I learn upon browsing on over there that Wade Burleson has asserted that the SBC has instructed our agencies and institutions that they "do not have the right to narrow doctrinal parameters beyond [The Baptist Faith & Message]." So, let's just look at the statement line-by-line:
- "The Baptist Faith and Message is neither a creed, nor a complete statement of our faith, nor final and infallible…" Pretty self-explanatory stuff here. Our confession does not address everything, does not function creedally, can be amended, and might be wrong.
- "… nevertheless, we further acknowledge that it is the only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs approved by the Southern Baptist Convention…" Simple historical fact here. Southern Baptists have never adopted any other statement of doctrinal beliefs.
- "… and such is sufficient in its current form to guide trustees…" The BF&M needs no other clarifying document in order to serve as a guide to trustees. There is no list of primary, secondary, and tertiary doctrines in the document. The document itself, as it stands, speaks for itself and is sufficient as a guide to the trustees. I should note, some people seem to be asserting it as the only sufficient guide to the trustees. But such a belief would be heresy, and I think that people really just aren't thinking through what they are saying. "Only sufficient" is language that we Baptists generally reserve for speaking about the Bible. Thankfully, the text of the statement says nothing of the sort. So, the BF&M is precisely what this statement says it is: One document that is sufficient to serve as a guide to the trustees.
- "… in their establishment of policies and practices of entities of the Convention…" The statement flatly affirms that trustees are the ones authorized to set the policies and practices of our entities. We as a convention absolutely expect them, when considering any policies and practices, to take into consideration the content of the BF&M.