Doctrine: What Do We Believe?
Doctrine is a particular set of beliefs about a particular subject and it is critically important. We all have doctrine; the question is "what kind of doctrine do we have?"
As our statement of faith describes, we believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible and we interpret it’s content by our understanding it’s central message; the gospel of Jesus. But even so there is range of doctrine that can be formed from even the faithful interpretation of Scripture.
Our understanding of the Bible informs our doctrine at Christ Church; which could be described as Evangelical, Protestant, Baptist and Continuationist.
Evangelical means, “Of or according to the teaching of the gospel or the Christian religion.” (dictionary.com) This adjective simply means that we understand the gospel of Jesus to be the central message of the Bible and the interpretive key to understanding the whole Bible.
Protestant means that we affirm the five “sola’s” of the reformation. “Sola” is a Latin word that means “alone.” Reformed also means that we affirm the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of mankind. The term has come to be synonymous with Calvinism and while we do affirm the doctrines of grace there are several important distinctions that keep us from describing ourselves as Calvinists.
Baptist simply means that we affirm that the sacrament of baptism is for the believer and professor of Christ and must be administered to an individual who is capable and willing to make a decision to follow Jesus. We practice baptism by immersion (that is what the Greek word for baptism literally means “to immerse”) and teach all new converts to Christianity to be baptized immediately as their first act of obedience to Jesus.
Continuationist means that we affirm the on-going empowering activity of the Holy Spirit as described in Scripture including the continuation of the Spiritual Gifts. We understand the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” to be a reference to the inward transformation, empowerment and indwelling of the Holy Spirit that occurs at conversion, but we also affirm the intention of God for us to have additional empowering experiences with the Holy Spirit (fillings) post conversion. We believe in the continuation of the gift of tongues as a language of prayer and praise is given to some but not all and we do not believe it is required as a sign of ones spiritual maturity or spirit baptism.