If you are curious what the core theological beliefs are of our church, you’ve come to the right page. We are excited anytime we get to talk about Jesus Christ. We believe the story of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and return as king. We base our lives on this truth. Here are some of our core ideas in narrative form. Our theology is best understood and experienced as story, and we love telling it! (For a point by point, analysis of our core beliefs you can find the 1963 version of the Baptist Faith and Message.)
Who We Worship
We believe in the adventure of an amazing God and his people, and we believe in the authority of the Bible, which tells it. The Bible/Scripture/God’s word is written by humans and inspired by God. Which means that the Bible contains the truth of God’s redemptive movement to save the world. So the story is true, and it goes like this:
God has always been. We call this eternal. God cannot die and God is the source of all that is. This is exciting because God is good and so anything that comes from Him will be good as well.
One of the complex beliefs we have about God is his nature as three in one; we call it Trinity. We believe God is one, but he reveals himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three have distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. For instance, if God the Father was a source of light, the Son Jesus would be the light emanating from that source. Easy enough, the substance is the same. Both are light. Yet, they are different. Now the source doesn’t create what emanates from it; it’s just the reality of light. One cannot be separated from the other. So, God did not create Jesus, as some religions might suppose. Jesus has always existed with the Father. The Father and Jesus are one because Jesus is a part of what is God. The Holy Spirit is a part of this as well. It is mysterious we admit, but many passages of scripture demonstrate this complexity. We are satisfied to embrace the mystery of it. We do not believe that mystery is to be discounted simply on the grounds of our lack of vocabulary or difficulty in understanding.
Here is where the story comes to us. God created our world, and then created people in his own image with freedom of choice, spirit, and individual personhood! God is deeply moved by his love for his whole creation. And this love drives him to redeem his creation from sin. Sin came about by the free will of people. God’s desire was for people to love Him freely and that is why he gave them free will in the first place, but all people have chosen to use their freedom to rebel against God rather than love him. This is the sad part, and it’s real. We see the result of this sin all around us in forms of violence, racism, greed, isolation, lust, poverty, and so on. God’s movement is to set up his kingdom forever with humans playing a significant role in that kingdom, but sin prevents this movement from, well moving forward. For this ultimate kingdom plan to unfold, God had to fix humanities problem of sin. Sin’s consequence was preventing people from being able to join in the kingdom movement and putting them on a path for ultimate separation from God. Sin separates people from God and they just keep moving in that distant direction unless God steps in. How was God to fix this problem? How are we saved from sin but without taking away their free will to sin?
The Wonderful Answer
Jesus is the answer! God began revealing himself to a people called the Israelites. They were to be a witness of God by everything in their lives. They were ordinary people, but specially called out by God to carry his revelation to the world. It is into this people group that God sent his son Jesus to be born. Jesus came to fix the world’s impossible problem of sin and put them back on the path to join God’s kingdom. Jesus took the consequences of sin by living a perfect life, dying on the cross, and defeating the ultimate consequence of sin, which is death, by coming back to life. Only God could do such a thing.
Joining The Movement
Jesus is the savior of our lives. He loves us and died for us so that we can have life and join the kingdom of God. One day, maybe soon but we don’t know when, Jesus is returning to bring all things, all history, all people to a final and wonderful culmination. In Him our lives are forgiven of sin, given purpose, and given the promise of immortality. As a church, we are swept up into the creating of God’s kingdom right now. We join the movement! It’s hard and sometimes dangerous, but so worth it! We want all people to know the life that comes from Jesus because we love them. We believe that if someone has heard the story, to reject it is to choose separation from the loving Trinity and all that is good forever. God will not force anyone to be with him forever. We don’t want this for anyone. God’s kingdom brings outsiders in, offers justice to those who are oppressed, righteousness and purity for those with a broken past, power for those trapped in addiction, community for those who feel lonely and isolated, purpose for the confused, and hope for the hopeless!
This is the power of our story and we don’t want anyone to miss it. It is the old story of Christianity, and no one can prove it’s not true. Our proof that it is true is our very lives. To be saved is to believe that Jesus is God’s son by faith and to dedicate one’s life to following Jesus into the exciting kingdom of God. This story is for all people and all races across the pages of history. It speaks in different languages and from within different cultures. It is not an American thing, or a Middle Eastern thing, or an Asian thing alone; it is a global thing.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Come and join our story!