The following is a statement of our position regarding basic Christian doctrines. We believe there are basic foundational Christian truths about which there must be agreement. On remaining doctrinal issues there should be liberty. In all things there must be a balance of truth and grace. We will not compromise on the following essential doctrines of the Christian faith, yet we pledge to protect the rights of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to hold differing views and perspectives on “secondary” doctrines.
“The goal of our instruction is love, from a pure heart and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)
We believe the Bible is the only inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God. We do not accept any spiritual experience as having its source in the Holy Spirit that does not have a precedent in Scripture. Nor do we accept any revelation, vision, dream, prophecy, or discernment as truth which contradicts Scripture. We acknowledge our dependence on the Holy Spirit for accurate illumination, interpretation and application of Scripture. We do not believe any other writings have the same authority as the canon of Scripture.
We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We believe in: the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ; His virgin birth; His sinless life; His miracles; His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood; His bodily resurrection; His ascension to the right hand of the Father; and His future return in power and glory. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. . . “ (John 1:1,14). He chose to sacrifice himself on the cross for the redemption of all mankind. Through His shed blood, all who believe in Him and His sacrifice have their sins remitted and are restored to fellowship with God. “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5). All who seek restored fellowship with God must go through Jesus alone. “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential, and that this salvation is received through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and not as a result of good works. We believe that salvation is available to all mankind and can be received by repentance of sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Lord. We believe that true faith will result in a tangible, radical and transforming change in the life of a believer. Being “born again” represents a new beginning – not a final event. Our spiritual maturation in faith, truth, and love is a process that will continue until our death or Christ’s return.
We believe in the tangibility, and present ministry of the Holy Spirit, to equip the saints with power and authority, and by whose indwelling Christians are enabled to live a Godly life and to perform good works. We believe that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and that His ministry by the Holy Spirit has not changed from the beginning. We accept and acknowledge all of the biblical gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as vital for the Church.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost – those that are saved to the resurrection of eternal life, and those that are lost to the resurrection of damnation and destruction.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that those who have accepted the gift of salvation are called to worship and fellowship together in Spirit and in truth within a body of believers – the Church of Jesus Christ. We believe we are given freedom by Scripture to worship freely before our Lord - with song, dance, and the raising of hands. We believe that we are incomplete without truth, love, and unity operating within the Body. We believe that, as the Church, we are called to carry out the Great Commission and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ within our communities, our nation, and the world. We believe that we are called to minister to all people as Jesus did – particularly the poor, the needy, the orphans and the widows.
The Lord's Supper
We believe the Lord’s Supper serves as a remembrance of Jesus and a testimony of our communion with Him in His body – the Church. We further believe that the elements are strictly symbolic in their representation of Christ’s body and blood.
Human Sexuality and Marriage
We believe that man and woman were created by God as distinct acts of creation, and that being male and female are aspects of God's own image (Gen. 1:27; 2:7, 18-19). Marriage is the joining of these distinct genders into one flesh. Therefore, marriage represents a covenant between one man, one woman and God. Further, while the Bible teaches that sex within marriage is pure and honorable, sex outside marriage is sinful and will be judged by God (Hebrews 13:4). The 7th commandment protects the sexual relationship between a man and a woman who are united in marriage by forbidding marital infidelity, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, and the use of pornography (Exodus 20:14). Outside of marriage, God's standard of sex is celibacy, abstaioning from both heterosexual and homosexual acts (Matthew 5:27-30). Celibacy is a gift of God that allows an unmarried person to live a life of purity and contentment, so that a person does not have to engage in sex to have a full and satisfying life. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9)
We further believe that homosexual behavior is sinful and unnatural (Romans 1:24-28). Like other sexual temptations, homosexual lust if often highly addictive and difficult to stop. While God's grace is sufficient to forgive and cleanse us from all sexual sin God's grace does not guarantee that a "forgiven and cleansed" homosexual will develop heterosexual feelings. However, he or she may choose to live a celibate life (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Marriage (Christian vs. Civil)
We believe that the essence of a Christian wedding is the worship of God, not a civil function.
We further believe that Christian marriage is comprised of three essential characteristics.
1. Marriage is available to all people. God instituted marriage as a natural common grace availabe to all people, at all times, in all places. It is availabe not only to Christians, but to all people. (Genesis2:24)
2. Marriage is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. Biblical marriage is a lifelong covenant or sacrament between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6). Biblical marriage promotes the bearing and rearing of children by a mother and a father, and the exercise of stewardship over creation (Genesis 2:27- 28). Christian weddings bestow a divine blessing on the bride and groom as they exchange vows. During this sacred ceremony, God receives the worship of the congregation as they witness the marriage vows and offer God prayer and praise.
3. Marriage is also a legal or civil status licensed by the government. Throughout history, governments have given marriage special civil status in order to protect the orderly bearing and rearing of the next generation of citizens. During a traditional American wedding, a minister serves as a "double-agent" - performing both a religious function and a government function simultaneously.
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