What We Believe
Freedom and Unity
St. Augustine, a Bishop in the early church is quoted as saying, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, love.” Sixteen hundred years later and we believe that is still a solid word.
We believe it is unfortunate that there have been so many divisions among Christians over things that are matters of opinion, culture, or tradition and want people to know that we believe in the apostle Paul’s words, “It is for freedom that you have been set free.” There is no need to break relationships over opinions, especially at the expense of the many people outside of the church who have watched us behave judgmentally.
We offer a different course to ease some of your anxietiy about “going back to church.” Sure, there are some beliefs in which Christians should find unity or agreement. But there are many that are not worth dividing over.
Did Jesus’ mother, Mary, have other children? Can people speak in tongues today? Do people really know when or how Jesus might return? Is a guitar, organ, or no instrument at all the best way to sing to God? Should I call it the Eucharist, Communion, or Lord’s Supper and do I need to take it every day, every week, or when I can? There are no settled facts on these matters.
Why waste our time fighting over things that cause people to miss out on the fact that Christians agree on really important concerns and can be unified by them.
We believe the bible to be infallible and to provide the foundational pieces to our faith. The other issues… well, we don’t make them issues!
We Are Unified In Belief
There is only one God. God is not limited in any way by creation or our ideas about God. God rules over all creation in love, justice, and wisdom.
God the Creator
Everything that exists was designed and created by God to be cared for and enjoyed. God has a plan for what he has created and will accomplish God’s purposes in the end.
Created in The Image of God
Humans are created in the image of God so that we can have a personal and communal relationship with God. This Image gives dignity and enables us to love. It also sets us above and makes us responsible for the nonhuman creation.
The Fall of Man
The history of sin, death, evil, and pain were begun by rebellion against God and can only be undone by the justice of God.
The Authority of The Bible
God has communicated clearly through creation, through Jesus Christ, and through the Bible. The Bible is our authoritative standard for all matters of faith and life as it clearly points us to the mystery and power of Jesus.
Though God is one, God is presented in three persons (Father, Son and Spirit)—the Trinity. As “Father,” God
reigns on high, pursues God’s righteous purposes, and will ultimately act as gracious judge of all creation.
The Purpose of Jesus
The Son, Jesus Christ, is completely God and became a complete human being. His life revealed God to us. His death satisfied the justice of God for the original rebellion and the evil that followed. His resurrection overcame the power of death and gave us life with God after death. Jesus is now with the Father and personally intercedes on our behalf.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is completely God and does the work of the Father and Son. The Spirit teaches, gives gifts, and transforms us back into God’s image.
Salvation is by God’s grace, through Christ’s cross and resurrection, and a result of the Spirit’s active work. It is received through faith. It is sealed in confession and baptism. It is demonstrated in a life apprenticed to the lordship of Jesus.
There is one Church. She is the community of people who have trusted in Jesus to make them right with God and to send the Holy Spirit to make them more like God. The church is a “commissioned people,” partnering with God to accomplish God’s purposes in this world.
God has given the church special ways in which we can draw close to God personally and enjoy God’s blessings. These include baptism, prayer, worship, preaching, Communion, Bible study, serving the poor, spiritual gifts, fasting, and relationships.
Jesus is Coming Back
Jesus will return to finally overthrow evil and death forever and to set up a new heaven and a new earth where we can be with Jesus forever. God will rule over everything.
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