Baptists > Distinctives > Biblical Authority
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"Sola Scripturea"
  It's Latin and it means that we hold to the "Scriptures only" as our sole rule of faith and practice.
   The fundamental doctrine that forms the basis of the Baptist belief system is that of the Scriptures being the one and only authoritative source of truth revealed by God.  All Baptists agree on this foundational cornerstone of their faith.
   "Sola scriptura"
   In stark contrast to the Roman Catholic view of placing tradition above the Word of God, Bible believing Baptists at the opposite end of the spectrum with the Protestant denominations falling wherever they may in between.
   Furthermore, creeds hold little significance, although, they might contain the truths of God.  Even a statement of faith is arguable and may be changed as any independent congregation has the right to do.  Let all men's interpretations of Scripture be suspect, especially those as seen through unregenerated eyes.  Only the Scriptures as they stand will do.  You will never ever talk a Baptist out of the supremecy of the Scriptures in all things as their sole rule of faith.  Of that you can be absolutely sure.
  "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."   ~ Hebrews 4:12 
   Biblical inerrancy is a common position held by fundamentalist Baptists.  The view that the Bible is to be understood in literal terms is also woven into the fabric of the fundamentalists.  However, due to the varied cross-sections of governmental rule in our churches, those who do not identify themselves as being fundamentalist prefer the term inspired ("God breathed") rather than literalism to describe scripture.
   This recognized variation between the more conservative and moderate groups has created tension and sometimes in-fighting between them.  Nevertheless, in contrast to most Protestant denominations and especially Roman Catholocism, even the moderate Baptists can only be desribed as Bible believers in every sense of the term.
   It is their total reliance on the Scriptures that gives rise to every other doctrine, destinctive, and rule of practice that places them under the same banner.  They are not only joined at the hip but at the heart and soul, whether they care to admit it or not.
   "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
                                                                          ~ 2nd Timothy 3:16 
   Now comes an even more intriguing insight into the Baptist mindset.
   The Scriptures clearly state that Jesus is the Word and that the Word is Jesus.  Both are One in the same.  Therefore, to place one's faith in either is to do so with both.  They are inseperable.
   Therefore, this doctrine concludes that all Scripture points toward the Saviour, whether that be the Old Testament in prophesying His coming, the Gospels in telling His story, or the New Testament in declaring His Salvation and someday return to call away His church. 
   The Scriptures are "His-story."
   That is what the Bible says.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."   ~ John 1:14 
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Slippage Questions: The Authority of the Scriptures

   "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

   Does the church you attend or any organization to which you belong place any other writings of man above or even equal to the Word of God?
   Do church creeds, tradition, liturgy, or any other form of religious expression take presidence over the Bible in your spiritual life?
   If so, how do you justify placing the Bible in a secondary postion in your life?
   Are you convinced that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is, therefore, to be understood literally as it contains no errors whatsoever?
   Do you rely upon the clergy to interpret the Word of God to you or do you read it yourself and let God speak to you through it?
   Are you convinced that God is able to keep his Word preserved and that the Bible is His revelation of Himself to manking?
   Would you be willing to separate yourself from any Christian denomination that minimizes the authority of God's Word and find a fellowship of believers who honor it as it ought to be?
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