Nov 17, 2009

Believer's Individual Right

What is an Historic Baptist?
by David A. West, Sr.


"1. The Bible is the only rule of faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16). Some denominations would claim this same truth, but their practice is not in keeping with the New Testament."

"4. The priesthood of the believer, or the right of the individual to interpret Scripture privately, and to have direct access to God (I Peter 2:9).

From the Dark Ages on, the Roman Catholic Church taught (and still teaches) that a person cannot directly approach God, but must go through a priest, much like the Old Testament system. This enslaves the individual to the Roman Catholic Church, and assures control over the individual. Baptists have always believed that each individual is a priest before God, and that there is no need for an intermediary. An individual has the right to pray directly to God, and the inalienable right to interpret Scripture, as the Holy Spirit guides him.

Quite often, many people view distinctives four and five as the same. While they are similar in some respects, they each develop from a different historical setting. Also, they each have a different emphasis. The priesthood of the believer is Godward, stressing the individual's right to approach God. Soul liberty is manward, assuring the individual the right to worship unmolested, according to the dictates of his heart." (emphasis mine - SG)

See here

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