The Baptist Convention was formed in 1905-06 with the
union of the Regular Baptists and the Free Baptists. Sharing
many of the same concerns, the two bodies were brought together
by their common interests.
The basis of union was a statement of agreed doctrine and church
polity. Each church within the two bodies voted on the
statement. All supported it with the exception of six churches,
and none of the six voted negatively.
Thus the Baptist Convention was brought into being upon
an agreed statement of faith, which was approved by the churches
themselves. Today, it remains the basis upon which we work together as "Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada."
The Scriptures The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments have their authority from God alone, and are given to
us by divine inspiration. They are the only perfect, supreme,
infallible and sufficient standard of faith and practice.
God There is one true and living God; He is an infinite
Spirit; self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent,
good, wise, just and merciful. He is the creator, preserver, and
sovereign of the universe; He is inexpressively glorious in
holiness, and worthy of all honour, confidence and love. In the
Godhead there are three persons in one: the Father, the Son and
the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection, and
who execute distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of
Jesus Christ Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the person
of the trinity who, by virtue of His sacrificial work, is the
world's redeemer and the saviour of all who believe. He is at
present the intercessor of all His people at the right hand of
the Father, and is to be the judge of all men.
The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is the third person of
the trinity, by whom all saving, comforting and sanctifying
power is exerted upon human hearts.
State and Fall of Man Man was created sinless. By his own
disobedience he fell into sin. Through his fall into sin, an
evil nature was transmitted to the whole race, revealing itself
in actual transgression, and bringing all under the reign of
condemnation and death.
Atonement The perfect life, vicarious death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, have removed the obstacles in the
way of the Holy Spirit's regenerating power and of the Father's
forgiving grace being extended to the sinner, and constitute for
every believing soul an all prevailing plea and sufficient
ground for righteousness before God.
Regeneration In regeneration a new life principle is
begotten in the soul of man by the Holy Spirit through the word
of truth, producing a disposition to joyful obedience to Christ
and to holy conduct in life.
Repentance In repentance the sinner, having seen his sin,
being moved by the energy of the Holy Spirit, is led to grieve
for and hate it as an offence against God, and apprehending the
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he lovingly returns to God to
walk in the way of His commandments.
Faith Faith is a conviction of the intellect that God
will perform all that He has promised and an implicit trust of
the heart in Christ as a personal saviour. It includes a hearty
concurrence of the will and affections with the whole plan of
salvation as revealed in the gospel, and is a condition of
justification and of cleansing from the pollution of sin and of
all subsequent gospel blessings.
Justification Justification is an act of God wherein He
accepts as righteous the sinner, to whom is imputed the perfect
righteousness of Christ, on the condition of faith alone.
Sanctification The Scriptures teach that sanctification
is the process by which, according to the will of God,
Christians are made partakers of His holiness; that it has its
beginning in regeneration, and that it is carried on in the
hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy
Spirit, in the continual use of the appointed means: the Word of
God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
The Christian Sabbath We believe that the first day of
the week is the Lord's day or Christian Sabbath and is to be
kept sacred to religious purposes by abstaining from all secular
labour and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all
means of grace, both private and public, and by preparation of
that rest that remains for the people of God.
A Gospel Church We believe that a church of Christ is a
congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in
the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances
of Christ, governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts,
rights and privileges invested in them by His Word. In the more
general sense, the word church is used to designate all whose
names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The only
scriptural officers are bishops (pastors), and deacons, whose
qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the epistles of
Timothy and Titus.
Baptism This is the immersion of believers in water into
the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in which are
represented their death to the world, the washing of their souls
from the pollution of sin, their resurrection to newness of
life, the burial and resurrection of Christ, their resurrection
at the last day, and their engagement to serve God.
The Lord's Supper The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of
Christ, to be observed by the churches in the manner indicated
by Him in Matt. 26:26-30.
Death At death our bodies return to dust, our souls to
God who gave them. The righteous being then perfected in
happiness are received to dwell with God, awaiting the full
redemption of their bodies. The wicked are cast into Hades
reserved unto the judgment of the great day.
Resurrection There will be a general resurrection of the
bodies of the just and of the unjust; the righteous in the
likeness of Christ, but the wicked to shame and everlasting
General Judgment There will be a judgment of quick and
dead, of the just and unjust, on the principles of
righteousness, by the Lord Jesus Christ, at His second coming.
The wicked will be condemned to eternal punishment, and the
righteous received into fullness of eternal life and joy.
Article I The voluntary principle underlies the whole
church polity of the New Testament. Each church is independent,
but the churches are interdependent. All the power the more
general bodies have over the less general and the individual
churches, is to advise and to enforce advice with the strongest
moral motives. In case a church, or the churches composing a
less general body, depart from the belief and practice of the
denomination, it shall be the right of the more general body to
Article II Each church, as occasion may require, shall
have the right to appeal to the more general body for the help
of their advice and moral influence, or to call a council from
other churches. If a church, torn by dissensions and heresy,
declines to seek assistance of this kind, it is the right of the
more general body to send a delegation to assist the church as
far as this may be possible.
Article III Any church should be careful in granting a
license to preach. Every license, to be valid, must be signed by
the pastor and clerk of the church granting it, and
countersigned by at least two neighbouring pastors after an
examination of the candidate's qualifications.
Note with regard to Article III The local church license
to preach has been replaced with the License to Minister. Also,
neighbouring pastors are no longer required to countersign and
examine candidates. This process has been replaced by the
association License to Minister.
Article IV When a church desires the ordination of a
brother, a council from as many of the nearest churches as will
secure the attendance of at least five ordained pastors, with a
suitable number of laymen may be called; or the more general
body may be requested to attend to the matter.
Note with regard to Article IV In 1922, this policy was
replaced by the current practice of having a convention
examining council consisting predominately of association
representatives. Nevertheless, ordination still continues to be
the responsibility of the local church.
The above doctrinal statement may be found on the convention