THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE, Article Twenty One
This is Part 21 of a continuing series of articles examining the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. This statement of faith was adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting on June 14, 2000 “to set forth certain teachings which we believe.”
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord.
Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.*
Mike Huckabee is a Neanderthal—a leading candidate for his party’s nomination for President of the United States, a former governor of Arkansas, highly educated, very articulate—but a Neanderthal. At least that is what some would conclude because as a former pastor and President of the Arkansas Baptists, he believes the Bible, especially this nonsense about a wife being submissive to her own husband. How could a civilized man hold such archaic thoughts?
Now, this is not an article endorsing Governor Huckabee or criticizing him. It is rather about what the Word of God has to say about the family. Ever since the Southern Baptist Convention adopted this statement of belief concerning the family, our denomination has been classified as a bunch of fundamentalist ayatollahs, members of the Flat Earth Society, knuckle-draggers, and the like, by liberals and egalitarians.
How dare we say what the Bible says? I ask, “How dare we not say it?” Just because something isn’t “politically correct” doesn’t make it wrong.
Family life is broken. Marriage as we know it has been decimated by the forces of hell masquerading as voices of reason, equality and enlightenment. Children are the broken pieces left in the rubble. Do not ask yourself if the above statement is popular; ask yourself is it biblical? If it is, then we ought to believe it, live it and teach it—unashamedly. This is God’s blueprint for the family. It will work! I still believe men and women are different—not one better than the other—just different. I still believe in the institution of marriage—not shacking up, not serial polygamy (divorce, remarriage, divorce, remarriage…), not homosexual love (whatever that is), the need to discipline children, and such ancient truths. Count me among the Neanderthals! Happy Valentine’s Day!
* Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7. (Baptist Faith and Message, 2000)