Mission Statement: “To express the love of God through worship, caring, sharing, and reaching out to others with the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Baptists are a people who profess a living faith. This faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ who is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Therefore, the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
A living faith must experience a growing understanding of truth and must be continually interpreted and related to the needs of each new generation. Throughout their history Baptist bodies, both large and small, have issued statements of faith, which comprise a consensus of their beliefs. Such statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as official creeds carrying mandatory authority.
Baptists emphasize the souls competency before God, freedom in religion, and the priesthood of the believer. However, this emphasis should not be interpreted to mean that there is an absence of certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified.
Below are listed summary statements regarding our basic beliefs:
About God… There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
About Jesus Christ… Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again some day to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
About the Holy Spirit… The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
About the Bible… The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Sprit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
About Human Beings… People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are supreme objects of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
About Salvation… Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled lives and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
About Eternal Security… Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
About Eternity… We believe that God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Core Values: Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following core values:
1. Bible As Our Sole Authority We believe in the authority of Scripture. We believe the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, is central to the life of the individual and the church. We affirm the freedom and right of every Christian to interpret and apply scripture under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. We encourage and practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 3:15
2. Autonomy of Each Local Church Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control. We believe in the autonomy of every local church. We believe Baptist churches are free, under the Lordship of Christ, to determine their membership and leadership, to order their worship and work, to ordain whomever they perceive as gifted for ministry, and to participate as they deem appropriate in the larger Body of Christ. We voluntarily cooperate with other Christian churches and faith-based organizations to impact Waynesville, Haywood County, North Carolina and our world with the love and message of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:18
3. Priesthood of Every Believer We believe in the priesthood of all believers. We affirm the freedom and responsibility of every person to relate directly to God without the imposition of creed or the control of clergy or government. The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading. The uniqueness of each individual is celebrated from the newest infant to the oldest adult. We are a diverse people, gifted as individual and blessed as a whole. 1 Peter 2:9
4. Tithing At Hazelwood we practice and encourage tithing for the support of Christ’s body, the church, as God commands. Leviticus 27:30
5. Spirit-Led Living We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. We believe in freedom of religion, freedom for religion, and freedom from religion. We support the separation of church and state. John 15:5 6. Telling Others About Christ It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We encourage and practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church. 1 Peter 3:15