“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.” This ancient phrase, most commonly attributed to St. Augustine, not only reveals the attitude with which we approach the topic of core beliefs, but also the reality that well intentioned people have missed the plot for centuries because of their discussion over the non-essential, or the less clear, minutia of Scripture. Like Augustine, or the hundreds of people who have quoted him since, we’re committed to sticking to the essentials, believing that living out faith practically is a higher aim than debating the vast amount of arguable doctrines and practices. The following five statements clarify what we feel are ‘essential' to our faith.
We believe in God, described accurately through the ages as: the Father almighty, behind the creation of all things visible and invisible; as Jesus Christ, both divine and human, who, because of sin, became human, suffered, died, rose, ascended, and will come again, as the Holy Spirit; the giver of life and one with the Father and the Son.
We believe that humanity was created in the image of God to have and long for relationship with Him, but is alienated in that relationship through disobedience. As a result, man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own effort.
We believe that the work of Jesus on the cross provides forgiveness of sin, making relationship with God, the restoration of individual lives, and the renewal of the world possible. When we abandon attempts to earn God’s favor through personal accomplishments and trust the work of Jesus, we discover a reconnection with God, with others, with ourselves, with our environment, and every aspect of our culture.
We believe the church, which is the body of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Locally, they are inclusive communities of people intent on glorifying God by loving Him, renewing a world that is separated from Him, and celebrating a future hope found in Him – together.
We believe the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament are inspired of God and the final authority in faith and life. We seek to apply biblical principles to all facets of human aspiration and action.