We have been asked many times concerning the doctrine and beliefs of our Church. Of course the simplest statement of faith that we could make is this: "We believe the whole Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21." However, we believe that it would be good to set forth some of the things which are most surely believed among us. The following statements are not made in an effort to establish a new set of articles of faith, but rather to make plain some of the things that we believe. There are five words that fairly set forth what we believe. Those five Words are: Baptist, Fundamental, Premillennial, Missionary, and Independent.
The Heart of God
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
The Grace of God is that simple. There is enough Gospel in this one verse to save the whole world if people would only listen. Many have heard these words of the Apostle John so often that the simple, beautiful truth of the Gospel contained in them is lost to the familiarity associated with the words themselves. Take the time to consider what these words mean for all of us. At Cartertown, these words are the bedrock of our faith. The heart and soul of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in them. And we believe them.
The Fundamentals of the Faith
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” John 1:1 and 1:14a
We believe that Jesus Christ was God and that He was also a Man. He came to earth when He was born to a virgin mother. He lived a blameless life before God, obeying everything that God wanted of Him. He died in the place of each of us, as individuals, to pay the penalty for our sin. He defeated death, hell and the grave through His death and God raised Him from the dead three days later; now through Him we may receive eternal life. He ascended back to the Father, and He is even now preparing a place in Heaven for us. He will return one day to receive us unto Himself if we put our faith and trust in Him. And He alone can save us from ourselves and our sins. All of this is true because He loves us; and because He first loved us, we hope that we may learn to better love Him.
Thy Kingdom Come
We hope each day that today will be the day that Jesus calls us home to Himself. We, the Church, the Bride of Christ, are awaiting the imminent call of our Bridegroom Jesus, who has promised us that “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2b and 14:3). We believe that after the Lord calls us home, a period of judgment and cleansing will take place for the world and its people. Then Jesus will return with us to establish His Kingdom, and He will rule and reign for a thousand years. Following that, final judgment will come for those who have refused the love of God. Finally, His Kingdom will become an everlasting Kingdom, and He will rule and reign forever.
We have chosen each of these three adjectives to identify our Church: Missionary, Independent, and Baptist. We would like to explain to you what each of them means to us.
Missionary: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. We teach and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and support missionaries who do the same, not because we are interested in converting anyone to a religion. We do it because Jesus loves you, and because He does, we do also. It is love that motivates us to share the Gospel with the world. He instructed us to let you know that He lived and died so that you could be restored to a relationship with Him and receive eternal life on His account. And so that is what we try to do.
Independent: We want to know the truth about God and have the freedom to seek it. And so we choose to maintain our autonomy as an independent church. Everything that we believe is a result of the Holy Spirit teaching us about God as we try to seek Him. Our sin nature and the limitations of our own finite minds surely mean that our best understanding is woefully inadequate to grasp the fullness of the majesty and goodness of our God. We humbly ask that He pardon any errors in our understanding. But what errors we make, we would prefer to be a result of our own failures, and not because we have simply accepted the explanations and ideas of others without examining them for ourselves. We seek the truth and pray that God would show us as much of it as He will along our way.
Baptist: We are Baptists because we choose to be baptized after we have been born again, as an outward sign to the Church of what has happened in our hearts. To us, baptism is only a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. We are signifying to each other that in the eyes of our Father, we have been identified with the death and resurrection of our Lord. We do not undertake to be baptized so that we might receive God’s grace, nor do we do it in order to save our souls. God’s grace has been extended to us in the person of Jesus Christ and we are saved by His grace through putting our faith in Him. We are baptized only because our Lord was baptized, and we wish to follow Him in every way.
What We Believe