Specific Baptist Beliefs
Baptists share a common faith with all Christians, yet there are some beliefs
that set us apart from other denominations. Here are some key beliefs:
- Priesthood of All Believers – Loved by God, and made in His image, each of us has the opportunity to meet directly and personally with God. As we are all equal before Him, we have the right and responsibility to participate in Christ’s body, the Church, and to minister to each other as a ‘priesthood of all believers’. We have ordained ministers who perform those functions, such as marriages, that are reserved for licensed clergy by law or tradition.
- Sacraments – We believe there are two sacraments: baptism and communion.
- Baptism – We each come to faith in God through a free, personal decision; therefore, we practice the baptism of believers. For this reason, we do not practice infant baptism, reserving baptism for adults and young people mature enough to make a fully conscious and committed decision. Following Biblical example and modelling the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we baptize by full immersion. (Details here.)
- Communion – On a regular basis (weekly to monthly) we remember the saving death and resurrection of Jesus by participating in the sacrament of communion, sharing in Christ’s body and blood through bread and wine.
- Congregational Governance – We follow a congregational form of government in which believers come together as a priesthood of believers under the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to determine God’s will for us. We avoid the top-down hierarchy often associated with other denominations. Locally autonomous churches make their own decisions but participate in the larger body of Christ by associating with the denomination and its shared ministries and by entering into annual covenantal agreements with the denomination.
- Separation of Church and State – The church and the civil government have distinct, separate roles that should not infringe on each other. Where they have shared interests and values, they recognize and reinforce each other.
- Ordination of Women – We have been ordaining women for leadership in church ministry since 1959. (Details here.)
- Marriage – We affirm that the biblical pattern of marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.
- Sexual Behavior – Any sexual behaviour outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage is not affirmed biblically or historically.