." One wonders how a fresh revision might read in the year 2025? If the theological trajectory remains the same, perhaps in the 21st century men will be said to "inherit a nature open to sin as an option."

whole article

thoughts by: Pastor Don A. Elbourne Jr.

Sean said...

This is where I think we start going off the deep end. It is a debate of hyper-unknowns, which make it infinitely debatable. Not because no one knows the truth, but because things like this can only be revealed when God has a purpose for it to be revealed.

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.