* Baptists deal directly with God without the imposition of creed, without the interference of clergy and without the interference of government. We call it soul freedom.
* Church freedom gives autonomy to the local church. Clergy is called by and answers to the local congregation, not to some distant board or authority.
* Baptists believe in religious freedom—the absolute separation of church and state.
* As a member of a priesthood of all believers, each Baptist is called to minister to others.
* A Baptist distinctive is believer's baptism by immersion, a public testimony of the experience of personal salvation. Many Baptist churches accept baptism from other traditions.
* Baptists place a high priority on living out the faith through mission and service.
How are American Baptists different?* We are ecumenical, as we tend to support and encourage unity among the various divisions of the Christian religion.
* We ordain women.
* We are very active in social justice issues.
* We work at indigenous control of mission—a hands-on local approach—rather than a central hierarchy of missionaries.
* We are more moderate in interpretation of scripture.