August 18, 2017

The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International Is Alive and Well

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.

Dr. John C. Vaughn, President, FBFI

Comments

  1. Thanks for clarifying that. For what it’s worth, I think a name change is probably a good move and “foundations” is definitely one of the better alternatives I’ve heard recommended over the years.

  2. Good call!

  3. Well done sir!

  4. Gene Parker says:

    Sickening compromise! Some are obviously trying to escape the stigma of fundamental baptists.
    I am not ashamed to be branded as a fundamentalist !

    • Hi Gene

      Thank you for your comment. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but we are not abandoning fundamentalism in the least and are glad to be known as fundamentalists. It is hard to see how a name change is a compromise. As Dr. Vaughn said, there is nothing fundamental about the term fundamental. And the name change is only partial, as it is our “dba” or “doing business as” name. Our legal name remains “Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International, Inc.”

      God bless your ministry, wherever it is.

      Maranatha!
      Don Johnson, editor
      Pastor, Grace Baptist Church of Victoria
      Victoria, BC


Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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