STATEMENT OF BASIC BELIEFS
A. We believe and affirm the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God and the basis for faith and practice.
B. We subscribe to the doctrinal statement of THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000.
a. We believe and affirm the Bible to be inspired, inerrant, infallible, complete Word of God and the basis for faith and practice.
b. There is only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all-powerful and all-knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
c. Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before the crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.
d. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination, He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals every believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
e. Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowing work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his creator with the freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherited a nature and an environment included toward sin. Only the grace of God can bring man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.
f. Salvation involves the redemption of the whole person and is freely offered to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord.
g. The New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We operate under the Lordship of Jesus Christ through the democratic process. Therefore, each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. We recognize two scriptural offices; pastors and deacons. The New Testament church includes the redeemed of all ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
h. We believe in the sanctity of human life. The sacredness of human personality is evident in the God created man in His own image, and that Christ died for man; therefore every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. For this reason, abortion, euthanasia, genocide, human trafficking, slavery, any other action that destroys or demeans any human life is evil in the eyes of God.
i. God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide the man and woman in marriage a framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage of the Lord.
j. God alone is Lord of the conscience and He has left it free from doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of spiritual ends. In providing for such no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Because civil government is ordained by God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. A free church is a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
C. We voluntarily band ourselves together as Elam Baptist Church, Millen, a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, a community of faith and a family of the Living God, personally committed to growing in our faith, to sharing the good news of salvation by word and action to those who do not know God everywhere.
D. We practice the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper.