Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices.
1. THE BIBLE AS OUR SOLE AUTHORITY
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does God say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
2. AUTONOMY OF EACH LOCAL CHURCH
Christ is the recognized head of our church; no one person, group, or religious organization is leading, only Christ. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control. Therefore, we have chosen to participate with Kauf-Van Baptist Association, SBTC and our local Ministerial Alliance.
3. PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full-time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
4. GRACE GIVING, TITHES & OFFERINGS
At MSBC we encourage the practice of giving to the LORD through our “tithes & offerings”, meaning that we do recognize the importance of funding the local & global work of God through the local church, commonly known as “tithing” a 10% of your income to God. But we also acknowledge the instruction in the New Testament given by the Apostle Paul, to the church at Corinth, when he instructed them to “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
For us to enforce a rule that each church member is to “tithe” a 10% of their income would be bringing some under “compulsion
” to reluctantly put their “tithe” in the plate as it passes. As a church under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ we are never to go against His Word. Therefore, we ask that each member would “determine in his [or her] own heart what he [or she] should give” as a personal act of worship between them and God. This is “grace giving”. At the same time, we are not to shame others for not “tithing”. If someone decides to give 10%, 90% or 1% we are not to place man-made law over God’s Law. God instructs us each to determine on our own what we should give.
5. BAPTISM BY IMMERSION
We practice baptism by immersion under water – the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
6. SPIRIT-LED LIVING
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to follow and obey Him.
7. TELLING OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST & MAKING DISCIPLES
We believe the responsibility of every Christian is to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Discipleship.