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5 Beliefs That Set Southern Baptists Apart From Other Protestant Christians

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:06 PM

Southern Baptists are part of the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination within the United States.

Membership in the Southern Baptist Convention numbers more than 15.7 million people, according to Religion News Service.

This means Southern Baptists significantly influence how many Christians interpret the Bible and its teachings.

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Southern Baptists embrace Christian fundamentalist teachings on God and the Bible. This gives them several beliefs, outlined in the Baptist Faith and Message, that set them apart from other traditional Protestant denominations

1. Biblical Literalism

Southern Baptists believe that the Bible is the word of God and contains no errors. It is the sole rule of faith. For this reason, Southern Baptists embrace a literal interpretation of biblical stories, such as the fall of Adam and Eve or the Flood.

These stories are considered mostly symbolic by liberal Protestant denominations.

2. Believer's Baptism

Unlike other major Protestant denominations like Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians, Southern Baptists do not practice infant baptism. Southern Baptists practice believer's baptism.

A person must accept Jesus as their lord and savior and then be fully baptized by immersion, as Jesus was in the New Testament, to wash away their sins.

3. Baptism by Immersion

Since baptism by immersion was the mode of baptism used by the early Christians in the New Testament, Southern Baptists use this mode of baptism alone. They see it as an ordinance symbolizing Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and also a believer's commitment to follow Jesus.

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Sprinkling and pouring are not acceptable for baptism.

4. Male-only Leadership

Women have an active role in Southern Baptist churches. They can participate in many areas of church service, such as serving on boards, faculties, and mission teams. Women are not permitted to serve as ministers. Men alone are ordained to be pastors.

5. Missionary Work

Southern Baptists engage much more actively in missionary work compared to moderate or liberal Protestant denominations.

They take seriously the commission of Jesus to his apostles in the New Testament to make disciples of all nations and believe that commission applies equally to modern believers.

Thousands of Southern Baptists are engaged in missionary work worldwide through the denomination's Cooperative Program.

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Southern Baptists are part of the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination within the United States. Southern Baptists embrace fundamentalist Christian teachings, which gives them several beliefs that set them apart from other traditional Protestant denominations.
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Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:06 PM
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