Northside Baptist Church is a Baptist Church. While we don't make a big deal of that, we recognize that many of the people visiting us might have been raised in a different kind of church and Baptist is new to them. We thought it would be helpful for those not from a Baptist background to know of the traditional distinctives of a Baptist church. These distinctives are not individually unique to a Baptist church, you may have experienced them in other churches, but collectively they have come to differentiate Baptist churches from other Christian churches.
The Bible is the sole and sufficient authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16).
Autonomy of the Local Church
Each local church is sovereign in and of itself and cannot be controlled by any board, hierarchical system, or another church (Acts 15) and has the responsibility for electing its own officers (Acts 6:1-7), sending out missionaries (Acts 13:1-4; 14:26-27) and exercising final authority in disciplinary matters (Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).
Priesthood of Believers
Every believer in Christ may pray directly to God without a human intercessor (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15-16).
Believer's baptism is a step of obedience which identifies him with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (Acts 2:41-42; 10:48; Romans 6:3-4); the Lord's Supper was instituted by Jesus as a memorial to His death which is to be practiced by believers until His return (Matthew 26:26-30; Acts 2:41-43; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Individual Soul Liberty
Every man has the right to interpret the Scriptures and worship according to the dictates of his own conscience (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Saved, Immersed Church Membership
The membership of a New Testament local church is to consist of only those who have openly confessed Jesus Christ as Savior and have demonstrated a willingness to obey the teachings of the Bible by following the Lord in believer's baptism (Acts 2:41, 47).
There are only two offices in the local church which are recognized and required by the Bible, Pastor and Deacon (Acts 6:1-7; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9).
Separation of Church and State
Every believer should respect, sustain, and pray for civil authority (Romans 13:1 7; 1 Tim. 2:1-3; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17), and should obey it so long as it does not violate Scripture (Acts 5:29). The state should protect, but never dominate the affairs of the church (Matthew 22:21).