What We Believe
Along with all Christians, we as Baptists have core beliefs that have been central to the Christian tradition for centuries upon centuries. For example, we stand united with all Christians in our belief in the existence of God, in the Trinity, in the Divinity of Christ, in the sufficiency of Christ’s death and resurrection for forgiveness and eternal life.
As Baptists we have some particular beliefs that shape how we do church together. Obviously, many other wonderful Christian churches share many of these particular beliefs with us, but holding this combination of particular beliefs is what makes us unique as Baptists.
The Bible is the Supreme Authority in All Matters of Religion
Believing that the Bible is the inspired written revelation of God to humankind, it follows that the Bible, itself, rather than any creed or human interpretation is the final authority and the sufficient rule in all matters of faith and practice.
The Lordship of Jesus Christ
It is our belief that the guiding principle for all life is that Jesus Christ is to be Lord. Through his death and resurrection Jesus offers forgiveness of sins and the joy of eternal life to all who will receive Him as Savior and Lord.
The Priesthood of All Believers
Every believer has direct access to God through Jesus Christ and is, therefore, not dependant on the intervention or intercession of a priest or any other human agent. This places all of us on an equal plane and removes the distinction between clergy and laity.
Regenerate Church Membership
As shown by the study of New Testament scriptures the Church must be made up of or constituted by those who are “believers”, “born again” (regenerate), or who have believed in and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, and who desire to live for Him and serve Him as Lord.
We believe there are just two acts of worship particularly “ordained” by Jesus and intended by Him to be practiced by the New Testament Church.
- Baptism is the initiation rite by which a believer unites with the church and portrays that they have accepted the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on their behalf. We believe that the New Testament clearly teaches the baptism of believers only and immersion as the intended mode.
- The Lord’s Supper or Communion is the recurring ordinance by which believers remember Christ’s death on their behalf and by which they symbolize their appropriation of God’s forgiveness and their participation in the eternal life that He offers. This “Feast of Remembrance” is also to be reserved for “believers”. The bread and the cup, signify His body given and His blood shed for the atonement of our sins.
Each person as a being created in the image of God was intended to have the freedom to choose his own destiny, and to act as a free moral agent. This liberty carries with it momentous freedom yet must maintain concern for others.
The Separation of Church and State
Closely related to religious liberty is the issue of separation of church and state. Baptists have long defended the rights of individuals and groups to worship as they understand it to be God’s will, and not to be interfered with by government. Baptists contend for complete religious and political freedom for all. Churches cannot have “right of interference” or “control” over government or expect the special favours of government.
Democratic Church Government
The democratic form of church government is called “congregational” government. That means the congregation is ultimately responsible for the decisions and policy making that occurs in the church. That does not mean that the congregation votes on every dollar spent on every decision made. Pastors are called to give leadership along with the elected church officers. This group is empowered to give general oversight and direction. Democratic congregational government means that the membership is ultimately responsible and that pastors and board members are ultimately accountable to the membership. Congregational government means that every member has an equal vote. Majority votes are the norm, yet we adhere to the wisdom of seeking stronger congregational consent. Major decisions like the calling of full time pastors require a much higher percent.
The Independence of the Local Church
We believe that the local church is totally independent and fully autonomous. It is self-governing, elects its own officers, manages its own affairs, selects its own pastor. This means that the local church is not under the authority of a centralized church government that passes down decisions or demands to constituent churches. The local church’s only Head is Christ.
Still, Baptist Churches also recognize the need for “inter-dependence” whereby they have been united together with other Baptist churches to accomplish in greater measure the tasks of mission, evangelism, education, etc. We are proud to be affiliated with the Canadian Baptist of Western Canada.
The Evangelization of the World
Baptists take seriously the Great Commission of going “into all the world” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our constant endeavour to introduce men, women and youth to the person of Jesus Christ.