The Priesthood of All Believers
Baptists find identity in Soul Freedom, the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without imposition of creed or control by clergy or government. This also carries with it the mandate to minister to others, to be "priests to each other."
The Authority of the Bible
Baptists find identity in Bible Freedom -- the authority of Scripture. We believe the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, is central in the life of the individual and the church. We affirm the freedom and right of every Christian to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Baptists find identity in Religious Freedom. We believe in freedom of religion, freedom for religion, and freedom from religion. We support the separation of church and state, but not the separation of God from government.
The Autonomy of the Local Church
Baptists find identity in Church Freedom. We believe in the autonomy of every local church. We believe Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and their work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted and called for ministry, and to participate as they deem appropriate in the larger Body of Christ.
Baptists find identity in Believers Baptism. We believe that the decision for baptism rests with the individual. It cannot be made for him or her. To Baptists the event of baptism is to be memorable and worshipful. It follows conversion, coming when a person is mature enough to understand that baptism -- immersion in water -- symbolizes the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ. It is the mark of Christ, an outward expression of the inward change of heart. Though we practice baptism by immersion only, we respect the baptism of all Christian traditions and practice an "open membership" policy which acknowledges and accepts any form of Christian Baptism.