What do Baptists believe about Calvinism?
1. God's Word, the Bible, alone is sufficient for faith and life.
The Bible is God's word and revelation to man. This testimony can be found in 2 Tim. 3:16 “All scriptures are inspired by God and are useful for teaching, conviction, correction and instruction in righteousness.” Various Protestant churches adhere to creeds, catechisms and dogmas , whereas the Baptists orient themselves exclusively to the Word of God.
2. Christ is the exclusive head of the church.
In chapter 5, verse 23 of the Ephesians, it says: "Christ is the head of the church." There is therefore no human head of the Baptist church. For this reason they are "non-denominational", i.e. not subordinate to any umbrella organization that influences the individual local congregations. Each local church is independent and has only to answer to Christ, its head. However, Baptists maintain fellowship with other congregations of the same orientation.
3. Baptists believe: The church is independent of the state.
Baptists strongly advocate the separation of church and state. This separation is clear from the teaching of Christ: Give the emperor what is the emperor's, and God what is God's! (Matthew 22, verse 21). Baptists believe that the idea of a state church, to which the Protestant Reformers still clung to, is a disregard for the teaching of scriptures.
4. Everyone has to answer personally before God.
Neither the priest nor the church can give an account of us to God. No godfather or parent can answer for us. The Bible makes this clear in Romans 14, verse 12: "So everyone will now give account to God for himself." The faith of the parents has no influence on the state of salvation of the children. Even identifying with a religious community cannot save. Everyone has to answer for himself before God.
5. Baptism follows conversion.
So they confess exclusively to the baptism of believers (baptism of faith). None of the reformers, however, adhered to this biblical teaching. The biblical order is very clear: Baptism follows faith and repentance to God. Acts 2, verse 38 describes how Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost: Repent and each of you will be baptized! Since there is no repentance in infant baptism, Baptists reject the baptism of babies and follow the teaching of Christ and the Apostles in baptism by faith.
6. Only those who are born again can be parishioners.
A prerequisite for any “membership” is personal confession of faith in Christ. According to Acts 2, verse 41, in the apostolic church the following applied: Only those who had believed, turned away from their sins and received the word of God were baptized and accepted into the church. So there is no automatic or formal membership in the Baptist church, any more than there was in the New Testament church.
Baptists firmly adhere to the original directives and practices of Christ and the apostles. They are known throughout history for giving their lives for this determination. The following word comes from Hans Denk, a Baptist of the 16th century: “Faith means to be obedient to the word of God, whether for life or death. For many, these beliefs were deadly. Today the Baptists still hold fast to the pure Word of God as a reliable authority in all questions of life. That is why the Baptists also reject all human religious traditions and practices that arose after the time of the apostles. "
(in the English original by Vernon C. Lyons; translated into German by the Baptist Bible Community Germany; revised by the Free Baptist Community, Dresden)
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