The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 (BF&M) is the summary of faith for the Southern Baptist Convention. Adopted by resolution on June 14th, 2000 at the SBC Annual Meeting, the purpose of the statement of faith is “to set forth certain teachings we believe.”[ref]SBC.net | The Baptist Faith & Message Introduction http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp[/ref] These teachings, however, are not binding on Southern Baptists but are a “witness to the world” regarding Baptist tradition:
Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.
Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faithand practice.[ref]SBC.net | The Baptist Faith & Message Introduction http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp[/ref]
It is worth noting that some colleges and seminaries within the SBC require the professors to teach “in accordance with and not contrary to” the BF&M, thus making it binding for employment within the academy.[ref]Louisiana College | Christian Commitment http://www.lacollege.edu/about/christian-commitment[/ref] [ref]SEBTS | What We Believe http://www.sebts.edu/about/what-we-believe/default.aspx[/ref]
The BF&M section on Man states:
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. 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. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
I thought it would be profitable to list in full all of the Scripture references given in the section on Man in order to understand what the BF&M is drawing from in an easy format. All verses are from the New American Standard Bible.
Genesis 1:26-30 - 26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and Continue Reading…