"We have this hope
as an anchor for the
soul, firm and secure."
General Association of
Some Guidelines and Additional Information
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- Recognizing the unity of the Church of Christ in all the world, and
knowing that we are but one branch of Christ's people, while adhering to our
particular faith and order, the General Association of Six-Principle Baptists
(SPB) extends to all believers the hand of Christian fellowship, upon the
basis of those great fundamental truths in which all should agree. With them
we confess our belief in one God, whose nature is love, revealed in one Lord
Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace. We believe that Jesus came in the
flesh, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day
according to the Scriptures.
- Affirming now our belief that those who thus hold to these fundamental
truths together constitute the one universal Church, the several households of
which, though called by different names, are the one body of Christ, and that
these members of his body are sacredly bound to keep "the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace," we declare that we will cooperate with all who hold these
- We believe that, beyond these fundamental truths, there can be unity in
diversity and diversity in unity in other particulars of faith within the body
- The SPB believes in Liberty of Conscience in matters of interpretation and
- The SPB believes that the Six Principles of Hebrews 6:1-2 (Repentance, Faith,
Baptisms, Laying on of hands, Resurrection, and Judgment) as foundational
concepts of the Christian faith.
- The SPB also believes that Christian perfection (maturity) builds on, but goes
beyond, these basic principles.
- The SPB has no ecclesiastically binding creed. The SPB holds to the Bible as
the supreme written authority for faith and practice with liberty of conscience
in matters of interpretation and worship. This does not mean that the SPB is
completely opposed to the use of creeds, but only that they do not require
conformity to the exact words of any one theological creed for membership. One
such creed that may be used in this respect is the historic Apostle's Creed as a
general statement of Christian faith.
- The SPB believes in essentials, Unity; in non-essentials, Liberty; in all
- With John Wesley, the SPB affirms
that, "...as to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we
think and let think." Also, "if your heart is with my heart, give me your hand."
Therefore, the SPB reaches out in fellowship to
Christians of similar or different traditions and backgrounds.
- The SPB believes in separation of church and state.
- The SPB is neither liberal nor is it ultra-fundamental. It seeks to walk a
middle way between legalism and license.
- The SPB believes in all the gifts of the Spirit, while not holding to a
Pentecostal or Charismatic interpretation of them.
- We do not endorse any form of New Age philosophy, "re-imaging," neo-paganism,
goddess-worship, etc.; we are not an "anything goes" Communion. We are opposed
to syncretistic Christianity.
- We believe in the communion of saints and the "great cloud of witnesses."
- We believe in the stewardship of the earth.
- The SPB affirms the teaching of Romans Chapter 2, and other verses, that God Who
is infinitely just, merciful, and loving provides a way of salvation for those
who have never heard of Christ.
- The SPB affirms the fact that the word translated "eternal" in relation to hell
in the New Testament does not mean eternal in the original languages, but rather
means an "eon," or "age," -- a long, indefinite period of time. Consequently,
the SPB does not affirm an unconditional universalism, an unconditional eternal
hell, nor annihilationism. The SPB thus allows for freedom of conscience on
details of the afterlife.
- The SPB does not hold to Roman Catholic doctrines of the church, the ministry,
the sacraments, or of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- The SPB holds that the outward sacraments are not required for salvation.
- The SPB believes abortion as a means of birth control is murder.
- We do not discriminate against divorced and/or remarried people.
- The SPB holds to the doctrine of the priesthood of every believer. The SPB
recognizes that God calls all members of the church to be ministers and
witnesses to the Gospel in their lives and in society. It also recognizes that
God calls some to be missionaries, evangelists, shepherds, overseers, pastors,
and teachers, as servants, to prepare His people for service to others, and
for the building up of the body of Christ (see Eph. 4:11-12).
- The SPB believes in the autonomy of the local church. The local church can own
its property; it can call, license and ordain its local ministers and deacons
but for affiliation directly with the SPB, one must apply for, be approved, and
issued a license or ordination credentials by the General Association of
- The SPB does license or ordain women to all levels of ministry.
- The SPB does not ordain practicing
homosexuals or perform same-sex unions, nor do we endorse or recognize those
jurisdictions which do so.
- The SPB does not require re-ordination of ordained clergy affiliating from other
Christian denominations who were ordained with a laying on of hands.
- The SPB issues Charters for churches wishing to affiliate with the SPB. For such
a charter to be issued, the Senior Pastor of the church must be licensed or
ordained by the SPB.
- The SPB holds to traditional Christian moral and ethical values. Such values
will never be subject to any kind of vote by SPB members/clergy. These issues
will never be determined by majority opinion as in most mainline denominations.
Ageless truths cannot be altered by whims of popular culture. Furthermore, any
SPB minister proven to be engaging in immoral and unethical practices is subject
to the immediate revoking of their ministerial credentials.
Some of these material above is directly derived from,
or is in agreement with, the "Statement of Principles" of the
Celtic-Anabaptist Communion (CAC) with which the SPB has a mutual
spiritual kinship. This special relationship is based on the foundation of
sacred Scripture, the New Testament church, and continuing with the ancient
Celtic Church through the Anabaptist movement of the 16th century.