In 1963 the Southern Baptist Convention published “The Baptist Faith and Message.” It was a concise doctrinal statement that was adopted by most affiliated Baptist churches.
Back then, in the days of black-and-white TV, a church didn’t need to take a stand on marriage because almost everyone agreed that marriage was the union of one man and one woman, united for life. In the good-old-days, it wasn’t necessary to say that abortion was wrong. Until 1973 it was illegal, and most agreed it was wrong. And, when I was a kid, the word trans-gender wasn’t in the dictionary. The world has changed!
The Bible hasn’t changed, and what we believe hasn’t changed. So, in June of 2000 the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a new statement of faith which included a plank concerning these important issues. It says:
“God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society... Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime... The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ... Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth...”
One line in our church’s constitution reads: “South Georgia Baptist Church of Amarillo, Texas accepts and subscribes to the doctrinal statement of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000” ... including the statement concerning marriage, family, sexuality, and abortion.
Why hasn’t the doctrine of the church changed with the times? Simple! God hasn’t changed, and God’s Word hasn’t changed!
“God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it’ ... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed”
(Genesis 1:27-31, CSB).
“The Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, CSB). “The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found corresponding to him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:20-24, CSB).
The Bible really says it. God really did it. So, we really believe it!
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor