Sunday School for all ages
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
1 John 3, Loving Our Brothers
While our doctrinal statement provides a detailed accounting of our beliefs, the following is a brief summary of our core beliefs. Please understand that not all of this is necessary for salvation, nor is it a checklist to determine fellowship with others. But a local church must have a confession around which it organizes, and we believe this system of doctrine conforms best to the Bible.
Sometimes statements of this sort can seem harsh or impersonal. To the contrary, we wish to care truly for one another, and provide a loving environment conducive to spiritual growth. We hold our convictions with compassion, understanding that not everyone is at the same place in their spiritual life. We care for all who are a part of our assembly and endeavor to treat each person with fairness and respect.
You may have different views about some of these matters, but you are still welcome to attend Fellowship Bible Church. We are very thankful if you are a genuine believer, or if you will come and listen to the preaching of the Word and hopefully become one. You know what you will get here.
We are "Christ's ones," those who belong to Christ. Our focus is Him who is in the midst of the church, who is the head of the body and the chief cornerstone. We are Protestant in that we follow the reformation teaching of salvation by faith alone in Christ. We hold to the historic doctrines of the faith, such as the Trinity; the virgin birth and deity of Christ; the sinfulness of man; the substitutionary atonement in which Jesus Christ died in our place at Calvary and provides the only ground for forgiveness and justification; the bodily resurrection of Christ, the second coming of Christ, and the one way of salvation by grace through faith alone, and the eternal security of the saved. Our members are born-again believers in Jesus Christ.
While we say we are Christians, there are unfortunately many (wrong) ideas about Jesus, and there are many false christs. Therefore, we need to be more specific than just "Christian" by saying just what we understand this to mean. Thus the following qualifiers are necessary.
Our authority is the Bible, all 66 books, inspired and inerrant in their original writings. The Bible is sufficient for life and godliness. We are thankful that God has given us the Bible in several good English translations we can use today. We endeavor to make the Bible our rule for living in practice, not just in theory. We believe in the unqualified acceptance of and obedience to the Scriptures. We are keenly interested in Bible doctrine, for doctrine is that which is taught to us to believe, and God puts a premium on a man's beliefs. Men can believe rightly or wrongly. When one becomes a Christian, he "learns Christ" (Ephesians 4:20-24) and wants to please the Lord by believing the same things that the Lord believes. To believe otherwise is to believe a lie. Thus, we emphasize systematic teaching of the Bible. The medium that God has ordained in the church is the preaching of His word expositionally—verse by verse and book by book. We do this not only by conviction, but also because there is a famine today in many churches and we feel we can fill this niche.
In short, we are a Baptist church—that is at the core of who we are. We are not a Presbyterian-type church, nor a Congregational-type church, nor a Methodist-type church. Our government and practice is basically Baptist, though we do not believe the Baptist label is all-important. What is important are the beliefs we hold, namely beliefs in Biblical authority, autonomy of the local church, priesthood of the believer, two ordinances (baptism by immersion and the Lord's supper as a memorial), individual soul liberty, saved church membership, two officers (pastor and deacons), and separation of church and state.
Our church is a stand-alone entity. It is not governed by an outside denomination. It can join into voluntary association with other churches of like faith, but cannot give up its authority over its physical properties, doctrine, appointment of officers, etc. We believe the local church is privileged and responsible to govern itself.
This means that we believe in applying a consistently literal approach to interpreting the Bible. We interpret it according to the plain, grammatical, historical meaning of the text in its context. The text means now what it meant when it was written—the meaning has not changed. Out of this key plank of dispensationalism comes our belief in the distinction between Israel and the church and the focus of all history and eternity upon the glory of God and his Son. We also believe that God parcels out his revelation progressively over time.
We believe that the Lord will return before the millennial kingdom in order to establish that kingdom. We believe that world conditions are degrading, and will continue to do so until the Lord comes. We also believe that the church will be raptured before the tribulation described in Revelation 6-19.
Local Church Oriented
Participation and membership in a local church is important, as it indicates a commitment to the beliefs of the group of believers and a willingness to come into accountability (discipline) with the church. God's program in this age is centered around the church rather than around a nation or the family per se, and as such our focus should be in the church as well. Assembling together is important in God's eyes (Hebrews 10:24-25). It is the place where new believers are baptized, taught and brought to maturity, where the ordinances are practiced, where spiritual gifts are exercised, where the Word is preached, etc.
We emphasize outreach to neighbors, co-workers, students, etc. so that they can become new believers and the church can grow. The church is not the primary place where evangelization occurs, though it happens there too, particularly among the children and visitors of the church. Evangelism primarily occurs outside of the church, which is where unbelievers live. Services of the church are not designed around the unbeliever but around the believer, as the church's membership is to be regenerate. We also believe the emphasis in missions must be on local church planting through evangelism and training of ministers of the gospel. It is not on social improvement or support of para-church organizations.
This has to do with our style of worship. We sing hymn-style songs with a piano, organ, and other accompanying instruments played in a reverent way. We do not support the contemporary Christian music genre (including Christian "rock" and "worship teams"). This does not mean that all recently-written Christian music is off limits. We do not endorse seeker-driven or market-driven tactics.
This means that we believe in separation from ecclesiastical organizations (churches, missions and para-church groups) that do not hold the same gospel beliefs that we do. We also believe in separating ourselves from worldly practices.
In summary, our desire is to honor God through faithful obedience to His word.