Christ Church Baptist
What is a Baptist Church anyway? What do Baptists believe? What makes a Baptist church different from Church of England, Roman Catholic or Methodist churches?
These are all questions I get asked, fairly regularly, as the minister at Christ Church Baptist in Kings Langley.
Most confusing is that as a Baptist Church we do not baptise babies! Surely that is the one thing you might expect from a Baptists.
But there is really very little difference between churches in terms of what we believe. We all believe in one God – who is paradoxically also three – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe that God created us and loves us – all of us – not just Christians. We believe that God is saddened by the suffering in the world and that he rejoices in the good. We believe that he has a plan to make things better.
Sunday services at Christ Church are more informal than some other churches. No-one wears robes, we rarely light candles and there are few set prayers or readings. But like many churches all ages are represented and welcomed as they are. We don’t make so much of saints’ days or other church festivals as some churches but we do make time to celebrate God’s love and goodness. The bible is read and reflected on for how it relates to our own time and lives each week.
Church is not just about Sundays though. We have a Bookshop and Coffeeshop on our premises four mornings a week, a toddler group and three youth clubs – and much more. Beyond church activities too our faith affects the way we live our lives – not with lots of rules about what we should and shouldn’t do but with joy, peace and hope which come from the faith that is shared and strengthened through our church community.
So why don’t we baptise babies? Because we believe that everyone should make their own decision about what they believe when they are old enough. Most of the people who come to Christ Church wouldn’t call themselves Baptists; they would say that God is real and that he gives them hope, peace and joy in their lives; and that they have decided for themselves to be followers of Jesus.