An Investigation Of The Abandonment Of Certain Historic Baptist Principles By The Northern Baptist Convention In Court Cases Against Local Churches -- By: Robert I. Johnson

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 09:2 (Summer 1966)
Article: An Investigation Of The Abandonment Of Certain Historic Baptist Principles By The Northern Baptist Convention In Court Cases Against Local Churches
Author: Robert I. Johnson


An Investigation Of The Abandonment Of Certain Historic Baptist Principles By The Northern Baptist Convention In Court Cases Against Local Churches

Robert I. Johnson

Chapter I: Introduction

The purpose of this thesis is to make an historical investigation of the five lawsuits involving Conservative Baptist Churches, in order to determine the extent to which the Northern Baptist Convention intervened in the cases, how such intervention violated certain historic Baptist principles, and that the Northern Baptist Convention is willing to abandon historic Baptist principles to further Convention causes.

It is hoped that this work will prove valuable to the Seminary students and Baptists everywhere, as it is the first work which brings all of the lawsuits together into an historical account. Aside from the historical value of this thesis, it should be profitable in forewarning churches of problems they may encounter if they are not careful with regard to business matters, and it should be helpful to churches which are entangled in court battles because the historic Baptist principles which come to the aid of local Baptist churches are presented herein.

There is a need for a similar study to be done from a legal standpoint, rather than a religious or historical standpoint, by someone with experience in law. Such a work could present many of the legal defenses which offer

considered in this thesis except as they become necessary to an understanding of the cases.

The method of research used herein is historical. First, there will be an investigation into the historical basis upon which the Conservative Baptist Association came into existence. This study will expose modernism in the Northern Baptist Convention (to be referred to in this thesis as the “Convention”). It will also show efforts made to correct that modernism, and finally the disaffiliation of fundamental churches from the Convention and the formation of the Conservative Baptist Association and its related organizations.

The court cases sprang from disaffiliation and the resultant dissatisfaction by minority groups loyal to the Convention. To study the cases, one must look at the historical facts leading up to the lawsuit, examine the charges entered against the majority groups, and evaluate these charges in the light of historic Baptist principles.

At the end of the case studies, the conclusion will evaluate the extent of the abandonment of historic Baptist principles by the Northern Baptist Convention, give some warnings against future possible lawsuits, and reaffirm the Conservative Baptist stand on the historic Baptist principles.

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