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The beliefs of Baptist churches are not completely consistent from one Baptist church to another. Baptists do not have a central governing authority, unlike most other denominations.
However, Baptists do hold some common beliefs among almost all Baptist churches. Baptists share so-called "orthodox" Christian beliefs with most other moderate or conservative Christian denominations. These would include beliefs about one God, the virgin birth, the sinless life, miracles, vicarious atoning death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ, the Trinity (the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, together with God the Father), the need for salvation (though the understanding of means for achieving it may differ at times), divine grace, the Church, the Kingdom of God, last things (Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge everyone in righteousness), evangelism and missions.
The following acrostic backronym, spelling BAPTIST, summarizes Baptists' distinguishing beliefs:
Baptists practice believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper (communion) as the two acts of faith-obedience to the example and commands given by Christ for Christians. Most Baptists call them "ordinances" (meaning "obedience to a command that Christ has given us") instead of "sacraments" (activities God uses to impart salvation or a means of grace to the participant). Therefore, historic Baptist theology considers that no saving grace is conveyed by either ordinance and that original sin is not washed away in baptism. Baptists have traditionally believed that they are symbols.
Some Primitive Baptists also practice foot washing as an ordinance.
- ^ Cummins, David L. This Day in Baptist History 2. Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 2000.
- ^ Sacrament versus Ordinance - Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
- ^ Crowley, John (1998). Primitive Baptists of the Winegrass South 1815-present. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1640-1. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- ^ Cassada, Mary Eva (June 8, 1991). "'Primitive' rituals are few, simple". The Free Lance-Star. Associated Press. p. 12. Retrieved 2012-5-24.
- ^ Eisenstadt, Todd (August 21, 1987). "Baptist Group Looks To The Old, New". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-5-24.