I have come to the point where, when I hear the word “Jesus”—which means so much to me because of the Person of the historic Jesus and his work—I listen carefully because I have with sorrow become more afraid of the word “Jesus” than almost any other word in the modern world. The word is used as a contentless banner, and our generation is invited to follow it. But there is no rational, scriptural content by which to test it, and thus the word is being used to teach the very opposite things from those which Jesus taught. - Francis Schaeffer, Escape From Reason
You might wonder why we don't simply stop at identifying ourselves as "Christians." Why the need for all the labels and categories? As you'll read below, most of these different categories have arrived in response to error. Individuals came along who claimed to be teaching the true faith, when really they were not.
Jesus Himself warned of false teachers who would masquerade like they were really His followers (Matt 7:15-20; Mark 13:22), so we must be more discerning than to simply accept at face value that the word "Christian" means the same thing to everyone who uses it.
Now, not all of these categories provide differences between Christians and non-Christians. Some of them are differences between Christians who both believe the same fundamental gospel, but disagree on secondary matters. So, who is Quinault Baptist Church?
Jesus told His disciples: "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me," (Mark 8:34). We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, King, and Savior of the World. Through His obedient life, atoning death on the cross, and resurrection, He has made a way for sinners to be saved. All who desire to be saved from their sins should turn from their sins, trust in Jesus Christ and His work for the forgiveness of their sins, and follow the path of obedience that Jesus has laid out in His Word, the Bible.
Image: "The Crucifixion" by Bartolomé Estebán Murillo
Not to be confused with the Greek or Russian Orthodox Church, by claiming we are "orthodox" (literally, "correct belief") we mean that we affirm the early church's councils and creeds, such as the Apostolic, Nicene, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian creeds. These creeds were formed by many Christians within the first five centuries of the church as a way of guarding central doctrines regarding the gospel, the Trinity, and the person of Christ.
Image: Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
Throughout the Medieval Ages, there was a great poverty of true gospel preaching in the churches. Thus, the Roman Catholic church wandered greatly from the Bible and its teachings in much of its doctrine and practice. In the 1500's, the Reformation took place to recover the original Christian belief in the Bible alone as the primary authority for the church, and the belief in justification by faith alone. As a Protestant church, we affirm that our highest authority is Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura), that we are saved by Christ alone (Sola Christus), by grace alone (Sola Gratia), through faith alone (Sola Fida), to the glory of God alone (Soli Deo Gloria).
Image: Martin Luther, the pioneer Reformer, at the Diet of Worms
In the 1600s, Reformed churches–theological descendants of the Protestant reformer John Calvin–produced the Canons of Dort as a way of guarding the classic doctrines of grace from being misunderstood. We affirm the Canons of Dort and stand in broad agreement with much of the Reformed tradition, greatly enriched and guided by their best confessions and catechisms, but not conscience bound in every point of doctrine they espouse (ex. infant baptism).
Image: John Calvin, the Genevan Reformer and father to the Reformed tradition
As the Reformation continued to mature, some Protestants began to scrutinize certain practices still common in the church they believed lacked sufficient Biblical support, including infant baptism, the union of church and state, the hierarchy of the church, and unregenerate church membership.
Baptists argued that the New Testament teaches that one should first believe the gospel and then be baptized. Thus, membership in the local church should be reserved for those who are genuinely born-again and not simply the children of believers. Our church is associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
For a fuller description of the particular doctrines our church believes read our statement of faith.
Image: Adoniram Judson, the first Baptist missionary from America, baptizes his first Burmese convert