[Presented to the Southern Baptist Convention, in session at Memphis, Tennessee, 14 May 1925.]
Your committee begs leave to report as follows:
Your committee recognizes that they were appointed "to consider the advisability of issuing another statement of the Baptist Faith and Message, and to report at the next Convention."
In pursuance of the instructions of the Convention, and in consideration of the general denominational situation, your committee have decided to recommend the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, revised at certain points, and with some additional articles growing out of present needs, for approval by the Convention, in the event a statement of the Baptist faith and message is deemed necessary at this time.
The present occasion for a reaffirmation of Christian fundamentals is the prevalence of naturalism in the modern teaching and preaching of religion. Christianity is supernatural in its origin and history. We repudiate every theory of religion, which denies the supernatural elements of our faith.
As introductory to the doctrinal articles, we recommend the adoption by the Convention of the following statement of the historic Baptist conception of the nature and function of confessions of faith in our religious and denominational life, believing that some such statement will clarify the atmosphere and remove some causes of misunderstand, friction, and apprehension. Baptists approve and circulate confessions of faith with the following understandings, namely:
(1) That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simply conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance towards God, and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
(2) That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future, Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.
(3) That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.
(4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.
(5) That they are statements of religious convictions drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.
[As presented to and adopted by The Southern Baptist Convention Session 1925 in Memphis, Tennessee. From the May 15 minutes]
E.Y. Mullins, Chairman