The following paragraphs simply summarize what we believe as a church family. We believe the Bible and teach it to be perfectly true. Every belief and teaching of Abundant Harvest Baptist flows from God’s Word.
HISTORIC BAPTIST PRINCIPLES
A Baptist is a born-again Christian whose beliefs regarding the Bible and its teachings can tend to differentiate him from many other professed Christians. Strictly speaking, Baptists are not Protestants. Our spiritual forefathers were in existence long before the Reformation. Bible believers have held these basic truths from the Scriptures that have identified them apart from both the Catholic Church and Protestants throughout recorded history back to the first century, even though they have been known by various other group names, including Ana-Baptists, Paulicians, Waldensians, etc.Being in agreement with the historical doctrinal position of Baptist Churches, we choose to be called a “Baptist Church,” until at such time this name shall be wholly associated with apostasy, heresy and teachings contrary to the historical Baptist principles listed:(A) The pre-eminence of Jesus Christ as our Divine Lord and Master. He is the only Head over, and Lawgiver to, His churches. Local churches cannot make laws of God, but only execute those which He has given. We will not submit to any self-claimed religious leader, official or overlord, nor to any system of ecclesiastical machinery among our churches. Jesus is to be Lord in both our lives and our churches.
(B) The supreme authority of the Bible as God's only divine, complete, and infallible revelation. It is sufficient as our only guide and standard of authority in all matters of faith, practice, and morals; whatever it teaches is to be believed and whatever it commands is to be obeyed; whatever it commends is to be accepted as both right and useful; whatever it condemns is to be avoided as both wrong and hurtful; but what it neither commands nor teaches is not to be imposed on the conscience as of religious obligation.
(C) The competency of the individual soul to approach God and to interpret the Word of God according to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It is the privilege of every person to read and understand the Bible for himself, without dictation from, or dependence on anyone, being responsible to God alone for his use of the sacred truth.
(D) All born-again believers are their own priests having Jesus Christ as their High Priest, who alone can mediate between man and God. Because we are priests, according to Scripture, we may approach God, pray to Him, and worship Him freely and fully at any time. We need no other human intermediary since we have direct access to God through Christ.
(E) The Church membership is to be made up of only born-again individuals, who having understood their sinfulness, and need of a Saviour, have by faith alone, repented of their sinfulness, and trusted in Christ as God's own way of salvation, and then been Scripturally baptized by full immersion in water.
(F) There is to be absolute separation of Church and State. No organic union of the two can be accepted. The Church should neither ask for, nor accept of, support from civil authorities, since to do so would imply the right of the same civil dictation and control. The support of the Church belongs to those who belong to it. Because Human Government is of divine appointment, we are to be subject to and obey those vested with governmental authority in all secular matters, but not contrary to conscience and the Word of God. But, civil governments, rulers and magistrates have no right of dictation to, of control over, or of interference with the practice of a Christian’s faith, so long as one does not intrude upon, interfere with, or do injustice to the basic rights of others.
(G) The practice of one's faith is to be free and voluntary, based solely upon one’s conscience, both in respect as to beliefs, worship and service; neither conformity to, nor support of religion in any form should be Church or State mandated. Christian faith and practice are matters of conscience and personal choice, and not subject to official dictation; and for either civil or ecclesiastical authority to enforce conformity, physically punish dissent, or compel the support of any form of worship, is a crime against the right of man, is an assumption of divine prerogatives on the part of humans, and is treason against Christ, the only Lord of the conscience and Sovereign of the soul.
(H) The local congregation of believers is to be completely autonomous. Each local church assembly is, with God's enabling, to be self-governing, and independent of all other churches, and of all persons and bodies of men whatever, as to the administration of its own affairs. In the realm of spiritual matters, it has the right to be free from any other human authority, whether civil or ecclesiastical.
(I) There are only Two Church Offices: Pastor (which is another word for bishop or elder), and Deacon. There are no archbishops, Vicars, Nuns, priests, or anything else that would imply a hierarchy. A Baptist Church is composed simply of brethren (Matthew 23:8), with shepherds (pastors) leading them as they all follow Jesus Christ by obeying the commands of the Word of God, the Bible.
These basic principles identify a Baptistic type of church throughout history.
STATEMENT OF FAITHThe following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
(A) The Bible
We believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God. We believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation. We believe that God not only inspired every word, but that He has preserved them through the ages. (Psalm 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
We believe in one God; Who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable. We believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance; yet manifest Himself to man in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:41; 1 Timothy 1:!7; 1 John 4:4)
(C) Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus Christ to be the one and only Saviour of mankind. We believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin-born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purpose of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s kingdom. We believe Jesus Christ never relinquished any attributes of His Deity, but merely veiled them. We believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection. We believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father and is now waiting for the time of receiving His church at the rapture, which is followed by His return seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years. (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25, 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:2; 1 John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6)
(D) The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and al the attributes of Deity. We believe the Holy Spirit has always been involved in the affairs of mankind; however, we believe He has a special ministry that began at Pentecost and will continue until the rapture. This ministry includes reproving the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit was also sent to regenerate, sanctify, seal, and fill all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. (Genesis 1:2; John 3:5-6, 14:16; Acts 1:5, 11:15; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19-20, 12:13)
(E) Sin and Salvation
We believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam. We believe that because of his nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power. We believe the only hope of deliverance is a total change of mind concerning his sinful condition and inability to change it, and a turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. We believe that only thorough the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered form his sin. We believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the lake of fire. (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19, 16:31; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-12, 6:23, 10:19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14)
(F) The New Testament Church
We believe that the church began with the calling out of the twelve apostles by Jesus Christ and was empowered on the day of Pentecost. We believe Jesus Christ commanded every born again Christian to assemble together in local, physical, visible places (Matt 18:20; Heb 10:25) for the purpose of worship, preaching, gathering of offerings, sending out missionaries (Acts 13), evangelizing (Matt 28:19,20), baptizing new converts, and edification. We believe that all Christians are part of Jesus Christ's "body" (Rom 12:5; Col 1:18), which is also called "the church", but that that "body" has not assembled yet, but will, in heaven (Heb 12:22,23). We believe all true believers will be taken up at the rapture, just prior to the tribulation. (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15, 2:41-43, 11:15, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14, 5:25-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 3:4-15)
(G) The Last Days
We believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context. We believe in the pre-tribuational rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year tribulation. We believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule of one thousand years. Following this one thousand year reign is the Great White Throne judgment and then the new heaven and new earth. (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22)
We believe that all saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations. We believe that this separation is not isolation from unsaved persons, but is living in such a way that there is a clear distinction between the love of the world and love of the Father. The leaders in the church should manifest character that is exemplary in conduct. Both in the church services and in daily life, Christians should dress in a way that is clearly marked by modesty and a distinction between the sexes. (Romans 12:1-1; 14:13; 1 Timothy 2:8-10, Deuteronomy 22:5, 1 Corinthians 11:14-15; 1 Timothy 3:1-6)
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the gap theory, the day-age theory, theistic evolution, and intelligent design not attributed ot God as unscriptural theories of origin. (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11)
(J) Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic instructions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced these responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:12-14)
(K) Human Sexuality
1. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. (Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
2. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2, 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)
(L) Family Relationships
1. We believe that men and woman are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and in the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (elders and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12)
2. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage form the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4, Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
(M) Divorce and Remarriage
1. We believe that God disapproves of and hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. A true Bible-believing Christian does not advocate, advance, encourage, promote, or champion divorce. However, divorced persons are not second class Christians just because of a failed marriage. If a person has done wrong in the past, there can be forgiveness at the cross.
2. We believe there are scriptural grounds for divorce. This does not mean that a person should divorce, but that God made provisions for divorce. Divorce is a dissolving of a marriage. Technically speaking, death causes a “divorce” of a couple. Both parties are scripturally and legally considered single. Divorce is allowed when the sin of sexual immorality is involved. Additionally, divorce is allowed if an unbelieving spouse leaves and deserts.
3. We believe that if a person has legitimate scriptural grounds for divorce, in the eyes of our Lord they are single. The previously married man has no wife, and the previously married wife has no husband. Throughout Scripture, when a divorce is scriptural and allowed, remarriage is also allowed. If a scriptural divorce takes place, the person is “loosed” and there are Biblical grounds for remarriage. (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; 1 Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 28; 1 Peter 3:1-6)
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God command us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10, 17-21, 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
(P) Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possess all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christians’ insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude form every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20)
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support this local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should give sacrificially and cheerfully as God has prospered them to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 timothy 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a fit of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Matthew 5:21; Acts 17:28)
The Bible itself is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice of what we believe.