Our Name ~ What we mean by 'Baptist'
At it's best, the name Baptist suggests sacred principles of faith held fast by generations of believers.
Soul Liberty is one - it is the conviction that each human soul is solely accountable to God without need of intercessor for confession or forgiveness. No particular person speaks to God on behalf of others nor on behalf of God to people. Everyone has the same access to the Divine. Soul liberty is also sometimes called priesthood of the believer.
The strict and complete Separation of Church and State is another fundamentally Baptist principle. While called to be good citizens, our citizenship in God's Kingdom is primary. Baptists throughout history were imprisoned by governments and kicked out of churches for resisting government infringement upon the church or preaching against religious alliances with government.
These Days . . .
. . .threatening to burn the Koran, hate speech, and protesting soldiers' funerals are images too often associated with the name Baptist.
Our challenge is to remain authentic to Baptist principles and our local ministry while distinguishing ourselves from brothers and sisters whose understanding of ministry has little in common with our own.