Keeping in mind the Baptist understanding that no statement of faith can ever be definitive and that it is not in any way binding on our members, the following statement has been written and used in our church, and gives a good feel for the flavour of our beliefs:
We believe in God, who made the world
and reaches out to it
with a love fierce and passionate, tender and kind.
We believe in Jesus the Christ
– God revealed in a human life.
He touched the untouchable,
pardoned the unforgivable,
and unmasked the powers that enslave us.
In fear and arrogance
we cast him, lifeless, into the grave,
and with him went our hopes of salvation.
Raised by God,
he is parting the sea of evil and despair
and leading us across
into the land of freedom and promise.
We believe in the Holy Spirit
– God’s mysterious presence with us –
whose breathing gives life;
whose fire purges and renews;
whose wisdom surprises, prompts and questions,
awakening courage, humour and hope.
We believe in ourselves;
made in the image of God
and growing to wholeness in Christ.
Gathered by the Spirit,
we have been baptised into a common life:
a life laid open to all;
overflowing with love and mercy;
richer than mind can measure,
but appearing foolish to the world.
And we trust that the foolishness of God
will prove wiser than the wisdom of the world,
and that the suffering of God will heal the earth
and fulfil our hopes of justice and peace.
In fact, the affirmation of faith that we use most often in our church is the Apostles’ Creed which we sing together most Sundays. Like most Baptists, we think creeds are for singing, not for signing! The Apostles’ Creed dates back at least to the 4th century and probably to the 2nd. The English text is as follows:
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
English translation © 1988 (ELLC)
If you want to read a more extensive discussion of our our beliefs, you can find one here.