What We Believe
As an American Baptist Church,
1. We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior: American Baptists celebrate the fact that belief in Jesus Christ assures salvation and eternal fellowship with a loving God. The events of the first Easter week are the cornerstones of our faith: the death of Christ, in which He took upon Himself the sin of the world, and the Resurrection, which gave proof of his triumph over sin and death.
2. We believe that the Bible is divinely inspired, and serves as our authority for living out the Christian faith. We learn from many sources: science, history, modern writers who are in touch with the Spirit of God, etc. But our final authority is the Bible. Baptists believe in “soul freedom,” which means that each individual Christian is free to interpret Scripture, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit on their own (not just according to individual whim or prejudice). This freedom comes with the responsibility to study God's Word ourselves and do our best to live the ways of Christ.
3. We believe that the local church is the fundamental unit of mission in denominational life. Traditionally, this has been called “local church autonomy”, and is a perspective we share with the UCC (Congregational) Church, the Disciples of Christ (Christian) church and a variety of other denominations. We have a national denomination headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and they are a valued resource in shared missions. But the national denomination does not dictate what the individual church should do in ministry, what they should teach or who they should hire as pastoral staff.
4. We partake in two ordinances: believer’s baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Baptism, an act of full immersion of believers following Christ’s example. While this is our tradition, however, we are respectful of other traditions, and those who come from infant baptizing traditions are accepted at The Community Church of Issaquah on the basis of their personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Through the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, the bread and the cup that symbolize the broken body and shed blood offered by Christ we remember over and over God’s great love and sacrifice for us.
5. We believe that the committed individual Christian can and should approach God directly, and that individual gifts of ministry should be shared. Traditionally this has been called “the priesthood of all believers”, and is a perspective which goes back to Martin Luther. We believe that we need no human go-between to be able to approach God in prayer for us. We also celebrate the special gifts of all believers, testifying that God can use each of us in ministry.
(modified from the ABCUSA website at www.abc-usa.org)