FBFI Position StatementsBelow are the positions (formerly called "resolutions") of the FBFI. These positions are listed here for the purpose of edification, education and historical record. They are a record of the issues that were of importance to members of the FBFI at a given point in time. While many, maybe even most of these statements would be affirmed by the membership today, not all of them would or should. They are maintained here to provide an honest historical record of the FBFI both past and present
Position Statements 2020Adopted February 11, 2020
20.01: New Perspective on Paul
The New Perspective on Paul, fathered by E. P. Sanders, developed by James D.G. Dunn, and popularized by N. T. Wright, is not only erroneous exegetically but more importantly is heretical theologically as a nonevangelical understanding of the apostle Paul and the soteriological teachings of the New Testament.
First, the New Perspective reverses the Reformation’s proper understanding of Jewish legalism and its close analogy to the works-righteousness semi-Pelagianism of the Roman Catholic Church.
Second, the New Perspective misinterprets Paul’s transformation on the Damascus road as a calling instead of a conversion from Judaism to Christianity.
Third, the New Perspective sees justification as a secondary and sociological doctrine in Paul’s writings with no concept of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer resulting in a once-for-all acceptable standing before God.
Fourth, the New Perspective declares that “justification is not how someone becomes a Christian” (Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said, p. 125) and that the gospel is not about how one gets saved; rather, it is “an announcement about Jesus” (ibid., p. 60).
And fifth, the New Perspective proclaims that “justification, at the last, will be based on performance, not possession” (Wright, “Romans,” p. 440).
The FBFI affirms its doctrinal position that Paul rejected the Law as a means of salvation, not primarily because it was a barrier between Gentiles and Jews, as the New Perspective on Paul argues, but because of our inability to keep it (Gal. 3:10). Therefore, all who rely on the “works of the law” to be saved are cursed (Gal. 3:10a; Rom. 3:20), and only those who rely in biblical faith upon the sufficiency of the person and work of Jesus Christ are justified before God (Gal. 2:16; Rom. 1:17; 3:21).
20.02: Social Justice and the Gospel
The original social gospel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was the expression of the false theological idea of the universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. The Bible teaches that the spiritual fatherhood of God extends only to those who are born again into His family by saving faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12). Therefore, there is no spiritual brotherhood among all people but only among those in Christ.
Nevertheless, Christians can be said to be a part of the “neighborhood of man.” Christ taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and that our neighbors include those who need our help and whom we can help (Luke 10:25–37).
This principle should also dictate the approach believers take toward the current debate over Social Justice. Social Justice advocates within the church promote an ideologically driven social transformation, which they argue is either part of the gospel or a necessary corollary to it. Although the gospel is often given initial priority over social involvement, eventually social involvement gains parity and finally replaces the gospel altogether.
Regardless of the merits of social programs or reforms, these are not Christ’s commission to the New Testament church. His church is neither a political body nor a means for social justice. He created it to declare the whole truth of God revealed in His Word and to lead its members to believe and obey it in all aspects of their lives. As a consequence, believers will reflect their growing relationship with Christ as they fulfill their various civic responsibilities. Although both individuals and churches should strive to be good neighbors, their primary responsibility is spiritual and eternal rather than social and temporal.
Injustice exists because of sin, from which no individual or group is exempt. Therefore, the ultimate answer to all injustice is the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christ we are one new people. Our ethnicity, biological gender, and position in life do not determine our worth before God, and they should not affect our brotherly love for each other.
Sadly, injustice will exist in the world until Christ returns. Until He reigns, our mission is to proclaim Him to the world, making disciples of all peoples, baptizing them and teaching them to be more and more like Him, and realizing that the ultimate solution to the injustice in our world is the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ.
Position Statement 2018Adopted February 13, 2018
18.01: We Acknowledge
God, the all-wise, all-righteous Creator and Ruler of the universe, always demonstrates His greatness, goodness, and holiness in all His dealings with His creation and with us, His creatures.
The entire human race has rebelled against God and His rightful rule over our lives; we have forfeited any claim to the life and blessing found in God alone; and we are rightfully deserving of the full measure of God’s righteous anger and the entire weight of His divine and eternal judgment.
God continues throughout the world to convince individuals of their sin and rebellion; to bring them to faith in His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ; to deliver them from the rule of sin; and to give them abundant and eternal life and blessing.
Nevertheless, as those redeemed and forgiven by the grace of God in Christ Jesus, we must confess that we have often been unmindful of the gravity of sin, of its life-destroying power and of its offensiveness to our Holy God. We have failed to mourn for people all around us lost and undone, without Christ and without hope in the world. We have also frequently had our focus drawn away from the glory of Jesus Christ and the greatness of His salvation and have been entangled by the allurements of this world.
Only God has the power to open our eyes to spiritual reality, to awaken and energize His servants to genuine love and holiness and to convince the lost ones of their great need and great danger. Only God through Jesus Christ has the power to save from sin and destruction and to redeem for Himself a treasured and special people, zealous for holiness and service.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to humble and earnest prayer for the working of God:
First for ourselves: That we, by the Word and Spirit of God would have our understanding opened to the holiness of God, to the ugliness of sin, to the riches of God’s mercy, and to our great privileges and responsibilities as children of God and as ambassadors for Christ. We pray that He would renew our love and gratitude toward Him, intensify our zeal to demonstrate His greatness and goodness to the world, and cause us to rejoice in His Son with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Second, for our churches: That God would cause the Word to be preached with genuine spiritual power and received in the heart so that it will produce spiritual fruit. We pray that God would open the eyes of those who profess to be Christians but do not have a genuine saving knowledge of Christ, bringing them to an acute awareness of their true condition and danger and moving them to repentance and faith. We pray that we would as local assemblies demonstrate the excellency of God by loving one another and by living in godliness and purity.
Third, for our world: That the Holy Spirit would thrust out Christlike and Christ-empowered workers into His harvest. We pray that the gospel would have free course and that many sinners would respond to the conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment by the Holy Spirit and would be saved by grace through faith.
In all this, we earnestly plead for God’s providential control and sovereign intervention to protect His people from the attacks of the Evil One and to convert all opposition into opportunities to glorify God and spread the gospel.
 Psalm 33:4–5; 119:137.
 Rom. 3:9–18; Eph. 2:1–3.
 Isa. 45:22; John 3:16; Rev. 5:9; Col. 1:13.
 Isa. 42:6–7; John 16:8–11.
 Acts 26:15–18; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14–16.
 Eph. 1:16–18; 2 Cor 5:20; 7:1.
 Jude 20–21; 2 Cor. 5:14–15; Psalm 67:1–2; 1 Peter 1:8.
 1 Cor. 2:4; Luke 8:15.
 2 Cor. 13:5; Matt. 7:21; Eph. 5:14.
 John 13:34–35; 15:17; 1 Pet. 1:13–16.
 Matt. 9:37–38.
 John 16:8–11; Acts 14:1; Rom. 4:16.
 Matt. 6:13; John 17:15; Eph. 6:10–20; Phil. 1:12; 2 Thess. 3:1–3.
Position Statement 2017Adopted February 14, 2017
17.01: “Whosoever Will”–The free offer of the Gospel and our responsibility to proclaim it.
God is the author and finisher of man’s salvation (Phil. 1:6; Heb. 12:2), which is the free gift of His grace alone (Acts 15:11; Rom. 11:5-6; Eph. 1:6-7; 2:5-8). God earnestly invites and commands all people to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (Isa. 45:22; 65:2; Matt. 9:13; 11:28; Acts 17:29-31; Rev. 22:17).
God desires and commands believers to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47-48). We must do this because his sovereign command compels us to duty (Matt. 28:18-19; Acts 5:29; 10:42) and his gracious redemption motivates us in love (2 Cor. 5:14). He emboldens us to speak the gospel courageously (Acts 4:29-31; Phil. 1:19-20) and enables us to live the gospel in a worthy manner (Eph. 4:1; Phil 1:27).
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev. 22:17)
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:30)
Position Statement 2016Adopted March 11, 2016
16.01: On Creation
- The Bible teaches six solar days of creation, as indicated by a plain reading of Genesis 1, Exodus 20:8–11 and other passages that refer to the creation week. The Bible also affirms that God created by His miraculous, spoken word, not by any natural process. This precludes the change from one “kind” to another, although it allows for subsequent modifications within a “kind.”
- The genre of Genesis 1–11 is the same as that of Genesis 12–50. Since Genesis 12–50 is taken as genuine history, then so should Genesis 1–11 be.
- Humanity descends from a single pair of original humans, Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:7, 21–23; Gen. 3:20; Luke 3:38; 1 Tim. 2:13). A literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures leads one to reject the concept that there were multiple evolutionary paths which led to multiple human ancestors.
- The sin nature of all humanity is the result of the fall of Adam (Gen. 3:6–11; Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22). If humanity today were merely the result of evolutionary processes and Adam and Eve were only symbols of early humanity, then what we call sin would only be the natural outworking of the evolutionary process. If God used evolution as His tool for creation, then sin would be a natural part of His work, not an aberration and affront to Him.
- Death is the result of sin (Gen. 2:17; Gen. 3:19; Rom. 5:12–21; 1 Cor. 15:21–22). Death is not part of God’s creative design; neither is it a tool or a step on the way to a higher evolutionary plane. Rather it is the final enemy which God will destroy (1 Cor. 15:26).
16.02: On Gender
- In the beginning God created Adam and Eve, male and female respectively, as taught by Genesis 1 and 2 and as affirmed by Jesus Christ (Matt. 19:4–5) and by the apostle Paul (1 Tim. 2:13). As with the rest of the created order, the nature of mankind as male and female is by the will of God and for the purpose of glorifying Him (Rev. 4:11).
- The creation of mankind in two genders is especially important because it is a central aspect of the image of God in Man (Gen. 1:27–28; 5:1–2). As image-bearers, men and women are of equal worth and dignity (Exod. 21:28; 35:29; Prov. 31:30; Matt. 26:13), of equal moral responsibility before God (Lev. 20:27; Num. 5:6–7; Mark 10:11–12), and equally heirs of salvation and spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus (Luke 7:47–50; 2 Cor. 6:18; Gal. 3:28; 1 Pet. 3:7). However, God also made them different in strength, disposition, and function (1 Pet. 3:7; Isa. 49:15; 1 Cor. 11:7–12), and He intends that they interact harmoniously in a complementary fashion to glorify Him (Gen. 1:28; 2:18; Prov. 31:10–12; Eph. 5:22–33; Col. 3:18–19).
- Gender distinctions are not a temporary expedient made necessary by the Fall but are the product of the creation of man and woman from the beginning (1 Cor. 11:8–9; Eph. 5:25–33; 1 Tim. 2:12–13). Therefore, these distinctions remain and are no less valid today than they were at the moment of Creation (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5–6; Mark 10:7–9). The Fall did not eliminate or change gender distinctions but rather provided the corrupt vehicle for the perversion of those distinctions (Rom. 1:18–32).
- Gender is not an individual self-identification or a social construct; it is a divinely ordained reality. The Scriptures nowhere regard social gender as different from biological gender. Because gender distinction is integral to God’s creation, this distinction is naturally reflected in human societies (1 Cor. 11:14). It is a sin against God and His created order for individuals or societies to try to erase or reverse gender distinctions (1 Cor. 11:3–12). Therefore, gender neutralism and transgenderism in any form and expression are contrary to God’s will and are incompatible with a God-honoring Christian life.
Position Statements 2015Adopted June 16, 2015
15.01: The Importance of Prophecy
Although many believers avoid the study of Bible prophecy because of the misuse of prophetic passages and because of differences among interpreters, prophecy is a very important component of Biblical revelation and properly understood is a great blessing to God’s people. We should preach the whole counsel of God, including prophetic portions. Promises and predictions of the future are an integral part of both Old and New Testament preaching.
Prophetic teaching serves as a warning to the unsaved. It is also profitable for the believer’s life and ministry. The Scriptures promise a special blessing on those who study and apply prophetic teaching. Specific benefits include a greater appreciation for the glory and trustworthiness of God, a fuller understanding of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the promotion of evangelistic zeal, a motivation for holy living and mutual exhortation, comfort in sorrow, encouragement in affliction, and a calming of fears.
15.02: Hermeneutics and Bible Prophecy
We advocate the grammatical/historical approach to hermeneutics. This is also called literal or plain sense. Covenant theology is ambivalent on hermeneutics, using literalism to interpret most Scripture but employing a form of allegorism or figurative interpretation on much of prophetic literature. This is done to uphold the generic unity and continuity of Israel and the church as the one people of God in the outworking of the one redemptive covenant of grace.
We reject the non-literal position and advocate a consistent hermeneutic for the following reasons.
- Prophecy, indeed created language as a whole, was designed to convey a specific message. Without a consistent means of interpretation, there is no restraint on meaning.
- The fulfillment of prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were literally fulfilled.
- An ambivalent literal/non-literal hermeneutic robs the Old Testament of its real authority by denying to the people of the Old Testament the key to unlock its truths. If the meaning was allegorical all along, how could the prophecies have been genuinely meaningful to those who heard them? For the covenant theologian this key cannot be the self-contained meaning of the words themselves, so it must be an outside factor. For the dispensationalist, prophecy means in the New Testament what it meant in the Old Testament.
15.03: The Premillennial Return of Christ
We affirm the premillennial return of Christ, that is, His future literal and bodily return in glory and His subsequent thousand-year reign over all the nations of the earth. We also affirm that His return and reign will bring about the spiritual and physical salvation of the nation of Israel and the fulfillment of the kingdom promised to the house of David. We affirm premillennialism and reject amillennialism and postmillennialism based on a literal understanding of Bible prophecy.
15.04: The Pretribulational Rapture of the Church
We believe in the pretribulational rapture of the Church to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever. We believe that nothing remains to be fulfilled prior to the rapture thereby making it an imminent event. We believe that this view of the rapture is correct for several reasons including the following:
- The Holy Spirit’s influence through the church is removed prior to the 70th Week of Daniel and the Wicked One being revealed (2 Thess. 2);
- The church will be kept from the time of wrath that is to come upon the earth (1 Thess. 5; Rev. 3:10);
- The church is absent from the earth in Rev. 4-18; and
- This view is consistent with the contextual Jewish messianic expectations and ancient marriage customs and language used by our Lord to describe the events surrounding His return (John 14).
15.05: Prophetic Views and Separation
Regarding the reality of the return of Christ: The doctrine of the second coming of Jesus Christ has always been considered one of the fundamentals of the faith. A denial of the return of Christ constitutes a denial of the veracity and faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We would call on all true Bible believers to separate ecclesiastically from anyone who denies the return of Christ. Regarding views on the millennium: We are committed to a premillennial position on the second coming of Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy has made room for various positions on the millennium. Nevertheless the difference in hermeneutic between the consistently literal approach of premillennialism and the partially allegorical approach of amillennialism and postmillennialism has an impact on ministry philosophy, cultural application and ecclesiology. Therefore this difference limits the level of cooperation between those who hold to these two views and those who hold the premillennial position.
Regarding the views on the rapture: While faithful people, implementing a normal, literal hermeneutic, have come to different conclusions regarding the timing of the rapture, we affirm the doctrine of a pretribulational rapture. We believe there is clear and compelling biblical evidence that the rapture will occur prior to a literal seven year tribulation period as described in Revelation 4-19.
Views on the millennium and rapture do not demand ecclesiastical separation but do limit cooperation. See Position Statement on limited participation (FBFI Resolution 09.03). We consider it legitimate for local churches, fellowships, and ministry institutions to include such a doctrine in their defining doctrinal statements as well as to make agreement on this doctrine a condition for membership or employment.
Position Statements 2013Adopted June 11, 2013
13.01 Concerning Marriage and Sexual Morality
The following statement regarding marriage and sexual morality reflects the clear and consistent Biblical teaching, the consistent historical position of Christianity in general and of Fundamental Baptists in particular and has always been and remains the unwavering theological conviction of the FBFI. Adherence to the clear teaching of Scripture on marriage and sexual morality is and has always been fundamental to obedient, Biblical Christianity.
Definition of Marriage:
- Marriage is the exclusive God ordained institution between one man (husband) and one woman (wife) in a mutually consented “one-flesh” relationship, consisting of mutually supportive companionship and physical union (Gen. 1:27; 2:24; 1 Cor. 7:1–6; Rom. 1:26–27).
- Marriage is a monogamous, heterosexual, covenant relationship between the man and the woman, which is intended to be lifelong and which is publicly entered into before God as witness and enforcer (Prov. 2:17; Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:6) and recognized by God’s institution of human government (Deut. 22:13–17; Gen. 29:25–26; Rom. 13:1; Matt. 22:21).
Biblical Sexual Morality:
- Sexual relations do not alone constitute a genuine marriage (John 4:17–18) due to the fact that sexual activity and relations outside the marriage bond as defined above are always considered to be sinful (Heb. 13:4; Matt. 19:9).
- All other forms of sexual activity outside of monogamous, heterosexual marriage are forbidden in Scripture, including fornication (“any sexual activity outside of marriage” 1 Cor. 7:2; 1 Thess. 4:3), adultery (“with someone other than one’s own spouse” Exod. 20:14; Matt. 5:28), homosexuality (“any same-sex sexual activity” Gen. 19:5–7; Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10; Jude 7), incest (“sexual activity with family members or relatives” Lev. 20:11–21; 1 Cor. 5:1), obscenity (Eph. 5:3–4), pornography (Matt. 5:28; Mark 7:21–22; 1 Thess. 4:5; Rev. 18:9), prostitution (Prov. 5:1–23; 7:4–27; 1 Cor. 6:15–18), transvestitism (Deut. 22:5; 1 Cor. 11:4–15), criminal sexual behavior (rape, molestation, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, pederasty, etc., Rom 13:1–6; Lev 18–22), and impurity (“moral filth in one’s heart and thoughts,” James 1:21; Rev 22:11; Rom 1:24; 2 Pet 2:10).
God’s Will for Sinners:
- It is the clear will of God for all human beings made in the image of God to abstain from immorality. This is especially true for professing believers in Christ (1 Thess. 4:1–8). His image-bearers must abstain from immorality and refrain from approving immoral behavior (Rom. 1:31–32). The practice or approval of these sins is inconsistent with a sincere and genuine profession of faith (Eph. 5:3- 5; cf. Gal. 5:19–21 and 1 Cor. 6:9–11).
- Thankfully, God in His grace offers His gospel to all sinners. All human beings are sinners (Rom. 3:23). Though sexual sin carries severe consequences in this life and eternal judgment in the life to come, all sin, including sexual sin, can be forgiven via the grace of God available on account of Christ’s infinite atonement for sin applied to those who repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation (1 Cor. 6:9–11; Acts 17:30; 1 John 1:9; Rom. 6:1–7).
- Because of human depravity, it is possible for anyone to commit any sin at any time. Therefore, we should humbly take every opportunity to help others by introducing them to Jesus Christ. In addition, we must help any professing Christian who is battling with sexual sin. We do so by accurately calling sin what it is and by encouraging genuine repentance in order to restore fellowship with Christ and the joy of one’s salvation (Ps. 51).
13.02 Concerning Child Protection
- The great evil of child sexual abuse has been much in the public consciousness in recent decades and particularly in the last few years. Much of value has been written and said from various sources, both secular and religious. Many individuals and groups have also provided advice and resources to facilitate a right response. Everyone should be horrified and appropriately angry over the revelations of the nature and extent of abuse, and should be committed to doing what we can to minister to past victims, rescue current victims and prevent future victims.
- Child sexual abuse is a great evil in God’s eyes for a number of clear reasons: First it victimizes those who are the most vulnerable among us (Matt. 19:14; see Jer. 23:1–3). Second, it violates the principle of trust that is essential to the adult/child relationship (Eph. 6:1–2; Prov. 23:26). Third, as a sexual sin it strikes at the victim in a very intimate and personally damaging way (See 2 Sam. 13:19). Fourth, it can greatly damage the victim’s view of God and receptivity to spiritual truth (See Matt. 18:6). And fifth, if it occurs in connection with a church or other ministry, it can greatly damage the testimony of Jesus Christ (2 Sam. 12:14). To be sure it is not the only sin, but it is a very egregious one.
- As a society we have been learning many things regarding child sexual abuse. These include the very common and widespread occurrence of child sexual abuse; the depth and extent of the damage that this sin does to victims and their loved ones; and the highly manipulative nature and “likeability” of many sexual predators; the natural reluctance of victims to tell what has happened to them, and the vulnerability of any institution that looks after children, including Biblebelieving churches and families to the presence of sexual predators.
- Therefore we encourage all Bible-believing churches and other ministries to do the following:
a. Develop a Scriptural understanding of the issues involved, including God’s hatred of abuse, the importance of protecting children, the nature of genuine repentance, and the real help that is available in Christ Jesus;
b. Educate themselves, their staff, and their members to the great need and key truths concerning this subject and the resources that are available to help;
c. Develop and implement an appropriate child protection policy that includes provisions for the screening and selection of workers, the organization and supervision of children’s ministries, the establishing of reasonable boundary policies, procedures for reporting suspected abuse, appropriate safety procedures, and encouragement and counseling for victims and their families;
d. Educate leaders and members to take seriously and respond appropriately to accusations or suspicion of abuse and to encourage victims and potential victims to tell if they have been treated in a way that is sexually inappropriate.
13.03 Concerning the Kingdom
- The FBFI affirms both a universal kingdom and a mediatorial kingdom.
- The FBFI affirms a present, universal kingdom of God, which is God’s sovereignty over the world demonstrated providentially in His involvement in the affairs of mankind, politically in the raising up and putting down of kingdoms and spiritually in the lives of believers (Dan. 2:37–45; Psalm 45:6; 145:13; 1 Cor. 6:9- 11).
- The FBFI affirms a mediatorial kingdom demonstrated nationally in the rule of the kings over Israel and eschatologically in the reign of Christ in the millennium. Scripture teaches the reality of a future, literal, earthly reign of Christ. Based on the Davidic Covenant, Christ will sit on David’s throne, in the city of Jerusalem, and rule and reign with a rod of iron for a thousand years. The FBFI acknowledges that some within the Fellowship also include a present spiritual aspect of the mediatorial kingdom (2 Sam. 7:8–16; Isa. 9:7; Rev. 19:11–16).
- The FBFI affirms the Biblical teaching of the pretribulation rapture of the Church, which will be followed by the 70th Week of Daniel, at the end of which Christ will return to earth to establish the Millennial Kingdom. The FBFI affirms that the millennium will follow this glorious, visible return to Earth (Matt. 24:29–31; Titus 2:13; Eph. 1:18; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 20:4).
- The FBFI affirms that during the millennial kingdom the promises given in the Old Testament to the nation of Israel will be literally fulfilled. National Israel will serve their God, possess the land and receive the blessings promised to them in the Abrahamic Covenant and reaffirmed through the New Covenant (Jer. 31:29- 33; Zech. 14:6–9; Matt. 19:28; Rom. 11:11–21).
- The FBFI rejects the postmillennial teaching that Christ’s kingdom will be inaugurated through the efforts of the church and that after the kingdom has been established, Christ will return.
- The FBFI rejects the amillennial teaching that the promises of a kingdom made to Israel in the Old Testament are being fulfilled in the present-day church. Any assertion that the church is to be equated with Old Testament Israel or that it is a permanent replacement for Israel is contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture.