The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International Is Alive and Well

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Jim's picture

In its recent board meeting, those present were unanimous in their support of the name “Foundations Baptist Fellowship.”

Questions:

  • When was it?
  • Who was present?
  • Who skipped? 
  • Who leaked to Straub? [guess we need a congressional investigation] :) 
Bert Perry's picture

....the name "fundamental" that's the problem, in my (not humble enough) opinion.  It's silliness like the "convergent" controversy.

And really, I guess the kerfuffle over this IS evidence of a problem, because people are taking what appears to have been a light-hearted post by Jeff Straub as if it were really a significant issue and writing rather vehement denunciations of it.  Something of a "Get.A.Grip" moment, IMO.

Ron Bean's picture

The days when leaders could control the information that was released to the public seem to be over. Keeping secrets, controlling the message, and denying history are practically impossible. The FBFI name change was not a secret, it was news and they were just slow in getting the news out and failed to understand the days we live in.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Don Johnson's picture

Jim wrote:

In its recent board meeting, those present were unanimous in their support of the name “Foundations Baptist Fellowship.”

Questions:

  • When was it?

Last Tuesday

Jim wrote:

  • Who was present?

Most of the Executive Board

The other questions don't matter. Not everyone makes it to the board meeting for various reasons. Two years ago I didn't make it due to a little heart issue, as you may recall. That was when the first vote was taken, as to whether to consider a change. Strong majority was in favor of looking towards it. Those present this year were unanimous in going forward.

I don't think the development was meant to be secret. I would rather we had been able to announce it as we saw fit, but we aren't ashamed of it! We thought it was the right thing to do. I thought Straub's headline was somewhere between cheeky and rude. You pick your descriptor. But the facts are the facts, no problem with folks knowing about it.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Larry Nelson's picture

1997:

[FBFI Resolution:] 97.06 Regarding the Continued Slander of Biblical Fundamentalism:

Whereas the word "Fundamentalism" was coined to describe Biblical Christianity in the early part of this century, and whereas some modernist and compromising scholars who know this have deliberately contributed to or catered to the redefinition of Fundamentalism," while other basically orthodox believers foolishly participate in this confusion by using terms such as "Islamic fundamentalists" and the like, the FBF makes no apology for its continued adherence to the correct use of the term. Believing that

what is actually under attack is the faithful adherence to Biblical Christianity and that attack will never diminish or abate in this dispensation, the FBF affirms that is both unnecessary and unworkable to seek to avoid confusion and misunderstanding by desiring or promoting some other term whereby fundamental Baptists may be identified. Our task is to demonstrate what true Fundamentalism is by our Godliness, and to refuse to allow our enemies to set the agenda for our ministries. We emphatically deny that Fundamentalism includes any other religion (such as Islam), cult (such as the so-called "Heaven's Gate" cult), or those aberrations of Christianity that neither believe nor obey the whole truth of the Bible (such as charismatics). We deplore-but are not surprised by-the incessant slander

of Fundamentalism as nothing more than the predicted slander of Christ's true disciples (John 15:20, 2 Tim. 3:12). As the FBF has repeatedly stated, "the core of historic Fundamentalism is its commitment to matters of doctrine. . . . Fundamentalism is a theological movement governed by its commitment to the absolute authority of God's inspired and inerrant Word."

http://www.fbfi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Complete-Resolutions-2010.pdf

 

2002:

[FBFI Resolution:] 02.05 CONCERNING THE HIJACKING OF THE TERM "FUNDAMENTALISM"

"The names ―Fundamentalism and ―Fundamentalist‖ have served as honorable terms identifying those who hold unshakably and defend militantly the irreducible foundational teachings of the Bible. Even liberals acknowledge, ―There is no mystery as to what the term meant when it was first coined. Yet the news media have ―co-opted the term and identified terrorists of all types: Muslim extremists, rebellious militia groups, so-called Christian identity groups, abortion clinic bombers, and murderers, as ―Fundamentalists. Religious groups which have departed from orthodox Christian doctrine: Charismatics, faith healers, health-wealth preachers, and various cults, are called ―Fundamentalists by print and broadcast media. Corruption has resulted from misuse by some who call themselves Fundamentalists, claiming orthodox doctrine but rejecting the separation taught by Scripture, or adding their own

interpretations and extreme positions claiming that all who do not agree with them have apostatized, identifying themselves as the only true Fundamentalists. The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International decries this ―hijacking of the term and appeals to the media to learn the true meaning and cease this misappropriation. We appeal to those who are adding to the foundational doctrines of Biblical Christianity to cease attacking those who do not agree with their narrow views and to recognize that apart from the Biblical Fundamentals there is room for brotherly differences. At the same time we urge all true Fundamentalists to teach carefully the true meaning and history of the term. The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International will continue to defend aggressively the foundational doctrines of our faith no matter by what name they may be known."

http://www.fbfi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Complete-Resolutions-2010.pdf

 

2017:

"My friend Jeff Straub’s headline, “The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship is No More” is inaccurate and misleading. The FBFI will continue to function under its corporate name, Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International, Inc. FBFI members and readers of both FrontLine magazine and our blog, Proclaim and Defend will notice little or no change in references to FBFI for the immediate future. To us, the word fundamental is dear and clear. But, to many outside our circles it has taken on a sinister meaning. When word usage changes, constant explanations or qualifications are needed, and often fail. Many fundamentalists have tired of having to make excuses for the term.

Discussions of ways we could identify ourselves more helpfully have been going on for over a decade, but we continually came back to the word “fundamental” because of its history and meaning to biblical fundamentalists. However, when asked whether fundamentalists identify themselves by that name when meeting strangers, as when witnessing to a seat mate on an airplane, or a server in a restaurant, the most common answer is, “No.” We have come to believe that in deference to fundamentalists who must avoid their own identifying term lest they add an unnecessary offense to the Gospel, that the FBFI should provide an alternative.

Thus, two years ago, the board of the FBFI proposed that its leaders investigate whether this was truly necessary and if so, what alternative would be best. There was overwhelming support — 98% — to investigate. In its recent board meeting, those present were unanimous in their support of the name “Foundations Baptist Fellowship.” The FBFI may now be referenced by any of the following terms: “Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International,” “the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International, dba Foundations Baptist Fellowship International,” or simply, “Foundations Baptist Fellowship.” Generally, as is most common, the acronym “FBFI” will be used.

We have been told that “abandoning” the word fundamental in our name, an excessive and inaccurate characterization, is tantamount to denying the fundamentals. That is nonsense. We have personal knowledge that some who suggest such an absurd equation decline to use the term themselves when doing so would identify them with ISIS in the minds of the uninformed. The day that FBFI ever denies the fundamentals will indeed be the day that the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International will be no more, whatever it calls itself or whatever its detractors call it. But, yes, we deny that the word “fundamental” is a fundamental of the Faith."

http://www.proclaimanddefend.org/2017/02/18/the-fundamental-baptist-fellowship-international-is-alive-and-well/ 

Greg Long's picture

RUSSIAN HACK ALERT

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jim's picture

http://coldfusion-guy.blogspot.com/2013/02/on-labels-problem-with-prefix...

I said then:

In my view, the term "Fundamentalism" (which is a really great idea and has served its purposes!), which has in the last decade become associated with suicide bombers and other crazies, has ceased to mean anything at all. At least anything valuable in the market place of ideas.

It's not that I:

  • Reject the term Fundamentalist
  • Reject the idea (already said that it's a good idea!)
  • It's just that where I live (and I don't mean Plymouth), I would never use the term of myself. Others can say of me: "Peet is not a Fundamentalist".
  • I'm OK with that
  • Want to know what I believe ... see my doctrinal statement ... know where I worship and serve ... and know how I live (which is far from perfect!)
  • Rejecting the label and the label makers

If I were to tell my co-workers that I was a Fundamentalist this would be the image in their minds:

Mike Harding's picture

I like the name change.  Foundations Baptist Fellowship is a good name.  The name "Fundamentalism" is being confused with Islamic Radicalism.  The word Fundamentalism has an important intramural history and advantage; yet, in the general public it is increasingly misrepresented.  Our mission is to proclaim and defend the historic, biblical, Baptist fundamentals.  Our core values are loyalty to God and His Word, reverent God-centered worship, Great commission obedience, edifying fellowship, biblically balanced discernment, holiness in life and ministry, a close personal walk with God, personal and ecclesiastical separation.  Changes on the new FBFI website will be forthcoming.  I inivte all interested parties who agree with our mission, doctrinal statement, and core values to log on our new website and join the FBFI.

Pastor Mike Harding

Jim's picture

Mike Harding wrote:
Changes on the new FBFI website will be forthcoming.  I inivte all interested parties who agree with our mission, doctrinal statement, and core values to log on our new website and join the FBFI.

Let's say I agree with you (and with a high degree of confidence I can say I do.

Now put your marketing hat on and: Give me 5 good reasons to join the FBFI. 

Jim's picture

  • Vote on leaders? 
  • Vaughn looks to me to be leader for life - sorry for this analogy but like a Stalinist state ... until he dies
  • Is there a rotation of leadership?
  • Vote on resolutions?
  • Vote on a budget?

My perception of the FBFI is that I get 2 things for joining:

  • My name alphabetized in directory (alongside a guy who has demonized me [everyone knows but not naming him])
  • A magazine
Mike Harding's picture

You will be financially supporting the most solid sponsoring agency for the military chaplains in the US Army, Air force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard.  This agency is responsible for placing conservative, orthodox, Baptist men in the ministry of our service men and women.  These chaplains will courageously stand for the gospel and the whole counsel of God.  You will support one of the few magazines that speak to our Baptist churches with important articles from a Baptist separatist position. You will encourage other like-minded men at the regional and national meetings.  You will contribute by your presence and support to the fulfillment of our mission.  You will have the opportunity of submitting articles to our blog for publication.  You will encourage by your presence younger men to identify with the Baptist biblical separatist position.  You will help reinforce our core values.  Pastor Vaughn will transition out of his position in the next few years, if not sooner.  Pray for him as he meets the tremendous needs of his daughter in light of the recent passing of his wife.

Pastor Mike Harding

Jim's picture

My view of the FBFI is they tend to spend too much energy on the fringe instead of the core

The recent stuff about the "convergents" (whoever they are - never seen one named) is a case to point

Back to John Vaughn. I know he is a very good man, but my perception is that it's his organization

Mike Harding's picture

Jim,

Not any more.  John is graciously encouraging the needed changes.  Some of your critiques are very valid.  We need them.  Thank you for your input. John has invited some wisely insightful young men to give us some needed evaluation.  John is listening and responding with wisdom and graciousness. 

Pastor Mike Harding

Jim's picture

Yesterday's battles vs today's battles:

Text from my Pastor's message yesterday: "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Briefly: we live in an age of false teachers:

Observations on false teachers:

  • John MacArthur is not a false teacher
  • John Piper is not a false teacher 
  • DA Carson is not a false teacher
  • Mark Dever is not a false teacher

Observations on Calvinism: "particular redemption" / "definite atonement" (there's a lot of room to disagree with it) but it's not "the enemy"

Old battles: No need to enumerate

New battles where I live:

  • Muslim friends. I need more apologia to help me here (never learned it in seminary). Eg James White's What every Christian needs to know about the Quran
  • Postmodernism: I could not even define it 12 years ago until Doug McLachlan helped me out and directed me to resources

Old battles -more:

  • Old fundamentalism writes and writes (most times poorly) on why a Christian shouldn't have a beer with pizza (for example)

That stuff no longer stretches me. I just kind of go "ho-hum"

Same with the music battles. Gave up on that a long time ago

If you want to be relevant - meet real needs

Jim Welch's picture

I am thankful that the FBF has changed its name.  I love the terms Fundamental and Fundamentalist; but over the years these good and strong words have lost their original meanings.  Foundations Baptist Fellowship is good.  I can converge with that!

Larry Nelson's picture

Jim Welch wrote:

I am thankful that the FBF has changed its name.  I love the terms Fundamental and Fundamentalist; but over the years these good and strong words have lost their original meanings.  Foundations Baptist Fellowship is good.  I can converge with that!

 

https://converge.org/ 

(I mean, it's right in their name.......)   Smile

TylerR's picture

I see no real benefit to joining the FBFI:

  • It supports Chaplains, but so does the GARBC, which is a fellowship of local churches, not individuals.
  • It has a magazine, but so does the GARBC.
  • I don't know what "mission" the FBFI has, but the GARBC is forging ahead on many fronts, including church planting, church building, chaplaincy, teaching, etc. John Greening's recent book Strong Church is very helpful. RBP has the best teaching material out there. I could go on. The FBFI has . . . a magazine.
  • The FBFI has a blog. Ok . . .
  • The FBFI stands for a Baptist separatist position. Yes, it made that very clear in Frontline issue last year. It would be more accurate to say that the FBFI stands for a very narrow and particular flavor of Baptist separatism . . .

All in all, I see absolutely no reason to join the FBFI. Many younger men feel the same. I don't wish the FBFI ill. I just don't really care one way or the other. The organization is like a rotary telephone. Quaint. Interesting. Full of historical significance. Irrelevant to my life.

I very much prefer the GARBC's flavor of fundamentalism, and it's ministries. I'm not sure the Frontline editors realize the tremendous damage they did with Bro. Unruh's article last year. 

Tyler Robbins is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

WallyMorris's picture

"Beer with pizza", "Music Battles" - while some may not consider these "real" issues, these issues and others like them are symptoms of deeper battles and divisions within broader "conservative Christianity". No amount of "nuanced" discussion will change that.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Ron Bean's picture

Tyler's comparison of the GARBC with the FBFI is worth noting. I remember the FBF of 30 years ago and today's version is not as vibrant as it was then. It's also is pretty much unchanged in its operation with a self-appointed leadership that composes resolutions and then assumes that its members will accept those edicts.  Young (and not so young) fundamentalists want to have an active voice in whatever fellowship they're involved in, want more than the military chaplaincy for outreach, and see the advantage of  a fellowship of churches over that of individuals.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Mike Harding's picture

In time FRONTLINE magazine will be totally digital making the dissemination of past and future articles available everywhere.  The magazine deals with many important subjects, worship and lifestyle issues notwithstanding.  One article should not discredit the magazine.  I'm thankful for the GARBC in many respects. The FBFI, being a fellowship of individuals, does not function as an association of churches--apples and oranges.  I don't mind if someone does not wish to join or identify with the FBFI.  The tone and sarcasm, however, I could do without.  Nevertheless, the board of the FBFI desires to make some much needed improvements and positive changes.  We hope to attract some younger pastors who will join us in our mission to proclaim and defend the historic, biblical, Baptist fundamentals. Hopefully, we can agree on that.

Pastor Mike Harding

TylerR's picture

Bro. Harding:

I didn't intend to be sarcastic. I was just being blunt. My apologies - I could have tap-danced a bit, but the post just would have been longer.

Bottom line - the FBFI has never made any real case for why I should join it, or why it should even exist. The GARBC does things. What does the FBFI actually do, beyond sponsoring Chaplains? I'm asking honestly. I just don't know:

  1. What the organization's purpose is
  2. What it seeks to accomplish
  3. What metrics it uses to assess whether it actually meets it's goals
  4. Or, what it even has accomplished

It's just . . . a magazine, a blog and an organization which issues resolutions every once and a while. Either I'm just rude, or you have a PR problem. I'm a younger fundamentalist who has no idea why your organization exists, or what it actually does - beyond hold regional fellowship meetings. If you want honesty - there it is. 

Sell us on your organization.

Tyler Robbins is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Jim Welch's picture

I can think of one good reason to join the FBF (I believe I am a part of the FBF by subscribing to Frontline, perhaps I am mistaken) is this:  Marc Minnick's articles.  Whatever Dr. Minnick  writes about, he tackles with great Biblical depth and balance.  Yes, the $15 a year that I invest in the FBF is worth every penny just to read what Dr. Minnick writes.  If you have not read Dr. Minnick, I can recommend him to you.  He will challenge you to be more like Jesus and inform your head and heart.

Bert Perry's picture

I'll suggest a start; FBFI lies somewhere between an academic journal and "Sword of the Lord", whereby a particular brand of fundamentalism is supported--that brand of fundamentalism encompassing what I'd call theologically fundamental positions (five fundamentals, etc..) and a good portion of cultural fundamentalism issues like music, wine, and the like.  FBFI documents can, like SOTL or theological journals out of BJU or Maranatha, give a good indication of the bent of a church beyond the church constitution.  

And where on the spectrum between, say, the "Baptist Theological Journal" from Maranatha and SOTL?  I won't say completely, but if FBFI actually chooses to define convergent and things like that, they move in the right direction.  :^)

And does it serve a good purpose?  One cannot utterly discard such a society without jettisoning the "Baptist Theological Journal" as well and for the same reasons.  I'd say that whether its purpose is good or not has a lot to do, again, with its distance from SOTL.

Ron Bean's picture

Bert said:

"FBFI documents can, .............. give a good indication of the bent of a church beyond the church constitution. "

I agree wholeheartedly except that the FBFI is a fellowship of individuals and not churches. There is no such thing as an FBFI church. I remember wanting to find one for a friend aand finding that they have no list of churches. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

Bert said:

"FBFI documents can, .............. give a good indication of the bent of a church beyond the church constitution. "

I agree wholeheartedly except that the FBFI is a fellowship of individuals and not churches. There is no such thing as an FBFI church. I remember wanting to find one for a friend aand finding that they have no list of churches. 

The trick is that if the current or former pastor is an FBFI man, you're likely to see some materials in the foyer or church library.   Hence "can" and not "will". 

 

Mike Harding's picture

Tyler,

Brother Perry's analysis has merit. Thank you.  Also, I detected no sarcasm in your posts.  I can handle blunt.  Again, I am not bothered if someone chooses not to identify with the FBFI.  I have been on the board for many years.  I have enjoyed the fellowship and comradery at the meetings and the fellowships.  Our mission is one of proclaiming and defending--a coalition of pastors, teachers, and churchmen bound together by a common mission and core values.  We are not endeavoring to be an organization of churches or supplant the centrality and priority of the churches. I would love to see young men such as yourself et. al. be a part of our meetings, fellowships, publications, etc.  We need good men who are excellent writers, critical thinkers, ardent defenders of the once-for-all-delivered faith. Young, well-educated men such as Pastor Mark Brock and Professor Mark Ward recently participated in our two-day annual winter board meeting.  They contributed much to our discussions and decision making.

 

Pastor Mike Harding

TylerR's picture

Don Johnson has been a good ambassador, and invited me to go to the NW Regional Fellowship next month. I can't make it, but I plan on going to one relatively soon. I'll just make sure I go under an assumed name. Smile

Tyler Robbins is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

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