We believe that truth is reality and fact. We believe that the greatest truth is an attribute of God and expressed in the Christian Scriptures. Proof only exists in math and logic. The truth of Christianity exists because it is the most reasonable of all possibilities. This leads us to the understanding that the Bible is the only source of 100% truth. Jesus Christ is the person who has authenticated the Bible.
We believe the Bible, in its commonly accepted 66 books, is inspired of God to the extent that the words represent what God wanted for humanity to know (Deuteronomy 29:29, 1 Thessalonians 2:13). This would include statements made by individuals who were not inspired but the statement itself is 100% representation of the thought itself. For example, when the devil speaks, the quote is 100% accurate, but it is not God’s words. The Bible is not a book of science or history, yet when science or history is the topic, it is 100% accurate, thus creation and Noah’s flood are accurate history. Creation was in 6, 24-hour days in the literal sense. Noah’s flood was worldwide flood of water covering every inch of the earth’s surface.
Scriptures are necessary for humans to know God and His purpose, plans, personality, salvation, sin, and other topics (Psalm 19:7-9, Psalm 119, Matthew 4:4). The Bible is to be read, studied, and understood in its plain, normal, grammatical-historical sense using the context of the passage (Psalm 19:7, Matthew 11:27). Symbolism will be seen as symbolism. Allegory will be seen as allegory. It is not to be interpreted or overruled by theology, science, philosophy, or some type of grid (as some dispensational teachers do (ultra, hyperdispensationalism)). Experience, voices, impressions, dreams, physical manifestations are to be rejected today as having no authority. The sole authority for speaking and writing God’s words are the Lord Jesus, the Apostles, and the prophets (Ephesians 2:20). There are no apostles or prophets today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). The cannon of Scripture was decided on by the time of John the Apostle’s death. Our Christian beliefs in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds, teaching, doctrine, etc. are found in the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21). The Old Testament is for Israel and contains examples, prophecies, and the framework for the New Testament believer.
We believe in one God who exists as three persons (Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29). There are not three Gods (John 5:18, Matthew 28:19). The one God is one essence. The essence of God is the spirit body of God, the stuff that is Him. He has no material body (John 4:24, 2 Corinthians 3:17). The three persons are God the Father, God the Son (Jesus, Yeshua), and God the Holy Spirit. Each person is fully God. Each has the same essence and the same attributes but are separate persons. Hierarchy in the Trinity refers to the roles of the Godhead. God is eternal without beginning or end (1 Timothy 1:17, John 1:1, Romans 16:26, Hebrews 9:14). God is above the universe but active in the universe (John 16:27, Genesis 18:22, and Jesus Christ). He is personal having relationships, thoughts, and will. He is the perfection of rational thought (Proverbs 8, 1 Timothy 1:17, Romans 16:27). He needs nothing. He does not need to learn anything (Isaiah 40:13-14). He is not a force or thought in everything, or even the universe itself. He is totally in heaven, yet He is present everywhere in this universe (Psalm 139). He is the perfection of all attributes among which are communicable attributes as compassion, love, mercy, anger, judgment, good, etc. He is also the perfection of all attributes among which are incommunicable attributes as omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnisapience, omnibenevolent, eternity, etc. He knows the future including what can be known to humans (as science) (Isaiah 40:26) and what cannot be known to humans (as future decisions) (Acts 15:18, 1 Corinthians 2:10, Matthew 12:25, John 1:47). He is totally sovereign (Psalm 135:6, Luke 1:37, Isaiah 43:13). He is King of the Universe. Nothing can control Him or overrule what He decides. Foreknowledge is not decreeing all things; it is truly knowing the known and unknown. Separateness between members of the Trinity is clear (John 5:22, Isaiah 48:12-16, John 20:21, etc.). Oneness between the members of the Trinity is also clear (John 14:9, John 10:30-34).
A4 God the Father
We believe that God the Father in Scriptures is so designated as such by the role or position He accomplishes. The teaching in the Bible about what a father is and how to live as such gives us some understanding of His role.
He is designated by the term father for a number of reasons. First, He is father of the Lord Jesus Christ in the incarnation (John 5:17-18, John 10:29-33, John 11:41). Second, He is father to believers in the regeneration (Ephesians 1:2, Romans 1:7). He is not the father of all humans (Ephesians 4:6 in context refers to the church, that is, believers. It does not refer to all humans). He is the creator of all humans but only the Father of believers. All humans might call Him God, but only believers can call Him Father. For the Lord Jesus, God the Son, to be a human, He needed to be conceived in the womb of a female (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). The power of the Holy Spirit accomplished this in and through the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:30-35). God the Father, then, is Father to God the Son as to the flesh. God is the Father of God the Son, as to deity, only in the role the members of the Trinity have decided on. The Old Testament describes God as Father to the nation of Israel but not to the individual (Isaiah 64:8). In the New Testament, God the Father is to believers only (Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 4:20, etc.).
A5 God the Son
We believe He is 100% God and 100% man (John 1:14, John 10:30, John 8:40). He is one person with two natures. All the attributes of God are found in the person, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:16-17). The incarnation of Jesus is God the Son becoming enfleshment (the meaning of incarnation). He is God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16 (in the best manuscripts. Wilbur Pickering comments on 1 Timothy 3:16: "Instead of 'God', 1% of the Greek manuscripts read 'who', and most modern versions follow this 1%. But 'who' is nonsensical (in the context), so most of them take evasive action: NEB and NASB have "he who"; Phillips has "the one"; NRSV, Jerusalem, TEV and NIV render "he". Berkley actually has "who"! In the Greek Text the relative pronoun has no antecedent, so it is a grammatical 'impossibility', besides being a stupidity—what is so mysterious about someone being manifested in flesh? All human beings have bodies. The pronoun can be accounted for as an easy transcriptional error, a simple copying mistake, so why not stay with the 98.5%? "God was manifested in flesh"—now there you have a mystery!). He was born of a virgin (Luke 1:26,27, 34). The word for virgin is the medical term for virgin. No one has ever seen God, but the Son reveals, has made him known (Matthew 11:27, John 1:18). He is also the Creator, not created (Colossians 1:16, John 1:3, Hebrews 1:8-10). Jesus has the nature of God and the nature of a human (Philippians 2:6-7). His divine nature has always existed—past, present, and future (Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 1:8). His human nature began with the incarnation in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Nature refers to the essential kind or characteristics of something. A cat has a different nature from a dog. God has a nature that describes what He is as a person. Humans have a nature, too. The nature of God is different from the nature of a man. Jesus has the perfect nature of God and the perfect nature of a man. He was truly tempted (Matthew 4:1-11) but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15, John 8:46, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22). He obeyed God’s law as written in the Old Testament perfectly, fulfilling everything perfectly (Luke 24:44, Acts 3:18).
We believe He is Son of Man. He has the body, soul, and spirit of a man (Galatians 4:4, Matthew 26:38, Luke 23:46). He has the nature of a man. He is sinless (Hebrews 4:15, John 8:46, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22). In the incarnation, he received a body, soul, and spirit of a man in order to be our savior—truly a man (Hebrews 10:8, 1 Corinthians 5:7).
We believe He is God the Son. He has always existed (John 1:15, John 8:58, John 17:5, Hebrews 1:8). He has always existed as the son. Son does not always refer to generation, as it would for humans, but to relationship, the role, the designation of Jesus (Yeshua, the Holy One of Israel) (Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6). God the Father is the father of the Lord Jesus in relation, designation, and role. The Father addresses Jesus as the son (Matthew 3:17, Luke 9:35). Humans (Matthew 16:16, John 1:29) and demons (Matthew 8:29) address him as Son. Jesus is the Messiah. He has, is, and will be always, both eternally past and eternally future, the Messiah. Jesus is prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15, Acts 3:22, Acts 7:37), priest (Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:20, Romans 8:34), and king (Matthew 2:2, Matthew 27:11, Luke 1:31-33, Revelation 17:14). He is fully and completely God in every possible way (Colossians 2:8-10, 1 Timothy 1:16-17).
We fully and finally reject these heresies about the person of Messiah:
Adoptionism: the belief that Jesus was a normal man, who was adopted, given the Christ spirit at His baptism, because of His holiness and character. Finnis Dake and others teach this. He could not have paid the penalty for our sin if He was not God. Even if any man could be sinless (the Bible teaches all are dead in sins and trespasses), he would die only for his own sin, not for the sins all of humanity.
Apollinarism: the belief that Jesus had a human body and soul but his spirit was God, divine. This was a blending of the nature of God and the nature of a man, instead of two natures. Jesus to be a man had to have the soul and nature of a man, and for Jesus to be God had to have the nature of God. Jesus had to have the nature of God and the nature of man to be the savior. He had to have the nature of God to pay the penalty for sin. He had to have the nature of man to be our representative. Jesus was not a human who was possessed by God, but who truly was, is, and always will be God.
Arianism: the belief that Jesus was a created being, first among all of creation. He had a beginning. The title Son of God was one of courtesy. Even though there were different forms of this, all believe that Jesus is not of the same essence as the Father.
Docetism: the belief that Jesus’s body was not real flesh and blood but an illusion, a ghost, so to speak. When Jesus died on the cross, it was not a real, physical body, just a spirit body that appeared to die.
Monophysitism: the emphasis on Jesus’s divinity and lessening His humanity. The Bible clearly teaches two natures of Jesus—the fully human and the fully divine.
Monothelitism: Jesus had two natures, divine and human, but only one will. The correct understanding is that Jesus had two wills as well as two natures.
Nestorianism: the belief that Jesus the human was united but not identical with the divine.
Patripassianism: the belief that the Father and the Son are not separate persons, thus the Father died on the cross as Jesus, not the Father.
Psilanthropism: the belief that Jesus is fully human. He did not exist before birth and never became divine.
Sabellianism (Modalism): the belief that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not 3 persons but different characterizations or appearances of one god. Sometimes taking the role of Father, sometimes the role of Son, and sometimes the role of Holy Spirit.
B2 Work of Messiah
We believe He is savior (Titus 1:3, Titus 2:10). He suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18). He is our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). He is head of the church (Ephesians 1:22). He is the Messiah of Israel (the Jewish people). The prophets foretold about the suffering Messiah (Isaiah 53 and many others) and the glorious Messiah (Revelation 19, Isaiah 11:3-5, Jeremiah 23:5-6).
We believe He truly died (Matthew 27:54, John 19:31-37). He truly was buried (John 19:38-42, Acts 13:29, 1 Corinthians 15:4, etc.). He truly raised bodily from the dead (John 20:1-8, 1 Corinthians 15:6). He went bodily to heaven (Acts 1:6-11, Luke 24:51).
B4 His return
We believe He will return bodily to earth to rule and reign eternally in Jerusalem.
A6 Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or power (John 14:26, Acts 5:3-4). He convicts all people of their sin (John 16:8). He is involved in regeneration (being born again) (Titus 3:5, John 3:5-6). He has all the attributes of God including eternal (Hebrews 9:14), omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10) and omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-13). He inspires Scripture (1 Timothy, 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21). He gives wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8) and strength (Romans 15:19).
C1 Brings conviction (John 16:8)
C2 Teacher (John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:13).
C3 Gives gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
C4 Comforter, assistant, helper, encourager of believers (John 14:16, John 15:26, Romans 8:26)
B3 Spiritual Gifts
C1 Exist (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
C2 Each gift is not given to all, for not all had (1st century church) the gift of Apostle, etc. Not everyone was an apostle, etc.
C3 Some of these gifts are presently not in operation (1 Corinthians 13:8-12).
C4 The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not tongues (real languages) but God’s presence with believers to protect, discipline, encourage, and do the work of God (Romans 14:17, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Ephesians 1:13, Hebrews 6:4).
B1 Salvation is not salvation from the ills of society. Salvation is forgiveness of sins and a reconciliation of fellowship between God and humans.
B2 No human seeks God (Romans 3:9-20). No human is good (Romans 3:12), Ecclesiastes 7:20, Isaiah 64:6). There is no spark of divinity, or something good in anyone that would seek God. All humans, except the Lord Jesus, have sin inherited from Adam (pride, me first attitude). All humans are dead in sin and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). They are spiritually dead, not physically and mentally dead, for people can resist (Ephesians 2:1, Luke 15:24, 1 Timothy 5:6, 2 Timothy 3:8, Acts 7:51).
B3 We believe in a libertarian free will, which is the ability of contrary choice. God in His sovereignty decreed for humans to have a measure of true free will. This is not limited to selecting different choice but not be forced or decreed to a certain choice. We believe that after the Holy Spirit gives prevenient grace, people then have a freed will, then people have the ability to resist or not resist God’s gracious invitation for salvation.
B4 The atonement of the Lord Jesus was unlimited to all but effectual for only those who meet God’s conditions (Romans 10:9-14, 1 John 5:1). Jesus truly died for all people (John 3:15-19, Matthew 9:13, 1 Timothy 1:15-16, Matthew 11:28) and wants all people to believe (Matthew 9:13, 1 Timothy 1:15, 2 Peter 3:9). God opens the eyes, mind, and heart of all people, but most resist because of pride and love of sinful pleasures. God gives a genuine offer of salvation to all people.
B5 Most Reformed/classical Arminians and Wesley Arminians believe that God foresees those who will believe. These are the elect. Others tend to favor corporate election. Election is not based on foreknowledge of good works or merit.
B6 After God initiates salvation and opens the heart and mind of a person, a person can then resist or not resist God’s grace (Luke 24:45, Acts 16:14, Acts 26:18). No human has ever, is able, or ever able to initiate salvation (Romans 3:10-11). All people are spiritually dead and cannot choose. God enables and all people then and only then can believe or not believe. God calls all humans to salvation (Matthew 11:28, Acts 17:30).
B7 God’s call is genuine. Those who are not saved are those who resist. They choose to not believe because of their pride and love of sinful pleasures.
B8 Choice is our responsibility after God initiates salvation by opening our eyes, mind, heart, and freeing the will. Most will resist God’s call.
B9 All people are dead in sins and trespasses. We believe in total depravity and total inability. God initiates salvation, afterwards all people have a freed will to resist or not resist God’s gracious invitation for salvation.
B10 The Gospel is grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Believing God is the essence of saving faith, so Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc. to this very day and forever. There is only one Gospel. It was taught perfectly by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Apostles of Jesus Christ then preached this same Gospel to others, who preached it to others to this very day.
A8 Security, Assurance
We reject the Once Saved, Always Saved (osas) concept, though we recognize that true believers and Bible students do believe osas.
The Bible, in its plain, normal reading, studying, and interpreting, gives warning passages as 2 Timothy 2:12, Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-39, 2 Peter 2:20-22. These verses deal with true Christians who apostatized, will die, and go to hell. The Christian faith is initiated by God’s grace and finishes with God’s grace. Those who resist eventually will be cast aside. Those who continue to believe will be welcomed into heaven. Though all Christians have times of rebellion, we believe that God’s chastening will have the good effect of each to repentance. We also believe that one sin will not cause loss of salvation. We believe that John 10:25-30 refers to people who have religious authority pronouncing loss of salvation. This passage states their pronouncement has no effect. Assurance for the Christian is daily (Hebrews 6:11, Hebrews 10:22, Romans 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 1:12), and we can be calm and peaceful in our secure salvation (Romans 5:1, Philippians 1:6, 2 Timothy 4:18).
We believe that all humans are created. Adam was created from dirt; Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs. The rest of us are created biologically. God is creator of all humans but not Father of all humans (Ephesians 4:6 is addressed to the church, that is, believers). All believers call God, Father (1 Peter 1:2-4, John 1:12-13, 1 John 3:2). Humans have a sinful nature from conception. This is termed original sin, since it is from the corruption of Adam (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:22). Original sin is noticed, observed, as me first and pride.
Our sinful nature is as satan’s nature is (John 8:44, Matthew 13:38, 1 John 3:8-12).
We believe that all humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 5:1-2, James 3:9). This image is not physical but as a rational soul that shares the communicable attributes of God. This image has been tarnished by sin. Without Jesus the Messiah and His salvation, all humanity will go to hell.
The local church is the church that meets in a building, house, outdoors, etc. and is comprised of men and women who have met God’s conditions for salvation. The church universal is all believers from Pentecost to and including the Rapture. The church is only believers, not necessary church members. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:24, Colossians 2:19).
The local church is independent and free of any external authority or control.
The church (people, not building) is God’s (1 Timothy 3:15). Jesus Christ is the ruler (Ephesians 5:23).
B4 The church service should include prayers (1 Timothy 2:1), singing (Colossians 3:16), reading, exhortation, and teaching (1 Timothy 4:13) to build up the saints in faith or witness. This would include apologetics to defend one’s faith (1 Peter 3:15).
We believe in baptism. Baptism does not wash away sins. The only thing that washes away sins is the blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5, Revelation 7:14, 1 John 1:7). Baptism is not needed to have salvation (Romans 6:3-4, 1 Peter 3:21, Romans 10:9-10). It is done in obedience to God’s command. It signifies our being under His authority. It signifies a new life. It is an appeal for a guilt free conscience (Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 3:20-22).
B2 Holy Spirit Baptism
We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes all believers (Galatians 3:2-5). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not in gifts as tongues or manifestations but an invisible anointing and presence indwelling each Christian immediately at the new birth (born again, regeneration) (Ephesians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27).
B3 Water Baptism
We believe the mode of water baptism can be immersing, pouring, or sprinkling (Romans 6:3-8, Acts 2:17-18, Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 1:2). Generally, it will be done by immersion signifying dying with Jesus Christ and being raised to new life (Romans 6:3-8).
A12 Lord’s Supper
We believe the Lord’s Supper, Communion, is to be enjoyed by believers to remember what great sacrifice the Lord Jesus made for our salvation, that He, and He alone, suffered for our sins (Hebrews 13:12, 1 Peter 3:18) and paid the penalty of death (Colossians 1:14, Hebrews 9:15, Galatians 3:13-14). The instructions for us Christians are found in the Gospels (Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 19:20-20) and in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26,
A13 Washing of feet
We believe and practice the washing of the believer’s feet (men with men and women with women). The example and teaching of Jesus is taught and practiced in John 13:1-17.
A14 Lord’s Day
We believe that Sunday is the first day of the week. Believers may meet on any day to worship (Romans 14:5-6), but Sunday is the normal day to gather and worship (Acts 20:7, Revelation 1:10). It is done so in memory of Jesus’s resurrection, which was on the first day of the week (Luke 24:1-3, John 20:19).
We believe that there are two kingdoms, the kingdom of satan (Matthew 12:26-27, John 12:31, John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 4:4) and the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:5). Each kingdom has a ruler and rules. They are separate and have nothing in common. All humans are born into the kingdom of satan (John 8:44, 1 John 3:8) and follow satan’s ways and desires (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). After our rebirth, Christians are in the Kingdom of God and want to live in obedience our King Jesus and follow His rules (1 John 3:9-10, 2 Corinthians 10:5-6). Thus, there is to be a separation in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds from those of the kingdom of satan (James 4:4, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
A16 Second Coming
We believe Jesus is coming back to earth. He said so. This consists of 2 parts. The first is the Rapture of believers before the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Titus 2:13). The second is at the end of the Tribulation to deliver Israel (the Jews) and set up the Millennial Kingdom (Matthew 24:30, Revelation 1:7, Revelation 19:11-21, Zechariah 14).
A17 Eternal State
We believe that all humans live forever (Daniel 12:2-3, 1 Corinthians 15:22). There is no annihilation or destruction of the person. There is Hades and Hell. Hades is the jail where conscious souls wait for sentencing (Luke 16:19-31,). Hell is the Lake of Fire where those who did not believe will suffer forever without end (Revelation 20:13-15). The Lake of Fire was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, Luke 8:28, Matthew 8:29). There are degrees of punishment in hell (Matthew 10:15, Matthew 11:22). There is no second chance for salvation (Hebrews 9:27). Heaven is the place where God lives and has His eternal kingdom.
When people die, the flesh stays on earth and returns to dust. The souls of people go to their respective places. The non-believers go to Hades and believers go to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). The Old Testament saints are in “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 23:43, Daniel 12:2, Luke 16:25) waiting for their resurrection at the end of the Millennium.
People are conscious after death (Luke 16:19-31, Revelation 14:9-10). We reject soul sleep and soul destruction. All people will be resurrected (Daniel 12:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Acts 24:15). The Christians who have died and not living at His return will be resurrected at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The living will then be with the Lord without experiencing death.
The Bema sea is for Christians to be judged and rewarded for how they lived while on earth (Romans 14:9-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10).
The separation of sheep and goats is for the people living at the end of the Tribulation and is based on their attitudes and actions to the Jews (Matthew 25:31-46).
The Great White Throne is the final resurrection and judgment of all those who did not believe, whether Old Testament saints, or those of the Millennium (Daniel 12:2-3, Revelation 20:12-15).
Those who go to heaven will exist eternally (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and those who go to the Lake of Fire will exist eternally (Isaiah 66:24, John 5:28-29, Mark 9:48).
The saints will have new, resurrected bodies like Jesus had after His resurrection (1 John 3:2, Romans 8:18, 1 Corinthians 15:49, Philippians 3:21). The unbelievers will have their old, mortal body, the one they have now, forever (Matthew 5:29).
We believe satan is a being originally created as the covering cherubim. He was holy. He became proud, sinned, and was cursed by God. He is the ruler, prince, of this world causing all sorts of evil as he rebels against God and God’s people (Job 1-2,). He is the enemy of God and man. He will be punished forever and ever in the Lake of Fire. He is not sovereign though he has great power. He seeks to deceive through any means possible that others will continue in their rebellion (Revelation 20:8, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Genesis 3:1-5, Revelation 12:9, 2 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Peter 5:8). He seeks to deceive Christians that they might rebel against God, too. (Isaiah 14:12-21, Ezekiel 28:13-17, Revelation 12:7, Revelation 20:10)
We believe the Bible regarding creation and history is accurate. Creation was completed in 6, 24-hour days (Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11). Noah’s flood was totally global with every inch of the earth being under water (Genesis 7-8, 2 Peter 3:6). Evolution in any form is not the most reasonable explanation of origins and is rejected. If God is not to be believed in the first few chapters of Genesis, it is unlikely any should believe anything else. We believe that design is evident in all of creation that cannot be explained by natural methods.
A20 Civil Government
We believe God has ordained civil government. God places men and women in the highest positions in countries. They are to rule, lead, guide that nation in God’s ways. They do not, so they will pay a heavier penalty than non-leaders. We are to submit as far as possible, unless it causes us to disobey God. We are to pay our taxes. We are not to be at war or cause social unrest. (Matthew 22:21, Romans 12:18, Daniel 4:25, Romans 13:1-7, Acts 5:29). We are to pray for them daily.
A21 Human Sexuality and marriage
We believe God made humans male (XY) or female (XX). Each is distinct in gender. God made sex for pleasure and procreation. God made males to have sex with females, and females with males. Any other gender or illusion is not God’s will. Sex is only for marriage. It is an expression of oneness. This oneness is not only sexual but also spiritual, emotional, rational, and purpose. Sex outside marriage of any type is not God’s will. Sex is a commitment to another person—a commitment of a lifetime.
We believe that marriage is either Christian or controlling. A controlling style is marriage is not a Christian marriage. Both spouses need to work to a common, agreed solution. In the case where all has been discussed without solution, the wife then must yield to her husband. If the husband’s decision is wrong, then he must acknowledge this and if still possible choose the wife’s solution.
We reject patriarchy as being abusive and against God’s will for marriage.
We believe that children are a blessing. Sometimes God does not allow husband and wife to have children (Psalm 127:3). This is not a sin. Medical assistance is encouraged as well as prayer. Parents are not to make their children bitter (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21), are to teach them the Christian faith, are to give answers to difficult questions as evolution, social issues, atheism, etc.
We believe if a person does not marry, they are still loved and blessed by God. They have the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They can serve in the church. They are not to be shunned or treated as lesser Christians.
A22 Male and female spiritually and gifts.
We believe both are equal in God’s sight. Both can pray. Both can prophecy. Only males can be pastors of the local church. Males and females can be deacons/deaconesses (Romans 16:1) and should be ordained as such. This is not only taught in the Bible but is practical for counsel and comfort. The qualifications are given in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13, Acts 6:3). One does not have to be married to be a pastor or deacon/deaconess.
A23 Divorce and Remarriage
We believe marriage is a uniting of a male and a female to go through life as partners and friends. All that they face, they face together. Love is a choice. The outward manifestations of love to each other are clear in Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, Ephesians 5:28). Any abuse be it physical, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual or any type is evil. Divorce is recommended because abuse is never right. Abuse is a violation and abandonment of marriage vows. Marital counseling in abuse situations is essentially never successful as the wife is almost always blamed for the difficulties.
We believe that divorce is allowed in the Bible for only three reasons—sexual sins (e.g. incest, porn, and adultery), abuse, and desertion (e.g. physically leaving, spiritually leaving (this would be one might lose their faith in Jesus)). One doesn't have to divorce for adultery but it is allowed. Abuse is not from one doing irritating behaviors; it is physical, or emotional, or financial, or sexual, or spiritual, etc. These abuses are spiritually threatening as well as emotionally and physically threatening. The wife is usually blamed as not being submissive enough, but that is an excuse of evil pastors, evil pastor's wives, and the abuser themselves. The abused need to divorce and be safe. There should be no contact to low contact. See Exodus 21:10-11, Matthew 19:9, 1 Corinthians 7:11, Ephesians 5:28.
We believe that pastors who do not take abuse issues seriously should be removed from the pulpit as they do not want to understand the awful sin of abuse. Remarriage, if desired, is spiritually allowed. Since marriage is very serious, each person must be careful whom they marry. We believe it is necessary for godly, premarital counseling.
We believe that pastors are only the spouse of one living wife. If a pastor’s wife dies, he is free to marry. If there is a pastor who is divorced, he must give up his pastorship until he is examined as to why. If there is a scriptural reason for divorce (desertion, abuse, or sexual sins), one should not be a pastor but a teacher or assisting the church.
We believe that human life begins at conception. The unborn child in the uterus is fully human and is worthy of life. Abortion is murder of an innocent human being. We reject abortion for gender choice, rape, incest, birth defects, mental wellbeing, or population control. If it is diagnosed that the mother is likely to die, the pregnancy will have to be removed.
We believe in natural death. If it appears that it is likely that person is going to die, natural death is to be allowed. Any natural medicines (plants/herbs) or prescribed medicines are acceptable for comfort, pain, anxiety, etc. Any active termination of life, as euthanasia, is murder of an innocent life.
We believe that one of the duties of the church is to spread the gospel. This is required of all Christians. Some Christians may be called to missions in their native country or elsewhere and should be supported by prayer and meeting of their needs.
A27 Lawsuits between Believers
We believe that Christians are not allowed to bring civil lawsuits (1 Corinthians 6:1-8) against other believers or the church without first attempting to resolve the problem personally and in the local church body. Lawsuits are often necessary to stop others from hurting someone else as in medical lawsuits. Truth and honesty must be the highest priority, while covetousness and revenge are to be totally abhorred and rejected.
We believe that Christians should cheerfully give to the local church for paying expenses as mortgage, utilities, insurance, taxes, etc. The tithe can be followed if desired, but the tithe is not required for Christians. Pastors should be helped materially whenever possible, for they do the work of the ministry and watch out for the souls of the members of the congregation.