Concerns and Response to the Unamended Written Presentation of January 25, 2012
Much time has been spent and material published during the present unity discussions and still little head way is being made. Our concerns are that misunderstandings could have been avoided had the opportunity for open discussion been provided instead of written presentations. Even though great care was taken at the Book Road study day to avoid misrepresentation unfortunately some attendees interpreted many of the statements according to their own point of view. Where this is evident in your presentation we will attempt to correct the matter.
Although your presentation contained a great deal of material, it did not provide clarity on the key issues that have separated our two communities. The Central community is a worldwide fellowship that has been bound together by a common understanding of the gospel, conveniently expressed in the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF); in addition it is committed to the integrity of fellowship based on this common doctrine. You should understand therefore that any attempt to modify this by having different groups, with different statements of faith, with different approaches to fellowship is very damaging and counter-productive.
It is because we believe that the Central position with respect to doctrine and fellowship is scripturally sound that we are determined to challenge any position that seeks to modify it; this is the spirit of the words of the apostle Jude in verse 3 of his epistle.
With this brief preamble we respectfully ask that you consider carefully our comments and responses to your presentation. It was noted by the Unamended observer attending the meeting on January 25th that “the presentations, while at times very candid, were presented in a spirit of goodwill”; we ask that where we appear equally candid you will accept our remarks in the same spirit.