We have been asked many times concerning our doctrine and belief. The simplest statement of faith we can make is this, “We believe the whole Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.” However, we believe that it would be good to set forth some things which are most surely believed among us.
There are 5 words that fairly set forth what we believe. Those 5 words are “Baptist,” “Fundamental,” “Pre-Millennial,” “Missionary,” and “Independent.”
WE ARE BAPTIST
By this we mean that we hold to the historical beliefs and practices which have prevailed among Baptists from the time of Jesus Christ. In every period of time, since Christ established His Church during His earthly ministry, there have been churches who were Baptist in faith and practice. They did not always wear the name Baptist, but they believed and practiced Baptist doctrine, which is none other than Bible doctrine.
Luke 6:12-16, “And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples (at least 70): and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”
I Corinthians 12:28, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Baptists did not come out of the Reformation, for we were never part of the Catholic Church. We believe that Jesus Christ established a local, visible church and we believe this is the only kind of true church that is in existence today.
*(From Jerusalem to Wales to America… Dr. John Clarke organized the first Baptist church at Newport, R. I. In 1638, one year before Roger Williams at Providence, R. I.) **(The first Baptist Association began as yearly meetings in Pennsylvania and in 1707, at Philadelphia, became known as the Philadelphia Association. All the major Baptist movements in America came from the Philadelphia Association…).
WE ARE FUNDAMENTAL
By this we mean we accept the fundamentals of the faith found in the Word of God. (At the beginning of the 20th century the following “Five Fundamentals of the Faith” made their appearance. The adherents to these five fundamental truths were labeled “fundamentalists.” Those opposing them were called “liberals.”
1. The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
2. The deity of Jesus Christ
3. The virgin birth of Christ
4. The substitutionary, atoning work of Christ on the cross
5. The physical resurrection and personal bodily return of Christ to earth.
When we say we are “fundamental,” we do not mean that this is all we believe. We believe every doctrine and truth in the Word of God without any reservation.
WE ARE PRE-MILLENNIAL
We believe that Jesus Christ is coming back before the Millennial Kingdom is established.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
This event is commonly referred to as the “Rapture” or catching away of all those who know Jesus Christ as Saviour. After this event takes place, the Anti-Christ will be manifested here upon the earth and the 7 years of Tribulation shall begin. At the end of the 7 years of Tribulation, the Lord will return with His saints and utterly defeat the armies of the Anti-Christ. Satan will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit, and then the Lord will establish His Kingdom here on earth and reign for 1000 years.
WE ARE MISSIONARY
Every true New Testament Baptist Church should be missionary. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave this command to His church “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
If people are to be saved they must hear the Word of God. Romans 10:13-17, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
To be obedient to Christ we must send missionaries to the foreign field, while we are missionaries on the home front. It is not enough to be missionary in name, but we must be missionary in practice. This means that we should pray for missions, and support missions with the finances that God has placed in our hands.
WE ARE INDEPENDENT
We are independent in that we are not ruled by any denominational hierarchy, board, convention, association, fellowship, etc. Christ Jesus is our Head. Our assembled body is our government through the Word of God. We are not independent to do as we please, but we are independent in order that we might do as God pleases.