A member of the Baptist Religion may be described as a Christian who believes in a theology and belongs to a church that holds to adult baptism (as opposed to infant baptism). Baptist can include a local church, denomination or other group of individuals.
Baptist churches are autonomous and hold a wide variety of beliefs and practices and choose to associate with groups that provide support without control.
There are two main associations, are the Baptist World alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The word Baptist is a derivative of a Greek word and is defined as “to baptize, wash, dip, immerse” and is in direct correlation to John the Baptist. The word Baptist was adopted in England as early as 1569.
There are more than 220,000 congregations worldwide and have over 110 million adherents. In fact one in five Christians in the United States claim to be a Baptist.
Baptists believe that baptism is a symbolic display of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. When a person who has been saved and confessed his belief in Jesus submits to baptism, that person is publicly identifying with Christ, is burying past sinful thought and action, and resurrection in the newness of life, to walk with Christ the remainder of their days.
Baptists for the most part share orthodox Christian beliefs and they believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ at which time God will judge humanity and divide humanity between the saved and the lost.
Most Baptists believe in the “Four Freedoms”.
Soul Freedom The soul is competent before God, and capable of making decisions in matters of faith without coercion or compulsion by any larger religious or civil body.
Church Freedom Freedom of the local church from outside interference, whether government or civilian only if the law interferes with religious teachings and church practices.
Bible Freedom The individual is free to interpret the Bible for himself or herself, using the best tools of scholarship and biblical study available to the individual.
Religious Freedom The individual is free to choose whether to practice their religion, another religion, or no religion. The separation of church and state is often called the civil corollary of religious freedom.
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