What We Believe
Who We Are
There are many ways to attempt to define who we are and what we believe. The phrase Independent Fundamental Baptist is one of them. Each of the three words in this phrase is used specifically to define certain aspects of what we believe.
As Baptists, we are first and foremost people of the Bible. It is the one and only source and authority for all we believe. An acrostic can be made from the word “BAPTISTS” to define a set of doctrines known as the Baptist Distinctives. These doctrines are:
Autonomy of the Local Church
Priesthood of the Believer
Two Church Ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper)
Individual Soul Liberty
Saved and Baptized Church Membership
Two Church Offices (Pastor and Deacon)
Separation of Church and State
As Fundamentalists, we adhere to the 14 Fundamentals of the Faith which were put forth in the early part of the 20th Century in answer to the modernist movement. They are:
- Inspiration of the Bible
- Depravity of man
- Redemption through Christ’s blood
- True church made up only of believers
- Coming of the Lord bodily to set up His reign
- The Trinity
- Fall of Adam
- Need of the new birth
- Full deliverance from guilt at salvation
- Assurance of salvation
- Centrality of Christ in the Bible
- Walk after the Spirit
- Resurrection of both believers and unbelievers
- Ripening of the present age for judgment
As Independents, we believe in a self-governing, self-propagating church free from any control (denomination, convention, association, etc.) outside of our own membership.
What We Believe
The various sections of this document elaborate on the doctrines of what we believe, how we implement our beliefs in our relationship to each other, and how we implement our beliefs in a legal corporate body in 21st Century America.
I. The first section of this document is our Articles of Faith:
Christian religious organizations of all sizes from individual churches with only a handful of members to denominations having millions have attempted at various times to set forth statements of what they believe. Historically, these statements were most often aimed at answering the doctrines of other groups. Often called “confessions” in times past, they were important in helping define the differences between the denominations.
In the post-modern, secular humanist, ecumenical 21st Century it is as important as ever to declare boldly what we believe. In spite of the ecumenicalist’s attempts to cover them over, the traditional battles still rage between the denominations, and rightfully so, for the differences are real. In addition, our beliefs are under attack by the world as they have not been since the early days of Christianity.
The doctrines presented in our Articles of Faith are set forth for the specific purposes of:
- Accurately reflecting the eternal truth of God’s Word,
- Unifying the body of Christ through a common message,
- Confirming and strengthening the convictions and beliefs of the church, and
- Providing a foundational teaching structure for the education of new believers.
They do not comprise a complete statement of everything we believe, but rather, are a listing of the core doctrines sufficient to define the stand ofTabernacleBaptistChurch. No article states everything we believe on the given doctrine, but is an outline. The details are in the Bible. As articles of faith, they are not intended to be comprehended completely by human logic. When we incorporate them into our lives by faith, they become a structure upon which to build a dynamic and vibrant church of the living God.
II. The second section is the Fundamental Baptist Statement:
The Fundamental Baptist Statement has been a part of the statement of the beliefs of Tabernacle since the founding of the church. It was intended to bring together, in summary form, a few of the beliefs of the church that addressed the major challenges to the church at the time of its founding. Although we face some different challenges today, we still face those addressed in this statement, and it stands as a proclamation of some of the specific aspects of who we are. It is good for us to remember our foundations.
III. The third section is the Church Covenant:
The Church Covenant is an agreement between the members of the church to live in a Christ-like manner. It addresses how we are to support the church as a whole, how we are to conduct our personal lives, and how we are to relate to each other as individuals.
IV. The fourth and final section is the Constitution:
The Constitution is the legal document that defines our type of government and how we will conduct our business.
A Final Word
It is one thing to record our beliefs in a nice concise manner for everyone to read and understand. It is another for every member of Tabernacle Baptist Church to live out these beliefs so that a lost and dying world can see Jesus Christ in our lives and hear from us how they too can have eternal life through His name. It is our solemn prayer that these documents will in some way contribute to that cause.