Monday, March 23, 2009


Here is a video about CBFNC:
At 13 seconds, my friend Alecia Fuller is beside my friend Mike Goodman (in orange) who is beside my friend Tripp Fuller---all of whom I knew at Campbell. See other CBFNC videos: here.

Anyways for non-CBFers, here is a short definition of what CBFNC is:
CBFNC is grateful to be part of the larger CBF movement of God's people. Though funded and organized separately from CBF, we seek to be the face of CBF in North Carolina by supporting and promoting CBF ministries in our state and beyond, including global missions and theological education.
How to break this down to non-CBFers: I'd describe CBFNC and it's relationship to the larger CBF or CBF (National) as being like:

The relationship between the "congregation / presbytery / synod / general assembly schema" of the Presbyterian tradition or the relationship between different parishes or dioceses to the Vatican or London in the Catholic/Anglican tradition or the relationship between different synods within the Lutheran tradition. Also, CBFNC's relationship to CBF (National) is like the Baptist State Convention Of North Carolina's relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Although Baptists have no real formalized version of church polity, we are basically congregational in polity in the form of the Baptist principle of local church autonomy:
The polity of autonomy is closely related to the polity of congregational governance. Just as each Baptist priest with soul competency is equal to all other Baptists in a church, so each church is equal to every other church. No church or ecclesiastical organization has authority over a Baptist church. Churches can properly relate to each other under this polity only through voluntary cooperation, never by any sort of coercion. Furthermore, this Baptist polity calls for freedom from governmental control.[10] Exceptions to this local form of local governance include a few churches that submit to the leadership of a body of elders, as well as the Episcopal Baptists that have an Episcopal system.
Baptist polity also carries over into our various other assemblies as well.

Here is some other general info on the larger CBF movement:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc. (CBF) — "a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice." CBF does not consider itself a denomination, but rather a fellowship of churches and Christians. According to its Website, CBF does not have or exercise authority over its partnering churches and individuals. It cites its valuing of autonomy and freedom as a reason for its type of organization.[1] However, it shares certain characteristics of a religious denomination, including national offices; theological seminaries that, while their boards are not appointed by the CBF, are recommended for their seminarians; missions funding; and distinct philosophical and theological views.

In contrast to the Southern Baptist Convention from which it emerged, there are a number of philosophical and theological differences. For example, in its 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, the Southern Baptist Convention stated that women should not serve as pastors. However, the belief that God calls both men and women into ministry—including that of pastor— was one of the founding principles of CBF.
[edit] Leadership

All members are entitled to vote at the General Assembly. The General Assembly elects a Coordinating Council, which meets three times a year to plan missions and ministries. This council is led by a moderator, who also is elected annually by the General Assembly.

A Coordinating Council elected by the General Assembly meets three times a year to plan the Fellowship's missions and ministries. The council is led by a moderator, elected annually by the General Assembly. A CBF Resource Center staff of approximately 62 persons provides leadership and support services through offices in Atlanta and Dallas. Chief executive officer is Daniel Vestal, who assumed the position of coordinator in December 1996 after nearly three decades as a Baptist pastor.


CBF began as a grassroots movement of Baptists in May 1991 after years of strife within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and ultimately the fundamentalist takeover (also called "conservative resurgence")[2] of the Convention by theological conservatives.[3] The conservative resurgence leaders considered biblical inerrancy and a perceived liberal drift at Southern Baptist seminaries as the primary issues in their struggle against moderates in the SBC. The strategy of the conservative takeover was to elect the SBC president a sufficient number of times to gain a conservative majority on the boards and agencies of the Convention. This was accomplished through the president's power to make appointments.[4] Conservative leaders have successfully elected all presidents of the SBC from 1979 to the present.[5]

The new Southern Baptist Convention leadership continued addressing social issues, but took a more conservative perspective than in years past. These included abortion, where support for Roe V. Wade in the 1970's was replaced with a more conservative view, as well as conservative views on religious liberty, church-state separation, roles in marriage, and women in ministry. Frustrated moderates met in 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia, and organized the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It was the opinion of the moderates that the conservatives had departed from Baptist distinctives.[6].

Core values and other beliefs[7]

[edit] Four freedoms
CBF maintains that it exists because of the belief in historic Baptist principles of soul freedom, Bible freedom, church freedom and religious freedom.

Soul freedom is the belief in priesthood of the believer and the affirmation that every person has the freedom and responsibility to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed or control of clergy or government.
Bible freedom is the belief in the authority of scripture, which under the Lordship of Christ, is central to the life of individuals and churches. Every Christian has the freedom and right to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Church freedom is the belief in the autonomy of every local church as free, under the Lordship of Christ, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry, and to participate as they deem appropriate in the larger body of Christ.
Religious freedom is the belief in freedom of, for and from religion, as well as separation of church and state. CBF supports this principle through its affiliation with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.
CBF's other core values include biblically-based Global Missions, the resource model of discovering and providing resources to empower churches and individuals to their mission and calling, a commitment to justice and reconciliation, a belief in lifelong learning and ministry for both laity and clergy, trustworthiness and effectiveness.

[edit] About the Bible
The Fellowship believes in the divine inspiration of the Bible and its authority in the lives of Christians, who are free to follow and interpret it under the Lordship of Christ. Christians are responsible under God for their interpretation of Scripture. In regards to scriptural inerrancy, the Fellowship's position is that the Bible neither claims nor reveals inerrancy as a Christian teaching.

[edit] About women in ministry
Affirmation of women in ministry was one of the founding principles of the Fellowship. The New Testament is acknowledged as providing two views of the role of women—a literal approach of submission to men or an inclusive approach. A key biblical passage is Galatians 3:27-28:

As many of you as are baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (NRSV).

CBF interprets this passage as affirming that men and women are created by God, redeemed by Christ, and gifted by the Spirit truly without distinction or partiality. Therefore, they encourage both men and women to exercise their Spirit-given gifts in the church’s work, worship, and leadership, and to celebrate the truth that the Spirit grants such gifts without respect to gender. A number of CBF partner churches have women pastors and women deacons.

[edit] About evangelism and missions
CBF engages in global missions, believing that each person is called to help fulfill Christ's Great Commission. Furthermore, CBF Global Missions believes the Bible teaches that God is the one triune God who created people in God's image. People are separated from God by sin for which Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer for all people. The Holy Spirit is instrumental in convicting, teaching and empowering individuals and churches to the mission of Christ in the world. Each believer and every church is responsible for sharing the gospel with all people through redemptive ministry to the spiritual, physical and social needs of individuals and communities.


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