doctrinal questions

What do you believe about the Bible?
What do you believe about the Holy Spirit?
What do you believe about tithing?
What do you believe about water baptism?
What do you believe about the "End Times" and the return of Christ?
What do you believe about homosexuality?
What do you believe about Christians and politics?
How can I find out more?

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Q: What do you believe about the Bible?

We believe that the Bible (including both the thirty-nine books of the canonical Old Testament, and the twenty-seven books of the canonical New Testaments) is Divinely inspired; is inerrant in its original autograph; and is to be held as the sole and final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine, life and practice.

We believe that the Bible has been given by God to man, that man might better know God, His will and His ways. And, thought it is a book of firm commandments, it is also a book of comfort and grace which gives mankind hope - hope that the God Who created man is also the God who redeemed mankind from his sin by becoming a man, and by dying on the cross of Calvary to pay the price for man's rebellion and sin.

None should diminish the severity of the punishment awaiting those who reject God's salvation (available by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone), nor should they minify the grace of God to the point that none will perish despite their rebellion and sin. It is a book of both severity and of forgiveness - of mercy and of truth. [top]

Q: What do you believe about the Holy Spirit?

We believe that the Holy Spirit (Who is fully and truly God), is given to all believers as a seal of (and at the point of) true faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. We believe that this self-same Holy Spirit has also been given to the Church to empower it by grace to accomplish the mission given it by Christ Jesus Himself. That is, to reach out to a lost and dying world with the only true Gospel of Hope; through faith in Jesus Christ.

We also believe that this empowerment is manifest in the life of the believer through the fruit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including those New Testament gifts defined in Romans chapter 12, 1 Corinthians chapters 12 through 14, and Ephesians chapter 4. And though we believe these gifts are yet for today, we also firmly believe that all things are to be done decently and in order (cf 1 Corinthians 14). Excesses and extremes of all kinds and types must be considered as extremely rare - the exception, rather than the rule. [top]

Q: What do you believe about Tithing?

While we believe each member of the Body of Christ must determine in their own heart what they should give, yet we must never brush-aside as trite, the firm admonition of the Lord found in Malachi 3:8-12 and Matthew 23:23-24. We all realize, God doesn't need our money. Nevertheless, we must never forget that God uses money as both a tool (to further the work of the Kingdom, "that there may be bread in My house") and as a test ("prove me now... saith the Lord"). In the New Testament, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they should continue to tithe ("these are the things you should have done..."), but not forget the other 'important' matters that must be accomplished as well. So we can see tithing in both the Old and New Testaments.

Therefore yes, we believe tithing is for today, and that each believer must strive to make tithing a part of his or her regular routine of sacrifice and giving. The blessing which accompanies obedience, and the lack which accompanies withholding is very Scriptural, and very real. [top]

Q: What do you believe about Water Baptism?

Looking at the scriptural evidence we must concluded, the New Testament presents "believer's baptism" as the model to be followed. Realizing other believers hold very strongly to varying positions on this ordinance, however, we have also determined not to break fellowship over the administration of this ordinance. Jesus commanded us to baptize. Therefore, we strive to be obedient to His command by administering this ordinance according to our best understanding of Scriptural pattern.

For our part then, we see those who were baptized in the New Testament were of a more mature age and understanding. Therefore, the age at which a young person can be baptized, is the age at which they can reasonably understand their need for salvation. Thus we dedicate our babies, and baptize our adults and children (when they have reached the age of reason or accountability). [top]

Q: What do you believe about the "End Times" and the return of Christ?

With so many different understandings of the 'end times' and the events that will surround the return of Christ, it is the determination of the leadership of SCC to take a more pragmatic (or practical) approach to the doctrine of the Second Coming. Therefore, though there are some strongly held beliefs by different members of the congregation and the leadership concerning the end times, as a church we take the following stance:

1) Jesus Himself gave us three points of directed wisdom concerning the second coming: a) NO ONE BUT THE FATHER knows with absolute certainty, when the Lord will return, b) each of us has work to accomplish while He is away (and for which we will be called to account upon His return), and c) therefore, we should always watch and pray, with the distinct understanding that He could return at any moment. (cf Mark 13:32-37)

2) In the book of Daniel, the Lord told the prophet that there would be a time when those that need to know, will know of the coming of the Lord (i.e., of His return). This can be counted as a guarantee that those who are His, will, at the appointed time, not be caught unaware of His imminent return. (cf Daniel 12:8-10)

Therefore, we hold this understanding - as believers, we should be ever ready (watching, working, praying) for the Lord's return, for only the Father knows the exact day or hour. Nevertheless, we have this guarantee - if we are His, and are being obedient to His commands, we will not be caught unaware or unprepared upon His return. [top]

Q: What do you believe about Homosexuality?

If God is indeed our Creator, then He is the One who holds sway over every aspect of our being - including our 'sexuality.' And again, if God is our Creator, then we as His creation, must yield to His determination and will concerning who we are, how He has made us, and what we do with what He has given us. Looking then to His word as our guide for all things practical and spiritual, we see the following:

The Old Testament clearly pronounces homosexuality to be a sin of the most serious degree, for as with the sin of adultery (cf Lev 20:10), the penalty for engaging in homosexual activity was death (cf Lev 20:13). Why? Because the very act violated God's divine order, and smacked of rebellion of the most heinous kind. For, without the Holy Spirit's enabling power, there was not hope for change for the ones involved in these kinds of actions or activities. The New Testament likewise, presents homosexuality as a sin of the deepest, most serious kind leading eventually to a reprobate (depraved, morally corrupt) mind. (cf Romans 1:18-27)

What then should be our stance as Christians and as a church? Though ridiculed and belittled by some, our position must be the same as with any sin that attacks the spirit and destroys the soul of those that do not know God... we will love the sinner, and yet, hate the sin (cf Jude 1:17-23).

We realize, homosexuality is NOT the unpardonable sin. And, there are many who have shed this lifestyle, and been freed from these spiritual, mental and physical chains by confessing homosexuality as a sin, and by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Study after study has shown homosexuality to be a lifestyle choice, NOT a genetic pre-determination. It is a choice, pure and simple. And, as with any sinful choice, the only rest for the soul will come with confession and repentance.

Jesus loves the homosexual! He loved them enough to die on the cross for them and for their sin. BUT, He also loves them enough to not want them to remain ensnared in their sin, trapped in their lifestyle, and in bondage to the guilt and shame that accompanies their activities and actions. He wants them to be truly, honestly and sincerely free. And as a church we stand ready to support all those who truly desire to be set free. You are welcome here! [top]

Q: What do you believe about Christians and politics?

The Bible tells us, it is God who has ordained (i.e., established) all authority. (cf Romans 13:1) It tells us also, that God is the One who raises up and brings down kingdoms, nations and rulers, and who ultimately determines how long each will last and where each will exist. (cf Dan 2:37; Hab 1:6; Acts 17:26 ) Therefore, if God has ordained that America have a form of government where the people are ultimately in authority, then 'we the people' have a God- ordained responsibility (an obligation) to rule - to be involved with the whole political process, and at all levels. Voting and political and civic involvement are simply part of that responsibility.

As God's people we must understand, those that do not know God - including those who do not, or will not honor Him - will never (of their own free will or volition), seek to do those things that please God or that put His precepts or priorities first. This is not to say God has no influence over them. It does say however, they will not wilfully (intentionally, purposefully), remember God's principles when making decisions or passing judgment.

It must be remembered, God is not part of any one political party or movement (to the exclusion of all others). For it is by honoring Him that we receive approval and blessing - whether as an individual or as a group.

Therefore as Christians, we have a God ordained obligation to be involved in our nation - in all areas and at all levels. For by our honoring His word and by our following His guiding principles and precepts, our nation can and will prosper and be secure. (cf Ps 33:12; Pr 29:2; 1 Tim 2:1-4) [top]


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