Our Distincitive Baptist Beliefs
Baptists share with other evangelical denominations belief in the great doctrines of the church, such as the belief in the triune God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ, and the ultimate triumph of our Lord over sin and death. In addition to these three great truths, Baptists stress the following beliefs:
The Lordship of Jesus Christ
Christ is the only mediator between God and man. He is the living Lord of the Bible and the living Lord of today. He is the head of the church.
The Supremacy of the Scriptures
The Bible is our Guide.
Each believer, with the help if the Holy Spirit, can read and understand the Scriptures for himself or herself. Baptists do not have a formal creed. Individual churches and certain denominations of churches have formulated covenants and articles of faith which summarize their understanding of Scriptural teachings, but as Baptists we have not officially adopted a man-made creed to which we all must conform. The Bible is our final authority in faith and conduit.
The Priesthood of Believers
Every person can approach God directly through Christ, without the aid of human priests, ritual, or baptism. Personal faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father. However, one cannot be a priest by himself; one needs to be a part of the church and a witness to others.
Baptism should be administered only to those who believe and follow Christ. The ordinance of baptism has no meaning apart from the spiritual change which has already taken place within the individual. Baptists believe that immersion is the only form of baptism taught in the early church and it is a living picture of our death to sinful living and our being raised to a new life in Christ, though we recognize other modes.
Regenerate Church Membership
This means that church membership is only for baptized believers. The membership of the church should be composed only of those who have personally received Christ as their Lord and Savior and bear witness to the new life in Christ. Baptists oppose the inclusion of infants and unsaved people as members of the church.
Seperation of Church and State
Baptists have always stressed the separation of church and state. The church must not dictate to the state nor the state to the church. The state should protect all religious groups but favor none.
Every person is responsible to God for his or her religious beliefs and practices; therefore every person should have the right to worship God as his or her own convictions and conscience dictate. Neither the state nor the organized church has the right to dictate to an individual what he or she believes.
The Independence of the Local Church
Each local congregation is self-governing, choosing its own pastor, managing its inner live, and determining its relationship to other churches. Our churches realize we must work together to spread the gospel of Christ and bear our witness more effectively.
The Evangelization of the World
Baptists take seriously the Great Commission of Christ. Baptists believe in taking the Gospel to their local communities, all sections of their state and union, and unto the uttermost parts of the world. Therefore, we have joined with the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. for the purpose of supporting missions around the world.