Baptist churches are unique when compared with all other Protestant churches which, with the exception of the Mennonites, can trace their history back only to the Reformation. Baptist history goes back to apostolic days. Churches holding present day Baptist distinctives have been active since 27 A.D. In the first 15 Centuries of this age they were called by many names, but they were given the name Anabaptists by the Reformers; and later it was shortened to Baptists. The many millions of martyrs who died under the Roman Emperors and later, during the Dark Ages under the Roman Catholic Church, attended the same type of churches as those today are called Baptists.
Baptist doctrine, being New Testament truth, has remained essentially the same from the beginning. The doctrinal statement of this church is, except for some rewording and the Pre-Millennial revision, the same as the old New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Baptists hold the same fundamental doctrines as other major denominations, but there are some, all of which are held only by Baptist Churches, and these are known as “Baptist Distinctives”.
|Biblical Authority||Baptists believe that Bible is the only and the sufficient authority for what to believe and what to practice.||
2 Tim 3:16-17
|Autonomy of the Local Church||Each local church is sovereign in itself and cannot be controlled by any board, hierarchical system or another church.||1 Tim 3:15|
|Priesthood of Believers||Every “born-again” believer may pray without a human intercessor directly to God through Jesus Christ as High Priest.||Rev 1:5-6|
|Two Ordinances (Baptism and The Lord’s Table)||Believer’s baptism for identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.The Lord’s Table is a memorial service involving worship, fellowship and self examination. The elements of the service (bread and cup) are only symbolic of the body and blood of Christ.||Acts 2:41-42|
|Individual Soul Liberty||Every man has the right to interpret the Scriptures, to hold and to profess and to worship as he believes the Bible teaches. These things are not to be forced upon any man.||1 John 2:27|
|Saved Church Membership||The membership of a New Testament local church consists of only those who have openly confessed Jesus Christ as Savior and demonstrated a willingness to obey the teachings of the Bible and agree to the doctrine and standards of the local church.||Acts 2:42,47|
|Two Offices (Pastors and Deacons)||The offices of pastor and deacon are the only Bible recognized offices in the local church. both are chosen by the congregation. Other church offices are necessary but must not be equated with these two.||Phil 1:1|
|Separation of Church and State||Every believer should respect, sustain and obey civil authority so long as is does not cause violation to conscience or Scriptural convictions. there should be no organic union of church and state, but the state should protect, not dominate or interfere with, the affairs of the church.||Matt 22:21|