The Baptist Faith and Message, 2000
The Baptist Faith and Message is a statement that was adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on June 14, 2000 which reflects the general beliefs of our church and denomination. These doctrinal statements guide what we teach at DBC, however, it must be borne in mind that Scripture is our rule of faith, not a doctrinal statement.
We encourage you to read through the Baptist Faith and Message and see if there are any areas of confusion or disagreement. If you are in general agreement with our teachings, then we invite you to join with us in communicating these truths to others. Below is a summary of our most basic beliefs:
Distinctive Baptist beliefs arose out of the abuses that characterized the state-run, hierarchical church structures that existed throughout much of Christian history. These beliefs are summarized below using the acrostic: BAPTISTS.
The Bible is our final authority in all matters of belief and practice. No human opinion, church tradition, or church council can override, alter, or add to the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21)
Autonomy of the Local Church
The local church is a self-governing body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices. (Colossians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 8:1–5, 19, 23)
Priesthood of the Believer
Every believer is a priest of God with equal access to His presence through Christ. No other mediator is necessary between God and people. (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 5:9, 10)
The local church practices two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These ordinances commemorate our salvation in Christ, but do not convey salvation or give additional grace. (Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–32)
Individual Soul Liberty
Every individual has the liberty to choose their religious beliefs in accordance with their conscience. No one should be persecuted for their beliefs or forced to assent to any belief. (Romans 14:5, 12; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Titus 1:9)
Security of the Believer
Anyone who has genuinely accepted Christ as their Savior has become the recipient of God’s Spirit and of eternal life. Once this eternal life has been given, it cannot be taken away. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-28; 1 John 2:19)
The Bible mandates only two offices in the church – pastor and deacon. Hierarchical church structures of spiritual leadership are not biblically prescribed. (1 Timothy 3:1–13; Acts 20:17–38; Philippians 1:1)
Separation of Church and State
The church and state are two separate authorities ordained by God. One should not attempt to control the other. (Acts 4:29; Romans 12:18; 13:1-5; I Timothy 2:1-4; I Corinthians 5:9-13).