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'Jesus' Reference Restored in Cooperative Baptist Constitution

Just three months after the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly decided to remove explicit references to ''Jesus'' from the its constitution, the group’s national leaders voted to add a preamble.

'Jesus' Reference Restored in Cooperative Baptist Constitution

Just three months after the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly decided to remove explicit references to “Jesus” from the its constitution, the group’s national leaders voted to add a preamble that mentions the text in hopes of quieting critics of the initial change.

At an Oct. 13-14 gathering in Atlanta, Ga., the 69-member Coordinating Council approved a preamble to the constitution that reads “We gladly declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord and to His gospel as we seek to be the continuing presence of Christ in the world.”

The change came amid sharp criticism – from both within and outside of the Fellowship – regarding an initial decision to replace “gospel of Jesus Christ” with “glad obedience to the Great Commission” in the group’s constitution.

During a national meeting in July, supporters of the decision said the replacement would better reflect the Fellowship’s new mission statement, which says the group’s purpose is to “to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.”

However, immediate concerns were raised regarding how others would view the Fellowship.

At the October meeting, North Carolina pastor Jack Glasgow proposed a preamble to stem such concerns and still maintain the initial change to the constitution.

He explained that he did not vote in favor of the change in the constitution and decided to seek a solution when his congregants asked, “Why did we take Jesus out of our purpose statement.”

He added that this "was one of those Baptist moments that can be most uncomfortable,” according to the Associated Baptist Press.

This newest change will now be forwarded to the CBF general assembly in June for approval.

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