Belmont Baptist ChurchBaptist Distinctives

The main distinctives which Baptists hold are :-

 

  1. The Bible as the Only Rule of Faith and Practice interpreting as the Holy Spirit leads.
  2. That Church members should be committed Christians
  3. Freedom of conscience and the absolute separation of the church from the state – complete freedom for individual and collective worship.
  4. The autonomy of the local Church with Jesus Christ as its Head.
  5. The two ordinances, baptism by immersion of believers only, and the Lord’s Supper.

All this stems from a belief that there is only one authoritative source of religious truth and knowledge, the Bible.

As Baptists we are bound by no written creed and no confession of faith. The testimony of Scripture is final in its authority, and we are content to leave the scripture to do its work and bear its own witness. We believe that our position is entirely consistent with the mind of Christ as expressed in the New Testament and that the New Testament is the best advocate of the position we hold.

As understood and proclaimed by Baptists throughout history religion is a personal relationship between the human soul and God. Into this relationship nothing may intrude. Liberty of conscience, freedom from creedal bondage, freedom of doctrinal interpretation and local interdependence – these constitute Baptist ecclesial democracy for all believers. On such freedoms Baptists not only insist for themselves, but grant to all others, and in fact demand for all others.

Baptist congregations are called by God, through Jesus Christ, to be communities of faith empowered by the Holy Spirit to live as witnesses and agents of God’s love and justice in the church and in the world; vital in worship, dynamic in proclamation, effective in teaching, loving in fellowship, faithful in stewardship and compassionate in service.

But because this is God’s call to all Christian churches, it needs to be considered through the lens of Baptist heritage and the distinctives which mark us as people who believe in soul freedom; who affirm the priesthood of all believers; who submit to biblical authority without creedalism; who hold firm to doctrinal convictions while “speaking the truth in love”; who strive to be racially and gender inclusive not simply in membership but in shared leadership and power; who are committed to the separation of church and state; who are dedicated to engage in envangelism without reticence or embarrassment; who struggle for peace and justice without hesitation; and who realise that God’s circle of friends is always larger than our own, and therefore seek relationships within the whole household of God.