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Independent Baptists

Independent Baptists are set apart from other churches by what is often termed “Baptist Distinctives.”  Those characteristics that are common to a true independent Baptist church. Briefly stated, an independent Baptist church believes in the following:

A REGENERATED CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: This refers to conversion; the sinner who was “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2) is “born again” (John 3) and alive in Christ. No Catholic or Protestant church has this requirement.

THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH: This means absolute freedom from any and all outside interference from others churches, religious bodies, governments or individuals. It is self-governing. This form of church government is referred to as “congregational”.

NO INFANT BAPTISM: According to the New Testament, water baptism is by immersion (infants are sprinkled), for believers only, in obedience to Christ’s command and is a picture of what happens to the believer when he is “born again” (Acts 8, Acts 2, Matthew 28, II Peter 3, Galatians 2).

THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER: The believer is “secure” in Christ and can never “lose” his salvation (Romans 8). This “distinctive” is shared by the Presbyterians, because it is part of “Calvinist” doctrine, which is the basis of their theology.

THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS: The believer has direct access to God through Christ by means of prayer (Revelation 1; Hebrews 4:16-18; I Timothy 2:5). The believer has no need of any religious leader or “saint” to go through to get to God. He is a priest and a saint (Revelation 1). The Reformation churches shared this belief, but the Baptists are the only ones who have stayed with it in their practice. All others have developed a hierarchy which the individual must “go through” to reach God.

THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: The state has no right to dictate practice or belief to churches, nor require by law membership or support.

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