We desire to be grounded on the whole counsel of the Bible as totally true and totally sufficient, with it alone as our final authority for faith and practice. That means we aspire, above all, to be orthodox (this word literally means “right-believing”). We prefer the term “orthodox” because the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have become clouded from their use in secular culture. Nor are we interested in being described as “moderate” because an honest reading of the New Testament clearly shows that Jesus is not interested in having moderate followers. A commitment to orthodoxy means that our theology is guided by biblical truth - regardless of whether or who it inconveniences.
This simply means we are self-consciously Baptist and Protestant, and that we hold to the key principles of the Reformation: Christ Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, all things for the Glory of God Alone. We believe that God is absolutely sovereign and that all true believers are kept in faith by God’s power, grace, and faithfulness. But, even so, people in our church sometimes have different theological opinions about the details, and thats ok. As we talk about serious theological issues, we strive to walk in humility knowing that , to one degree or another, we all only see in part.
In our worship and theology we pay attention to the whole history of the Church, including her ancient practices and liturgies, and the Church Year. We believe that scripture not only allows this, but actually even encourages it (2 Thessalonians 2:15). We do not deny the sufficiency of scripture, nor are we enslaved to any tradition, nor do we believe that all traditions are helpful or constructive (whether ancient or nostalgic). We do believe it is important to think critically and historically about tradition. It is not a question of whether this or any other Christian church will have traditions, because all churches have traditions. The real question is whether a given church is intentional about examining its traditions, including the source from which those traditions arise, how those traditions teach and shape the congregation, and whether those traditions are truly subject to the authority and reforming influence of Holy Scripture.
When you come to Sunshine Baptist, you may hear CityAlight and a Fannie Crosby or Charles Wesley hymn on the same Sunday. As far as music goes, if it teaches scripturally sound theology and is beautiful, we probably like and use it - old or new.
At Sunshine Baptist the Pastor doesn’t run everything, and neither do the Deacons. Nor does the congregation vote on every detail of church life (though we do vote on the big things). Instead, we are led by a plurality of Elders that guard our doctrine, served by Deacons charged with embodying the love of Christ, and accountable to the congregation. While only men may serve as Elders, Sunshine Baptist does ordain both men and women to serve as Deacons.