|The 1962 session of the Southern
Baptist Convention, meeting in San Francisco, California, adopted the following motion.
"Since the report of the
Committee on Statement of Baptist Faith and Message was adopted in 1925, there have been
various statements from time to time which have been made, but no overall statement which
might be helpful at this time as suggested in Section 2 of that report, or introductory
statement which might be used as an interpretation of the 1925 Statement.
"We recommend, therefore, that
the president of this Convention be requested to call a meeting of the men now serving as
presidents of the various state Conventions that would qualify as a member of the Southern
Baptist Convention committee under Bylaw 18 to present to the Convention in Kansas City
some similar statement which shall serve as information to the churches, and which may
serve as guidelines to the various agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is
understood that any group or individuals may approach this committee to be of service. The
expenses of this committee shall be borne by the Convention Operating Budget."
Your committee thus constituted begs leave to
present its report as follows:
Throughout its work your committee
has been conscious of the contribution made by the statement of "The Baptist Faith
and Message" adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1925. It quotes with
approval its affirmation that "Christianity is supernatural in its origin and
history. We repudiate every theory of religion which denies the supernatural elements in
Furthermore, it concurs in the
introductory "statement of the historic Baptist conception of the nature and function
of confessions of faith in our religious and denominational life." It is, therefore,
quoted in full as part of this report to the Convention.
"That they constitute a
consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and
guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith
which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simple
conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance towards God and
faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
"That we do not regard them
as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As
in the past so in the future Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their
statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.
"That any group of Baptists,
large or small have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world
a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.
"That the sole authority for
faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.
"That they are statements of
religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom
of thought or investigation in other realms of life."
The 1925 Statement recommended
"the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, revised at certain points, and with some
additional articles growing our of certain needs . . . ." Your present committee has
adopted the same pattern. It has sought to build upon the structure of the 1925 Statement,
keeping in mind the "certain needs" of our generation. At times it has
reproduced sections of the Statement without change. In other instances it has substituted
words for clarity or added sentences for emphasis. At certain points it has combined
articles, with minor changes in wording, to endeavor to relate certain doctrines to each
other. In still others-e.g., "God" and "Salvation"-it has sought to
bring together certain truths contained throughout the 1925 Statement in order to relate
them more clearly and concisely. In no case has it sought to delete from or to add to the
basic contents of the 1925 Statement.
Baptists are a people who profess a
living faith. This faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ who is "the same
yesterday, and today, and for ever." Therefore, the sole authority for faith and
practice among Baptists is Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
A living faith must experience a
growing understanding of truth and must be continually interpreted and related to the
needs of each new generation. Throughout their history Baptist bodies, both large and
small, have issued statements of faith which comprise a consensus of their beliefs. Such
statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as
official creeds carrying mandatory authority. Thus this generation of Southern Baptists is
in historic succession of intent and purpose as it endeavors to state for its time and
theological climate those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among
Baptists emphasize the soul's
competency before God, freedom in religion, and the priesthood of the believer. However,
this emphasis should not be interpreted to mean that there is an absence of certain
definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are
now closely identified.
It is the purpose of this statement
of faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe.
|Herschel H. Hobbs, Chairman
Howard M. Reaves
Ed. J. Packwood
C. Z. Holland
W. B. Timberlake
C. V. Koons
Malcolm B. Knight
Dick H Hall, Jr.
Charles R. Walker
Walter R. Davis
V. C. Kruschwitz
||Luther B. Hall
Paul Weber, Jr.
R. A. Long
C. Hoge Hockensmith
Hugh R. Bumpas
David G. Anderson
E. Warren Rust
James H. Landes
R. P. Downey
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men
divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect
treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and
truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which
God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center
of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and
religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted
is Jesus Christ.
24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Psalm 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36; Matt. 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16 ff.; 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living
and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer,
Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other
perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God
reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes,
but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with
providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human
history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all
wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus
Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
1:1; 2:7; Ex. 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11 ff.; 20:1 ff.; Lev. 22:2; Deut. 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chron. 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isa. 43:3, 15; 64:8; Jer. 10:10; 17:13; Matt. 6:9 ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 4:6; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God.
In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the
virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the
demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind
yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on
the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the
dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them
before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of
God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whose
Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and
glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all
believers as the living and ever present Lord.
18:1 ff.; Psalm 2:7 ff.; 110:1 ff.; Isa. 7:14; 53; Matt. 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16, 27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6, 19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18, 29; 10:30, 38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7- 11; 16:15-16, 28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22- 24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5, 20; Rom. 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3, 34; 10:4; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8, 24-28; 2 Cor. 5:19- 21; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15, 24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Rev. 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of
God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables
men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of
judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian
character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God
through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence
in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the
stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship,
evangelism, and service.
1:2; Judg. 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalm 51:11; 139:7 ff.; Isa. 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matt. 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Cor. 2:10- 14; 3:16; 12:3-11; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; 1 Tim. 3:16; 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:14; 3:16; Heb. 9:8, 14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Rev. 1:10; 22:17 .
Man was created by the special act
of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His 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, and as soon
as they are capable of moral action 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 man
possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Gen. 1:26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalm 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isa. 6:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26- 31; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; 1 Cor. 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation involves the redemption
or the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and
Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its
broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. A.
Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new
creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through
conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance
is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and
commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour. Justification is God's
gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent
and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and
favor with God. B. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which
the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and
spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.
Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life. C. Glorification
is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the
3:15; Ex. 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21; 4:17; 16:21- 26; 27:22 to 28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:9, 28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Rom. 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3 ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18, 29-39; 10:9-10, 13; 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18, 30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:17- 20; Gal. 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11- 16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22; 3:1 ff.; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1 to 12:8; 14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6 to 2:11; Rev. 3:20; 21:1 to 22:5.
V. Gods Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of
God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is
consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with
the end. It is a glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise,
holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All true believers
endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit,
will never fall away from the State of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers
may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair
their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments
on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-8; 1 Sam. 8:4-7, 19-22; Isa. 5:1-7; Jer. 31:31 ff.; Matt. 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22, 31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45, 65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6, 12, 17-18; Acts 20:32; Rom. 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7, 26-36; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Eph. 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Col. 1:12-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:12; 2:10, 19; Heb. 11:39 to 12:2; 1 Peter 1:2-5, 13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord
Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the
faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to
His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word,
and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This church is an autonomous
body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a
congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and
deacons. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes
all of the redeemed of all the ages.
Matt. 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23, 27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11, 21; 5:22-32; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Rev. 2-3; 21:2-3.
VII. Baptism and the Lords
Christian baptism is the immersion
of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an
act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen
Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to
walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final
resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges
of church membership and to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of
obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of
the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; Acts 20:7; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 10:16, 21; 11:23-29; Col. 2:12.
VIII. The Lords Day
The first day of the week is the
Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the
resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and
spiritual devotion, both public and private, and by refraining from worldly amusements,
and resting from secular employments, work of necessity and mercy only being
20:8-11; Matt. 12:1-12; 28:1 ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1- 7; Luke 24:1-3, 33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1, 19-28; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Col. 2:16; 3:16; Rev. 1:10.
IX. The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both
His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who
willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into
which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to
pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full
consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
1:1; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5-6; Matt. 3:2; 4:8-10, 23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Rom. 5:17; 8:19; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Col. 1:13; Heb. 11:10, 16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Rev. 1:6, 9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
X. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own
way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ
will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will he raised; and
Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the
place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies
will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
2:4; 11:9; Matt. 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27, 30, 36, 44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40, 48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 15:24-28, 35-58; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 5:1 ff.; 2 Thess. 1:7 ff.; 2; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7 ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Rev. 1:18; 3:11; 20 to 22:13.
XI. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of
every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make
disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the
birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual
necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the
teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the
lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of
12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt. 9:37-38; 10:5- 15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8, 16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom. 10:13-15; Eph. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39 to 12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17.
The cause of education in the
Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and
should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of
Christian schools is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people. In
Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic
responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and
never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is
limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the
Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
4:1, 5, 9, 14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Neh. 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalm 19:7 ff.; 119:11; Prov. 3:13 ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7, 11; 15:14; Eccl. 7:19; Matt. 5:2; 7:24 ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Cor. 1:18-31; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 4:8; Col. 2:3, 8-9; 1 Tim. 1:3-7; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:14-17; Heb. 5:12 to 6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.
God is the source of all blessings,
temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a
spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding
stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with
their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted
to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures,
Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically,
proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4, 19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21, 42; 16:1- 13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
Christ's people should, as occasion
requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for
the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one
another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit,
combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of
New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the
missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christs
Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary
cooperation for common ends by various group of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable
between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself
justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of
loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.
17:12; 18:17 ff.; Judg. 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Neh. 4; 8:1-5; Matt. 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1 ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1 ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Cor. 8-9; Gal. 1:6-10; Eph. 4:1-16; Phil. 1:15-18.
XV. The Christian and the Social
Every Christian is under obligation
to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society. Means and
methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among
men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of
the individual by the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus. The Christian should oppose, in
the spirit of Christ, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice. He should work to
provide for the orphaned, the needy, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. Every Christian
should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the
principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends
Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always
being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ
and His truth.
20:3-17; Lev. 6:2-5; Deut. 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Mic. 6:8; Zech. 8:16; Matt. 5:13-16, 43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3 ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Rom. 12; 13; 14; 1 Cor. 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20- 24; 10:23 ff.; 11:1; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:12-17; 1 Thess. 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.
XVI. Peace and War
It is the duty of Christians to
seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and
teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put and end to war. The true
remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the
acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical
application of His law of love.
2:4; Matt. 5:9, 38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36, 38; Rom. 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Heb. 12:14; James 4:1-2.
XVII. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the
conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are
contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The
state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual
ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be
favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the
duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the
revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its
work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends.
The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state
has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a
free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered
access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the
sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
1:27; 2:7; Matt. 6:6-7, 24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Rom. 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Gal. 5:1, 13; Phil. 3:20; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.