Our Beliefs

 
 

Our Particular Beliefs

This page will give you a feel for our personality, and the things we love to emphasize.
 
We love the Gospel
At the top of our list, and at the center of everything we do, is the gospel. Trusting in Jesus’ perfect life, His death in our place to pay the penalty we deserve, and His resurrection from the grave that gives us: acceptance with God, forgiveness of sin, and never-ending life and joy with Him. Does it get any better than that? Is there any news that comes close to Jesus agreeing to take the punishment we deserve so that it would be right for God the Father to love us as Jesus deserves? We don’t think so. Amazing! The love the Father has for His Son, Jesus, is poured out on us, and it’s only possible because the obstacle of sin has been removed at the cross. God’s grace is all the more amazing to us when we realize we did nothing to deserve it, or even activate it. Even our faith is a gift of God (Eph 2:8-9), and if God hadn’t opened our eyes to who He really is (2 Cor 4:6), none of us would ever accept His free gift of salvation (Rom 3:10-12). Because salvation is 100% God and 0% us, there’s just no room for boasting in ourselves and every reason to boast in the grace of God toward undeserving sinners, like us. With this in mind, how could this news not affect everything we do?
 
We love to laugh
Hello? Did you read what we had to say about the gospel? Okay, life can be very hard and Christians aren’t immune from depression, but we’ve found that the best remedy for every difficult circumstance is to be reminded of the gospel. In light of this good news we find ourselves hopeful and less likely to be grumpy. Basically although we’re aware of – and have suffered- pain in life, we have high confidence in the sovereignty of God, we don’t like to take ourselves too seriously, we enjoy a good laugh, and our constant remedy is to preach the gospel to ourselves and others.
 
We love families
God made the church to be a little like a family where dads lead, protect, and lovingly discipline; where moms serve, nurture, and help with dad’s leadership; and where kids grow, learn to submit to authority, and are given opportunities to love. Encouraging godliness within family relationships is a wonderful way to encourage a growing love and appreciation for God’s family, the church. Since families make up a good portion of the church, and those without a family need the love that a family gives, we try to encourage godly unity by staying together as much as possible.
 
We love to serve
If you have a delicious pie do you keep it to yourself, or do you share it with others? When you watch a thought-provoking movie, aren’t you quick to tell others about it? We share good things with others because a part of our own enjoyment is in serving others with the joy we’ve experienced. Serving begins at home, happens at church, flows out to our community, and continues to move further and further away because we just can’t help it. We love the gospel, and part of our enjoyment is in serving others with God’s goodness whether it’s a church family need, a local project, loving those with disabilities, supporting international workers, or in supporting a short-term mission trip. We love to serve because we love the gospel so we’re committed to missions and ministries here at home and in South America and Africa, to name two important continents.
 
 

Our Common Beliefs

You can be assured that BCC is not some weird cult. Did you know, at last count, there are around 38,000 Christian denominations? If the counter is doing their job right, then every one of these churches should hold these beliefs in common.
 
There are some beliefs within the Christian Church that are non-negotiable. These are essential to any church, if they are truly to be called “Christian,” and we whole-heartedly embrace them with joy. In pointing out these essential beliefs we both celebrate our common unity with all Christian churches and denominations, and we communicate how Christ’s church is different from the many world religions, and the various groups that appear to be Christian, but are not. We point out these distinctions, humbly recognizing that we hold to the truth only because of God’s grace, and we pray that Christ’s church will demonstrate His love to all who believe otherwise.
 
Our common beliefs are not limited to the many churches throughout the world today. We are also connected to those who have defended the faith throughout church history. With this in mind, we not only voice our beliefs as a local body, but we recommend that you read some of the historic creeds, as well as an excellent modern-day confession put together by The Gospel Coalition.
 
The Bible
We believe the Old and New Testaments, which make up the Holy Scriptures, are God’s one and only special revelation. This is the final authority for faith and life, not to be added to or subtracted from. These are the very words of God, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13).
 
The Godhead
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – with the same attributes and perfections, yet distinct in person and role. In unity, each member of the Godhead is co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, and co-equal in power and glory (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
 
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (John 1:1-2) who took on flesh (John 1:14); that is, he became a man without ceasing to be God. Having been conceived by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary, Jesus was born without sin, and lived in perfect obedience to God the Father. Jesus accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross because, being fully man, he was able to represent us and take our sin upon himself as our substitutionary sacrifice. God’s acceptance of his sacrifice was made clear by his physical resurrection from the dead, and our union to Christ through faith enables God to justly forgive us and impute Jesus’ perfect righteousness to us (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, in a position of power and authority, where he daily works as our great High Priest, interceding on our behalf so that we might draw near to God (Heb 7:22-25). We believe Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).
 
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead who convicts the world of sin and righteousness. He is the Spirit who sovereignly brings about our second birth (John 3:3-9), baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, and indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18).
 
The Total Depravity of Man
If mankind were not hopelessly lost and spiritually dead, then Jesus’ death would not be necessary for our salvation, and he would only be a good example for us to follow. A denial of total depravity is in essence a denial of our need for the gospel. Because of Adam’s sin, all of his descendants inherited a sinful nature that left us alienated from God and willfully rebellious to His rightful authority as Creator. Left to ourselves we are unable to remedy our lost condition. We need Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Being totally depraved does not mean we are as bad as we can possibly be; instead, it means sin has had its effect on every part of our being, resulting in our utter inability to be saved apart from God’s initial, intervening grace (Genesis 1:26, 26; Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).
 
Salvation
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace (unmerited favor) and received by faith in the one and only Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our salvation from the just punishment of God is by his precious blood, shed for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10, John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

 

More Beliefs

We recognized that you may want to know even more about our thinking and practice. This page covers topics that we may not even agree on within BCC, but are nonetheless tools for growth, humility, and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
You may have picked up on the fact that our theological leanings are Reformed, or Calvinistic. In pointing out the importance of the doctrine of total depravity on the common beliefs page, we don’t mean to imply that a non-Calvinistic (or, Arminian) view places a church outside of Christianity. We only mention it in this category because it is consistent with the essential belief that the cross of Christ is absolutely necessary, and the only means by which we are saved. Those who do not hold to the doctrine of total depravity are not then outside of Christianity; but they are inconsistent with biblical grace and open the door to thinking that diminishes man’s desperate need for the cross of Christ.
 
Where does BCC stand on non-essential doctrines and areas of preference that concern: church government, baptism, eschatology (end-times), old-Earth vs. young Earth, schooling choices, or style of worship? There is more agreement in some areas than in others, but mostly we want to encourage: humility, love for one another, a primary focus on the gospel, and a realization that we are a family made up of different backgrounds, preferences, and convictions. What better atmosphere to learn and practice the love and humble service of Christ?
 
We are more convinced in some areas than in others, there is a variety in our practice, but ultimately we have an approach of being submitted to what we believe God’s Word teaches. If we are convinced by God’s Word that a current belief is wrong, then we will humbly submit to the authority of Scripture. We are unbending on essential beliefs, firm on some non-essentials, and more flexible on others. So, here are a few specifics:

 

Church Government
We believe a church should be led by a plurality of elders who meet the biblical qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. We also believe there is a biblical role of deacons who have a position of authority, are under the leadership of the elders, and who enable the elders to concentrate on teaching and prayer by leading in service to the church, and the community. Deacons lead in service both by example and in encouraging and training the rest of the church to serve with their God-given gifts. Their biblical qualifications are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. With both elders and deacons the biblical qualifications are primary in their calling, with a part of this process involving their being presented to the church body, as candidates, for their agreement.
 
Baptism
We agree that all Christians are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that it is not something that saves anyone, but is a sign and seal of our identification with Christ. We believe baptism (communion being the other) is one of two sacraments instituted by Christ for His church.
 
Where we are not in full agreement is in the mode of baptism, and concerning infants. Though we reject infant baptism as a means of salvation, we are sympathetic to a Reformed view on infant baptism as a sign and seal of faith, and the benefits thus available to them in a NT covenant community. This would be similar to circumcision’s use in an Old Testament covenant community – not saving, but a sign of their acceptance into that covenant community. We have practiced infant baptism in this regard – as a sign of their parent’s faith and thus their acceptance into a covenant community where they are exposed to the blessings that come by faith, or the curses in rejecting the faith of their parents and church family.
 
We also practice believer baptism – recognizing that baptism for one who has faith in Christ is a sign and seal of their new identity in Christ. This is where we currently are as a body of believers, and instead of dividing over a non-essential we encourage humility and love in the midst of our differences.
 
Eschatology
Now here’s a subject that has the ability to divide; yet God has been gracious to us in that we enjoy fellowship in a mix of views. So far there has been little emphasis on the specific millennial views, or the rapture. Where we do agree is in our view that Jesus is coming again. We don’t hold to a dispensational view, yet there are brothers and sisters in the church that do. The elders tend toward an amillennial view (for an accurate description we’d recommend “A Case for Amillennialism” by Kim Riddlebarger), yet we enjoy fellowship as those who hold to different end-times views.

 

Creation
Yes, God is the Creator of everything. We don’t believe in evolution, and we tend toward a young Earth view, but again, this is not a matter of our Christian unity, and there are brothers and sisters in the church who believe the Earth is older.

 

Schooling Choices
We may have a reputation of being a home school church, but we’re not. Many of us do home school our kids, and though we recognize some of the benefits, we also agree that our primary calling as parents is to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord … and this can be done at home, in private schools, and in public schools. We’re all different, our kids are different, and biblical wisdom in parenting can apply to a variety of schooling choices. People can be threatened when we differ in these choices (as if it’s a judgment against those who do something else), but when our identity is in Christ alone (and not our schooling choice, or any other personal preference) we are able to truly love instead of be threatened by one another, or judge one another.
 
Worship
True worship is in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Worship is not being emotionally moved apart from biblical truth, nor is it biblical truth without a spiritual connection to God. There is a general worship that applies to our lives (Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 10:31), and yet we are told not to forsake assembling together – with the implication of worship (Hebrews 10:23-25). We encourage both worshiping with our lives, and the importance of our corporate worship. The elements of spirit and truth cause us to love doctrinally rich hymns, and yet we are more contemporary in our style and also enjoy some modern choruses. Worship is another area where churches are tempted to put musical preference above love and community. Since we meet in a gym, and don’t have a large pipe organ, we tend toward guitars, keyboards, drums, and a more contemporary style of music, but we view right theology in the lyrics as being critical because worship is an expression of God’s worth.
 
“True worship occurs only when that part of human beings, their spirit, which is akin to the divine nature (God is spirit), actually meets with God and finds itself praising him for his love, wisdom, beauty, truth, holiness, compassion, mercy, grace, power and other attributes.” – James M. Boice, Foundations of the Christian Faith, pg. 591
 
We hope this gives you an idea of both our beliefs and our personality: that we love theology, that who we are and what we do is a result of our beliefs, and that we believe the church is unbreakable on the essentials and should be more flexible in other matters – all for the sake of God being glorified in and through His church.