Oak Park Baptist Church subscribes to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as well as a supplemental statement on Marriage and Human Sexuality. Additionally we have several distinctives that, while not part of our stated beliefs, have become an important part of the culture here at Oak Park.
Regenerate Church Membership
While we welcome anyone to attend, only born again (regenerated) believers will be admitted into membership. Oak Park Baptist Church requires members to be regenerate for the health of the body and for the integrity of Christ’s name. Members participate in the church decision making process and reflect who we are to the surrounding community as well as to the world.
Plurality of Elders
Oak Park Baptist Church is led by a plurality of elders (pastors). Biblically qualified men (1 Tim 3:1-8; Titus 1:5-16) are appointed to the office of elder by the congregation. While different elders fulfill different ministry roles within the church, the direction and leadership for Oak Park Baptist Church comes from the elders as a united body.
Intentionality in Pastoral Care
At Oak Park Baptist Church our pastors are committed to living in community with the body.While each pastor may not be able to maintain extensive knowledge of every member’s life, our pastors do want each member to feel cared for and connected. Thus they are committed to living transparently before Oak Park Baptist Church and remaining accessible to the entire congregation.
Section III of our Statement of Faith and our statement on Marriage and Human Sexuality explains that Oak Park Baptist Church believes that all humans are created in the image of God as either male or female. We believe that God gave gender distinction to humanity as a good gift. While men and women are equal in their dignity and worth, we believe that they are distinct in their roles as seen in passages such as Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 2:1-24, Ephesians 5:22-33, and Colossians 3:18-19.
As evidenced by our statement of faith, Oak Park Baptist Church holds a high view of Scripture. Therefore, the Bible drives our preaching. The main point of our sermons come from the main point of the biblical text. Oak Park Baptist Church is dedicated to teaching through books of the Bible from the pulpit, and to remaining true to the text when specific topics are discussed.
Based on Matthew 7:7-6, Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, and other like biblical texts Oak Park Baptist Church practices church discipline. The goal of church discipline is three-fold: to be formative, corrective, and restorative. We desire to form a godly understanding of life, provide correction where necessary, and restore straying members back into a healthy relationship with other members and Christ. Church discipline also serves as a warning to others in the body that they might see sin taken seriously and avoid committing it themselves (1 Timothy 5:20). While we will not come knocking our membership’s door each time a person sins, we are committed to the holiness and unity of the church. Thus, members found in unrepentant sin will be lovingly pursued following the process Jesus outlines in Matthew 18.