Founders Journal · Spring 2005 · pp. 24-26
To: Founders Ministries
Can you help me to understand the history of the Baptist Faith and Mission? Is this document receiving support from Southern Baptist Churches? When I visit Southern Baptist Churches I often hear a version of Robert Schuller’s gospel of self esteem. The message often seems to be that Jesus really cares and can take your pain and hurts and make you feel a lot better. I often hear pastors call people forward to accept Jesus without ever mentioning who Jesus is or that He died for sin on the cross. When I visit SB churches who have communion it seems like the essential elements of the gospel are obscured. Coming forward for communion in a high church fashion seems to be popular instead of taking communion together as a church. Again the person and work of Christ seem to be woefully missing. When I read the Purpose Driven Life, on day 7, the author among other things seems to totally miss the importance of repentance, what genuine faith is, and seems to give a false security to any one who prays his prayer. A SB church in my local area just dropped its Baptist name in favor of “community.” The pastor told me that the influence and age of denominations is over. These things seem to be in contrast to the biblical message in the new Baptist Faith and Message. Is the Founder’s Movement agreeing to this document? Please help me to figure this out.
S.T. via email
Response from the Editor:
Thanks for your note. Your observations are, unfortunately, not isolated incidents. The Baptist Faith and Message was originally drafted in 1925 and revised in 1963, 1998 and 2000. It is a fair statement that contains some really good articles. It was based on the New Hampshire Statement of Faith of 1833.
It is hard to say how many Southern Baptist churches understand the BF&M or take it seriously. You may want to check out the survey related to the Abstract of Principles on our website:
It gives at least some idea of what the readers of our website think is understood and being taught in Southern Baptist churches. You may also want to read an article I wrote entitled, “Confusing Times,” also available online:
The reason that Founders Ministries exists is to encourage believers and churches to recover the Gospel and see local congregations reformed according to the Word of God. The problems you have observed are part of the very concerns that make this work so vitally important in our day.
Your website is extremely helpful to use as a screening tool for speakers and evangelists. If they appear on your site, I know never to allow them anywhere near my congregation.
Besides your site educating your followers, it is an excellent place for those of us who find your brand of hyper-calvinism and elitism reprehensible to stay abreast of your plans to lead the uninformed astray.
The TULIP you wish to plant is one that I pray never appears in my garden. I would liken it to the tares among the wheat.
Dr. Stepansky via email
Response from the Editor:
Thank you for your note. I am glad that you have found our website useful, even if it is in a negative way. Be assured that you are always welcome to view anything that we publish there—we have no secret chambers that we try to keep in the dark. Our convictions, concerns, purposes and goals have been clearly stated for more than twenty years so that anyone—whether he or she agrees with us or not—may know where we stand.
May the Lord bless you and prosper your labors as you preach Jesus Christ.
Dear Founders Ministries,
I am sending you $50 in support of your efforts for the Lord. I wish I could send you more but I am retired and on a fixed income. … I am very excited about all that God is doing with this reform work. I spent 50 years of my life not knowing or understanding the Doctrines of Grace—25 years as a deacon in a Southern Baptist Church. There is such a great need for change in our churches. There is so much need for printed material from our Reformed preachers and teachers. I have 7 grandchildren who will learn of the truth of God’s grace. I pray for you folks daily! You are doing such a wonderful work.
T. H., GA