Beliefs

photo of Everyday People courtesy of bjenright.comFirst off, this is important: We love everybody.

Everyone. All people, everywhere. No matter your ethnicity, education, age, nationality, religion, past, beliefs… you name it. Jesus said that loving God and loving people were the two most important things (Matthew 22:37-39), and we believe him. We don’t really have any enemies (that we know of!)– but even if you were our enemy, Jesus commanded us to love you (Matthew 5:43-48).

Which means:

You can belong here regardless of what you believe. “Belong before believe” has become almost a mantra for us. Whether you are a sold-out Jesus believer, a seeker, a skeptic, or a Trekkie, you can fully participate with us, and we’d love to have you.

All that said because lot’s of times when people want to know what a church believes they really want to know how a church believes. Is this church arrogant? Pushy? Open for discussion?

Jesus had all kinds of people in his crowd. Religious experts. Prostitutes. Families. Gangsters. Well-intentioned screw-ups. Brilliant academics. Virtuous people. Shady people. Sick people. Rich people. We think Jesus’ church should look like Jesus’ ministry.

But none of that means our beliefs are unimportant. On the contrary, we think they are extremely important. You don’t have to believe what we believe to appreciate what we do, but we’ll attempt to inspire, challenge, and encourage you to ask questions and seek answers. Because not only is the Gospel true, it’s the best thing going (“gospel” means good news!). We don’t want anyone to miss out. We don’t want you to miss out.

We try not to split hairs about little things, and you can find people at Everyday Church who disagree about a variety of beliefs. But we’ve identified four central beliefs that anyone among our leadership unites behind, as have all streams of orthodox Christianity throughout the centuries.

Here they are:

1. There is One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God isn’t just whatever we want him to be– he’s real, and unique, and we can get to know him because he’s revealed himself to us. God’s very nature is a mysterious, loving relationship. God is one. And the One God is a loving community of three. We know… weird. It’s not unreasonable, but it’s certainly beyond reason. But what did you expect? Would he be God if he was easy to understand? Check out Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, and 1 John 4:8.

2. The Bible is the word of God.

Jesus is the (capital “W”) Word of God. The Bible reflects God’s (lowercase “w”) word: it is the writings and reflections of people who have experienced God through the centuries. We believe that God’s Holy Spirit inspired the words of Scripture, ensuring they were written as he wanted them to be. Therefore, the Bible is our guide to life and faith. It’s not about the Bible; it’s about the God of the Bible. God is not silent. He has spoken living words that speak today! Check out 2 Timothy 3:16-17 or Hebrews 4:12.

3. Sin is the human problem.

There are a lot of problems in the world. Poverty, injustice, racism, lack of education, violence… just watch the evening news. Some things are getting better, but it’s as if we’re treating the symptoms without curing the disease. We believe in addressing the problems of the world. We’re an active church, and we readily serve our neighbors. But we also know that if hearts don’t change, it’s like trying to stitch up a wound without first cleaning it. Check out Isaiah 64:6 or Romans 3:23. Which leads us to:

4. Jesus is our only hope.

Jesus claimed to be “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus was either incredibly arrogant, or he really was who he claimed to be. He certainly wasn’t the Messiah the world expected. Not this suffering Messiah, the one who stood up for sinful people, diseased people, and social outcasts. He didn’t tow the party line. He was as brave as a revolutionary and so gentle that children felt comfortable with him. Jesus was a flesh and blood man, but also a deep mystery and a delightful paradox, because Jesus was and is more than just a man.

We believe Jesus. We believe he was the Son of God, and that through faith in him and what he did for us, we can each receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39). He is the way to God and to our God-given potential. He is the Truth– Jesus is what God is really like. And he is the life. Our heart’s search for life can only be satisfied in Jesus. And more than satisfied! Jesus came so that we could have a real life (John 10:10).

These are our central beliefs. They are simple enough for children to ponder. They are also deep wells of Truth. You can spend your whole life digging and contemplating and discussing these thrilling concepts, and you’ll only be scratching the surface. We hope you’ll come “scratch the surface” of knowing our incredible God with us!