WHAT IS THE BAPTIST TRADITION?
Christians of the Baptist traditions began as "separatist" which our
fellow Anglicans labeled us, during the late 1500's in England. Since
that beginning FREEDOM has been a key passion. Four FREEDOMS
Christians are obligated to study and be free to use the best
scholarly tools of inquiry. The Bible is central to individual and
church life, but always under the authority of Jesus, the Christ of
God. No institutional church authority can be allowed to obscure or
limit this freedom.
SOUL FREEDOM! The right and responsibility of every
individual to form a personal relationship with God, without the
imposition of a creed (a human summary of absolute truths),
dominance by clergy, or the intervention of civil government (to
promote or to authorize).
FREEDOM! Under the authority of Jesus, the Christ, local
churches are free to determine their membership, ordain their
leadership, determine the form of their ministry, and to associate
with the larger Christian community.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Christians are
free OF religion, FOR religion, and free FROM religion. The state is
not Christ and Christ is not the state. This protects the integrity
of Christians to speak to public issues without trying to use the
coercive powers of the state to advocate their positions. Religious
freedom advocates that the best society is where persons of Faith
and of no Faith are free to advocate and debate beliefs.