Published in the first edition of The Torch in October/November 1988.
In this, our first issue of The Torch, I wish to let you know where we stand—what we believe. To put it in the negro vernacular, I wish to let you know where we’re coming from.
First of all, I state very plainly that we stand independently. That means we are not a part of any convention, fellowship, or association; neither do we represent any convention, fellowship, or association. Our earthly authority is this editor’s home church and the Board of Directors of this organization.
Second, this publication stands on the pure fundamentals of the Christian faith. The fundamentals are contained in the following full statement of faith:
- We accept the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God and that they are the supreme and final authority for faith and practice. We further accept the 1611 King James version of the Bible to be the preserved Word of God and will not use any other translation in this publication.
- We believe in the tri-unity of God—that the eternal God manifests Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and that these three are one God but separate in personality and work.
- We believe in the incarnation and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ; in His sinless life; in the sufficiency and substitution of His death on the cross for the sins of the whole world; in His bodily resurrection from the dead and His ascension to Heaven; in His pre-tribulation, bodily return in the air to catch away His bride—the Church; and in His return to earth to set up His millennial Kingdom after the tribulation period.
- We believe in the creation of the universe and all living things by a direct act of God, apart from any so-called evolutionary process.
- We believe in the fall of man and the subsequent depravity and sinfulness of the whole human race, making man incapable of personal salvation and good works before God, thus needing a saviour.
- We believe that men are justified by faith alone and that they are accounted righteous before God only through the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith, minus nothing and plus nothing.
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of believers to everlasting life and fellowship with God and of all non-believers to everlasting torment and punishment in hell fire. We believe in the Judgement Seat of Christ for all believers and the Great White Throne Judgement for unbelievers.
- We believe that God’s plan for this present age involves the evangelization of the world through the witness of every believer in Jesus Christ and the establishing of local churches as a means of accomplishing His purpose.
- Further, we believe that the local Bible-believing church is God’s divine instrument and headquarters for world evangelization. Our purpose is to encourage, strengthen, and help sustain His work through all fundamental, Christ-honoring, Soul-winning local churches, their pastors and leaders. Our aim is not to circumvent the local church, but to be a blessing and aid in preparing the Bride for His coming.
Finally, I state unequivocally that The Torch is a Baptist publication. The reason for that is, quite frankly, we believe that Baptist doctrine is Bible doctrine. If you were to line up Baptist beliefs alongside rightly divided Bible doctrine, you will notice no difference. If that were not the case, believe me, this editor nor this publication would be Baptist. However, even though this paper is unashamedly Baptistic, we do invite all people of all denominations to subscribe to The Torch, for our aim is to lift up the Lord Jesus Christ and to make the Gospel plain so that others may come to know Him as we do.
HERE WE STAND!