7 Basic Principles of Baptism

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 or dating a mature woman, 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.

The Main Values of Baptist Family Life

In Baptism, as in other form of Protestantism, family issues are given a great importance. Family for Baptists is an analogue of the relationship with young girls dating between the church and God. As the Holy Spirit nourishes the members of the Baptist church, caring for their spiritual growth, so the husband should take care and influence the spiritual growth of the wife, being her mentor and a link in her personal relationship with God: “because the husband is the head of the wife, as well as Christ is the head of the church” (Eph. 5:23).

This leadership means not only the wife’s complete obedience to the husband, but also the husband’s concern for the wife, and for the Baptists the most important concern is taking care of the spiritual side of life. A husband who does not cope well with the social and economic side of a marriage union is not condemned by church members, but a husband who has retired from the church and does not humble his carnal desires is an excuse for the whole community to work together on this particular person. If this happens with the wife, then the husband should have a positive influence on her, and only in exceptional cases – the community as a whole should help him.

Baptist communities pay extra attention to children. Children are perceived by Baptists as blessings from God. The task of parents is to raise children in accordance with the Scripture – the Bible. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for justice demands this” (Eph. 6: 1). And also, “And you, fathers, do not irritate your children, but bring them up in the teaching and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6: 4). One way or another, Baptists pay great attention to introducing children to faith in God. Children are considered initially purer and sinless than adults, and therefore, education in the “fear of God” from an early age is considered a very good practice in the framework of the subsequent formation of the Christian personality.

If we consider the aspect of choosing a spouse, it is worth noting that Baptists do not welcome intimate communication between young people before the wedding. For church members aged 16–20 and older, there are special youth gatherings, where in addition to reading the Bible, events are held that allow young people to communicate and express their opinions. At these general meetings, they can get to know each other better, and so that they can be more often with each other, they should announce their engagement at a church meeting.

When choosing a spouse, a young man is recommended to pay attention, first of all, to the spiritual beauty of the girl, to her modesty, purity, chastity. “A virtuous wife is a crown for her husband; but shameful, is rottenness in his bones” (Prov., 12: 4). It is especially good if a girl is engaged in the church. For choosing a spouse, roughly the same criteria are used. A “strong brother” (meaning the spiritual mentor in Christianity) will be considered a good husband.

Baptists believe that if young people “build their family on Christ,” then nothing can prevent them from marital happiness. Baptists perceive various kinds of misfortunes or poverty as a test sent by God, for which they will receive an indispensable reward if they are to humbly overcome difficulties.