I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve been hunting for a local church to join or come across an interesting ministry on Facebook, I make a beeline right to their website to try to find a statement of faith. If you’re here, that must be important to you too.
For now, A Good Courage is a one-woman show, but I’d love to host reasonably like-minded contributing writers in the future! With that in mind, the beliefs expressed in this statement and anywhere within AGC are my own and are not necessarily held by any contributor, sponsor, or anyone I may endorse.
While I’m not confessionally Reformed, it’s important to me not to be murky on core doctrines. I am a member of a Southern Baptist church in New York (on whose behalf I certainly do not speak!) and happily affirm the Baptist Faith And Message, but here are some of the primary and secondary issues of the faith in my own words.
- There is only one true God, whose unlimited being is shared by three eternally-existent, distinct yet unified, co-equal persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I deny and repent of my former belief that all persons of the Godhead are Jesus in various forms.
- God gives us His unchanging, infallible word in The Bible, which is authoritative and accurate in all areas of life and theology which it addresses. I deny and repent of my former belief that only one translation of the Bible is inspired and acceptable for study and devotion.
- God is the Creator of all things material and immaterial, and He created them not because He “didn’t want Heaven without us,” but for His own glory.
- The sin of Adam stained all subsequent generations of humanity with sin such that we are born sinners and at enmity with God by our very nature.
- The holiness of God, who righteously will not dwell with sin, demands perfection that no sinful man, no matter his moral uprightness or good works, can achieve.
- God is under no obligation to save any of the disobedient, sinful creatures who love their sin and hate their Creator; He is the Potter, we are the clay.
- In his incredible mercy and love, God, from before the foundation of the world (and not as an afterthought, reaction, or result of foreknowing future events) made a perfect way that those whom he loves would be saved from the just penalty for their sin: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb.
- The benefit of this sacrifice, namely God looking at our sins and instead seeing Christ’s righteousness, is freely available to those whom God wills and gives the gift of regeneration, repentance, and faith.
- While we are commanded to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we need not fear that the author and finisher of our faith could somehow lose us. We cannot slip from His grasp. He “is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.” (Jude 24 ESV)
- We glorify God by loving Him and keeping His commandments.
- In His image, God created humanity—male and female—equal in worth and dignity. Similarly, the Kingdom of God is made of believers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. No race, ethnicity, or nation is more favored by God—especially regarding salvation, election, or reprobation—than any other.
- While the roles of pastor and elder are clearly set apart in Scripture for qualified males, I believe that a healthy church will offer its female members opportunities to serve and lead according to their God-given gifts and talents.
- Christians are free to serve in secular government. As with any other occupations, such individuals should do their work to the glory of God. Nonetheless, I oppose the tenets of theonomy and reconstructionism that would see God’s law for His people applied to a secular nation.