WHAT WE BELIEVE
The sole source and norm for Christian teaching and Christian living is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, the Holy Bible. We interpret the Bible using the concepts recorded in the three "ecumenical Creeds," the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed; and in the Lutheran Confessions, that is, the Book of Concord of 1580. A future update on this page will elaborate.
- About God ...
- We believe there is only one true God, the Triune (Three-In-One) God: Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit. We believe He made everything there is and He has revealed Himself in three
- imperfectly, through nature
- perfectly in His Word, the Bible
- perfectly in God the Son, Jesus Christ, whose teachings and actions are recorded in the Bible.
- About Sin ...
- We believe that all people are born with a tendency to be self-serving and self-centered, to place their own desires ahead of God's will. God condemns this as "sin" and it shows itself as actions that are contrary to the Ten Commandments and as hidden sins of thought and attitude. We believe that all people have this stain of sin from the moment of conception and all are therefore born enemies of God. [top]
- About Salvation ...
- We believe that Jesus Christ, God's Son, became a human being while still remaining God, for the purpose of coming to earth and "walking in our shoes". He lived a perfect sinless life, yet He accepted the punishment our sins earned for us, and became the Victim so we could be free from guilt and blame and be changed from God's enemies into His children. This substitution took place for all the world, and God promises that we enjoy its benefits through believing (trusting) in what Jesus did for us. Nothing we ourselves can do is able to take away our guilt, but the free gift of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf has done everything necessary to save us. [top]
- About the Church ...
- We believe that God wants those who believe in Jesus for their salvation to band together for worship and to fulfill a common purpose--to help more of the local community and the world abroad to hear the Good News of what Jesus has done for all men. To that end they worship together, pray together, and support missionaries and local workers with their labor and their gifts, and seek to find ways to show the love of God in their actions individually and as a group. [top]
- About Baptism ...
- We believe that God uses His word of promise about Jesus and His work for us in connection with His name to bring the fruits of Jesus' sacrifice to people through faith. Some come to faith through hearing about what Jesus has done; others who are too young to understand the message can come to faith through the miracle of Baptism, in which God claims the child as His own and works to make the child a believer in Him. We believe that the amount of water used, and the manner in which it is applied, is not important, only His promise and His name. [top]
- About the Lord's Supper ...
- We believe that when Jesus established a supper for His church, saying
"Take, eat, this bread is my body; take, drink, this wine is my blood," He meant us to take
Him seriously. We believe that the bread is, somehow, in a mystery, His Body, and that the
wine is His Blood. They remain bread and wine and yet are also Jesus' body and blood, by
which He works stronger faith in us and reminds us again of His forgiveness of our sins.
Through partaking in this act we proclaim:
- our unity of purpose with other Christians
- our need for forgiveness of our sins
- our certainty in the power of His promises.
- About Church Membership ...
- We believe that people should join a church not because they like the building or the kind of music, but because they feel a common purpose with the other members and want to help join them in the mission of that church. We believe that every Christian is saved only by God's grace and not by belonging to this church or that church; but since a church's teachings have a great influence on the faith of its members, each Christian ought to be very conscientious as to which church he adopts as his spiritual family. [top]
- About Christian Living ...
- We believe that the Bible is the only rule for living the Christian life. What God has commanded, we must do; what He has forbidden, we must avoid and resist. Anything else is in the "gray area" where each Christian must weigh carefully the pros and cons and consequences of behavior, seeking God's guidance, seeking the advice of fellow Christians, and following his conscience accordingly. For example, the Bible does not forbid the use of alcohol, so we cannot go beyond the Bible and forbid it. However, the Bible does forbid getting drunk, so we expect our members to exercise self-control and moderation in this area. [top]
- About Human Life ...
- We believe that human life is unique, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and so is qualitatively different from mere animal life. This life begins at the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13) and is therefore protected by the fifth commandment, "You shall not kill." We therefore join the other congregations of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod in affirming that humans of every age and condition are in need of God's saving love through the Gospel, and deserve our love and protection in obedience to God. While we as a church do not engage in political action, we proclaim clearly that abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are contrary to the fifth commandment and we encourage our members to be involved citizens working for justice and the preservation of human life. [top]