Principle 1. The Holy Scriptures – the books of the Old and New Testaments are the basis of the teachings of Evangelical Christian Baptists.
Scripture is the highest and perfect revelation of God about the material and spiritual world, about Himself and about Jesus Christ, given to humanity. In other words, Baptists believe that God not only created the universe and man himself, but wanted to open up to him. Of course, we can learn a lot about the Lord through the study of His creation, but such an understanding of God is very limited and ambiguous.
Principle 2. The church should consist exclusively of those who were born again.
The word “church” (Greek: ekklesia – congregation) means a community of Christians. However, we believe that in order to become a Christian it is not enough to be born in a “Christian” family, call yourself a believer, or attend church from time to time. Only sincere repentance and faith make a person a Christian and, accordingly, a part of the Church of Christ. Thus, the Baptist churches are open to all people, but only born-again Christians are considered members of the church, i.e. those whose worldview and life, under the influence of the Spirit of God, have changed.
Principle 3. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper belong exclusively to those who were born again.
Evangelical Baptist Christians believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the commandments of Jesus Christ. Water baptism is a conscious confirmation of faith and belonging to Christ (Mat.28: 19; Act.2: 41), it is a kind of figurative certificate of death (immersion) for sin and resurrection (leaving the water) for a new life with God (Romans 6: 3-10).
Principle 4. The independence of each individual local church.
Each local church independently resolves all internal issues such as election and re-election of presbyters, deacons and other ministers, acceptance and exclusion of church members, imposition of disciplinary measures, economic and financial and other issues. The general meeting of church members is the highest governing body of the local church.
Principle 5. Equal rights of all members of the local church.
Jesus Christ gave His disciples and followers the high title of royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2: 9). Thus, all Christians are equal. Every church member:
- has the opportunity, without intermediaries, to turn to God or study the Bible;
- is called to serve people (both in church and in the world) and to testify of his faith in Christ;
- responsible for the spiritual and material condition of the church;
- has an equal right to vote when making major church decisions.
Principle 6. Freedom of conscience for all.
Man is given the freedom of spiritual choice by God Himself, so the Baptists reject all violence against the conscience of man. Relations between God and man, the field of personal convictions are everyone’s business; neither the state, nor society, nor representatives of other religious trends have the right to interfere in them.
Principle 7. Separation of church and state.
The church and the state are divine institutions created for various purposes. The church is called to proclaim the kingdom of God, salvation in Christ, eternal spiritual values. The state serves for earthly temporary purposes.