Abingdon Baptist Church welcomes all who seek Christ. We worship and work together to further God’s plan on earth. We hold the following beliefs:
- We confess that we are imperfect beings and incapable of ever fully comprehending the ways or work of God in the lives of others or our human institutions, including this congregation.
- We believe that the fullness of God is expressed in the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
- We believe that God by his grace gives us, through our free-will faith in his Son Jesus Christ, salvation from sin and the gift of eternal life; therefore, that faith cannot be coerced and that God’s grace is not limited to a chosen few.
- We affirm the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed, the control of clergy or the interference of government. We call this belief “the priesthood of believers.”
- We believe that every person stands before God as a competent individual responsible to determine through prayer, contemplation, study of the Bible, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit what his or her conscience dictates is right in God’s sight, and is therefore, in matters of religion, responsible to no one but God for the decisions he/she makes. This belief is variously referred to as one having “soul freedom”, “freedom of conscious” or “soul competency.”
- We believe that the Bible is God’s gift to all humanity and that all people should have the freedom to possess, read and interpret the Bible for themselves as guided by the Holy Spirit and that no person or institution should attempt to compel a particular interpretation of the Bible on anyone.
- We believe that Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry and to participate in the larger Body of Christ.
- We believe church membership should be exclusive to those that have consciously accepted God’s grace and have committed to following the teachings of Jesus.
- We believe a person’s acceptance of God’s gift of grace should be evidenced by Believers Baptism and borne witness to in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper; however, while we believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are wonderfully symbolic outward expressions of faith, they are not in any way essential for salvation.
- We believe in religious freedom for all people, regardless of creed and that religious liberty is best protected when church and state are institutionally separated and neither tries to perform or interfere with the essential mission and work of the other.
None of the beliefs expressed above are wholly unique to the Baptist Faith or to our congregation. They are, however, core beliefs held by Baptists from our beginnings and are grounded in the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. We have no “litmus tests” or required beliefs beyond those set forth above to be a member, leader or minister at Abingdon Baptist Church. All are welcome.
We acknowledge that our members, leaders and ministers will differ with each other on particular theological points; methods of putting God’s will to work on earth; and our Christian obligations to one another, our Church, and the world at large. These differences should ultimately be inconsequential to a mature, committed Christian; should place no limitation on our working together to do God’s work on earth; and should not be used to divide God’s people against one another. All are welcome.
Approved February 8, 2015