We live in a "church world" that is dominated by designations. Splits, and splits of splits, have put the church in a place where denominationalism and personal labels have colored the lenses of all of our glasses, so that we put people, or churches, into a box immediately simply based upon the titles that they have on their signs, or in their names. It has been the trend, thus, to avoid labels, in order to avoid the negative and unfair stigmas that often, even without intent, immediately color our peception of that church.
But not everything can be sacrificed on the altar of poor examples and unbiblical implementations. One can hardly call himself a "Christian" today with inadvertantly placing himself under the umbrella of some heresy, but that doesn't change the fact that we are "Christians", a label received of Jesus' followers at Antioch and proudly warn by God's people throughout the generations.
We are a church that is Baptist by conviction. It is not that we gladly associate with all that Baptist are known for, or all they have become, but that historically Baptists have held various distinctives that we also hold. The typical pneumonic concerning the Bapist distincitves are as follows:
orn again, baptized church membership
utonomy of the local church
riesthood of the believer
wo Scriptural church officers (pastor and deacons)
nspired Scriptures as the only authority for faith and practice
eparation (personal, ecclesiastical, and of church and state)
wo Scriptural church ordinances (Baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper)
ecurity of the believer forever
We hold, and contend for, these distinctives because we believe the Bible teaches them. The Bible is our only rule of faith and practice. We do not rely upon tradition, opinion, or ritual to define our operation. We build upon Biblical teaching careful application of sound Biblical principles to arrive at each element of church operation. Where the Bible is ambigous, we carefully apply Biblical principles to arrive at the place where we believe God's Word is best represented, and God is most well pleased.