A significant number of Baptists have always embraced the doctrine of election. Of course, there is always disagreement among Baptists on any topic (except salvation by grace through faith), but there is a long history of the doctrine of election in the confession of faiths from Baptist life. I offer three samplings below:
The London Confession of Faith, adopted in 1646 by some of the earliest Baptist churches in England,
And God hath before the foundation of the world, foreordained some men to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of His grace; [having foreordained and] leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His justice. (Article III)
When the Southern Baptist Convention was formed in the middle of the 19th century, they did not yet have a confession of faith. The first Baptist Faith and Message would be adopted in 1920s. So, when the convention formed its first Seminary, it was founded on a document called the Abstract of Principles which served as a confession of faith for the Seminary. Adopted in 1858, the Abstract of Principles of the Southern Baptist Seminary included an article on election,
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life-not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ-in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
And even today, in the latest version of the Baptist Faith and Message, there is an article that continues the longstanding Baptist position on election,
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
Is the doctrine of election a Baptist belief? It would seem so.