"In essentials, unity; In non-essentials, liberty; In all things, charity.'
East McFarland Baptist Church seeks to confess the Christian faith, in accordance with Scripture, as an expression of beliefs for our covenanted membership. While we celebrate and rely heavily upon the saints who have written confessions of faith—such as The Second London Confession (1689), The New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833), and The Baptist Faith and Message (2000)—we submit all such statements to Scripture as our final rule of correct belief and faithful practice. To that end, the following beliefs reflect a biblical understanding of these topics.
We believe there is one true and living God, who is Creator, Redeemer, and is the Sovereign Ruler over all things, working all things according to the counsel of His will, for His own glory, and the benefit of His children. He is one God who is three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – with distinct personal attributes, yet without division in nature, essence, or being.
We believe that the Bible was written by divinely inspired men under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is infallible, inerrant, and the final authority for Christian beliefs and living.
We believe mankind was created in holiness and in the image of God—male and female— but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state out of a right relationship with the Creator and into a nature and experience dictated by sin. As a consequence, sinful man stands opposed to God and, apart from God’s gracious, unmerited mercy, faces the eternal and just wrath of the Almighty.
We believe that salvation is freely given to all who believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and respond through repentance and faith. God justifies believers through the sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the cross, God inflicted the just condemnation of the sinner upon Jesus, and therefore, through the sinner’s belief, He imputes the perfect righteousness and eternal reward of Jesus to the believer. The Holy Spirit guarantees one’s eternal salvation, which cannot be lost despite the believer’s circumstances, decisions, or actions because of the eternal covenant of God with His children.
We believe that followers of Jesus are called to join together in a local covenanted body of baptized believers, gathering under the pure preaching of God’s word, observing the two ordinances of Christ as taught in Scripture, submitting to the authority of God’s Word and to the accountability of fellow believers, and working to carry out the mission of Christ. Its scriptural officers are pastors/elders and deacons as qualified by Scripture.
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It serves as a testimony of faith in Christ for salvation and a symbol of the believer’s fellowship with Christ in His death and resurrection, in which one’s old nature is put off in light of the new nature one has received through Christ. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial act that serves as an encouraging reminder of Christ’s work on the believer’s behalf. It shall be observed with bread that represents the body of Christ, and with wine that represents His blood; broken and shed for the atonement for the believer. It should be observed until He returns.
There are many doctrines of the church that are not primary to an orthodox faith in God, nor are they essential to the salvation of man, yet they are important matters to consider. These statements reflect some beliefs that distinguish East McFarland Baptist Church from other churches, even within the same denominational umbrella. Though we may differ to some degree, we uphold unity under the name of Christ as he is sufficient for salvation, and under the authority of God's Word.
We uphold the Scriptural precedent that baptism must only be observed upon the justification and regeneration of the believer. It is only upon the acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord that one can be saved, and therefore give testimony of being raised to new life in Christ.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see on display in the New Testament are still active within the life of the church. These gifts did not end with the close of the New Testament or the death of the last apostle.
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are distinct by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church. As it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to lead; however, the office of pastor and elder is reserved for qualified men.
God designed sexual intimacy for the marriage relationship between a husband and wife and does not endorse or condone it in any other context. Consequently, any sexual expression outside of heterosexual marriage is prohibited by Scripture.