We do not frequent this website, but we have discovered an excellent interview with SBC President Frank Page. There are two parts, and the money quote follows:
The truth is that the BFM is somewhat like the United States Constitution. It’s interpreted by everyone according to their particular perspective. The resolution is being interpreted according to everyone’s own perspective, which is understandable. I think what happened, and yes, I was very much in favor of that motion – I think what the people were simply saying was this, “We do not need to become a legalistic denomination. We are definitely conservative, inerrantist people.” And the Baptist Faith and Message, that by the way, ten years ago was seen as a fundamentalist document and people were wondering how anybody could sign such a thing, and now it’s almost seen as a Moderate document. It’s amazing at the switch that has occurred.
My point is, I think the Baptists were simply saying, “We’ve gone far enough.” We don’t need to put more strict parameters on everybody. We can’t agree on everything and to constantly amend the Baptist Faith and Message will lead us into an absolute anarchy. If you’re going to put in there something about speaking in tongues, are we also going to clarify whether we are a Calvinist or non-Calvinist denomination? Where does it end? It doesn’t.
At some point we have to say, “these are primary issues.” I think that is what the Southern Baptist Convention said in San Antonio: “This is our guiding document. Please be careful.” I think it was a plea. It was not a requirement. That’s why everybody can interpret it the way they want. Please, let’s not become a legalistic, narrow-minded denomination that expects everybody to agree on every primary, secondary, and tertiary point of doctrine.
3 thoughts on “Frank Page unplugged…”
THE money shot:
“ten years ago was seen as a fundamentalist document and people were wondering how anybody could sign such a thing, and now it’s almost seen as a Moderate document. It’s amazing at the switch that has occurred.”
He is solid, unyielding and gracious.
The BFM has always been seen as an unifying document, but with the clear understanding of its nature as a guideline for Baptist churches. As a third-generation Baptist pastor and second generation SBC pastor (my grandfather was Conservative Baptist) I can tell you that my focus is for my people under my care to have a deeper abiding connection with God through an intimate relationship with their Savior Jesus Christ, period. Looking beyond the obvious need of having leaders in our SBC churches that promote the ideals of the BFM without becoming the “Gospel Gestapo” in their church dictating the BFM as the legalistic manifesto of all Southern Baptists. I will continue to be more biblical than Baptist and pray that people of godly measure in positions to influence the convention to do the same in order to maintain the flexibility for our churches to continue to move forward together without compromising their particular design. It’s obvious to me from the low numbers I saw at the convention this year that Baptists are becoming less interested in the politics. See folks, the people in the pew are uninformed for the most part and disinterested. Our culture has become less concerned with labels and constitutions. If the SBC gets to the point of disagreement they have no reservations about severing ties. I continue to educate as best as I can on the benefits of the SBC, but leading a church who for almost 20 years has had moderate pastors, it has become a hard sell. Frank Page’s leadership is timely and is welcomed to promote balance within our fold.