Rayners Lane Baptist Church is affiliated to the Baptist Union of Great Britain and to the Evangelical Alliance, and is in agreement with the doctrinal statements of those two bodies, which are as follows:
RLBC Mission Statement
At Rayners Lane we seek to be a family of committed followers of Jesus Christ, of all ages and from all nations, as we share the good news of Jesus where we live and work and around the world.
The vision that drives this mission comes from the following key aspects:
Jesus Christ = it is the grace of God experienced through the gospel of Jesus Christ that underpins everything we do. Our response to this grace is to worship and glorify God. Our dependence on God’s grace means that prayer is essential to the ministry here. All that we do is a response to God’s grace.
Committed followers = the gospel is the way to live in God’s kingdom as well as the way to join it. We depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit to live as disciples of Jesus in every day life. As disciples we are saved to serve.
Family = If church is a family then RLBC is not about rules or religion, but primarily about relationships – with God and with one another, made possible by Jesus. This means we value hospitality highly and nurture accountable relationships.
All ages and all nations = Christ’s family is a multi-cultural and multi-generational community. Therefore a healthy church reflects the diversity of its locality.
Good News = the love of God is revealed to us through God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is our supreme authority. Therefore we are committed to listening to God speak to us through the Bible in sermons and in Bible study groups. The Good News can be summarized like this: Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for our rejection of God and rose from the dead to demonstrate that his sacrifice was more than enough to put everything right. We then experience all the benefits of his sacrifice as we put our faith in Jesus and live according to his gospel. This is the message we want to pass on.
Local and global = we want to make God known both locally and globally. This includes a desire to show care for the poor and needy in word and deed, both in our support of local initiatives and in global mission.
Baptist Union of Great Britain: declaration of principle
The basis of this Union is…
- That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His Laws.
- That Christian Baptism is the immersion in water into the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who “died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried, and rose again the third day”.
- That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
Evangelical Alliance basis of faith
All our members agree that the below statements are true.
We believe in…
- The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
- The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
- The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
- The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
- The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
- The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
- The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
- The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
- The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
- The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
Human Sexuality (RLBC statement)
As a society we have undergone massive social change over the past 50 years, especially in the area of more public awareness and acceptance of the diversity of human sexuality. The church has not been exempt from these changes. Below is an attempt to define the position of RLBC on human sexuality.
1. Sex is a gift from God.
As a church we affirm that sex is a gift from God (Genesis 2: 24). It is not something to be ashamed of but rather received with thanksgiving as a good gift from our heavenly Father. Sex is given by God for the purpose of producing children, but it is a gift to be enjoyed for its own pleasure as well – e.g. the Song of Songs celebrates heterosexual love between a man and a woman for its own sake.
2. Sex is for heterosexual marriage
The Bible teaches clearly that the only proper context for sexual intercourse is found in heterosexual marriage. In Matthew 19 Jesus describes all sex outside of that context as immoral. Therefore any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is not appropriate behaviour for a follower of Jesus. Hence we will not conduct nor condone Same Sex Marriages at RLBC.
3. Sex is not essential for a fulfilled life
As a church we also affirm the place single people play in our community (1 Corinthians 7: 8). As the example of Jesus demonstrates, it is possible to live a completely fulfilled life without being in a sexual relationship. We reject our culture’s idolatry of sex.
4. Church is for everyone
We welcome anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status, who comes to Jesus in repentance and faith. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11) We confess that the church has not lived up to this ideal in the past and we have much to repent of in this area. In particular we have not distinguished between temptation and deliberate action. In Christ there is forgiveness for sin, including sexual sin. RLBC is full of sinners who are seeking to follow Jesus, and this means that we should be willing to repent of sin when it is pointed out to us. As Baptists we distinguish between Church Members (who accept the ethical stance in this statement) and anyone else who may attend our services (who may or may not agree with our position on human sexuality). As Baptists we do not seek to impose our values on the rest of society.
Unanimously approved at Church Meeting – 25th January 2015