Baptists? What do they believe?

Hi all! I am a devout RC who’s 1 yr old babysitter is a member of the Maranatha Baptist Church. I’m curious about their theology and any info I can find out about the Baptists, history, etc.



I think a 1 year old is too young to be a babysitter. :smiley:
Oh, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. :slight_smile:

For one thing there are about 2500 different denominations of Baptists. Basically they do not believe in infant baptism and baptism is by full immersion. What Catholics consider sacraments are strictly symbols to a Baptist, but then its depends on which church you belong to. Most Baptist do not smoke or drink and are adamantly anti-Catholic.

Your best bet is to go to your local library for information.


Shalom Aleichem

Like all Protestants they believe in Sola Fide (salvation by faith alone) and Sole Scriptura (the Bible is the only source for our faith). Salvation to the Baptist is a one time event. Baptists are always encouraged to give their testamonies as to when they got “saved”. They can state the time and place. Baptism takes place after this event. Once your are “saved” you can never be unsaved again no matter what you do later in life. If someone turns out to be very bad after being “saved” they will say he was never really saved in the first place.

Sunday school is very important to the Baptists. They have classes for all ages from birth on, no one is too old for Sunday School… Children are encouraged to memorize scripture especially passages that can help save people, like John 3:16 and Rev. 3:20.

I hope this helps.

My experience has been that if they find you to know your faith and to be able to articulate your points and rebut theirs, the conversation will be short lived.

Just my experience though.

In Christ.

Baptists believe in the privilege of the individual believer to interpret Scripture for himself.

But woe betide the individual whose interpretation differs markedly from those around him!

Yes, I have been trying to reopen a line of communication with a co-worker who said to me rather offended, “Are you telling me I’m not saved?”. When I told him that salvation was not a one time event, but a process.

Basically they have a catholic base. Generally they try hard to separate themselves from us. They often preach against Rome. They also allow divorce and remarriage which plays well in the US. However the result of this is they argue with each other over many issues.

If you know, specifically what Baptist denomination she is, then there is a book called the “Handbook of Denominations in the United States” published by Mead/Hill that gives a basic belief outline to most all of the Protestant faiths.

I have a copy, if you let me know which specific flavor of Baptist, I will post the contents for you.

Maranatha. I did a google search and apparently, Jimmy Carter is one too.

Ironically, some and I’m almost willing to say most, Baptist religions do not believe that Baptism is even a requirement to salvation. I have been to many Baptist Churches, dated a Baptist preachers daughter which was always interesting. In all of the Baptist Churches I have been in, the preacher would say stand up, close your eyes and just accept Jesus into your heart, ask for his forgiveness and you will be saved.

I’m standing there looking around like…umm, thats it?

There is a branch called Free Will Baptist that does not hold to eternal security/Once Saved, Always Saved. There may be other random Baptists out there as well, but I know for sure the Free Will Baptists believe one can forfeit their salvation through unrepentant sin. I used to be an Independent Fundamental Baptist, and knew those Free Will Baptists were wrong about that. :blush:

There’s an acronym that Baptists like to use, which sums up their theology fairly well, even with their 57 varieties of other doctrines and practices:

B**iblical Authority (aka Sola Scriptura)
Autonomy of the local church - no heirarchy
Priesthood of the believer
Two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both symbolic and not sacramental
Individual Soul Liberty - everyone can read their Bible and decide for themselves what to believe
Saved, baptized church membership
Two offices in the church, pastor and deacon
Separation of church and state

Baptists (all Baptists) have completely discarded the sacraments. Instead they have two rituals the call Ordinances. Baptism by submerrsion for mature beleivers only, and the “Lord’s Supper” which they observe not celebrate only 4 times a year, with little bread pellets and tiny shot glasses full of grape juice. They pass trays of these things back and forth between the pews and everyone eats and drinks sitting down.

IMHO, in discarding the sacraments (ordinances are only symbolic) they have boiled their religion down to only one thing “gettin saved” It does not matter if you have been baptised, confessed, confirmed, had first communion etc, as long as you don’t get saved you will go straight to hell.

Baptists believe that if you don’t agree with them and get saved you are not a Christian. It is not uncommon to hear a Baptist say "I know a hand full if Catholics who are Christian.

That’s true. I’ve always thought it was ironic that Baptists don’t think baptism is necessary. But, of course, one of the first things they do is baptize you.

I spent some time away from the CC and went to a couple of Baptist churches. At one, the preacher walked around before the service and introduced himself to new faces. He shook my hand and asked if I was a Christian. I said, “yes, I was raised Catholic.” He immediately let go of my hand and looked at me like I was a leper. After the service, he stopped me at the door and asked me if I had accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and I said, “of course, I told you I was raised Catholic.” He looked confused.:shrug:

That is somthing that was always ironic to me. Baptists are not very interested in whether you are baptised or not. But if you do get baptised in one of their churches they are very particular about it. First you have to get saved, and then you have to be the right age, and if you are not baptised by total submerrsion, you aren’t baptised at all.

But I’m probably being unfair, most Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and “non denominational” churches beleive the same.

Actually, there is a Baptist church in Highland, KY that is very liturgical. It’s a rare bird, for sure, but they do have a beautiful sanctuary.

I grew up in a similar faith to Baptist, a little more strict but they at least believed that baptism was part of the package.

Dating the daughter of a Baptist preacher was interesting though, even though our faiths were similar. They always enjoyed asking me, well what does your Church think about this or that. As soon as I answered they would let out this annoying chuckle and the debate was on.

From what I know of Baptists, Baptism is not necessary for salvation but it is necessary to make you a Baptist. It’s like a membership ritual into any organization, even though they use the form that Jesus commanded.

The book I have doesn’t list Maranatha Baptist as a separate denomination but I googled Maranatha Baptist in New Jersey and found the following information on the webpage of the Maranatha Baptist Church in Hazlet, NJ. As the “About Us” section implies, a lot of “Baptist” churches are really “independent evangelical” churches with a history of being affiliated at one time with one or another of the Baptist Associations.

I will have to post this in two posts due to the length of the information. Let me know if this helps. God Bless.

About Us

The name, “Maranatha,” is actually a short prayer that means, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Our founders established our church with a focus on Christ, believing He is our only hope to find purpose and meaning for today and for the future.

We are an independent, evangelical church that began in June of 1962. Our heritage is Baptist and as such, we are convinced that God’s Word, the Bible, is our final source for truth and our greatest guide for living.

God has given us a new vision to be a source of hope and grace for individuals as they wrestle with life’s questions and difficulties. As God has blessed us, so we offer the resources we have for the benefit of our community as we walk life’s road together.

What We Believe
The Word of God

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority on everything it declares to be true.

We believe every word to be fully inspired of God and should be interpreted by seeking the original intent of each biblical author. Historical and grammatical context, word usage, and literary features must be taken into account and Scripture is to interpret Scripture.

Pr. 30:5-6; Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 24:25; John 10:35; 1 Cor. 2:13-14; I Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pe. 1:20-21

The Trinity

We believe in one God, creator and sustainer of all things, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent in being. We believe that while each person of the Trinity is equal, each person executes distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.

Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10-11; Matt. 3:16-17; 5:48; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Col. 1:15-17; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 11:3

Doctrine of God

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe He is the creator of all and that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10-11; John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 12:4-6

Doctrine of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son and that He has precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe further that Jesus is not only true God, but true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He was tempted in every area, but lived a life without sin. He died in our place as a substitution to satisfy the righteousness and holiness of God.

We believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, His present role as High Priest and Intercessor on behalf of His people, and in His personal, visible, and pre-millennial return to Earth.

Matt. 1, 18-25; Phil. 2:6-8; I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:8, 2:14-17, 4:15, 8:1; 1 Peter 2:22-24; 3:18; I John 2:1 Rev. 20:6

Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, that He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation, and permanently indwells them. His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, convict individuals of sin, and empower and lead the believer towards godly living and service. Such service is enabled through the Spirit’s sovereign distribution of spiritual gifts. While there are a variety of spiritual gifts, they are given for one purpose: to mature and build up the Church. Finally, as some gifts were given primarily for the founding of the church, we do not believe they are normative today.

John 14:16, 17; I Cor. 12:7, 11, 13; Eph. 2:20, 4:11-13; Heb. 2:3-4

Here is the second half of the previous post…


We believe man, both male and female, was directly created by God in His image and likeness. In his original state, man was free from sin. We believe sin is anything contrary to the character of God and it harms both the individual and the relationships surrounding the individual Through Adam’s voluntary act of disobedience against God, man fell from that original state, forfeiting his fellowship with God and incurring the penalty of physical and spiritual death. The consequence is that all people are born sinners. By nature and by choice, man remains spiritually dead and his soul is destined for a conscious eternity apart from God.

Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 1:28, 31; 1 Cor 15:33; Gal. 5:12, 19-21; Rev. 20:10, 21:8


We believe Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s salvation which was purchased by Christ on the cross. Through His sacrifice, He took on Himself the sins of all mankind and died in our place. We also believe eternal life is a free gift of God, apart from any human merit, works, or ritual. By grace, any person may obtain this gift by confessing faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. We further believe salvation once possessed, can never be lost or forfeited.

John 1:12, 10:27-29; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8- 9; I John 2:2; I Peter 1:3-5, 2:24

**The Church
We believe the Church is a creation of the Holy Spirit, appointed and directed by God and under the authority of Jesus Christ as the head. The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and, as such, are called “Christians.” Each Christian is a member of the “Universal Church” but as God brings Christians together in any given area they must unite and form a local church.

We believe the local church is God’s method for disciple-making and the context through which individual believers can best exercise their gifts, talents, and abilities. The congregation meets for the purposes of worship, instruction, fellowship, evangelism, and service and is to be organized under the leadership of spiritually qualified men who serve as Elders. Both leaders and individual members have a responsibility to mature and become equipped as disciples of Christ.

We believe baptism and the Lord’s Supper are Christ’s only ordinances for the church and believers are to be obedient in regard to both. We believe immersion is the best expression of believer’s baptism because it best symbolizes the individual’s identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the desire to walk in newness of life. We further believe the Lord’s Supper, using the bread and cup, is a commemoration of the Lord’s sacrifice which is to be celebrated regularly until He comes again.

Matt. 28:19; Acts 2: 4, 47; 8: 36-37; Rom. 6: 3-5; I Cor. 11:23-26; Eph. 4:11-13. 5:29; Heb. 10: 24-25

Community & Conscience

We believe that each local church is self-governing in function, and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. While each church must agree on its own core doctrine, the interdependence of local churches is both reasonable and wise when different congregations share a common mission to reach their communities for Christ.

We believe in the mutual submission of believers to each other in love and that love is the defining characteristic of true Christians. We further believe every human being is directly responsible to God in matters of faith and life. In those areas not explicit in Scripture, each person should be free to worship and serve God according to the dictates of his or her conscience.

Mark 9:35-41; John 13:35; Acts 14:23; Rom 14:1-12; 1 Cor 8:9-13; Eph 5:21; Col 1:16; Titus 1:5

Future Things

We believe God has a plan for future events involving both the saved and the lost. At the moment of death, the saved enter into the joyous presence of Christ; the lost enter into eternal pain. We also believe in two resurrections; the resurrection of the just to eternal life and the resurrection of the unjust to condemnation.

We believe Christ will return at any point in time to take His Church to heaven followed by a worldwide Tribulation. At the end of this time the lost shall be judged at the Great White Throne and the saved shall spend eternity in the presence of Christ. He will establish an earthly thousand-year reign followed by a new heavens and earth.

Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:22-23; 23:43; John 14:2-3; Phil. 1:23; I Thess. 4:13-18; II Thess. 2:1 -12; Rev. 3:10, 5:10, 19:11-16, 20:6-15; 21:1

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