Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called, The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding what we believe. We have free copies if you would like one. The following topics provide only a brief, partial summary of what we believe.
The Scriptures, God and Man The Scriptures The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. God There is one and only one living and true God. …The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. God the Father God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. …God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. God the Son Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. …He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. God the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. …He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. …He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. Man Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. …By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. … The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation, Grace, Lord’s Supper and more… Salvation Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. God’s Purpose of Grace Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. …All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. The Church A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel…and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. …This church is an autonomous body. …The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages. Baptism & the Lord’s Supper Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. …It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members … memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. The Lord’s Day The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. …It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.
Evangelism, Stewardship, Family and more… Last Things God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. …Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly…the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. …The righteous… will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. Evangelism & Missions It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations … to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort. Education The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence … there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. …The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists. Stewardship God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions. Family God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. …Marriage is the unity of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. …The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. …Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Cooperation Christ’s people should … organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. …Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations. The Christian & the Social Order Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in his own life and in human society. … The Christian should oppose in the spirit of Christ every form of greed, selfishness, and vice.
How to Join Pinckard Baptist Church
At the conclusion of each worship service, Pastor Mike extends an invitation to those seeking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and/or to those seeking membership at Pinckard. Those who desire to respond are asked to do so in one of the following ways: Option 1: During the invitation time, you may walk to the front of the worship center where our pastor will be waiting to assist you. Option 2: You can join by meeting with our pastor or one of our church leaders, and sharing your personal testimony of how you came to Christ. What are the requirements of Church Membership? Membership is open to anyone who has made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pinckard receives people into membership in one of four ways depending upon one’s prior experience:
- You may join by making a public profession of your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and as a candidate for baptism.
- If your previous church involvement has been in a non-Baptist church (Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.) you may join as a Christian from another denomination. We will ask about your baptism experience to make sure it was after your conversion and that you were immersed.
- If you are currently or formerly a member of a Baptist church, you may join by transfer of your letter for membership.
- If your membership records were lost you can come on your statement of faith in Christ and your prior baptism by immersion.
What is the Importance of Membership? At Pinckard, we recognize the need for formal, active membership in a local church. We believe membership in a local church is important for four reasons.
- The first is a Biblical reason—Christ is committed to His church and we should be too. Ephesians 5:25 states, “Christ loved the church, and gave His life for her.” Membership in a local church is an important step in demonstrating our commitment to Christ.
- The second reason is a cultural reason. We live in an age where very few want to be committed to anything: a job, a marriage, or family. This attitude has produced a generation of church hoppers and shoppers. Membership swims against the current of America’s consumer mentality and sets us apart from the culture allowing us to preserve our distinctive Christian beliefs and values.
- The third reason why we emphasize formal membership is a practical reason. Membership identifies us in a community and family. Membership allows you to serve in positions of leadership within our church.
- Lastly, we each have a personal reason why membership is important. Membership produces spiritual growth. The New Testament places a major emphasis on the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth and fellowship. A person cannot be accountable when they are not committed to any specific church family.
As you visit Pinckard, we pray that you will consider all the benefits and privileges of membership in a local community of believers. Our prayer is that you will join us in our commitment to share the good news of Jesus Christ.