We include this item for several reasons. First it serves as our affirmation of historic orthodox theology – the things all Christians everywhere can claim together. We affirm the historic confessions of the Church such as the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds. We are excited to talk about the Kingdom of God, to discuss the social and economic implications for our lives of Jesus’ teachings, to learn together how to live out Jesus’ call to peace but we aren’t going “emerging” or “liberal” – we will remain solidly within the generous bounds of historic Christian orthodoxy.
Another reason we would like to affirm our commitment to remaining theologically orthodox is that the historic creeds and teachings of the church also function as a corrective to the fads of our own particular time and place. The creeds are not the entirety of New Testament teachings – and we do believe and intend to highlight areas of Scripture not addressed by the creeds. We won’t be a Church that focuses on the many of the issues of our day that are important mostly as cultural signifiers.
You won’t hear much from our pulpit about the culture wars: talking to Christians about the “war on Christmas” or the “homosexual agenda” is a waste of time in our view. We have no official position on millennial schemes – “pre”, “post”, or “a”. We aren’t going to attempt to define inerrancy or demand that you affirm something we can’t define. We won’t demand a 6,000 year old universe. On these issues of our day we’re happy merely to affirm what Christians everywhere have always affirmed: that God created the universe, that Scripture is true, that Jesus is coming back to establish his reign over all things, that all Christians everywhere ought to practice chastity.
Of course we have opinions on many of these topics. And we’re might enjoy talking about them in the right context – but as a Church we would like to focus on the centrality of Christ, on His message and calling on our lives. And we are convinced that we will only make an impact on the world around us by living out the life of Christ within us as individuals and as His people together.
Greetings! May the Lord bless you both as you begin this journey….you talk about getting out of the boat, this would be it! As you know we have never started a Church, yet have had the priveledge of being a part of those that were started with much prayer and faith!
I appreciate your willingness to begin with an “open mind”, yet convictions that you are willing to stand firm on……….may I make a few “suggestions” for you to consider as you continue this journey?
1. Have clear cut objectives! These clear cut, focused objectives will in time determine your outcome! Stay on track and try to determine between that which is biblical and that which is cultural! As you well know, cultural is very flexible, Bible Truths are not to be bent!
2. Make sure that you are going to have some means of effective community penetration and communication! I think BCF had some real ways of doing this one right, in more than one area.
3. Make sure that whoever is in your pulpit, or “behind the table” 🙂 will communicate solid Biblicasl teaching! It must be Life-related, practical for practice, an emphasis on making disciples, and must always lift up the Lord!
4. Try to have a High-Commitment to the family home. I remember my father saying that “worship begins at the family alter…..and then continues to the family pew!”
5. Start with the resolve that all relationships in the “Body” are healthy, loving, with each loving and serving one another! Nip division in the bud, quickly!
6. You may not like this one…..but at least consider it. Have a willingness to inovate and change. Some of the disputable matters may need to be looked at from time to time…..not Ress. Virgin Birth, Second Coming, Bible innerancy, Faith alone……but some of the minor things. To put it another way….”Dont get caught up in majoring in the minor things!
7. Bathe everytning and everyone daily in fervent prayer. THe Portrait of your NEW CHURCH will be about the amount of time you spend in prayer!
8. Humble yourselves before the Lord! Remember…….this is not about you….it must be about HIM! THe candlestick of a Churches “usefulness” will be quickly removed……when we do it….MY WAY OR THE HIGH-WAY!
9. Trust….and then trust again!
10. Blessings to each of you and your families! Gordon R