As a Baptist Church we accept the statement of beliefs from the NSW/ACT Baptist Churches:
There is one God Who is eternal personal Spirit. He is infinite in power, wisdom, holiness and love. God is Triune in essential being and revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ as the second Person of the Godhead is eternally one with God the Father of whose person and glory Jesus is the accurate expression. To become human He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, the nature of God and human nature, were united in one Person; truly God and truly human.
The Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity is eternally one with the Father and the Son yet He is sent by Them to achieve the divine purpose in the world and in the Church.
The Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are the infallible Word of God. They were written by holy people of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and have supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
People were made in the image of God and for fellowship with God. By transgression of God’s command humankind fell from fellowship with God and their nature was corrupted. As a consequence all people are spiritually dead under Satan’s dominion and control and subject to God’s wrath and condemnation. Therefore, apart from God’s grace, people are helpless and hopeless.
In order to redeem people from the guilt, penalty and power of sin, Jesus Christ became human and died a sacrificial death as our representative substitute. By His resurrection, God’s acceptance of His atoning death was demonstrated. This atonement is sufficient for the whole world, but effective only in those who receive it. The sinner is justified and reconciled to God, not through any personal merit, but solely on the basis of God’s gracious gift of salvation in Jesus Christ received through faith.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the acceptance of God’s provision of salvation. The Holy Spirit convinces sinners of their sinfulness, leads them to personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and so brings them to spiritual birth as God’s children and to fellowship in Christ. Working within the life of believers the Holy Spirit makes real the presence of Christ, witnesses to their relationship with God, leads into all truth, bestows gifts for effective service and produces graces for holy living.
The Church is the body of people whom God has separated from the world through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. All regenerate persons are members of the universal Church of God which takes local form wherever groups of believers unite for worship, fellowship and service in accordance with scriptural principles. All believers are called to a priestly ministry in the offering of spiritual sacrifices and sent into the world to be witnesses. God calls individuals to positions of oversight and leadership or to special ministries. The Church recognises such by ordaining pastors, commissioning missionaries, appointing deacons and other leaders, following New Testament practice.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a public declaration of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In accordance with New Testament Scripture it should be administered only by total immersion which symbolises the believer’s identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection, the remission of sins and the believer’s dedication of himself to God to live and walk in newness of life.
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ instituted by Him to be celebrated with the elements of bread and wine by believers in Christ until the end of the age. It commemorates and declares our thanks for the Lord’s substitutionary death. The celebration of the ordinance expresses our fellowship with and in the Lord Jesus Christ as members of the Body of which He is the Head.
At the end of this age, according to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in His glory to the earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom of God awaits His return.
At the end of the age, there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous. After death people’s bodies return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God – the righteous to be with Him and the unrighteous to be reserved for the judgment.
God has appointed a day of final judgement for the world. At that time Jesus Christ will judge every person and each will receive reward or punishment according to their deeds. Those judged righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment.
The belief Menai Baptist Church (MBC) holds regarding marriage is consistent with the Baptist Association of NSW/ACT, that we honour marriage as an institution created by God as the foundation for a lifelong faithful union of a man and a woman.
Up until the national vote to redefine marriage in Australia in November 2017, the National Council of Australian Baptist Ministries reaffirmed its support for the then current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, and rejected moves to change the definition. In Australia marriage is now defined in the Marriage Act 1961 as the “union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
As a member church of the NSW/ACT Baptist Association, MBC accepts and respects the decision made by Australians about marriage, however MBC holds to its historical beliefs regarding marriage as found in the teachings of the Holy Scripture.
MBC recognises that this view is now a minority view in Australia, but nevertheless is to be respected under our freedom of religion protections. For more than 400 years Baptists around the world have affirmed the Bible as the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. The Bible teaches that the only appropriate context for sexual relations is between a woman and a man who are married to each other.
Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM), representing more than 300,000 Baptists in 950 local churches, supports the rights of all couples to justice with respect to property and like entitlements and acknowledges that people, including some in Baptist churches, face issues with respect to sexuality. Recognition of such rights and issues does not justify major changes to our convictions about marriage, as they are based on biblical teaching.
As a member body of The Coalition for Marriage, ABM endorses the concerns relating to the potential impact of the new definition of marriage on religious freedom, safe school programs, gender identity and freedom of speech.
MBC does not expect the government to assume responsibility for the governance of all areas of life. For example, though murder and adultery are both a violation of the will of God, and both inflict harm upon an innocent party, we expect the government to legislate around murder but not against adultery. Similarly, though we do not share all the tenets of other religions, Baptists have long expected the government to recognise other religions and to protect the freedom of people to practice whatever faith they choose. Some Baptists argue that the state has a responsibility to protect the common good and that maintaining the previous definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman serves the common good. Others believe the state’s foundational responsibility is to protect the freedom of individuals to make their own choices and therefore the current definition of marriage needs to be recognised and protected by law – which it now is in Australia.
MBC continues to be an inclusive faith community, where everyone is welcome and invited to share in the life-transforming power that God offers by his Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.