The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a splinter-group of moderate to liberal Southern Baptists who do not agree with the conservative orientation of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the past, CBF annual meetings have included worship services to “Mother God” and controversies over homosexuality.
One presenter at the most recent meeting of the CBF openly questioned the deity of Christ. According to David Roach of the Baptist Press, John Killinger said the following words at a CBF workshop in Memphis, Tennessee:
“Now we are reevaluating and we’re approaching everything with a humbler perspective and seeing God’s hand working in Christ, but not necessarily as the incarnate God in our midst. Now, that may be hard for you to hear depending on where you are coming from, but we can talk more about it. . .
“Doctrine isn’t the driving force to many people today [except] to the fundamentalists who insist on it. . . But doctrine is a thing of the past now religiously. . .
“There’s an altered view of Scripture and of the role of Christ. Christ is still Savior to most of us, but maybe in a slightly different way than before. . .
“I find from pastors a greater and greater reluctance to preach from the Gospel of John, which used to be the greatest pleasure for most preachers because John was so assertive about the incarnation and the role of Christ [versus] the tendency to go back to Mark and Matthew and Luke to see the more human side of Jesus, who was anointed at the time of His baptism to be the savior of Israel, but not necessarily to be the preexistent one that we find in John. . .
“Jesus Himself has had a lot of things said in His behalf that He never intended. This is one of the things that’s going on today in biblical studies — and I think is much more promising than some of the fundamentalists will allow — is that we are questioning whether Jesus Himself said this or whether an institutional church that grew up in Jesus’ wake said this. This was the purpose of the so-called Jesus Seminar. . .
“I’m just suggesting that I think we need to be a little less certain about what Jesus meant, what He was about, what His life and work were about. I think we’re reevaluating all that.”
If you are calling into question the deity of Christ, you are sub-Christian at best. The deity of Christ is one of those non-negotiable points that divides the sheep from the goats, but apparently the CBF thinks “soul freedom” is more important than drawing such distinctions.
This is just another reminder of why the conservative resurgence had to happen. Deadly liberalism was alive and well in the SBC, and it had to be dealt with. Would that the churches of the CBF might deal with it too.