FAMILYLIFE Christian Church has grown because God has added to our numbers (Acts 2:47). We have tried to glorify Christ in all we do. Our Church has sought to be unified on salvation beliefs while permitting differing opinions on non-salvation beliefs. This Church has people with many different backgrounds, but we are a family. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His because we love one another and because we are one (John 13:35; John 17:21-22). Therefore, these Statements of Faith are our non-negotiable statements of belief.
The following doctrines are essential for salvation:
We believe God is self-existent, and by nature, He is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere. God has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in agreement and unified with each other role in the Godhead. We believe these three are co-equal and are one God.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 38, 39, & 40; Psalm 90:2, 139:1-4, 7-10; Isaiah 40:13-17,45:18; Matthew 19:26, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:2 John 1:1, Colossians 1:15ff
We believe that God the Father holds all the attributes of God while exercising a unique role in the Godhead. He is the father of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and yet still one with both as God. God the Father adopts believers in Jesus Christ into a relationship with Him as their Father (see salvation).
Supportive Scripture: John 15:1-4; Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 9:6, 63:16; John 20:17; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:6.
We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He is God. He is co-equal with the Father and Holy Spirit, present and participating in creation. Jesus took on human flesh in the fullness of time so that He could live a sinless life and offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He was raised from the dead, after three days, victorious over the power of sin and death. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead and to make all things new.
Supportive Scripture: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; 8:58; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 1:15-23; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15; Revelation 1:8.
We believe the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make all people aware of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. His purpose in our time is to bring glory to Jesus and to intercede with God the Father on our behalf. He dwells in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He gives gifts to believers, providing them with the power to grow in Christlikeness, understand spiritual truth, and serve the mission of the Church.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2; Psalm 51:10-12; John 14:16-17, 16:7-13, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
We believe that all have sinned (willful disobedience to God). We believe that the wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God. Salvation is a free gift of God. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is the only sufficient payment for our sins. Only by grace through faith can one receive this free gift. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life. This is evident by repentance, confession, baptism by immersion, and a life submitted to Christ. We believe a baby or a young child cannot understand sin or the need for Christ and are under God’s grace until an age of accountability determined by God (2 Samuel 12:23; Matthew 18:2-3; 19:13-15).
Supportive Scripture: John 1:12, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 10:9-13, Acts 2:38-40.
The following doctrines are essential for unity:
People are made in the image of God, male and female He created them to be in relationship with Him, to become like Him in character, and to bring Him glory. We believe we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin separates people from God, thus affecting all areas of life, resulting in suffering and hopelessness apart from Jesus Christ.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23.
We believe that the Biblical Headship as modeled by Christ loving the Church applies to the home. Husbands are to love their wives unconditionally, and wives are to respect their husbands, both demonstrating Biblical submission and love and sharing equal value in God’s design. (Ephesians 5)
We believe as it relates to the Church, men and women are both expected to serve and lead; however, the office of Elder/Pastor is reserved for qualified men (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1) Mixed-gender teaching environments are overseen by Elders/Pastors and will be led by qualified men. Gender-specific teaching environments are taught by a leader of the same gender. For more on this doctrine, read our Roles of Men and Women in Ministry Statement.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 12:4-32; Galatians 3:28-29; 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7
We believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by humans authored under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and absolute truth. It is the ultimate and final authority for Christian beliefs and living.
Supportive Scripture: Psalms 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
We believe the Church is the body and bride of Christ and also serves as the household of faith. It is a living temple where God dwells in each of His people. We believe that everyone that has been saved by Christ is a member of His Church and called to be a connected and beneficial part of His body. We believe that the Church is commanded to love God and others. This relationship is the primary vehicle through which we share the gospel. The Church will grow to maturity. We believe that His Church exists throughout the world and is witnessed and experienced in local autonomous gatherings of believers overseen by Elders. We believe submission to God’s authority and the authority of the appointed Elders in the local Church is essential for unity and reveals our spiritual maturity.
Supportive Scripture: Ephesians 4:16; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 5:24-32; Galatians. 6:10; 1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Acts 14:23; Matthew 16:16–18; Acts 2:42–47; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12–27; Ephesians 1:20–23; 4:3–10; Colossians 3:14–15 Romans 13, Hebrews 13.
THE ELDERSHIP MODEL OF THE CHURCH
We believe Christ is the head of the Church. We believe the local Church should be governed by a plurality of male elders (who have been appointed by existing Elders) to oversee the carrying out His will in the local assembly of believers.
We believe men who have aspired to a Pastoral role and have been confirmed through character and gifting by our existing Eldership and Pastoral staff must go through an ordination process before they are publicly set aside and ordained as Pastors at FAMILYLIFE Christian Church.
Supportive Scripture: Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Ephesians 5:23-25; 1 Peter 5:1-4. Acts 13:1-3, 20:26-31; 1 Timothy 3:1-7,4:14,5:17,22.
We believe baptism, by immersion, was both modeled and commanded by Christ. We believe baptism is only for those who believe in Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We believe one who has believed, confessed, and repented should be baptized in a timely act of obedience.
Supportive Scripture: Matthew 28:18-21,Acts 2:37-38,Acts 8:35-39,Romans 6:4,Colossians 2:12,1 Corinthians 12:13.
COMMUNION (Remembering Jesus)
We believe celebrating communion was both modeled and commanded by Christ. We believe communion is a memorial, a proclamation, and representative of the new covenant in Christ Jesus as defined by Scripture: “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
(1 Corinthians 11:23-25 ESV).
It is a distinction of our Church that we take communion every week. We do not believe you have to take communion every week; however, when you do partake in it, do so in a correct manner. (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:25-28) When we take it, we do so in a distinctive manner.
“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-28)
We do this by self-examination.
Do I have any sins to confess? (1 John 1:9)
Do I have any relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23-24)
Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)
Who should take it?
Only those who believe should take communion.
We do not recommend young children, who do not understand salvation and relationship with Christ, take it.
Supportive Scripture: Matthew 26:26-28; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30, 10:16; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7.
PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER
We believe we have been given direct access to God through Jesus Christ, the great high priest. We believe it is God’s design for every believer to play a role in the priesthood, living out the ministry and mission of His Church.
Supportive Scriptures: Ephesians 4:11-13; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-30; 1 Peter 2:5,9; 1 Peter 4: 10-11; Hebrews 4; Hebrews 10.
We believe there are a variety of gifts given by the Holy Spirit to serve and build up the body of Christ and bring glory to God. We believe God has designed the local Church like a physical body, consisting of many members, with Jesus Christ as the head. We believe we are interdependent on each other, and all believers must be the part God has designed and gifted them to be. If not, the body suffers.
Some in our Church believe all the ‘extraordinary’ spiritual gifts are for today. Others believe some of these gifts are for today, while others believe none are for today. We believe you can hold any views below and still be a Christian.
The non-negotiable regarding the ‘extraordinary’ spiritual gifts:
• You can believe some of the gifts are for today, be wrong, and still be a Christian.
• You can believe that all of the gifts are for today, be wrong, and still be a Christian.
• You can believe that none of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.
• For those who believe that the gifts are present today: Remember, the Spirit of God does not work contrary to the Word of God.
At FAMILYLIFE, it is okay to believe differently on this issue, but we will act in this way:
• Because this is a non-salvation area of contention between believers, we will not have a place in our Church where the gift of tongues is encouraged.
• We will not allow the discussion of a non-salvation issue to destroy the Lord’s work.
• We do believe God performs miracles and answers our prayer and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, empowers us to serve Him and do good works.
For churches where the gift of tongues and prophecy are used, there are rules for their use:
1. If someone speaks in a tongue, it will be one at a time. (1 Corinthians 14:27, 33, 40)
2. There must be an interpreter. (1Corinthians 14:28)
3. There must be one who discerns whether it comes from God. (1 John 4:1)
4. If it is a prayer language, there is a place to pray. (Matthew 6:6)
5. All the gifts must be used to edify the Church, not the individual. (1 Corinthians 14:4-5, 26)
6. No one has all the gifts, but the Church is to be a body. (1 Corinthians 12:27-30)
7. For those who believe prophecy is a gift active today, then the rules of a prophet apply. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
Supportive Scripture: Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:7-11.
STEWARDSHIP & GENEROSITY
We believe our whole lives, our time, talents, and treasures are to be given obediently and generously in response to God’s grace, mercy, and love for us. We believe that giving 10% of our income is defined as a “tithe,” the Biblical starting point of giving to the local Church (the storehouse). We believe that giving over 10% is an “offering” of gratitude for the great things God does for us daily and can be directed at the givers’ discretion to any worthwhile ministry, Church, or organization. We believe that generosity and stewardship are essential to maturity and accomplishing Christ’s mission.
Supportive Scripture: Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:7-12; Acts 4:32-5:11; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15; 2Corinthians 9:6-15; Mark 12:43; 2 Samuel 24:24; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42.
MARRIAGE, GENDER, and SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no sexual activity of any kind be engaged outside of marriage.
We acknowledge that there are some individuals that do not have a physical attraction towards the opposite sex or who do not wish to marry. We believe these brothers and sisters are wholeheartedly supported and encouraged to remain voluntarily celibate as delineated in Scripture. (Matthew 19:10- 12, 1 Corinthians 7:1-8, 32-38, Isaiah 56:3-5)
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Therefore, the known or suspected habitual and unrepentant practice of these sexual sins will be a reason for denial of membership and/or revocation of membership and/or employment at FAMILYLIFE Christian Church, together with the benefits that accrue therefrom.
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of FAMILYLIFE Christian Church.
We believe that neither the federal government, the state, the Church, nor any other individual possesses the authority or jurisdiction to set or alter Scripture’s definition of marriage. Therefore, unions or partnerships that do not conform to the Biblical definition of marriage are not acknowledged by FAMILYLIFE Christian Church as marriage.
We believe that to preserve the function and integrity of FAMILYLIFE Christian Church as the local Body of Christ and to provide a Biblical role model to FAMILYLIFE Christian Church members and the community. It is imperative that all persons employed by FAMILYLIFE Christian Church in any capacity or who serve as volunteers agree to and abides by FAMILYLIFE Christian Church Doctrinal Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 15:18-20, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.
SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). We believe human life is of immeasurable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. Therefore, we believe that we are called to teach about the value of all human life. (Psalm 139)
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:26-28 ; Psalm 139.
We believe people were created to live forever. People will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or exist eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in heaven. We believe that Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. We believe that as we walk out our faith, we can have the assurance of eternal life with God.
Supportive Scripture: John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15.
We believe a person is saved by grace through faith, and faith is evidenced by action and fruit in a person’s life. We believe faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior is eternal security. Below we address the most predominate views of this doctrine:
Some who have an Arminian background believe:
• Salvation can be gained and lost (rejected).
• The way you can tell a person is a Christian is by their fruit (growth).
• Armenians do not believe a bad decision means you lose your salvation.
• Scripture references: Luke 15; Romans 11:22-23; Hebrews 6:4-7; 2 Peter 2:20
Some have a Calvinistic background believe:
• Salvation cannot be lost.
• If a person is not showing fruit and growth, they were never saved, to begin with.
• Calvinists do not believe you can do whatever you want and be a Christian.
• Scripture references: John 10:28; Romans 8:29-30; 1 John 2:9
Note: Both views believe a person is saved by grace through Christ, which is reflected in a life-bearing fruit of the Spirit. In our Church, we encourage everyone to grow in Christ. We believe you can hold either view about this issue and still be a Christian.
Supportive Scripture: Luke 8:13&14, John 10:27&28, Ephesians 2:8-10, James 2:14, Romans 1:5.
THE END TIMES (The Return of Christ)
We believe there will be a literal return of Christ and a judgment day. We also believe there will be a literal rapture (catching the saints). As to the day and the hour, only God the Father knows.
Supportive Scripture: Matthew 12:36; Matthew 24:36; John 5:22, 16:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 6.
We believe that God created us for relationship-relationship with God and with one another. We emphasize the greatest commandments: to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love others as ourselves. It is by our primary relationship with God, through Jesus, with the Holy Spirit working in us, that love and all Godly fruit is possible. It is by our love for one another as Christians that people will know we are true disciples of Jesus Christ. We bring glory to God by living our lives in an authentic, life-changing relationship with Him and with one another.
Supportive Scripture: 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 1:5-7. Genesis 1-2; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:34-40; John
Ordination through FAMILYLIFE Christian Church is reserved for men who serve at our Church. It is overseen and bestowed by the laying on of hands by the Elders. Men who have been identified to serve in pastoral positions in a supported staff role must complete ordination. Regular participation and leadership in the following sacerdotal duties are required to maintain ordination: Weddings, Funerals, Preaching/Teaching, Baptism, Communion, and Pastoral Counseling.
FAMILYLIFE Christian Church ordains men for the ministry under the oversight of our Eldership. If a pastor disqualifies himself, his ordination will be removed. Suppose a pastor moves to another Church ministry outside the oversight of FAMILYLIFE Christian Church Elders. In that case, we will recommend that their ordination continues under that Church’s leadership and that they should reissue his certificate of ordination. In certain instances in which a para-Church ministry is involved, ordination will be considered case-by-case.
Supportive Scripture: Acts 13:1-3, 20:26-31; 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 4:14, 5:17, 5:22.