Our Beliefs

Unity Baptist Church accepts The Baptist Faith and Message, a statement of faith adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000, as a general statement of our beliefs, with the exception of article VI, “The Church,” and article VIII, “The Lord’s Day”.[1] You can see a full copy of The Baptist Faith and Message by clicking here.

Here are some brief summary statements of our doctrinal positions.

The Bible

We affirm that the Holy Bible is the uniquely inspired Word of God, inerrant and infallible in its original manuscripts, and that it is the only authoritative basis for our belief & practice.

We deny that the Bible is only a human witness to divine revelation, or that any part of Scripture is marked by error or the effects of human sinfulness. We further deny that any parts of Scripture are more inspired or authoritative than other parts.

God

We affirm that there is one true God who is holy, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternal, sovereign, and perfectly righteous. He is the creator and sustainer of all things, and human beings can know Him as He reveals Himself. Regarding His Triunity, we affirm that, “God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.”[2] God, and not man, must be at the center of our theology.

We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential doctrine of the faith. We further deny that certain members of the Trinity should be more greatly revered by believers than other members of the Trinity.

Jesus Christ

We affirm the deity of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation, He who was fully God also became fully man and will continue to be so forever. He lived a perfect life while on the earth, and at the cross He willingly went through a substitutionary death to redeem believers. He rose from the grave, ascended into Heaven, and will return in power to judge all creation.

We deny any claim that presents a picture of Jesus as less than fully divine; for example, the claim that Jesus was only a great moral teacher.

The Holy Spirit

We affirm that the Holy Spirit is fully personal and fully divine. He calls humanity to salvation, and indwells all believers, to whom He is the revealer of truth, comforter, counselor, and giver of spiritual gifts.

We deny any claim that denies the full personhood or full divinity of the Holy Spirit. We further deny that the Holy Spirit ever reveals anything to believers through private revelation that contradicts Scripture.

The Gospel and Salvation

We affirm that the gospel message is about humanity’s complete depravity, sin, and separation from God, and how God has provided reconciliation through the work of Christ on the cross. Salvation is a free gift of God’s electing grace, accepted through faith, and is in no way dependent on works. There can be no salvation apart from true repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The primary purpose of this saving work is not the rescuing of sinners, but rather the display of the glory of God.

We deny:

  • that election is God’s response to divinely forseen human decisions
  • that humans exercise a “free will” that is somehow not constrained or affected by the Fall.
  • that truly saved individuals can ever lose their salvation and be separated from the grace of Christ.
  • any presentation that makes the central purpose of the gospel something other than salvation from the condemnation and judgment of sin.  Liberation theology and the prosperity gospel are two examples of this.
The Church

We affirm that membership in a local church is a critical part of a Christian’s life for the purposes of ministry, accountability, and encouragement. The church is composed of true believers, and as such there should be a distinction and set-apartness between the church and the world. Each member of the church should contribute their giftings, time, and resources to the ministry of the church.

We deny that an individual believer can pursue Christ in the most healthy and beneficial manner while not in consistent and committed fellowship with a local church. We further deny that membership in the universal church is an appropriate substitute for membership in a particular local church.

Church Leadership

We affirm that the biblical church offices are Elder and Deacon. The local church should be led by a plurality of biblically qualified ruling Elders who share the responsibility and authority of shepherding the body. Deacons assist the Elders in areas of administration so that the Elders can be free to pastor.

We deny any claims that present ordination as the granting of a special spiritual status or that elevates church officers to a higher class of Christianity. We further deny that it is biblically appropriate for women to serve in the office of Elder or Deacon.

Spiritual Gifts

We affirm that all of the spiritual gifts described in Scripture are available and operational in the church.

We deny that there is any scriptural warrant for discounting the existence of or forbidding the practice of certain spiritual gifts. In addition, we deny that there is scriptural warrant for ongoing offices of Apostle or Prophet in the contemporary church.

Baptism and Communion

We affirm that immersion baptism of a confessing believer is the practice most clearly supported in Scripture. We also affirm that the Lord’s Supper should be regularly celebrated by the church as a means of remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sake of our redemption.

We deny any definition of baptism that suggests that it in any way contributes to salvation.

Evangelism and Missions

We affirm that the most important task of every believer is to make disciples of all nations. Christians should strive to share the gospel locally with the people they see every day, and should have a burden to see other nations and people groups transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We deny any sense of evangelism that claims that righteous living apart from a verbal witness is evangelism. We further deny that evangelism is faithfully and effectively done by people who are not striving to live a godly life. In addition, we deny that missions work is accomplished exclusively by providing relief of worldly difficulties while not sharing the gospel message.

The Family

We affirm that the family is the most foundational human institution and that God created it intentionally to reflect Himself. As such, marriage and family are worthy of high honor and protection. Marriage was created by God to be between one man and one woman, and should be a lifetime commitment. Where a husband/father is present, he is accountable to God to lead His family well for the glory of God.

We deny that any sort of homosexual relationship can be faithfully engaged in by people claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ and conforming to the standards of Scripture. We further deny that any sort of homosexual relationship or commitment can be considered a marriage in any sense that the Bible would approve of.

 

 

[1] We differ with article VI in our understanding of church leadership. In accordance with the autonomy of the church indicated by the The Baptist Faith and Message, the leadership of Unity Baptist Church operates as a plurality of elders. Our practice of church leadership is further laid out in Article III of our bylaws, entitled “Elders.”

We differ regarding article VIII only in the sense that we believe all days of the week to be appropriate times for worship, and that there is no Scriptural obligation to worship specifically on Sunday.

[2] Definition of Trinity quoted from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.