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And Jesus said unto them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Mat 16:6, ASV)

What Is A Baptist?

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While we are bound to offend someone in one of the Baptist denominations if we go too deep into this question (there are entire books written about after all), it seemed worthwhile to come up with a relatively quick definition of what a Baptist is. However, after researching this question I can tell you that it isn’t as simple as you might think to answer this question. The original intent was to place a link to the major Baptist denominations so that they could explain their positions themselves. However there are dozens of flavors of Baptists and that’s not practical right now, so a few highlights. Feel free to send us an email if you think we’re wrong. Being hateful won’t get your email read past the first sentence though (it’s a shame that we have to say that to Christians).
First, we need to understand that just because someone calls themselves a Baptist, it doesn't mean they hold to traditional Baptist beliefs. All Baptists however are called this because of their belief that to be Baptized you must be immersed in water, not just sprinkled. There are those who believe that Baptists should not be called Protestants (from those who “Protested” the Catholic Church) although we don’t want to go into that here, and we don’t agree. We encourage you to Google it if you’d like to know more about that. You might find downloads of Baptist historical documents that we have available interesting also.

Baptists in general believe that:

· The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three in one (the Trinity) and co-equal.

· That Jesus Christ is Lord and Head of the Church, and that He is the Son of God and that access to the Father is through Him and Him alone.

· That the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and lives in us at the moment of conversion.

· That each individual must come to the decision to receive Christ as their Savior. This cannot be done through an intermediary, such as a Priest.

· That the Bible was written by men under divine instruction, and that it is sufficient and has final authority in all things.

· That man was created by God in His image, and that mankind sinned after being tempted by Satan and fell from grace.

· That salvation is by grace alone, not works.

· The separation of Church and state (the level of this varies between denominations however). This does not mean that we cannot be active in politics or that we shouldn’t carry our values into that arena. Indeed, we should do both.

· The independence of each church, although some have come together voluntarily for missions and other purposes, particularly the Southern Baptists.

· The commitment to the Great Commission.

· The coming together of believers for the Lord’s Supper (communion) although this does not provide salvation. The frequency varies by denomination and local church.

· Baptism by immersion for believers only.

· You cannot lose your salvation (once saved always saved), with the exception of Free Will and General Baptists, who believe that you can.

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