Q: Are you a mainline evangelical church? Do you have a creedal statement?
"No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the divine." A: We also hold to the core doctrines of the faith embraced by mainline evangelical churches. We believe in the trinity, that Jesus came in the flesh, He is the only way to heaven, the Bible is the Word of God, salvation is by grace through faith and not by works, and yet we have no creed. Even though most of us wouldn't have a problem with the early creeds, we’d still prefer to stay clear of them. To keep things simple, we try not to bind anything on people other than what is found in the New Testament.
We have made available a Statement of Faith to help go more in depth with what we teach accompanied with verses for Biblical context. Click above.
Q: You say salvation is not by works, but don’t you believe you have to be baptized to go to heaven? Isn't that a work?
“We do Bible things in Bible ways."
A: When you are baptized, you are submissive, it is a passive act. You are lowered into the water and raised up, symbolically killing the “old you” and raising up a “new you.” It is done on your behalf, so it is not a work like saying a prayer, giving donations, or doing community service.
Some of the confusion is because baptism can look like a ritual. We think of baptism as more of a ceremony. A ritual is something repetitive you do to make a god do something, like when ancient pagans did dances to make it rain. That certainly is a work. Ceremonies are for marking major events like graduation, marriage, or a funeral. A Baptism is a type of funeral, showing that you are dying to yourself and now seek to live for Christ. It is like receiving your diploma at graduation, or getting a ring at your wedding. Baptism is just the time and place that you become a Christian and receive the Holy Spirit. We do not see baptism as a work done to gain merit with God.
Q: The Bible has lots of interpretations, therefore it means different things to a lot of different people. How do you know you are right?
"In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things love.”
A: We believe it is possible for most people to read the Bible and come to similar conclusions. We find most differences are usually not a result of interpretation, but rather, how closely the Bible should be followed.
For example, if you were to ask five leaders of five different denominations “How is one baptized?” you would expect to receive back five different answers. But if you were to ask, “How was baptism done in the New Testament?” then you would most likely receive the same answer. Why? Because the Bible is essentially a history book. It tells us what they did. The only real question is, should we do it too?
Admittedly, there some parts of the Bible that are difficult, because we just don’t know everything about the ancient past, but with the help of archeology, and experts in linguistics, more of these difficult passages are becoming clearer. There are things that we may have differences about, but the main thrust and teaching of the Bible is available to everyone. We will never know know everything, but we do strive each day to become a little more like Christ in our walk with God.
A: Our preacher is sometimes called an evangelist, and we have elders who pastor our church. We also have deacons who serve the church in various capacities. We take the Lord’s Supper weekly (you probably know it as communion or the eucharist), because of the example of the church in the Bible. We call these things by what they were called in the Bible so we can understand their true function and have clarity in the church.
"The church of Jesus Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one.”
A: We are not a denomination, because we don’t have a centralized headquarters. All of our money stays local unless we decide to send it out for mission work. We support our own preacher, fix our own building, and try to reach our community with the gospel. We believe that Jesus founded one church and we try to be that church as much as possible. So we are not reformers, or protestants, but rather restorationists. We try to recapture the original church for modern times.