We believe that God is real. He is good. He is up to something and we are invited to participate.
We believe in the innocence of children and that God is the source of true LIFE. Since childhood, most of us, for many reasons, slow-boiled into the ways of the world. Most of our coping techniques for life are actually helping lead to our deaths. God made us for more than what the world could ever offer. Over and over in Scripture the same solution is presented, “Repent, be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.” Sounds like a bunch of religious words? Okay, how about some paraphrases that help get the gist: “Turn your mind, see the world differently. Die to your old self and rise with new life, being forgiven of anything (and everything) in your history. God wants to give you a seed of His own presence to grow in your heart, guide you into your holy purpose, heal you, teach you, and make you whole.” There’s nothing you need to do first; no getting your life together, waiting for the right time, quitting bad habits, etc. The Holy Spirit and your church family will help with that. All you need to do is realize God loves you right where you are, and wants to help you return to and stay aligned with who He made you to be. Accept the gift. Salvation takes nothing but receiving it in faith. The learning, cleansing, healing, sanctification (“more of You, less of me”), atoning (“at-one-ing” with God), spiritual disciplines (building the muscles of you inner life through prayer, study, and devotion), will all come naturally as as for your neighbors, friends, family and even those who are lost or hurting around you. As you mature and strengthen in faith (which includes acceptance of a LOT of not knowing), you will recognize you are leading in a ministry that was carved especially for you and your strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and specific place in history and geography. You will have a daily ministry in each of your stages of life, all the way up to the testimony of your last breath. And you will have a lifelong ministry that you won’t see the effects, but will impact generations to come. Especially for those children to come that will need mentors, examples, preparation, education, and the recognition that they will be called to the same great mission.
That being said, below are some unifying foundational beliefs that are not unique to our church or time, and which we hold dear.
The Bible We believe the Bible is a God-breathed text that illuminates the timeless love of God for His creation. It is an ancient mirror that allows us to see the unchanging aspects of a lost humanity, and the unfailing invitation of God for us to return to Him.
More than an ancient book, it is a living library of history, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, accounts of Jesus' life and teaching, the model for individual Christians and early church methods (that still work!), holy advice, direction, encouragement, and revelation. If we can imitate the holy intent of its guidance and wisdom, we want to.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3: 16-17
The Church Although one can worship alone on a fishing boat or on the couch, the assembly of church is where we put Christ back together. It is where we practice Christ-like relationships as equals at the foot of the cross: communally breaking bread, lifting prayers, singing praise and hymns, reflecting on Scripture, and overflowing our life into each other. Coming together helps us remember we are a part of the body of Christ, and we are called to take him back out into the world that needs him so much.
Now you are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. -1 Cor. 12: 27
God's Love It is not, "God loves me IF ______(I do right, I know a lot, I pray a lot, etc.)," or "God loves me BUT __________(I've screwed it up, I'm not worthy, He can't use me, etc.)." It's, "God loves me AND He has made a way back to the path He made for us from the beginning!"
Baptism Baptism is not by magic water. It is what happens when you see the world so differently the only next thing to do is to die to the old life and rise with the new, being washed by the water and integrated into the alive and active body of Christ.