We are committed to the ideal of New Testament Christianity. In seeking to follow apostolic faith and practice, we believe the Scriptures contain a pattern for the church, which determines how we should worship, what we should teach, the service we should provide, and how the congregation should be organized.
Of first importance is that we should be a sincerely loving church family. “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men” (I Thessalonians 3:12). We want this love to show itself in friendship and kindness, in weeping and rejoicing, and in encouraging one another in the Christian life. An attitude of kindness, thoughtfulness, and love should also be shown to those who are outside the church. Our opposition to sin and error should never appear to be arrogant, hateful or uncaring. Every person, both in the church and out, should be respected as a soul for whom Christ died.
There are issues facing the church that are causing some who profess to believe in Jesus Christ and the church He established to depart from biblical teaching. In addition, political decisions are creating additional pressures on congregations that can lead to the compromise of core doctrines.
Among these issues are:
The Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture
We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant word of God. This includes acceptance of the Genesis account of creation and rejection of the Theory of Evolution as the origin of man.
Salvation and the Grace of God
We believe in the amazing grace of God which has provided pardon for our sins through the blood of Jesus. We know we are not perfect as a congregation or as individuals. We strive to please God to the best of our ability and trust his grace to save us. This is not say that grace covers disobedience, hypocrisy or rebellion, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). Grace has provided the gift of salvation to all through the death of Jesus, however that gift must be accepted through obedient Faith (“By grace you have been saved though faith” – Eph. 2:8). We demonstrate obedient faith when upon hearing the word of God, we believe it, repent of our sins, are willing to confess the name of Jesus as Lord, and are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins.
Biblical Pattern for Worship
Jesus said in John 4, that those who worship God must do so in Spirit and in Truth. This indicates that we must worship with the right attitude and the right actions. As the Bible is the inspired Word of God, it provides direction in how He should be worshipped. As such, our worship must be based on what is authorized in scripture, and not on the presumption of man to worship based on his own desires. Worship should recognize that God is the audience and as such is for His glory, not for the entertainment of men.
Homosexuality and Gay Marriage
In the book of James we read that “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires . . .” and “when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” It is recognized that all people are subject to temptations and that the types and degrees of temptation differ from person to person. Some are tempted by homosexual desires, while others have different temptations. To avoid sin, everyone must resist the desires that would tempt them to sin. Homosexual behavior, (along with other forms of sexual immorality) was condemned by God in the Patriarchal period and in the Law given to the Israelites by Moses. While we no longer live under the old Law, we see God’s consistency toward sexual immorality, including homosexual behavior, in the teachings of the New Covenant (Rom. 1, I Cor. 6). Those that struggle with the temptation of homosexual behavior must be loved and encouraged the same as those that struggle with other sins. However, as with all sins, those who participate in such must repent in order to be in the right relationship with God.
From the beginning, God defined the marriage bond as that between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24). This was reinforced by Jesus in Matt 19:4-6, when he said that “in the beginning God made them Male and Female” and that a man is to be “joined to his wife and they two shall be one flesh.” Therefore, since Jesus has defined the marriage bond as between one man and one woman, as followers of Christ we do not have the right to sanction anything else.
The non-denominational aspect of the church
In Matthew 16:18, Christ promised to build His church (singular). In Ephesians we read that that the church is the body of Christ, and that there is one body (Eph 1:22-23, 4:4). However, from the earliest times of Christianity, man has tried to divide the church through man-made distinctions. For example, in chapter one of 1st Corinthians they were dividing themselves according to the one that had done the baptizing. In the hours before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed for his followers to be in Unity with one another. Anytime doctrines of men are inserted into the teachings of the church, division will result. Unity can only be achieved by following the scriptures as our only source of authority in religion. As such, the establishment of church denominations is foreign to the concept of biblical unity.
Human beings differ in their viewpoints and opinions. It is unreasonable to expect that every person’s private thoughts will be in agreement. We recognize, therefore, that there may be differences of opinion, that some may be more or less mature in the Faith than others, and that some hold personal issues of conscience. It is expected, however, that such things should not be urged upon others so as to create problems in the church. Our attitude should be: “In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; and in all things charity.”