These are the things we practice because beliefs don’t really matter a whole lot unless they’re actually translated into action. These are some things we really believe and teach strongly.
B – Bible is our only rule for faith and practice.
2 Timothy 3:15 “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and helps us to do what is right.” At Shiloh Baptist Church we have done our very best to make sure that the Bible is our final authority. Not a creed, not a denominational statement. Who is our final authority, not only in our lives but in our churches—the Bible. And it can be trusted. Whenever there is a question about what to do, we know where to go to find the answer. The Bible. The word of God. It can be trusted as an authority in our lives.
A – Autonomy of the local church.
Jesus Christ is the head of this church. Not the pastor, associate ministers, deacons, trustees or lay members. Jesus Christ is the head of this church, the recognized honored head of this church. Because of that, we are a body and we work together. He is the source of our life. There is value in associating with other Christians, other groups of Christians. But this church makes its own decisions about its land, its property. No denominational control from outside can tell us what to do with our land or tell the pastor to move to another church. This church makes its own decisions about those kinds of things. We are self-governing.
P – Priesthood of every believer.
1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6 “Christ loves us and by His death He has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God. … You are the King’s priests, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.” We are all priests before God. We don’t need anybody to stand between us and God anymore. Jesus Christ did that by His death and resurrection. You don’t need another human being to stand on your behalf in front of God. Because of that we all have equal access to God. We are all priests, which means we all have that same responsibility of telling people about Christ, of worshiping before Him. That’s a unique privilege we have and something we believe in.
T – Tithing.
The word tithing simply means ten percent. It’s the way we finance this church. We don’t finance it through bingo or raffles or any kind of gimmicks like that. We finance this church through the members giving ten percent of what they earn back to the church. Nobody’s ever going to come check up on you. Nobody’s ever going to knock on your door, “You’re about three months behind. Let’s cough up some back pay!” Never! It’s between you and God. We feel like if we teach you what the Bible says, then it becomes something between you and God. It is the responsibility of the people who commit themselves to membership here to give and support the work of the church.
I – Immersion.
Colossians 2:12 “When you were baptized you were buried with Christ and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” If you have never had the opportunity to watch the baptisms in the baptism pool, you’ve got to do it. You watch people make a public statement of their belief in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The picture of baptism is being buried under water just as Christ was buried in the tomb and raised into a new way of life. Baptism is simply a picture of what’s happened on the inside.
S – Spirit led living.
John 15:5 “Jesus said, `I am the vine, you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. But apart from Me, you can do nothing.'” This is something we believe deeply. He is the source of our life not just for salvation but for every day. Every day, when you get up, if you do not reconnect yourself, not in terms of salvation, but in terms of dependence, “God, I depend on You today to get me through this day”, you’ll miss out. You’re trying to live your life on your own strength and that leads only to frustration and exhaustion. God has intended that we be plugged in to Him. He is our power source in life.
T – Telling others about Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” It is the responsibility and the privilege of every believe to tell someone else. You don’t have to know the whole Bible; you don’t have to have some witnessing plan memorized. All you need to do is tell somebody else, “This is what God did for me. I don’t even understand it all, but my life is different because of Jesus Christ.” Telling people about Him.