The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship removes Jesus from its constitution.

The original article.

Article II. Purpose
The purpose of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (hereinafter, “the Fellowship”) is to bring 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 Fellowship is committed to the preservation and propagation of individual and historic Baptist freedoms and distinctives, including the priesthood of all believers, the acceptance of the authority of the Bible without the aid of creeds, the autonomy of each church, and the separation of church and state in the interests of religious liberty.

The newly revised version.

Article II. Purpose
The purpose of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (hereinafter, “the Fellowship”) is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission. The Fellowship shall fulfill its purpose in keeping with its commitments to the historic Baptist principles of soul freedom, Bible freedom, church freedom, and religious freedom; to biblically-based global missions; to a resource model for serving churches; to justice and reconciliation; to lifelong learning and ministry; to trustworthiness; and to effectiveness.

I have emphasized the changes in bold. The changes were adopted on July 1, 2005 and presiding over their 2005 General Assembly was Bob Setzer Jr. who answered critics of the change. Setzer said,

“Jesus is present in all we think, do and say in CBF, and anybody who reads that mission statement otherwise is not being fair to [Jesus] or us,” “It’s hard to believe that a movement whose mission statement is ‘being the presence of Christ’ isn’t committed to Jesus. We are.”

I really don’t get it. Of all things to remove, change or update from a church’s constitution why remove the words “Gospel of Jesus Christ” in any form or fashion? Even in Paul’s times of suffering he writes in 1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Never excluding but always lifting up the Gospel regardless of his circumstances or situations. If anything I’d think they would want to mention Christ and His Gospel moreso and find ways to lift them up. I just don’t get it.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Russ July 19, 2005 at 3:35 pm

Mark. One word…DOWNGRADE

2 centuri0n July 22, 2005 at 11:05 am

Is this bad? Yes it is bad.

How bad? If history is a measure, it’s very bad, but only time will tell.

3 Howard Fisher August 12, 2005 at 2:05 pm

I don’t get that statement:

“”Jesus is present in all we think, do and say in CBF, and anybody who reads that mission statement otherwise is not being fair to [Jesus] or us,” “It’s hard to believe that a movement whose mission statement is ‘being the presence of Christ’ isn’t committed to Jesus. We are.””

If Jesus is in all they think and do and say, then why when they SAY their mission statement, Jesus is removed? I suppose they don’t see the immediate contradiction.

Then again, I’m in the American Baptist denomination, so I shouldn’t be throwing proverbial stones.

We as a denomination claim we believe in God’s Word. But then again….

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