Southern Baptists (like me) are a part of a group of over 16M people who have joined together for a common mission. We don’t have a prescriptive doctrinal statement, but we do have the Baptist Faith & Message which is a summary of the beliefs of the 45,000 churches in fellowship. There are 7-principles that have been distinctively Baptist throughout the years.
Biblical authority, Autonomy of the local church, Priesthood of all believers, Two ordinances (believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper), Individual soul liberty, Separation of Church and State, and Two offices of the church (pastor and deacon)
#1 Biblical Authority
God’s word is a standard that will last, it will not change, it is an anchor to build your life upon:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
God’s word is what changes people, it is the basis by which transformation occurs:
you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God
The Bible is God’s word and is truth without error. It is the primary tool he has given to teach us how to live life, to help us realize when we’re off track, to lead us back to his way, and to equip us for all the things he wants us to do:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
The final authority in the life of a Baptist is the Bible. You can talk about “this person” who teaches “that,” or present a coherent logical/philosophical argument, but ultimately, the text of God’s word (primarily the New Testament) is the final word. We believe that truth comes from revelation and depends on our proper interpretation of the Scriptures.
If you want to convince this Baptist, show me where you’re right in the Bible.