August 18, 2014

Archival Series: The FBFI Resolutions on the Southern Baptist Convention

This article first appeared Jan. 31, 2011.  These FBFI resolutions on the SBC were adopted in 1994 & 1995.  The 1994 resolution was co-authored by Dave Doran. The 1995 resolution was co-written by Drs. Dave Doran, Tim Jordan, and Matt Olson. Their authorship leads to one question: Over the years since 1994-95, Who Changed?  See the commentary, and related readings at the conclusion of this archival entry.


While applauding the attempts of conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention to reemphasize the doctrine of the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, we do not believe that these men are “fundamental” Southern Baptists. Our reasoning is twofold: first, they still accept the ecumenical evangelism of Billy Graham which makes them New Evangelicals; and second, they do not desire to be known as Fundamentalists. Writing in “The Church God Approves,” James Draper, conservative in the Southern Baptist Convention, condemns Fundamentalists for their divisiveness, bigotry and unfairness; and says that they have a wholly negative approach and show little love and compassion. Those who call for cooperation in pulpit ministries between Fundamentalists and Southern Baptists either misread the nature of the conservative movement in the Convention, or themselves have compromised the cause of Biblical separation.
The FBF applauds those in the Southern Baptist Convention who fought a battle for the inerrancy of Scripture, but disagree with Jerry Falwell and Tim Lee who attempt to convince followers that the SBC conservatives are Fundamentalists. At best, conservative Southern Baptists are New Evangelicals who cooperate with and promote the ecumenical evangelism ministry of Billy Graham. The Southern Baptist Convention dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the two Southern Baptist leaders who signed the 1994 ecumenical Evangelicals and Catholics Together* agreement (the furor created caused them later to ask to have their names removed), and statements made by Convention leaders embracing charismatics indicate dangerous drifts in the SBC.

We believe that statements made by Charles Stanley, twice elected president of the SBC, such as, “If it’s a Southern Baptist seminary, it should be balanced in its approach. If you’re going to have liberals, you need strong conservatives . . . if you’ve got people who don’t believe in the virgin birth, you need people who do,” lead to unscriptural confusion. Adrian Rogers, elected to two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has said, “I don’t want any witch hunt to purge the seminaries.” Statements such as these reveal that even conservative leadership in the SBC will not take the strong stands necessary to rid the Convention of its liberal and neo-orthodox factions. Until this happens, we do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.
In recent years some strides have been made to rid the “convention of its liberal and neo-orthodox factions,” but not all of them.** Many of the “dangerous drifts” described above, however, remain in the SBC.
What is glaringly left out of this issue is the matter of separation. [Kevin] Bauder claims that the “conservative evangelicals” aren’t New Evangelicals and he conveniently defines New Evangelicalism in a way that proves his point (whereas his predecessors at Central, Richard Clearwaters and Ernest Pickering, understood New Evangelism much more clearly).

While there are many aspects of New Evangelicalism, the defining principle from its inception was a “repudiation of separatism.” That was the way that Harold Ockenga put it. That is Billy and Franklin Graham’s foundational working principle.

And by that definition, every Southern Baptist conservative is a New Evangelical. That is evident by the simple fact that they remain in the SBC, which is an unholy organization that encompasses theological liberalism, Charismaticism, Masonism, ecumenical evangelism, modern textual criticism, Amillennialism, the rock & roll emerging philosophy, female preachers, psychoheresy, Catholic mysticism, and other errors and evils. (David Cloud: Conservative Evangelicals, Jan. 27, 2011.)
On February 22-25 at Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale, PA) Dr. Dave Doran and Dr. Kevin Bauder will be participating in a cooperative pulpit ministry with SBC pastor Dr. Mark Dever. The 1994 FBF resolution above warns of compromising the cause of biblical separatism. Dever maintains close friendships with and participates in cooperative efforts with ecumenical compromisers and charismatics. Does the common cause cooperative ministry of Bauder and Doran with Dever at Lansdale compromise the cause of biblical separatism? How do Brothers Doran and Bauder justify their “cooperation in pulpit ministries” at Lansdale with SBC pastor Mark Dever?

Dr. Rick Arrowood details the current posture of SBC pastor Mark Dever,
Just because a man like Dr. Dever is seen by some as a “conservative Southern Baptist, who fights for truth in the SBC,” does not mean he fits in as a separatist and should be called a fundamentalist. Matter-a-fact, he would not want to wear that name tag. He is a leader among Southern Baptists:

•He serves on the Board of Southern Theological Seminary under the direction of Dr. Al Mohler. (Dr. Mohler signed the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration and watches over the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and Home Missions at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. [Mohler served as chair for the 2001 Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville])

•Dr. Dever also willingly teaches at Gordon-Conwell College in Massachusetts, long known as a leading institution for New-Evangelicalism and compromise.

•To add to the matter, Dr. Dever is quite reformed and a-millennial, which, of course, is a far-cry from the position promoted by the founders of Calvary, Detroit, Central and Northland.

•He has spoken it [sic] the past and is slated to speak in the future with Dr. C.J. Mahaney, one of the founders of the Together For The Gospel [T4G] Conference where he states that his desire is to start churches that are reformed in theology and charismatic in doctrine. T4G has attracted an assortment of our young men, exposing them not only to doctrinal error, but also a steady diet of Sovereign Grace Music.
(Dr. Rick Arrowood: Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism)
Does that read like the personal resume of a man who is committed to the theology, application and cause of biblical separatism? It appears troubling inconsistencies among evangelicals such as Mark Dever are no longer a barrier to fellowship and cooperative ministerial efforts for certain men in Fundamental circles who profess allegiance to the cause of biblical separatism as defined in the 1994-95 FBF resolutions on the Southern Baptist Convention.
Who really is changing as we see this new wave of picking and choosing, applying and justifying, defending and mitigating, “mixing and mingling?” If it is right for us to “platform fellowship” with new-evangelicals and those in the SBC, why have we not had them preach in our colleges, seminaries and fellowships over the past sixty years? A Southern Baptist teaching theology in a fundamentalist church, college or seminary has his roots in Southern Baptist soil, and when transplanted temporarily to a fundamental church or school brings that soil with him. If our position has been wrong, then we have missed the placating of well-organized denominationalism with its comforts and retirement benefits. Perhaps we should go to those retired fundamental Baptist missionaries, who have sacrificed term after term on a foreign field, who may be physically and financially struggling in some nursing home, and apologize to them, admitting the Lottie Moon Missions Program would have been a better choice for them. Can you see the shifting of the sand and how it strikes at the foundation of our fundamental Baptist history? (Dr. Rick Arrowood: Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism)
For those who may not be aware the 1994 FBF resolution on the SBC was prepared and submitted by the resolutions committee that included Dave Doran. Brother Doran signed on to and therefore endorsed the 1994 resolution on the SBC, which closed as follows,
Those who call for cooperation in pulpit ministries between Fundamentalists and Southern Baptists either misread the nature of the conservative movement in the Convention, or themselves have compromised the cause of Biblical separation.
The 1995 FBF resolution was prepared and submitted by the committee that included Dave Doran, Matt Olson and Tim Jordan. The 1995 resolution closed with,
…we [Doran, Olson, Jordan] do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.
Yet, Matt Olson will be featuring SBC theologian Dr. Bruce Ware at NIU later this year. In a matter of days Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder will join SBC pastor Mark Dever, invited by Tim Jordan, in a ministerial effort at Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale.

Who’s changing? The men who co-drafted and signed the 1994-95 FBF resolutions on the SBC, or the non-separatist evangelicals in the Southern Baptist Convention? Brother Dever, what do you say?


*In 2009 Southern Baptist leaders including Dr. Al Mohler signed the Manhattan Declaration (MD). The MD is the first cousin of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Signing the MD extended Christian recognition to Roman Catholics and apostates. Mohler and other SBC signatories have been admonished by their peers, but have not repented of their deed, which compromised the Gospel. (See- Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration)

**2001- 01.6 Regarding the Southern Baptist Convention
The FBFI expresses gratitude to God for the changes in the Southern Baptist Convention nationally since 1979. We commend the reaffirmation of inerrancy, now a confessional requirement for its agencies—the seminaries, Mission Boards and its publishing arm. Furthermore, we applaud the repudiation of homosexuality and the confessional commitment to a biblical role for women. However, we exhort our brethren to continue reformation by opposing the ecumenism of Billy Graham and “Evangelicals and Catholics Together.” We also urge perseverance at the state and local levels, purging the theological and moral decay. And, where purging is not possible, we urge Southern Baptists to withdraw and rebuild, showing fidelity to the Scripture. Until Southern Baptists fully recognize and repudiate the destruction of Neo-evangelicalism that has weakened their churches and seminaries, the Scriptural response of Fundamental Baptists must continue to be separation.
See the FBFI Resolutions for access to the resolution archives.

Site Publisher Commentary (August 2014):
Who Changed?  The SBC certainly has not changed.  The SBC is today what they’ve been for decades now, which are identified above as, “an unholy organization that encompasses theological liberalism, Charismaticism, Masonism, ecumenical evangelism, modern textual criticism, Amillennialism, the rock & roll emerging philosophy, female preachers, psychoheresy, Catholic mysticism….”
The “changelings” are Dave Doran, Matt Olson, and Tim Jordan.  From their 1995 resolution, “We do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.” Arguably the lead architect of the changelings movement is Kevin Bauder. What does each of those four men have in common? A direct hand in and/or personal contribution to the ruin and demise of the former Northland Baptist Bible College and Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale respectively.

Related Reading
Dr. Rick Arrowood: The Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism

Kevin Bauder & Dave Doran Join Mark Dever at Calvary, Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?

Note: Calvary Baptist Seminary did not survive Kevin Bauder’s “limited form of fellowship.”

August 11, 2014

Throw Down Your Arms

On the morning of April 19, 1775, British troops marched into Lexington, Massachusetts.  They were met by a small group of patriots on the village green.  The minutemen were armed and ready to protect their homes and families.  While it is true that their guns were used for hunting food and for protection, they also kept weapons handy in case they had to stop tyranny in its tracks.  That is why they could not, and would not obey the command to throw down their arms.

It is not up to me to do your research for you.  I have done a more than adequate amount to be able to tell you that the following is reliable and has a common thread among those who possess spiritual insight. After the British had sent a volley or more of shot into those good men, eight of them lay dead, with others wounded.  Some of them were shot in the back, since their own leader had ordered them to disperse.


Almost all the dead and wounded were members of the church, and their pastor, Jonas Clark, had stood with them in the midst of the brief conflict.  Caleb Harrington was shot dead on the steps of the church.  He was going back into the meeting house to get more powder, since that is where it was stored.  The primary edifice on the green was the church building, so the fight had taken place in front of the church.  Clark had repeatedly warned his flock about the coming danger to their freedom and liberty from the tyranny they faced.  His own diary is a record of what took place in the pulpits and other small communities as well as his own.

In 1864, J. T. Headley wrote of the broad involvement of clergy and believers in the events that lead to the Revolution.  His book was entitled The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution.  The book was first published by Charles Scribner of New York. Headley identified a long list of pastors who personally and publicly opposed the tyranny of the king.  They fully understood the responsibility of the believer to obey constituted authority as God’s rule, but they also understood that life, liberty, and freedom were gifts from God. 

The involvement of the clergy in energizing the coming conflict did not include the loyalists of the Church of England who were, by duty of the church, bound to the king. The Quakers were pacifists and therefore opposed any fighting.  There were others who opposed the coming conflict, but the record indicates that the number of these dissenters was smaller.  The Colonial army was made up of local militias; and since the pastor was often the only professional in town, in many cases he led the men of his parish into battle. Like it or not, these are the general facts behind that great event known as the American Revolution.


I will let you do your own study on the above.  There are hundreds of books on the subject.  There are some who feel that their action had been wrong and that the patriots sinned in what they did.  Often these individuals fail to fully study the wrongful actions of the king which brought this separation.  There are others who have gone to the scriptures to demonstrate that the separatists were wrong.  What I have found, however, is that in almost every case these writers have limited their view to a few proof texts without reflecting on the whole of this teaching.

Any serious student of this issue will want to read Headley’s book.  It is now published as the Forgotten Heroes of Liberty by Solid Ground Christian Books of Birmingham, AL.

The current issue of the World Magazine, published in Ashville, North Carolina, has an article worth your reading.  Rod D. Martin writes “Was the American Revolution sinful”? Not only does he cite the Bible texts where the legitimate authority must be obeyed, but he is careful to look at the scriptures that deal with exceptions.  No thinking person could believe that all laws made by temporal authority are to be obeyed. For instance, you would not obey a law that said your wife must abort a baby if she already had two children.  Martin also deals with the issue of constituted authority and what happens when authority breaks its covenant with the people.

Finally, there is the continuing debate over the doctrine of the “right of revolution” when constituted authority is replaced by tyranny.  I leave you on your own with this one.


My own doctoral dissertation was abridged and printed some years ago.  It has recently been republished by Faithful Life Publishers of North Fort Myers, FL, under the title The Coming Conflict.  This is the heart of the issue.  What does the entire Bible teach about this subject?  While all the records of history may only provide some of the facts, the Bible is crystal clear on the relationship between the church and state.  This is not a political issue; it is a theological issue, so secular views have to take a back seat.

Now our nation stands on the verge of an internal conflict.  Tyranny rules the administration, the courts, and public opinion.  The unlearned on the right tend to be too quick to respond.  The academic community has rewritten the rules.  The left has given credence and support to those who want biblical Christianity removed from the fabric of our country.  Where does that leave you?  I suggest you read, study, pray, and get ready to obey God.

Shepherd's Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min

A communication service of Shepherd's Basic Care, for those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible.  Shepherd's Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches.  Write for information using the e-mail address,

August 4, 2014

A Mean Streak

Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:13-15

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But and if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish. For where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” 
(James 3:13-16

The truth is that all of us have a mean streak. The “works of the flesh” (our flesh) include “hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife” (Galatians 5:19-20). We all have flesh, and our flesh is selfish, and the selfishness of our flesh often comes out in meanness. Unfortunately sometimes our carnal meanness comes out in the debates preachers have with one another on important issues. Even a legitimate debate over a serious issue of right-and-wrong can be muddied by the rancor and carnality of some who speak on the right side! May God preserve us from this tendency, which has done damage to legitimate causes. Really, being mean is not a necessary part of taking a stand!

A Christian can be spiritual and Christ-like when he must reprove a brother or oppose an error (look at Leviticus 19:17-18, Proverbs 25:12, Luke 17:3, Ephesians 5:8-11, First Timothy 5:17-20, Second Timothy 4:2, and Titus 1:10-13). But he can also be mean. We must heed the words of the apostle in Second Timothy 2:24-26 (read them again). When we must reprove the wrong actions of a Christian brother, we must remember to “count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (Second Thessalonians 3:15). Wisdom gives discernment, but it also gives “meekness” (James 3:13), if it is “the wisdom that is from above.” On the other hand, there is an “earthly” kind of “wisdom” that claims discernment but is characterized by “envying and strife” (James 3:14-16) and should be rejected by God’s servants. This un-Christian kind of argument is marred by certain all-too-common flaws:

When we must oppose something wrong, we are still obligated to keep “the royal law”, which is “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (James 2:8). It is never right to treat another man in a way that we would not want to be treated. Yet when a serious issue arises that calls on the faithful servant of God to make statements against the error of another man, the rebuking brother can be tempted to find fault with far more of the erring brother’s words and actions than is necessary, reasonable, and loving. Nit-picking is all right when we are examining our own standards and teachings (see Matthew 5:17-20), but it is unfair when we evaluate the words and works of another. Giving people room is always a good idea. Being overly critical always has negative consequences, including undermining our own arguments. Years ago I heard Dr. Fred Schwartz, leader of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, counsel us always to understate our case. He said that understating our charges and assertions will protect us from overstating them, and that overstating our case even once can ruin our attempts at getting our point across. His advice is good for preachers. When we must warn or rebuke, let us be conservative in our accusations, giving the brethren the benefit of the doubt. Christian love “is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (First Corinthians 13:4-6). Even in controversy, we still must love.

Sometimes we wrong our brother by seeming to accuse him of having opinions he does not have. This is often done by critics who associate their target unreasonably with the views of people that can be connected with him by some elongated chain of linked associations. Years ago, it was sadly not uncommon to hear or read the condemnation of a pastor because he had a speaker in his church who had worked with another man who had endorsed a man that advocated an unscriptural position. Normal, mature people could see that this complicated game of connect-the-dots did not prove that the one being criticized held to the unscriptural views of the one at the other end of the string of dots! We need to watch what we are reading to see if the impression we are getting by means of connecting dots is an accurate representation of somebody’s viewpoint. We also need to get a more scriptural understanding of the principle of “ecclesiastical separation.” The first and main application of this principle is that men who preach sound doctrine must not be yoked together with unbelievers, teachers who deny cardinal truths of the gospel. This kind of separation is taught in many scriptures, including Second Corinthians 6:11-18, Second Timothy 2:14-21, and Titus 3:9-11. We also are taught not to fellowship (partner or endorse) any sinful work, whether committed by believers or unbelievers (Ephesians 5:8-11). And we are also taught to use caution in our cooperation with orthodox people who err in some matter of doctrine or practice (see Romans 14 and again Second Thessalonians 3), not counting them as enemies, admonishing them as brothers, but not endorsing what is wrong about them. The practice of treating the erring brother as an apostate, and cutting off somebody who makes mistakes as if he were an unbeliever, although common among fundamentalists for decades, is not really scriptural. Neither is condemning a preacher by unreasonably connecting the dots.

Jesus said that “whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council” (Matthew 5:22). Sarcastic, demeaning references to people should never come out of the mouth of a Christian. Yet religious periodicals sometimes publish such unsavory, insulting words. There is no reason that religious debate cannot be carried on with dignity, respect, restraint, and intelligence. Sincere followers of the Lord should reject the influence of those who resort to snide remarks and mocking slams in their supposed defense of the truth. John R. Rice many years ago backed away from a leading fundamentalist with whom he had been affiliated because of the caustic, harmful, and untruthful things that were being published in his paper. He said that he didn’t want his daughters (then young and still at home) to be corrupted by this kind of reading material. Godly people should be offended by this kind of stuff, which does not come from spiritual men.

Of course, the Lord Jesus taught us not to judge people (Matthew 7:1-5). First Corinthians 2:15 says that spiritual people must judge things, but this is not the same as judging people. We judge things based on objective standards (in the Bible) of what is right and what is wrong. We can say, “That’s wrong!” because of what the Bible says. But we are not qualified and we are not allowed to judge another person’s heart by claiming to know their motives (see First Corinthians 4:3-5). “His real reason for saying this is…” is a sentiment we find in the writings of some who would influence the Christian world, but such writing undermines the spiritual lives of readers that afflict themselves with it. You don’t know another man’s heart. You have no right to state the motivation of a brother with whom you differ. Discussion can always be civil, taking the high road, and without resorting to the judging of motives.

The Lord Jesus would not go along with John’s suggestion that a certain man be rebuked for “casting out devils” in Jesus’ name because he “followeth not with us” (read Luke 9:49-50). John was not objecting to this man’s doctrine, or to his work, but only to his doing the Lord’s work while not associated with John’s group. In response to this objection the Lord said,
“Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”
We have a tendency to harbor prejudices against preachers and ministries that do not run in our circles. Sometimes the judgment of a writer about an issue is distorted by his prejudice against the advocates of a certain position. It would surprise us how often the harshness of somebody involved in a debate is really created by personal wrongs he thinks his opponent has inflicted on him. This is why when Jesus warned His followers about “offenses” (things that cause people to stumble spiritually) He said, “Take heed to yourselves” (Luke 17:1-4). The way Christians treat each other often has the effect of causing people to stumble. He then instructed them about going ahead and dealing directly with wrongs committed by one brother against another.
“If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” 
This instruction is not hard to understand or to follow: rebuke, repent, forgive. And yet it is because even good people fail to follow these words of Jesus that the Christian cause gets a bad name. Contending for the truth has been harmed and hindered because men with personal grudges or sectarian prejudices set themselves up to represent God’s side in an issue. We must take heed to ourselves before we open our mouths or publish our articles.

The days in which we live are confusing to sincere servants of the Lord Jesus, largely because “the serpent” (who is “subtil” according to Genesis 3:1 and Second Corinthians 11:3) works to remove from issues the black-and-white quality that makes decision-making easy. Good people with clear minds must examine many issues publicly so that we all can be helped. But when advocates of a viewpoint do so based on earthly wisdom that generates envy and strife, their contribution to the discussion fails to be helpful. It is actually harmful. Therefore sincere seekers of the truth must reject their influence, and pray for all of us to act and talk like Christians as we teach what is right.

Dr. Rick Flanders
Revival Ministries