Distinctive Doctrines Of Baptists -- By: R. F. Hallford
CenQ 3:4 (Winter 1960) p. 39
Distinctive Doctrines Of Baptists
New Ellenton, South Carolina
Baptists have some distinctive doctrines. The claim is often made, “There is not much difference between the teachings and practices of various denominations; therefore, I do not think that it makes any particular difference which one a person belongs to.” Such may be, and possibly is, true of quite a number of Protestant denominations, but to say that there is not much difference between the doctrines of Baptist churches and those held by others is quite a mistake. Certainly we Baptists believe a number of things in common with all orthodox Christians. We do not deny this fact, but praise God that some others at least see some things as we see them.
But Baptists have some doctrines which distinguish them from all other groups. Let me remind you, however, that some of the things which are considered distinctive Baptist doctrines are not that at all, but they are held also by some other Christian groups. Such doctrines as: immersion only for baptism, “close communion,” “salvation by grace alone” and the eternal security of the believer, are not distinctive Baptist doctrines, because there are Christians of other groups who believe them. Of course, we hold to those doctrines, but there are others who do likewise.
Regardless of all this, however, there are certain doctrines which are held by Baptists alone. By this I mean that we are the only people as a group who believe and practice these things. One may be able to find individuals in other denominations who hold to these things but those other denominations as a whole do not believe and practice them. Let us notice some of our distinctive Baptist doctrines.
The Bible As Our Only Rule Of Faith And Practice
We Baptists are not governed by some man-made “creed” or “confession” in reaching a conclusion as to what we shall believe and do. Practically all other groups have some system of belief formulated and set forth as a “creed, “or the governing part of that denomination frames a “confession of faith” which sets forth their beliefs. Suffice it to say that the most popular one of these, the so-called “Apostles Creed,” contains some things which are utterly foreign to the Scriptures and would have caused any one of the Apostles to go up in arms against such falsehood.
CenQ 3:4 (Winter 1960) p. 40
We Baptists are possessed of the conviction that the Bible only is our rule of faith and practice. It is our only rule and guide book containing things which we believe and do. We exalt it to the place of supreme authority in our lives. This is in accordance with the attitude which God takes toward His Word: “Thou ha...
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