Every religious or church website seems to have a “What We Believe” tab. I suppose such a page is used primarily for visitors to see if they like the beliefs of a particular church…or if this particular church agrees with what they already believe. Often, you will find a link to a statement of faith, or a religious creed which identifies particular beliefs. But you will not find that here. You see, our belief system is pretty simple: We believe the Bible!
You probably are reading that and thinking, “So what? All churches believe the Bible!” Unfortunately, though that is often declared, it is far less likely to actually be put into practice. Believing the Bible means putting full confidence in its inspiration and therefore in its authority. If the Bible is truly inspired of God, then it holds within it divine authority. What does this mean in practical terms? It means that we are required to do whatever God has revealed to us in His will. If He declares that we do something, then it is our obligation to do just what He has told us to do! If he has told us to refrain from something, then we are obligated to refrain. This principle holds true whether we are talking about the work and worship of the local church, or if we are talking about how to conduct our own lives. The Bible, God’s divine, inspired word, provides all that we need to know what He considers to be “good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Because we believe that the inspired word of God holds Divine authority, we believe that our beliefs and practices must conform to His word. We, therefore, try to only do those things that are approved of by God through His word. Are we always successful? Of course not. We make mistakes in our understanding and in our practices. What we hope sets us apart from other religious bodies is our attitude toward those times in which we fail! We are not offended by those who can show us, from the scriptures, that we have done something without this divine authority. In fact, we are thankful to learn how we can better serve our Lord! We want to know how to do better in the future.
If you visit with us, you may notice some differences from what you are used to. We seek to tailor our worship to the way God has asked for it to be. An examination of the first century church in the book of Acts and the epistles, can tell us what was desired by God as revealed through His inspired writers. Thus, we seek to do just what those early churches did. Each first day of the week, we join in fellowship through:
Singing together. We believe the New Testament scriptures clearly teach that God is pleased with a cappella (that is, with the voice only) music (See Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16). Therefore, you will not find any instruments used in our assemblies. It is also important to recognize that God has instructed us to sing together. You will not find any choirs or other singing groups in our assemblies. Everyone has the opportunity to sing together during the assemblies. We certainly invite you to participate with us as we strive to sing praises together to our God.
Praying together. One of the greatest blessings that the children of God have is that of prayer. God has made it possible, as our Father, for us to talk to Him, asking for things that we need and communicating things that are of concern to us.
Studying together. We have a period of Bible study on Sunday morning, providing an opportunity for discussions. We have a class for children as well, allowing for the younger generation to start with a firm foundation in the word of God. During our assembly period, we have a sermon presented, based in scripture. Questions that might be raised during this sermon period can be discussed following the assembly period. Our focus in these times of study is to help one another understand God’s will more fully.
Partaking of the Lord’s Supper together. The first century church partook of the Lord’s Supper in memory of the sacrifice of Christ on each first day of the week. In the same manner, we partake of the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week as well. This consists of unleavened bread, which reminds us of the body of Christ, and fruit of the vine (grape juice), which reminds us of the blood of Christ. This follows the pattern found in Matthew 26:26-29 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.
Taking up a collection. The New Testament teaches that we are to take up a “free will” offering for the work of the church and the benevolent needs of the saints (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 8:1-7). We make opportunity for all to participate in this activity, but want you to know, as a visitor in our assemblies, that you are an honored guest and we are not soliciting anything from you. Please do not feel any obligation to contribute. This is a work given to the church, which we do not expect of our visitors!
We hope this brief article gives you an idea of what to expect when worshipping or studying with us. We will always attempt to provide you with divine authority, as revealed in scripture, for what we believe and practice. God, as our faithful and just Father, has given us all that we need to be pleasing to Him. We do not want to go beyond His desires. Our goal, in everything, is to serve and please Him!
Come and visit with us, or contact us for a personal Bible study. We look forward to getting to know you!