Summary: A look at our church's statement of faith
In September of 2011, I had the opportunity to attend the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. This event was hosted by Riverwood Community Church in Winnipeg, and I was one of many people who were blessed with a free ticket to attend this event – thanks Pastor Todd and Scott! At this event, I was encouraged and inspired by various leadership principles taught by people such as Bill Hybels, Dr. Henry Cloud, Mama Maggie Gobran and Patrick Lencioni. As a browsed the books in their resource centre, one of the little volumes that caught my eye was a book called “Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth.” This book, written by Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson, considers the poignant question: “Is our church really helping people to become devoted followers of Christ, or are we just giving them a nice place to go to church?”
As I began reading through the book over a double double coffee at Tim Horton’s, I discovered one really important principle of spiritual growth that inspired this booklet. The authors wrote: “We intentionally began our discussion of spiritual catalysts with beliefs and attitudes because this is where the spiritual journey begins.” In other words, knowledge of the core, foundational beliefs of Christianity is indispensible to growing spiritually.
I realized that on a typical Sunday morning, I don’t always cover these basic foundational truths, although I do endeavour to teach on them at least once a year. However, I thought it might be beneficial to systematically go through our statement of faith, adding commentary on them, and make it available in booklet form for the members of our church family.
The 22 statements that follow are taken from the Foursquare Gospel Church’s Statement of Faith. As a part of this family of churches, Beausejour Community Church also holds to these basic Christian beliefs. I encourage you to take the time to read through each of these statements, and look up the additional Scriptures (where indicated) in your own Bible, and feel free to share to me with any questions you might have about these statements of faith.
My prayer is that as you go through these Foursquare Foundations that your faith will be encouraged as you learn more about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and His wonderful plan of salvation.
1. The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God: true, immutable, steadfast, and unchangeable. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
As Christians who call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ, it makes sense that our first statement of faith would be a declaration of what we believe about the Bible. The Bible isn't just another holy book to sit on a shelf alongside of the many other religious books of the world. It stands apart because the Bible is the very Word of God. Second Timothy 3:16-17 declares, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." In other words, this book is not the product or invention of the mind of a man, but instead it was inspired by God Himself. Although the Lord used 40 different human authors over a period of about 1600 years, every word of God is true, and comes from the very heart of a God who is all loving and all wise. Therefore, the Bible is the blueprint for our lives, and teaches us how to live a blessed and successful life on earth.
How does this truth impact our lives today? Well, if we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then we should read and study its pages every day, and seek God's wisdom and direction for our lives! If you have never made a commitment to read the Bible, I want to challenge you to do so today.
2. The Eternal Godhead. We believe God is Triune, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the Three are coexistent, coeternal, and equal in divine perfection. (1 John 5:7)
In the Apostle's Creed, we declare, "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord. And I believe in the Holy Spirit." The doctrine of the trinity, or tri-unity of the Godhead, is one that we see throughout the Scriptures. "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." (1 John 5:7). One of the most common questions that I get as a pastor is - how can God be three, and yet still be one? Although I have heard numerous attempts at explaining the trinity, I have yet to find one that I think adequately explains this doctrine. However, even though I - with my limited, finite mind - can't totally understand the nature of the Godhead, I can still choose to believe that it is true.