Monday, April 2, 2012

Basic Baptist Doctrines / Beliefs

Below is material we used in teaching Deacons. I reprint it here, with some revision, to remind us of what we believe. This is a brief list with no attempt to give the Scriptural reasons for these beliefs. That will be left for other articles. This is a summary. For a complete statement, read the Bible!

Fundamental or Basic Christian Doctrines are the foundational beliefs of Christianity. They have been believed by all, or at least the huge majority of all Christians.

Distinctive Baptist Doctrines are those beliefs that distinguish (or have distinguished) Baptists from all other, or some other, Evangelical Christian groups.

Fundamental, Basic Christian Doctrines:
1. Divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. The Bible is our supreme rule of faith and practice.

2. The Trinity. God is one, but reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus is God.

4. The Virgin Birth of Jesus.

5. Jesus’ sinless life

6. The blood atonement. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, shed His blood for us.

7. Jesus literally, physically rose from the dead.

8. Literal Return of Christ to the earth.

9. Resurrection and Judgment

10. Reality of Heaven and Hell

11. Man is a sinner in need of a Savior.

12. Personal faith in Jesus is the only way of salvation. Faith alone in Christ alone.

Distinctive Baptist Doctrines:
1. Believers Baptism by Immersion, is the scriptural means of baptism.

2. Two scriptural offices: pastors and deacons. In the Bible pastor, bishop, and elder are used synonymously for the same office.

3. Eternal Security of the believer. Once saved, always saved. But true faith should result in good works for the Lord.

4. Autonomy of the local church. The local church is a democratic body, with Christ as the head of the church. No one outside a local Baptist church can tell them what to do.

5. Religious liberty. Citizens of a country should be free to worship according to the dictates of their conscience. They should be free to witness to others.

6. Requirements for church membership: salvation and believer’s baptism by immersion.

7. Priesthood of the believer. Each believer is responsible before God to search the Scripture and believe and live accordingly.

8. The two ordinances of the church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are not sacraments. A sacrament carries with it the idea of having “saving grace.” We are only saved by personal faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Ordinance - a special command given by Jesus for the church to observe.

9. The elements (unleavened bread & fruit of the vine) of the Lord’s Supper are symbolic, not literal. They are not His literal body, they symbolize Jesus’ body and blood given for us on the cross. The Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, it is a memorial service.

10. Missions and Evangelism. We are to go into all the world with the Gospel. Baptists believe in giving to missions, for example, through the Cooperative Program, and to the local Baptist Association. Baptists believe in personal involvement in evangelism.

11. Southern Baptists stand against beverage alcohol, destructive drugs, and gambling.

12. Our church is a part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), and the San Jacinto Baptist Association (SJBA).

Ongoing Christian Life
Baptists believe Bible reading and study, prayer, giving, faithful church attendance, ministry and witnessing should be an ongoing part of the Christian life. Jesus Christ and His Word should be central in all we do.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 2, AD 2012.

Other Articles:
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Differences Between the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
The Roman Road of Salvation
About the Church Covenant
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Why I Support the Baptist Association, Part 1


  1. David, thanks for this good overview of the beliefs of Bible-believing Baptists. Many regular attenders of Baptist churches, and even many members of Baptist churches, do not really know what makes one a Baptist. This, of course, is the fault of the pastors who do not teach the Baptist distinctives to their congregations.

  2. Dear evangelical/Baptist Christian brothers and sisters:

    1. No English translation of the Bible interprets Scripture in the manner that Baptists and evangelicals say that it should be translated.
    2. No German, Spanish, or French translation of the Bible interprets Scripture in the manner that Baptists and evangelicals say that it should be translated.
    3. The Greeks in the Greek Orthodox Church do not translate their Bible in a manner that agrees with the Baptist and evangelical interpretation. On the contrary, the Greeks share with western orthodox Christians, the belief in baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence of Christ in his Supper.
    4. Their is no known evidence, anywhere on planet earth, that ANY Christian in the first 800-1,000 years of Christianity believed that baptism is simply and only a public profession of faith/act of obedience or that the Lord's Supper is simply a memorial service.
    5. There is no evidence of a "Catholic" conspiracy to destroy all evidence of the "early Baptist/evangelical believers of the first century AD.
    6. There is no evidence of Baptist/evangelical-like believers hiding out in caves for fifteen hundred years.
    7. The belief that only "the true believers" of the Christian Faith can see the Baptist/evangelical interpretation of the Bible as the TRUE interpretation of the Bible, is a typical ploy of cults. "We have the truth, and only if you are one of us, will you see the truth". This position eliminates any threat to the cult's belief system by declaring that God gives the truth ONLY to "us". Thus, anyone who questions or challenges their beliefs is not of God, is not true a believer, is not saved.
    8. When backed into a corner, Baptists and evangelicals will retreat to one of the above unfounded conspiracy theories or will find a new one such as your assertion that all English translators of the Bible have introduced their own (orthodox Christian) biases into their translation. Such a statement flies in the face of God's promise to preserve his Word! God did NOT preserve his Word just for ancient Greek educated/ancient Greek speaking evangelical Churchmen to understand!

    You are intelligent people. Open your eyes, my evangelical/Baptist Christian brothers and sisters! What you have been taught is false doctrine; doctrine that neither the Apostles nor the Christians of the first approximately 1,000 years of Christianity would even recognize as the teachings of Jesus Christ!

    1. You’ve made a lengthy statement.
      First, with a little more study you would find some of the church fathers did make statements in line with Baptist beliefs. For example, baptism seemed to be by immersion for the first several centuries after New Testament times.

      Second, Baptists and evangelicals look to the Bible, God’s Word, as their supreme authority for faith and practice. Therefore, if all the church fathers (Christian leaders of the first several centuries AD) disagree with our beliefs, that matters little, if our beliefs are supported by Holy Scripture.

      Third, if all other Christian traditions believe contrary to us, we will continue to look only to God’s inerrant Word, not tradition, to guide our doctrine.

      Finally, Baptist beliefs fit very well with the teaching of God’s Word. I challenge you to investigate it for yourself.

      As far as English translations, not sure what your point is. If your point is about the Greek word for “baptism,” even non-Baptist Bible scholars agree the Greek word normally and literally means to “immerse, dip, or plunge.”
      David R. Brumbelow


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