doctrine belief statement

Doctrines of Mission Ridge Church

We have designated doctrinal issues as salvation or non-salvation issues. Salvation issues are doctrinal beliefs that we seek agreement on and are core to the Christian faith.

About God

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

Scripture references: Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:26–27; Genesis 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2

About Jesus

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin, death, and Creation. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to reunite Heaven and Earth.

Scripture references: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22–23; John 1:1–5, John 14:10–30; Acts 1:9–11; Romans 1:3–4; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4; 1 Timothy 6:14–15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14–15

About the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to convict the world of sin and draw people to Jesus. He is alive and active in Christians’ lives to empower and sanctify them. He provides the Christian with power for expanding God’s Kingdom, understanding of truth, guidance in doing what is right, and intercession on our behalf. As Christians we continually seek to live under His empowerment, teaching, and direction. The Holy Spirit doesn’t empower us to make our own decisions. He leads us into the truth that He has for us. It should be control. And we should submit to that control.

Scripture references: John 14:16; John 16:7–17; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26–27; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:16–17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18

 About the Bible

The Bible is God's Word to us; telling us the story of God’s redemptive work in the world. Human authors, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Scripture is without error as it was given by God.

Scripture references: Psalm 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5–6; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:20–21; 2 Peter 3:15–16

About Spiritual Gifts

Few areas of theology within the church have caused more division than the subject of spiritual gifts. Some in our church believe all the spiritual gifts spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12–14 are for today. Some believe some of the gifts are for today, while others believe none of the gifts are for today. You can see the potential for problems.

The non-negotiable: We do not believe that this subject constitutes a salvation issue.

  • You can believe some of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.
  • You can believe that all of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.
  • You can believe that none of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.

For those who believe that the gifts are present today: Remember, the Spirit of God does not work contrary to the Word of God.

At Mission Ridge, it is okay to believe differently on this issue, but we will act in this way:

  • Because this is a non-salvation area of contention between believers, we will not have a place in our church where the gift of tongues is encouraged.
  • We will not allow the discussion of a non-salvation issue to destroy the Lord’s work.
  • We do believe God performs miracles and answers our prayer, and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, empowers us to serve Him and do good works.

For churches where the gift of tongues and prophecy are used, there are rules for their use:

  • If someone speaks in a tongue, it will be one at time. (1 Corinthians 14:27, 33, 40)
  • There must be an interpreter. (1 Corinthians 14:28)
  • There must be one who discerns whether it comes from God. (1 John 4:1)
  • If it is a prayer language, there is a place to pray. (Matthew 6:6)
  • All the gifts must be used to edify the church, not the individual. (1 Corinthians 14:4–5, 26)
  • No one has all the gifts, but the church is to be a body. (1 Corinthians 12:27–30)
  • For those who believe prophecy is a gift active today, then the rules of a prophet apply. (Deuteronomy 18:20–22)

About Eternal Security

This is a non-salvation issue. You can be wrong about this issue and still be a Christian.

Some have an Arminian background.

  • They believe salvation can be gained and lost.
  • Arminians do not believe a bad decision means you lose your salvation.
  • The way you can tell a person is a Christian is by their fruit (growth).

Scripture references: Luke 15; Romans 11:22–23; Hebrews 6:4–7; 2 Peter 2:20

Some have a Calvinistic background.

  • They believe salvation cannot be lost.
  • Calvinists do not believe you can do whatever you want and be a Christian.
  • If a person is not showing fruit and growth, they were never saved to begin with.

Scripture references: John 10:28; Romans 8:29–30; 1 John 2:9

Either view leads to knowing people are Christians by their fruit. In our church, we encourage everyone to grow in Christ.

About Communion

Communion at Mission Ridge is defined as scripture defines it.

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

  • Communion is a memorial.
  • Communion is a part of the new covenant.
  • Communion is a proclamation.

When we take it, we do so in a distinctive manner.

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:27–28)

We do this by self-examination.

  • Do I have any sins to confess? (1 John 1:9)
  • Do I have any relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23–24)
  • Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)

It is a distinction of our church that we as Church body practice communion every week. We do not believe you have to take communion every week; however, when you do partake in it, do so in a correct manner. (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:25–28)

Who should take it?

  • Only those who wish to identify with Jesus, declare His sacrifice, and recognize His Lordship should take communion.
  • We recommend that children only take the Lord’s Supper with a parent, if they are able to comprehend the basics of its meaning.

About the Priesthood of Every Believer

Every Christian is equally valuable and equally called to “full-time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. Every disciple of Christ has an important role to play and their importance to the function and mission of the church are equally vital. We believe that the Church should both have active ministries within the body as well as in the community.

We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer,Bible study, and the Holy Spirit. As such, we all have a voice and a share in the direction and health of the church. We believe people are called to accurately represent God, minister the needs of his or her community, and share their faith with others.

At Mission Ridge, we believe we can never be all that God intended for us to be spiritually unless we are serving in a ministry of some kind. This is not “works righteousness.” It is simply a reality of healthy spiritual development and living out the calling for which we were saved. (Ephesians 2:8–10)

“…and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father…” (Revelation 1:6)

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

About the End Times

We have people with many views on this issue in our church. Some are pre-millennial, others are a-millennial, and there are many more views. However, this is not a salvation issue. We believe there will be a literal return of Christ, a rapture, and a Judgment Day.

About People

Men and Women are created in the Image of God, to be like Him in character and partner with Him in the stewardship and development of Creation. While we are created in the image of God, , we have corrupted ourselves by rejecting God’s good will for us. This has isolated humanity and consequently set our mindset in disharmony with that of God’s, leading to shame, hatred, and death.

Scripture references: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3–6; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:1–2; Romans 3:23

About Eternity

The gift God offers humanity is eternal life through Jesus. We can either live eternally with God through Christ’s redemptive work or eternally separated from God. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is heaven.

Scripture references: John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17–18; 1 Corinthians 2:7–9; Revelation 20:15

About Marriage

Men and Women were both created in the Image of God and have been designed to compliment each other. A lifelong union, procreation of children, and sexual intimacy are naturally meant to be within the institution of marriage between one man and one woman. We acknowledge that many are either not meant to be married or have chosen to live a life of celibacy. We also acknowledge that this is a sensitive topic in our world. We at Mission Ridge will love all without shame or hesitancy.

Scripture references: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6

About Gender

First, we believe being LGBTQ and being Christian are not mutually exclusive. God’s gift is only conditioned upon our willingness to place our faith in Jesus. We also will remember that we all struggle with sin and false belief systems. We believe that the LGBTQ are meant to be a part of our family. Sunday mornings and CARE Groups are an open environment and anyone is welcome. With that said, for the sake of clarity and fairness to the LGBTQ community, we want to be clear that we do not believe this lifestyle to be natural or within God’s intent for humanity.

Scripture references: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:26-27

About Tithing

Christians are called to live a life of loving sacrifice and generous service. At Mission Ridge, we believe that church members should not only be invested in the church’s existence and mission through service but also through regular generous financial support. This empowers our church community to have a greater impact together than individually while orienting the disciple’s life (and checkbook) around service and generosity. While we don’t hold a distinct doctrine on tithing, we do believe that 10% of our first fruits (before anything else is taken out) being devoted to Christ’s mission is a clear and good starting place for the believer. As a corporate body, Mission Ridge will also model devoting at least 10% of its income to supporting outside causes.

Scripture references: Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:7-12; Matthew 23:23