I. What we believe:
Theologically, we believe:
· the Scriptures are true, authoritative and sufficient.
· there is only one true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
· all things exist for the glory of God.
· all humanity—Christ excluded—is sinful by both birth and action.
· the deserved penalty for sin is physical and spiritual death.
· Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human.
· Jesus Christ died as the sacrificial substitute to pay the penalty for sin.
· Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and will one day physically return.
· there will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Only those who turn from sin and to Jesus in faith and repentance will be raised to eternal reward. Those who do not turn from sin and to Jesus will be raised to eternal punishment.
· only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and repentance from sin can one be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy
These doctrines are foundational to our understanding of the historic Christian faith and essential convictions for our unity as a local church. These statements are summaries, in large part, from a broader statement of faith, known as the Baptist Faith & Message.
II. Doctrinal Distinctives
In addition to the BF&M, the SBC has also issued the following position statements:
Autonomy of local church — Affirms the autonomy of the local church.
Cooperation — Identifies the Cooperative Program of missions as integral to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Creeds and confessions — Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word.
Missions — Honors the indigenous principle in missions. The SBC does not, however, compromise doctrine or its identity for missional opportunities.
Priesthood of all believers — Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ's name.
Sanctity of life — Life begins at the moment of conception.
Sexuality — We affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy as a lifetime relationship of one man and one woman. Explicitly, we do not consider homosexuality to be a "valid alternative lifestyle". We understand the Bible to forbid any form of extra-marital sexual relations.
Soul competency — Affirms the accountability of each person before God.
Women in ministry — Women are of equal value to men and participate on Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. However, women are not eligible to serve as pastors.