In the U.K there are an enormous variety of churches calling themselves "Baptist", many of whom have strayed a long way from the
original biblical principles that generally formed such congregations a little while after the Protestant Reformation.
Stornoway Baptist Church is founded on one of the great historical confessions - The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith which (except
for some very important differences) followed fairly closely the 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith.
Many have thought that the main distinction of the Baptist Church is that they do not sprinkle babies foreheads with water but only
baptise (by total immersion) those that have repented of sin and come to a personal faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their saviour.
Although it is undoubtedly the case this is a marked distinction, there are a number of other matters that Baptist churches
remaining faithful to the scriptures hold,that distinguish them from other churches.
One of the most important differences with Presbyterian churches is how the church is governed.
Bible believing Baptists only see in the scriptures independent local churches.
Simply we believe this means that each congregation of baptised believers in a local area form one whole church of the Lord Jesus
Individual congregations should be independent in that there is no authority outside of that church.
The Lord Jesus Christ alone is the head of
His church and the church is ruled by the scriptures which are committed to faithful men who are invited (in the Lords will) to lead the church and direct it to full obedience and worship only by
what the bible says.
The members submit to the leading of the
Pastor through the preaching and teaching of the word of God and join with the leading teaching Elder (Pastor) in receiving of new members into the fellowship of that local
As Baptist's we believe that the true
expression of a real church should be seen where the following points can be demonstrated in it's life and work:
1. It is a church that truly worships with
reverence and joy.
2. It is fully committed to prayer for the
blessing of God.
3. The members truly seek to please God by
their lives and holiness.
4. The members are zealously engaged in a
practical work with loyal service to evangelise
5. The members have a true thirst for the word of God to build themselves up in the faith and usefulness to the Lord.
6. The great task of the church is to
preach the gospel. At least one meeting a week should be set aside to invite people to come and hear a clear and direct gospel message.
7. The church should avoid all contact with
error, by association or union with those that deny the scripture's in any way. Yet we believe in close fellowship with all those of like faith and practise who love the
Lord in sincerity.
8. The church should display true love and affection between the members and towards all that come within their sphere of influence, whether children or
9. Above all a true Baptist church is a
believing church where all the members believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation.
10. Only those who have been baptised by
immersion on profession of faith can be members of a Baptist church.