Doctrinal Distinctives

Doctrinal Distinctive #1: Non-Divisive Issues

We will not divide nor establish an official church position on the following matters: (1) Dispensationalism vs. Covenantalism, (2) Calvinism vs. Arminianism, (4) the eternal security of the saints, (4) the timing and chronology of eschatological events. Hence, the alternative viewpoints may be represented in different instructional contexts, and members are encouraged to dialogue freely and respectfully on such subjects.

Doctrinal Distinctive #2: Christian Hedonism

Borrowed from the theological emphasis of John Piper (author of Desiring God), “Christian hedonism” refers to the notion that Christians should have as their motivation in life the pursuit of pleasure…in God. This is because of the profound truth that “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.” The diagnosis that results from this idea is that humanity is fallen not in virtue of their pursuit of pleasure per se, but due to their failure to pursue that which is truly satisfying, namely, God Himself.
(Deut 28:47-48; Ps 16:11; Matt 13:44; John 6:35).

Doctrinal Distinctive #3: Lordship Salvation

The idea behind the label “lordship salvation” is perhaps best summarized by the great champion of justification-by-faith-alone theology, Martin Luther, when he said: “Faith alone is that which saves; but faith which saves is never alone.” The idea here is that while it is indeed faith alone which justifies man before God, true faith in Jesus as Savior cannot stand on its own apart from recognition of Him as the Lord to live in obedience to as well. While good works themselves cannot save, they serve as evidence of the presence of saving faith and true knowledge of Christ. Good works are seen as the natural and inevitable outgrowth of the seed of faith; hence any claims to saving faith apart from the presence of such works justly fall under concerned suspicion.
(Matt 3:8; 6:15-27; James 2:14-26).

Doctrinal Distinctive #4: The Upside-Down Kingdom of Christ

The key text here is found in Mark 8:34-38 where, among other things, Jesus says, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” This results in an incredible paradigm for how life – true, satisfying, Christ-honoring life – is gained: by living in a manner that loses entitlements to all else when the gain in return is Christ and the advancement of His kingdom.
(Matt 6:33; Mark 8:34-38; 10:29-31, 42-45)

Doctrinal Distinctive #5: Stewardship of the Mind

We are unapologetic in our emphasis on the importance of developing a well-informed, knowledgeable Christian mind. We believe that biblical instruction which renews the mind is the best catalyst to bringing about transformation in one’s life. The value here is not for everyone to become a Christian genius; rather it is for each to heed Christ’s call to love God with all of who we are, including our minds. (Matt 22:37; Acts 17:10-12; 18:24-28)

Doctrinal Distinctive #6: Complementarianism Over Gender Roles

Complementarianism, in contrast to egalitarianism, holds that there exists a permanent, God-ordained, normative order between men and women when it comes to roles in the home and in the church. The emphasis here is not on differences in value, but on differences in roles only. We affirm a proper, biblically-sensitive perspective on male headship in both the church and in the home. The most obvious and significant application of this in our church is reflected in that women are restricted from serving in the office of pastor/elder.
(1 Cor 14:34-36; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; 1 Pet 3:1; 1 Tim 2:11-15)

Doctrinal Distinctive #7: Commandments of God Above Traditions of Man

In Mark 7:8 Jesus chastises the Pharisees, saying: “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” Jesus’ concern is over the manner in which the Pharisees have falsely measured their righteousness against “traditions” which they had set in place, rather than against the actual commandments God had given in His Word. We believe there is an unfortunate tendency for Christians to do the same today, failing to distinguish between those things which are mere “traditions” and those which are actual “commandments,” and often wrongly measuring faithfulness against the former rather than the latter.
(Mark 7:1-23)

Doctrinal Distinctive #8: Conversion as Entrance into a New Form of Life

We believe that Christianity does not simply consist in being saved, but in living saved. Far too many church-goers seem to place singular emphasis on the significance of conversion as the pinnacle of the Christian experience when in fact it should more properly serve as the doorway into an entirely new experience of living – living in the fullness of life that Christ alone can offer.
(Matt 5:1-7:27; 13:44; Mark 6:33; 8:34-38)