As a church, there are several items that we hold with an open hand, these are things that we believe Christians can disagree on, but still share in fellowship and unity. Examples of these open-hand issues are our beliefs about the End Times, Spiritual Gifts, Predestination, Alcohol Use, Worship Styles, Etc. These are items we might disagree on but we will not divide over.
There are several beliefs that we hold with a closed hand, though. These are doctrines that are necessary for us to be defined as a Christian Church and that we must agree on in order to maintain a peaceful fellowship. We believe in the historic Christian faith as taught in the Bible and passed down through the Church. Although we affirm the Baptist Faith and Message as our complete Doctrinal Statement, these are our essentials:
God – God is the creator and sustainer of our world and our lives. He exists as one God, yet three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is holy, perfect, and powerful.
Jesus – Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. He lived, died, and rose again to make peace between us and God the Father.
The Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is mysteriously, yet definitively alive and active in our world today. He makes us aware of our need for God, helps us live a life that pleases Him, and encourages us to trust in God.
Mankind – Men and women are created in the image of God. However, we are separated from God because of our own pride and rebellion, which the Bible calls sin. We are completely unable to repair our relationship with God without his help. Because of our condition, we need God to rescue us from the consequences of our sin.
Restoration – God originally created the world to exist free of sin. When sin entered the world, things like death, pain, sorrow, injustice, and evil became our reality. God promises, however, to one day restore Creation back to its good and sinless state. This restoration began with Jesus and will ultimately conclude when He returns.
The Bible – The Bible is God’s primary means of communication to us. It is divinely inspired, trustworthy, and is the source of our essential beliefs. It is also is an authoritative presence in our faith and practice.
The Christian Life – The Christian seeks to constantly grow in submission to God through his or her character, motivations, and actions. But growth does not make us more or less acceptable to God. God’s love for us, as chiefly shown through Jesus Christ, is what makes us acceptable to him. Obedience to God and his commands, then, is a response to his great love for us, not a way to merit it.