2. The Word of God is the Authoritative Rule of Faith and Practice
Baptists believe that the Bible is the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21 says, “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (E.S.V.) Because the Bible is the Word of God given to mankind it is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 says, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” What the Bible says Baptists affirm even if it is uncomfortable. Mark Twain once said, “Most people are bothered by those passages of scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”
In 2 Timothy 3:15-17Paul says to his son in faith, Timothy, “… from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” The Bible is all that we need to find salvation and to grow in Christ We need no other authority, no other writings. Other groups may accept tradition, church authorities and/or personal experience as having some authority, but Baptists do not.
Baptist churches often have statements of faith in their constitutions, but they do not carry the authority of the Bible. They may occasionally recite creeds in their services, but this is simply to remind them of the long history of the Christians faith and their affinity with their Christians, past and present.
Question: How do you respond to passages like 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 which says, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”?
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