The Capranica

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Location: Hemet, California, United States

Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of San Jacinto, California

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Pushing Jesus Aside

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a moderate-liberal breakaway group from the Southern Baptist Convention, is beginning to show its face more clearly with every passing year. At this year's convention, the Fellowship revised its constitution and bylaws, removing from their purpose statement clauses that directly referred to Jesus Christ. Interestingly, the news report from CBF's web-site gives little detail regarding the changes. Baptist Press (the SBC new organization) provides quotations of the past and new article's wording: Under Article II of the CBF's previous constitution, the purpose of the Fellowship was described as that of bringing together Baptists who desire to call out God's gifts in each person in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be spread throughout the world in glad obedience to the Great Commission. The revised article in the constitution describes the Fellowship's purpose as that of serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission. Further, the CBF has removed language that formerly referred to the authority of the Scriptures. Again, the CBF report does not mention this. Baptist Press notes: The revised article also does not reference the authority of the Bible without the aid of creeds, as did the original. Instead, the revised article cites the CBF's belief in soul freedom, Bible freedom, church freedom and religious freedom. Freedom to believe anything one desires. Freedom to think anything you would like regarding the Bible and regarding Jesus or the lack of Jesus' necessity. The CBF is finally beginning to become more open about its liberal lean. The CBF will be a good fit for the modern drift toward pluralism among Christian organizations and churches. With every passing year, those who will hold to a faithful commitment to the authority of the Scripture and the centrality and exclusivity of Christ in the gospel are becoming fewer and fewer. Perhaps the drift from Christ and the Scriptures will make our message of fidelity to Christ's gospel more crisp and clear to those who reap the sad consequences of a religion without the authentic power of Christ.

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