Will the Real BBF Pastor Stand Up!
I have just read a statement from Dr. Billy Hamm on the subject of the "Real BBF Pastor." He goes into some detail as to how the real BBF Pastor is the one who continues to support BBFI.
What Bro. Hamm has not mentioned, does not know, or has forgotten, is that the BBFI was formed as a result of a good number of pastors who lost confidence in the leadership of J. Frank Norris and the World Baptist Fellowship. These dissadents met in the Texas Hotel in 1950, took most of the foundational beliefs of the World Baptist Fellowship, and formed the BBF with its strong right arm of missions. The Baptist Bible Tribune became the banner of the new formed fellowship, but not its voice. BBC became its training institution to enable young men to do a better job of starting and building independent, fundamental Baptist Churches in every town of America.
The young men were to go there 3 years, then get out and win souls and build churches. Most of them never intended to learn Greek and Hebrew, because they believed the Bible they held in their hand was God's word. The RV was accepted as a accessory much like a commentary. Their recurring voice of achievement was, "I am going to a town where the Gospel is not being preached."
Some went to Nashville, TN with that voice. The Tribune consistently revealed a secondary purpose the BBF that was also carried by the WBF. That purpose was to expose the depreciating Southern Baptist Convention and all the other modernistic denominations. Anything that questioned the deity of Jesus Christ, the autonomy of the Church, or the authority of God's word became the antithesis of truth.
Noel Smith, the first editor of the Tribune, coined a resounding phrase among those early founded Churches. That phrase was, "nary piece of literature!" That meant that quarterlies would be the destruction of any Sunday School.
The Fellowship thrived on fellowship. The ability of preachers to get together and preach to each other. If a young man came into a fellowship meeting and told that he had moved into a town or city and begun to gather a flock, the local fellowship would consider the young preacher on the spot and Pastors would promise financial support.... the idea of the fellowship starting a church arbitrarily was condemned immediately as conventionizing.
The college in Springfield was entirely dependent upon the pastor of a Church to pledge a monthly check of support. Pastors were the final authority of any major decisions. The spirit of the school was fired by the chapel testimonies of visiting preachers who had gone into a town, found a meeting spot, won souls and built a Church by the power of God. The quest was to go out and build the largest S.S. in America. Jack Hyles was the man to beat.
For the first time, divisions began to be felt because of methods of building Sunday Schools. The Tribune and the Fellowship officers would not officially condemm questionable methods. One Church in Indiana gave a Volkswagen in a S.S. contest. Carnival and circus attractions had no guidelines. It seemed that any method was being accepted. Some preacher's began pulling out of the BBF.
BBC would occasionally hire a teacher who was not in "tune." He or she would be a Calvinist or Covenantist or morally decadent. Rumors would fly and other preachers would pull out of the fellowship.
BBC began to charge students fees etc. and to accept donations. She began to seek accreditation. Other preachers left.
Professors were hired... some only because they hung around BBC long enough to worm themselves into positions. These professors had the lives of young men and women in the palm of their hands. BBC had a stated agenda, some of the professors did not share that agenda.
Pastors who would complain of losing their preacher boys in the morass of BBC soon became the enemy. Tuitions raised and BBC sought bequests from dying members of BBF Churches. Many preachers felt their voice was no longer heeded because power was limited to committees. More preachers pulled out.
The preachers who continued had no problem with the depreciation of BBC in its dress standards, its casual attitude to the KJV, or its growing control of the fellowship. Young graduates had no longer been taught and exposed to great men who had done the job, but had received degrees based on text books written by men of other persuasions and methods. These graduates had not received the spirit of G.B. Vick, Bill Dowell, Dallas Billington etc., but instead had been trained to be culturely aware and to go out and build community centers.
One young man had the audacity to take a flagship of the independent, fundamental movement back into the SBC. He could not see why not!
The MOBBF supports a young man who is not a Baptist, who feels the name Baptist would not go over in the community he is trying to reach. So he does not have the name Baptist on his sign. There are some others in the MOBBF who are de-emphasizing the name Baptist and will probably shortly take it off their signs. The men who founded the BBF are turning over in their graves and the men who are close to the graves are turning away from the area of compromises within the BBF. Don't grin too big. Many young men who went to BBC to serve the Lord, miraculously survived it and are coming out with the same spirit that was evident of the 50's.
Why should it surprise Bro. Hamm that new fellowships are being formed since he no doubt heard the stories from the old codgers of the BBF.