Why "Anabaptist" instead of "Independent Baptist" or "Baptist" or any other name?
- Names Have Meaning. We chose Antioch because of its rich heritage described in the book of Acts. We chose Anabaptist for the same reason: It's rich heritage of biblical fidelity.
Anabaptist is what baptists used to be called. We are not like the Amish or Mennonites who also call themselves "Anabaptist". We are Baptist in our essential doctrine and Bible believing Christians in our faith and practice. That differentiates us from many present day churches.
- We Refuse Labels. We're neither Calvinistic or Arminian, liberal or conservative. Truth is timeless, and we seek to remain faithful to Scripture, not groups, movements, denominations or current trends. We seek identification with truth, the truth that is in Jesus, and God's word, not any tradition or trend, whether old or contemporary.
- Caring and Committed Community. The Church, wherever it assembles locally, should be zealously evangelistic, fervent in edification and effectively equipping believers for the work of the ministry. We strive to care well for each other and those whose path we cross. In everything, at all times, and in every place, we seek to glorify and magnify Jesus Christ.
- Being Authentic Matters. When one exchanges his or her sin, self, and "life", for Christ's (born again), everything changes! We’re accountable to being authentic, not detached, distant or “plastic”. We don't seek to place everyone in a mold; we do seek to draw closer together. For that to happen, everyone has to yield graciously to what benefits us all.
We seek genuine Christianity, reasonably, fervently and humbly lived, in a modern context. Flawed in many ways, we’re a work in progress, yet seeking to make progress. Jesus' plan and priorities should be generously, joyfully and fervently embraced and central to all we think, say and do. You can sample some the content of the messages here.
- Distinct Yet Not Withdrawn. We seek to make the grace of God observable in our church, our families, and in each of our lives. We seek to give Christ and "Christian" a good name.
What follows are some of the important positions we hold that make us who we are as baptists:
The Bible Is Our Sole Source of Authority for Beliefs and Behaviors. God's word is secure and sufficient. We must obey God rather than men and view God as having all authority. Therefore, we cooperate with but do not usurp the legitimate but limited jurisdictions of family, state, and church that God has established. All are answerable and accountable to God and His word.
Qualifications for Local Church Membership: Regeneration (newness of life / witness of Spirit), and Baptism by Immersion. Belief precedes baptism. Baptism does not save. Baptism is the new believer’s public identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the biblical mode is immersion. Reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus Christ produces newness of life, through the new birth, and is evidenced by a fundamentally changed life. God’s Holy, indwelling Spirit changes a person who is regenerated, producing a new manner of life.
Two Ordinances: Baptism by Immersion and the Lord’s Supper. In that order. Both are memorials to an inward reality produced by the faith of Jesus Christ. Neither are a means of obtaining or maintaining one's salvation. The Lord has placed upon the regenerate these commands to keep in remembrance the relational (not ritualistic) life of the New Testament local church. Before one participates in the Lord’s Supper, they must be born-again, and then baptized.
The Independence / Autonomy of the Local Church. The church is a spiritual (not legal) body of believers that assembles locally under the authority of biblically qualified and ordained leadership (not denominational boards or presbyteries), to exercise their God given spiritual gifts to advance the plan and priorities expressed by God in His Word.
The Priesthood of the Believers. The church is a spiritual body, made up of regenerate individuals pledging mutual aid and comfort to other believers, including fellowship and accountability one toward another. It is the community of the saved, a private (not public) assembly. Believers are God's ministers of reconciliation to all, regardless of color, class or culture. Every believer has direct access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ alone, but is to live in vital union and communion with others in the local church.
Soul Liberty. Christians worship God and practice their beliefs by faith and fidelity to the Scriptures, not compulsion of clergy, governments or others. We are to worship freely according to the dictates of heart and conscience. While Anabaptists have been persecuted for their beliefs, they do not persecute others, but rather seek to persuade. Those joining the local church should be of similar mind and practice for unity’s sake.
Separation of Church & State. God, who retains all power, has delegated legitimate but limited authority to the family, church and state. Each jurisdiction is under the authority of God’s word. These cooperate, but do not commingle. When a conflict of control arises, the Bible is to be obeyed. The church is the jurisdiction God uses to instruct state and family in God’s Word and ways.
The church seeks no permission from government to exist, assemble or advance God’s directives. She is commanded to do so by God. The state is given limited authority as “the minister of God for good” and the minister of God to be a “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” The two exist in cooperation, not usurpation, nor comingling.
Anabaptists are willing to patiently suffer persecution by resisting unbiblical advances and directives by ignorant, indignant or indifferent governments. The church is the pillar and ground of truth and graciously urges the truth of God's word and the gospel upon all. She entrusts her provision and protection to God. We do not believe in pacifism (non-resistance). We practice non-aggression meaning we will not initiate violence unless necessary to defend life, limb or property.
Ecclesiastical Separation. The church is to separate from the deep compromise of other churches, para-church ministries, apostasy and ecumenical trends. We seek biblical preservation and partnership in the gospel commission with likeminded brethren, and not “fellowship” and “unity” at any cost. This is done in love, not arrogance, believing God’s word concerning separation from extreme error and worldly trends as necessary and healthy for the edification of the believers and powerful witness to the world.
Separation from the World. Ungodly or materialistic propensities and philosophies found in culture, traditions, media, education, entertainment, etc. are to be rejected. Biblical Christianity is, in a sense, counter-culture - a Christo-centric culture, not subject to current trends or perceptions. We seek to proclaim scriptural beliefs with credibility by living biblically relevant lives, separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel ministry, being always led by His Holy Spirit.
Discipleship & Discipline. Christ-centered discipleship and discipline are necessary to keep the church orderly, purposeful, pure and powerful in advancement of the glorious gospel. She is to be evangelistic, not materialistic; outward, not inward; assertive not reserved and, therefore, at times, persecuted for righteousness’ sake! Those who join the local church, also submit themselves to the authority and accountability of those believers they join themselves to.
Mission.The Church is to preach, practice and preserve the ways of Christ – promoting them as blessed truth and the manner for which God has designed all humans to live. We live like Christ, love like Christ, labor for Christ, and lift up and magnify Christ.
The church is to be assertive with the gospel, while also gracious. She is to urge the gospel upon all without discrimination or partiality. All have access to the glorious gospel. Therefore, our call and commission is to all. Those whose lives have been ruined by sin, can be recovered. What sin and rebellion has ruined, Christ can rebuild. That is our message because that is our own experience.
You can learn more about what we believe here: