Statement of Faith
We, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Churches; affirming our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the author and finisher of our faith, and believing in those distinctives and principles for which Baptists stood, lived and died for; considering the fact that the Bible is the final authority in matters of faith and practices; mindful of the rapid increase of doctrines and practices that tend to lead some away from the truth of the gospel and faith in our Lord Jesus; mindful of the need to maintain the unity of the church until Christ returns in glory, and mindful of Paul’s exhortation, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” we hereby solemnly set forth and declare the following statements of faith:
We believe in the one and only true God who is the triune God; self-existing, self-sufficient, eternal and infinite in every excellence, maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth, and inexpressively glorious in holiness and worthy of all worship and love. He has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in essence and every Divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices (Exod. 15: 11; Rev. 4: 11; Isa 45; 21, 22; Jer. 10: 10; Deut. 6: 4; 32: 4; John 1:1 - 13; I Tim. 3: 16; Rev. 1: 8; John 14:26; 15:26; 1 Cor. 3:16, 12:11; Matt. 28:19).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God; the second person of the Trinity, and possesses all the divine attributes, and so, is co-equal, consubstantial, co-creator and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Spirit. At His incarnation (birth), He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary with all the essential characteristics of humanity, but without sin. He was perfectly obedient to the Father, suffered and died as a substitute for humanity on the cross, thus making possible the redemption of humanity from sin. He died and was buried, but was literally and physically raised from the dead with a glorified body; ascended to heaven and is seated now at the right Hand of God the Father mediating as our Advocate and High Priest. He will come again in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission by receiving the redeemed church unto Himself at the rapture, to establish the millennial kingdom and to judge the world (John 10: 30; 14: 9; John 1: 3; Heb. 1: 2; Matt. 1: 23; Luke 1: 26- 35; Phil. 2: 5- 8; John 10: 15; Rom. 5: 8; I Pet. 2: 24; Heb. 7: 25; 9: 24; I John 2: 1; Acts 1: 9- 11; I Thess. 4: 13- 18; Rev. 20).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, the third Person in the Trinity; equal with God the Father and Son, and of the same essence. He is in all divine attributes, co-equal and consubstantial with God the Father and God the Son. He was sovereignly involved in the creation of the world, and executed the will of the Father in the incarnation of God the Son, in the written revelation from God, and in the work of salvation. The enthronement and work of the Holy Spirit in this age started at Pentecost that includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and transforming believers into the image of Christ. He is the agent of our regeneration, and baptizes believers at conversion into the body of Christ for service. He confirms believers by sealing them for the day of redemption and gives spiritual gifts to them for the common good and edification of the church. We believe that the gifts of speaking in tongues, prophesy and miracles need to be used in context for the edification of the church and for the promotion of unity in diversity so that all believers will become mature. All gifts that divide do not meet the expectations of the Lord and the truth of the gospel message (I Cor. 2: 10- 13; 12: 11; Eph. 4: 30; Heb. 9: 14; John 16: 13; Matt. 28: 19; Acts 5: 3- 4; I Cor. 12: 4- 6; Matt. 1: 18; Acts 1: 5; John 16: 7- 9; Rom. 8: 29; Eph. 2: 22, Rom. 8: 9; Eph. 1: 13; I Cor. 12: 4- 11; John 1: 50; II Cor. 12- 12; Eph. 4: 7- 15).
We believe that the Old and the New Testament Scriptures were written by men divinely inspired, and the Scriptures are the only authoritative source in all matters of faith, truth, knowledge, and practice. Whatever principles the Bible inculcates, whatever forms it establishes, are of solemn obligation and no one has the right to discredit, altar or abolish them. By inspiration, we mean that all the books of the Bible were God-breathed, written by holy men of old who were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a way that their writings were supernaturally inspired and free from human error. We therefore, commit ourselves to the regular reading and studying of God's Word, both publicly and privately that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:21; Matt. 5:19; 24:35; Luke 24:44; John 5:39; 14:15, 21-26; 17:17; II Tim. 2: 15; II Pet. 1: 20- 21).
There are two categories of angels: the fallen angels who disobeyed God and the good angels who obeyed God. The good angels worship God, minister and protect believers while the primary work of Satan and the fallen angels is to oppose God. We believe that angels are created spirit beings and they minister to the heirs of salvation (believers) and constantly glorify God. Angels are invisible but can appear in physical form when God wants them to be seen. Although angels are spiritual beings, they do not possess the attributes of God and cannot be worshipped. We believe that Satan is a distinct personality who once enjoyed heavenly glory and honors but, through pride and ambition to be as Almighty God, fell and drew with him a host of angels who are his ministering spirits (demons). He is the author of all the powers of darkness, all false religions and promotes the present apostasy. Although Satan is powerful, he was defeated by the work of Christ on the cross and is destined for eternal lake of fire, a place prepared for him and his fallen angels (Isa. 14: 12; Gen. 18; Rev 13: 13- 14; II Cor. 11: 13- 15; Ps. 103:20; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2; Acts 5:19; 12:6-11; Ps. 37:4; 91:11; Rev 20: 18; 20: 1- 15).
We believe that God created man both male and female by His special act and in His own image. The image of God in man is not physical but means that God’s character is reflected in man since humans are spiritual and moral beings. Man, as the crowning work of God, was created innocent of sin, and was endowed with freedom of choice. By exercising his freedom of choice, man sinned against God, and consequently, the image of God in man was distorted; rendering man totally depraved. All of man’s posterity inherited the sinful nature and an environment inclined towards sin and deserves condemnation. Man is composed of body and soul or spirit. Though both male and female are created in God’s image, they each have different functional and complementary roles in marriage like the type shared between Christ and the church (Gen. 1: 26- 27, 2: 7; I Cor. 11: 7; Gen. 3: 6- 7; Eph. 2: 1; Rom. 5: 15; Rom.5: 12; John 12: 21; I Cor. 11: 3-4; I Tim. 2:12; I Pet. 3:1; Eph. 5: 25).
We believe that God created man morally upright as the crowning work of His creation but man was led astray by the deceitful tactics of the devil and he ate the forbidden fruit; thus declaring his independence from the gracious Creator. As the head of the human race, Adam’s fall became the fall of the entire human race, in such a way that corruption, guilt, death and condemnation fell on every human being without exception. By imputation, humans have inherited both the corrupt nature and guilt from Adam’s sin and cannot extricate themselves from sin. All humanity is under just condemnation without defense or excuse and is totally depraved in all faculties of soul and body. Sin has both temporal and eternal consequences and makes people to become children of wrath, servants of sin, subjects of death and all miseries, man’s only hope of eternal life is through redemption in Jesus Christ (Gen. 1: 26- 27; Rom. 3: 10- 13; 5: 12- 19; 5: 12, 3: 23; 3: 9- 10).
We believe that salvation is the gracious work of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit to redeem fallen man from sin and its consequences; salvation is not on the merit of any good works but by repentance and faith. For men to be saved, they must be born again by believing that they are sinners, Jesus Christ died in their place and bodily arose again from the dead, accepting these truths personally. Salvation is solely the work of God’s electing grace and the new birth is brought about, not by the will of man, not by culture, not by character, but wholly and solely by the work of the Holy Spirit who does the work of conversion and regeneration. God’s divine plan is for everyone, immediately upon the acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord to receive forgiveness and eternal life and be made at once a child of God. Justification is the act of God in which He declares the sinner righteous on account of the finished work of Christ on the cross ( John 3: 16; 3: 3; Eph. 2: 8-9; I Pet. 1: 2; John 1: 13; Acts 2: 37- 41; Rom. 10: 8-9; 5: 1, 9; 8: 1; 2).
We believe that the church is a New Testament institution, established by Christ, who is the sole Head of the church. The church started with the New Testament saints on the day of Pentecost and will be consummated at the coming of Christ for His church in the rapture. The church is both universal and invisible in that it is made up of believers from every tribe, tongue, people and nation for all time while the local church is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers bonded together by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. The purpose of the local church is to worship God, nurture its members and evangelize to its community in word and deeds. We believe in the congregational form of government that reflects the basic New Testament position and the seat of authority resides within its members. The scriptural offices of the church are those of the pastors (bishops and elders) and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in Scripture. We believe Baptism and Lord’s Supper to be the only two ordinances of the church. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit while the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclaiming of the Lord’s death until He comes by the use of bread, symbolizing His body, and the juice, symbolizing His shed blood, both as symbols of the sacrifice He made for sin. The mission of the church is expressed in Scripture: make disciples, baptized them into a properly organized and functioning church and teach them to obey His word (Matt. 16: 18, Acts 2: 1- 13; Rev. 5: 9; acts 2: 41- 42; Col. 3: 17; Acts 6, I Tim. 3: 1ff; Rom. 6; I Cor. 11: 23- 28; Matt. 28: 19- 20).
Jesus shall personally, visibly and physically return in the air to receive unto Himself the church age believers. The time of this return is not known to anybody but God the Father. The dead shall be raised and Christ shall judge all people in righteousness. The believers shall be completely delivered from the power and consequences of sin. The unrighteous shall be consigned to hell, the place of unending punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and dwell forever in heaven with the Lord (John14:1-3; I Thess. 4:15-16; Tit 2:11-14; I Cor.15:51-52; Matt. 24: 36, 44; John 5: 25; Rom. 8: 21- 23; Matt. 5: 22; Luke 16: 23; Matt. 6:9; 19:20; Rev.20:10; 21:4).
We believe that the office of the prophets had a twofold function--to foretell future events and to unfold the truth of the gospel, and thus to supply the lack of the complete revelations now contained in the books of the New Testament. God is still revealing. Whatever revelation there may be should be in line with the Canon. It is mostly as illumination, not an addition to the New Testament canon and there is no further revelation that can be given to the church except for the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:10,11; 1 Cor. 14; II Tim 3:16).
We believe in the dignity and worth of every person because they are created in the image of God since human rights are rooted in the very nature of God, who guarantees the freedom and human rights of everyone regardless of sex, ethnicity, race or religion. As a church, we believe it is our responsibility to honor, protect and pursue the rights of all persons within and without the church whenever and wherever it is within our competence (Gen. 1: 26- 27; Gal. 3: 18; Luke 4: 19- 19; I Cor. 11: 7).
Civil government is of divine institution for the interests and good order of human society; civil governments are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed as the Bible permits, except only in things opposed to the will of Christ, who is the Lord of the conscience, Lord of lords, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. We believe in the separation of church and state. The church has a prophetic voice to the state. (Rom. 13: 1- 7; Matt. 22: 21; Acts 5: 29; Acts 4: 18- 20; I Tim. 2: 1- 2; Titus 3: 1; I Pet. 2: 13- 14, 17; Dan. 1: 8- 15).
As members of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, we pledge our allegiance to Jesus Christ who is our Master and King. Although we live in the world, we are not of the world because our citizenship is in heaven, and so we do not indulge in the sinful practices and systems of this world. As aliens of this world, we seek the welfare of the government by praying, obeying and honoring those in authority in ways that are not opposed to the will of God. We believe that we can serve God and best serve our nation by being involved in the life of our country as agents of transformation by belonging to any party of our choice. It means that our Christians should express their civic responsibility to vote and be voted for if they sense God’s calling into politics. However, it must be done in a democratically free and fair election. Any candidate vying for any political position should either request for a leave of absence or resign as head of the CBC institution. CBC employees who want to get into active politics should resign. (Phil.3: 20; Rom.13: 1- 7; Titus 3: 1; Luke 3: 12- 13; Matt. 8: 5- 13; Gen. 41: 41- 57; Dan, 6: 26- 28).
We believe that there is only one level of clergy and the other biblical office is that of the deacon. The deacon is a lay office. The duty of the deacon is to take care of temporal affairs of the church; “serving the tables.” The titles of bishop, elder, and pastor are used interchangeably for the same office and those titles designate different functions or aspects of the ministry of the pastor. As a CBC, the title we are using is pastor. It was the New Testament pattern for the bishops or elders to be overseers of the church, to watch over the general order, maintain the purity of the church doctrine and practices, guard against abuses, admonish the believers, and guide their public deliberations. The elders or pastors are never designated in the New Testament as priests since all believers, through the blood of Jesus, have access to God (I Tim. 3:1ff; Acts 20: 17- 28; Tit. 1: 5- 7; I Pet.5: 1-2; I Tim. 4: 14; Heb. 9 &10Heb. He).
We believe that each local congregation should recognize and affirm spiritually qualified leadership of each local church. It is worth noting that God used both men and women in the Old and New Testaments who were fully involved in various ministries; but women are not to fill the role of pastor in any congregation. Women participate equally with men in the priesthood of all believers. Their role is crucial, their wisdom, grace and commitment exemplary. Women are an integral part of our ministries, faculties in seminaries, mission teams, writers, women workers, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers and chaplains. We affirm and celebrate their Great Commission impact, ministry involvement and contributions. We believe that Scripture teaches that a woman's role is not identical to that of men in every respect, and that, pastoral leadership is assigned to men. It also teaches and we believe that women are equal in value to men. ( Judg. 4: 5; Josh. 2; Acts 16: 1- 2; 9: 36; Phil. 4: 2).
We believe that the sacredness of human life is evident in that God created humanity in His own image. Every human being possesses dignity and deserves the full right to life. We further hold that life begins at conception and the protection of human life must be respected. Abortion is murder except when the mother’s life is genuinely endangered and it is impossible to save both her life and the life of the baby (Gen. 1: 27; Deut. 14:29;24;17-21;26:12-13; Gen.4:15; Ps 8:3-8; II Kings 8:12; hos10:14-15; Nah 3:10;Gen 25:22;38:27-30; Job1:21; 3:3; Ps 51:5;Isa49:5 Hos. 12:3 Luke 1:15,41,44; Rom 9:10-11).
We believe that the Bible is the only authoritative source for the church and determines the beliefs, worship and practices of each local congregation. Baptists have no formulated or authoritative creed to which all Baptists must subscribe. Such beliefs and practices that are commonly known as “charismatic” practices are either rejected or accepted based on sound biblical teachings. Some of these practices include the “bee praying” (praying simultaneously), shouting “Amen” or “Alleluia”, speaking in tongues, etc. All spiritual gifts are to be used in a way to glorify God by lovingly edifying the church. Therefore any form of worship that distracts other worshipers is contrary to love and edification of the church. Everything done in the church must be what God commands or what will not distract fellow worshipers and must be done decently and in order. While pursuing spiritual growth, spiritualization of divination from an African Traditional Religion (ATR) background should be avoided. Any works claimed to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit shall be authenticated by these nine questions:
- Is the person clear about the gospel content?
- Is the person clear about his/her salvation experience?
- Is the person's spiritual life consistent with his/her testimony?
- Are the teachings and activities consistent with the Scriptures?
- Do they honor and practice what is commanded in Scripture?
- Do they honor or practice what is prohibited in Scripture?
- Is it what was accepted and practiced by the early church and our church fathers?
- Do the use of these gifts edify the church and promote love among brethren?
- When we pray together, the question to be asked is: Does God hear? Does he answer? (I Cor. 12: 13; 11: 7; 12: 29- 30; 14: 40; Heb. 1: 1- 2; 14: 4, 5,17; Rom. 14: 19).
We believe that God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden between Adam and Eve and marriage of one man to one woman (heterosexual) is the plan of God and sacred in His sight (Gen 3). Marriage is created by God to picture the relationship between Christ and His church (Eph. 5:23-32) and is meant for companionship, procreation, pleasure and fellowship (Gen. 2:23-25). Sexual union is sacred and fulfilling only within the bonds of marriage, and is condemned outside the marriage relationship. (I Cor. 6:16-20). The union of husband and wife is not temporal but lifelong; divorce and remarriage and polygamy are not the original plan of God for marriage (Matt. 19:1-9; Mk. 10:1-12, I Tim. 3: 2)). It is clear from Scripture that homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, adultery, polygamy, fornication, and any other sexually deviant conduct is clearly sinful and condemned by God (Rom 1: 24- 32; I Cor. 5: 11; 6: 9- 10).
We understand that the above statements do not by any means exhaust the content of our beliefs which are based on the whole Bible, and that they are not intended to set a limit beyond which faith cannot go within the Word of God; but we do believe that these statements are a true presentation of sound doctrine taught in Scripture, and are therefore binding upon us Christian believers of the Cameroon Baptist Convention.