Baptists deservedly get a bad rap. There are a number of Baptist conventions and churches that periodically make the news with one narrow-minded idea or another. But don’t judge all Baptists by the actions of some. Not all Baptists are that way. In fact Baptists in this country were some of the first people to stand up for religious liberty and an idea that eventually became the First Amendment to our nation’s Constitution. Those are the kind of Baptists that Sardis Baptist Church tries to imitate.
Baptists do not have any sacraments – rituals that are required for a person to be saved by God’s love. A sacrament is a means to God’s grace. Think of a sacrament as a funnel through which God’s grace is poured. While we honor the sacraments of other Christian traditions – and in fact practice many of them, but do not call them sacraments – we do not believe any ritual is a means to salvation. We believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only means of receiving God’s love and grace. Baptists believe that all rituals are symbolic and their power comes from our inward faith in God as we practice them.