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What we Believe...
The South Church is a community of faith where people can express and explore their theological differences in a safe and supportive environment. All are welcome at The South Church.
The Priesthood of All Believers
Each person is able to directly communicate with God and God with each person, without the intervention of a hierarchy of priests. Each person is responsible for understanding and interpreting scriptures and their applications.
Each person can have a unique, intimate relationship with God, with the freedom to choose what are individual conscience or soul dictates and be responsible go God for that choice. We are each responsible for who we are and what we do. Evil is a personal choice with cultural, societal, national, and global ramifications.
Congregational Autonomy and Associations
The South Church is autonomous, as are all other congregations in our denomination. All decisions concerning The South Church are made by its congregation. We freely choose to associate with the American Baptist Churches USA and our sister churches to accomplish tasks and missions that are more effectively done as a group than by individual churches.
Separation of Church and State
The health of faith systems and governments is best enhanced by a legal separation of each other's affairs. We understand this to mean that government should not set religious agendas nor should faith-based institutions set the agenda for government.
The Bible is to be taken seriously and responsibly, yet not always literally. It is the story of God's work with humankind. The Bible is inspired by God with its primary purpose to point to God's love and work among us, and to be the ultimate guide of faith and conduct.
Our faith practices and beliefs are rooted in the Judio-Christian heritage. Christianity, insofar as it reflects the living presence of God through Jesus the Christ, is our primary faith expression. We follow the teachings and example of Jesus; however, we believe that faith traditions (religions) have equal validity and equal right to exist, and we may agree or disagree with the claims of these traditions. All persons have an equal right to believe in God, or not to believe in God.
Jesus the Christ
We believe that Jesus was fully human, in a unique relationship with God, and embraced by God. This belief serves as a model for those who seek to express the ongoing reality of the love of God. Jesus is the son of God, a God of mercy and compassion who calls us to love and to serve.
We believe in one God who seeks to be known by all. God is known in a myriad of ways and by many names beyond Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is best experienced through love and service to others.
Ordinances of the Church
The communion table is the table of the Lord. Because we are an "open communication" church, all are invited to participate. Baptism, which is open to all, can take many forms, including believer's baptism.