Our Doctrines – What we Believe as a Church
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16
In Essential Beliefs – We have UNITY.
“There is one Body and one Spirit….there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…” Ephesians 4:4-6
“Let there be real harmony among you so there won’t be any splits in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
In Non-Essential Beliefs – We have LIBERTY.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God….So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”
Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22
In all our Beliefs – We show LOVE.
“…If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains – but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All people will know you are my disciples if you love another.” John 13:34-35
We Believe in Majoring on the Majors and minoring on the minors.
The Tabernacle Essential Beliefs:
BIBLE: The Bible is God’s Word to us and is the supreme source of truth for Christian faith and living. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments were written by human authors under the supernatural guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Scripture thus at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of each human author. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible, inspired and without any mixture of error in their original languages and writings. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice for every Christian disciple. (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 1:13 & 3:16; 2 Peter 2:1, 20-21; Hebrews 4:12)
GOD: God is the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of the Universe. There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and equally possess all the attributes of deity and characteristics of personality. In the beginning God created, out of nothing, the world and all the things therein. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation and to fulfill His redemptive purposes, all humans will one day give an account for how they lived in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27, 3:22; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 3:16-17, 6:9, 28:19; Luke 1:35; John 5:19-24; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 3:7-11; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 5:7)
JESUS CHRIST: Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son. He is co-equal with the Father. He allowed Himself to be born of a virgin through a miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit, without ceasing to be God. Being true God and true man, He lived a sinless human life, and voluntarily offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins by dying on a cross as our substitute. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power and authority over sin, death, and hell. He ascended to Heaven and will return again to earth someday, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. (Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 2:17-18, 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4, 3:24-26; Colossians 2:9; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Revelation 20:11-15)
HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men and women aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior, and brings spiritual life to them. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. At the point of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ – the Church. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit empowers the Church to live a lifestyle pleasing to God. As Christians, we seek to live under the control of the Holy Spirit daily, to exhibit Christ like character, and to bear the Fruit of the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father. (1 Corinthians 12; 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 3:1-8, 15:16, 16:4-15, 17, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:10, 5:17-21; Galatians 5:16-25)
HUMAN BEINGS: Men and women were created in the image and likeness of God and were made to live in relationship with Him. But they rebelled against God’s word, will, and way through personal disobedience. This rebellion, called sin, led to their alienation from God and the corruption of their spiritual nature which renders them incapable of living in relationship with Him. The rebellion and fall of humankind took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals born since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of God’s saving mercy and grace. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7, 3:3-4; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-23; Isaiah 59:1-2; Ephesians 2:1-3)
SIN: Sin is falling short of God’s standard of love and righteousness. It is rebelling against God’s word, will, and way for our lives. Sin separates, destroys, and leaves us destitute away from God’s Holy and Divine presence. Sin also destroys relationships we have with one another as human beings created in the image and likeness of God. Sin devastates our spirits, souls and bodies. Sin even effect’s the created world we live in called earth. (Romans 3:23; Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 8:22-23)
SALVATION: Salvation is God’s free gift of love, grace, and forgiveness to all human beings. Salvation is accepted by placing ones faith and trust in Jesus as their Savior. Salvation is offered to every person, but is individually received by personally trusting in Jesus Christ, alone, for the forgiveness of their sins. Salvation is wholly a work of God’s free gift of grace and mercy, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness. We can never on our own satisfy God’s righteous demands for salvation – a perfect life. Eternal life and the forgiveness of sins begin the moment one transfers their trust from themselves to Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of Christians, and when God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person He promises to continue performing it until the day of its completion. We are involved in this process by choosing to receive and follow Jesus Christ for ourselves. As we trust and obey Him our lives will be totally transformed and changed for the better. (Romans 6:23; John 1:12, 3:16-18, 5:24, 14:6, 10:29-30; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7; Galatians 3:26; Romans 3:21-26, 5:1,8; Philippians 1:6, 2:12-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10-12; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:11-13; )
JESUS’ BLOOD: The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary was sinless and is 100% sufficient to cleanse mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and our sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death. (I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29)
JESUS INDWELLS ALL BELIEVERS: Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them by the person and presence of His indwelling Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him thus making Jesus the Lord of their life as well as their Savior from sin. They put their trust in what Jesus accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead and believe the Holy Spirit is the One who manifest and makes Jesus’ victory real inside and for them. (John 1:12; John 14:17, 23; John 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelations 3:20)
SANCTIFICATION: Sanctification is the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ's character and formation in every Christian Believer. Sanctification is the present ministry of the Holy Spirit to change and transform every person in thought, word and deed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. God sanctifies a human heart and life through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, thus empowering every Christian to live a godly life. (I Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; II Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18, II Thessalonians 2:1-3, Romans 8:29, 12:1-2, Hebrews 2:11)
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit was given by God to Believers at Pentecost. He is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His ascension, to empower the Church to preach the gospel throughout the whole earth. Jesus was the Father’s gift to the world. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s gift to the church. God desires and even commands every Christian Believer to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Through receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit a Christian is equipped and empowered to be an effective witness for Christ in the world. (Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6)
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the gospel. The Bible lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of biblical parameters. (Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11, 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:16; II Timothy 1:5-16, 4:14; I Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; I Peter 4:10)
HEALING OF THE SICK: Healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus, and included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. It is given as a sign, which is to follow believers. It is also a part of Jesus' work on the cross and one of the gifts of the Spirit. We believe it is God’s will to heal people from all manners of sicknesses, diseases, infirmities, and illnesses. (Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; I Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29)
GOD’S PROVISION & PROSPERITY: It is the Father's will for Christians Believers to become whole, healthy and successful in all areas of life. But because of sin and ignorance to God’s Word and will for their lives, many people may not receive the full benefits of the believer while on earth. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ’s provision in order to better serve others. God desires to prosper and bless His children in every way to make them a blessing.
The 4 Areas of Prosperity
Spiritual (John 3:3-11; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10)
Mental and Emotional (II Timothy 1:7, 2:11; Philippians 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3)
Physical (Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24)
4) Financial (Joshua 1:8; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1- 14; Psalm 34:10, 84:11; Philippians 4:19)
RESURRECTION: Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; they that are saved to the resurrection of life and they that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation. (Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28, 21:4; Acts 24:15; I Corinthians 15:42, 44; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21)
HEAVEN: Heaven is the eternal dwelling place of God and of all who believe and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. (Matthew 5:3, 12, 20, 6:20, 19:21, 25:34; John 17:24; II Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; I Peter 1:4)
HELL: Hell is the eternal dwelling place of the devil, the fallen angels, the demons, and of all who refuse to believe or receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:12-15, 21:8)
HUMAN DESTINY: Humans were created by God as eternal beings destined to exist forever either in Heaven or Hell. Death seals the eternal destiny of every individual. For all humankind, there will be a bodily resurrection and a judgment that will determine the eternal fate of each individual. Those who have not personally trusted Jesus Christ for their salvation from sin will be eternally separated from God in a place called Hell. Hell is a place of eternal pain, torture, regret, and fire. Hell is a place where people pray to die but can’t.
For those persons who believe in Jesus Christ and have received Him as their personal Lord and Savior they will be received by God the Father into Heaven where they will experience eternal pleasure, communion, peace and joy in God’s presence. Heaven is a place of eternal communion with God and all Christ-followers across and down through the ages of time. Believers in Jesus Christ will also be forever rewarded for the good works they have done while on earth. (John 3:16-18, 2:25, 5:11-13, 14:1-3; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 18:8, 24:36, 25:44-46; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
SECOND COMING: Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to Earth a second time to establish God’s Kingdom once and for all. This will occur at a future date undisclosed by the Scriptures. While we can discern and interpret the “Signs of the Times” of Christ coming we believe it to be erroneous to set dates or predict with any certainty when Jesus will return to Earth. We do know from scriptures one of the primary purposes for Christ’ delay in coming is so all might be saved and come to the Truth. (Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; II Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7)
CHURCH: The Church is the living Body of Christ on Earth and at the point of salvation a person becomes a member of Christ’s Body – The Church. There is one true Church universal, comprised of all those who have personally accepted and trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. However, there are many “churches” that make up the body of Christ, some denominational while others are non-denominational. God uses the diversity within our many tradition’s, worship styles, and structures to aid the Holy Spirit in drawing people to Christ.
The Bible encourages believers in Jesus Christ to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, study of God’s Word, observance of baptism and communion as ordinances established by Jesus, fellowship, service to the Body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to those who have not received Jesus Christ.
Whenever God’s people meet regularly, there is the local expression of the Church. Under the watch and care of church leadership, its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying God with the thoughts they think, words they speak, and deed they do. (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 5:23-24; Acts 2:9-11, 41-47; Matthew 16:13-28, 22:36-40, 24:36, 28:18-20; Colossians 3:21; Revelation 4:11; Ephesians 2:19-22, 4:11-13; Romans 12:3-16;1 Thessalonians 4:15-17;John 14:1-3;1 Corinthians 12-14;Acts 1:8, 2:41-47, 4:1-16;Hebrews 10:24-25)
Baptism is the first step a new believer in Jesus Christ must make after receiving Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Water baptism is an outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace they have received through faith in Christ. Through water baptism the new believer proclaims Christ’s death and resurrection. It serves public notice to the world of their new life in Christ. Baptism is a picture of a believer’s death to sin and their resurrection to spiritual life through the power of the Holy Spirit. It pleases the Lord to declare His reality in our lives, to the world, and before the Father in heaven. The Greek word for Baptism means: “to submerge, plunge, drench, saturate, or dip.” Immersion followed the Jewish proselyte practice and the practice of the early church was baptism by immersion. (John 1:26; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Matthew 10:32, 28:19; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-7, 10-11)
The Lord’s Supper:
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s sacrificial death upon Calvary’s cross for the sins of the world past, present and future. The Lord’s Supper is also known as The Eucharist or Holy Communion in many traditional churches. The Lord’s Supper is open to all who have received Jesus as their personal Savior and all who desire to live in a daily relationship with Him as their Lord. The bread we partake of symbolizes Christ’s body which was broken for our healing and wholeness. The wine we partake of symbolizes Christ’s blood shed for the redemption, restoration, and reconciliation of our sin sick souls back into a relationship with a holy God. (Psalm 24:3-4; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 16:16; Luke 22:19; Acts 8:12; 10: 47-48; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:17-34, 24-25)
The Tabernacle Non-Essential Beliefs:
ABORTION: We believe life begins at conception and every unborn fetus is a person who is alive and is being formed in God’s image and likeness. Abortion ends the life of the unborn child. We uphold the sanctity of every unborn human life and reluctantly affirm abortion as an unacceptable practice except when the life of the mother is threatened. Further, we condemn the use of late-term or partial birth abortions, except if the life of the mother is in jeopardy. We are committed to assisting ministries like the Crisis Pregnancy Center who helps women find feasible alternatives to abortion. (Psalm 139:13-16; Luke 1:15; 41-45)
ALCOHOL & DRUGS: We believe the Bible prohibits drunkenness and goes against the goal of every Christian believer which is to become more and more like Christ in the thoughts they think, words they speak, and deeds they do. Drinking alcohol is not prohibited in the Bible, in fact it is even encouraged. However, we believe drinking alcohol should be done with discretion and self-control so as not to cause another person to stumble in their faith. We support abstinence from the use of any illegal drugs or substances.
The use of illegal drugs, as well as the illegal and problematic use of alcohol, is a major factor in crime, disease, death, and family dysfunction. We support educational programs as well as other prevention strategies encouraging abstinence from illegal drug use and, with regard to those who choose to consume alcoholic beverages, judicious use with deliberate and intentional restraint. (Ephesians 5:28; Romans 14:20-21; 1 Corinthians 8:7-7-13)
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: We believe Jesus explicitly repudiated capital punishment and the death penalty. We condemn and cannot accept retribution or social vengeance as a reason for taking any human life. We hold the death penalty all too often falls unfairly upon the marginalized persons of our society which many times includes the poor, uneducated, ethnic and religious minorities, and persons with mental and emotional illnesses. (Matthew 5:38-39; John 8:7)
CHURCH RESTORATION: We believe when a member of the church habitually commits sins against God and the church another member of the church is to go to that person concerning the specific issue in order for there to be correction, restoration, accountability, forgiveness, and a new way of life. If the disobedient person will not listen, the other member is to take another church member to confront them again about the issue. If the disobedient person still refuses to repent then the two members are to share it with the Elders and they are then to share it with the entire church. If the disobedient person refuses to listen to the church he/she is to be treated as an unbeliever. (Matthew 18:12-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13)
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: We believe Christians are to be subject to the Governmental Authorities in power. Christians are to disobey Civil Authorities only when they clearly order us to violate a clear command of Scripture. Even then, the Bible models passive rather than active disobedience in every circumstance. (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Daniel 3:1-26; Acts 4:1-20)
DIVORCE: We believe it is God’s will for a man and a woman to remain married until they are parted by death. God hates Divorce but never the Divorcee. God loves people unconditionally regardless of their choices good or bad. We believe the scriptural bases for allowing a man and a woman to Divorce is marital unfaithfulness. Reconciliation and forgiveness will always be encouraged as first-steps to restoration of any broken relationship before the option of Divorce is taken. (Matthew 5: 32; 19:3-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16)
EUTHANASIA: We believe human life is a gift of one’s Creator God who alone is entitled to determine when and how an individual life will end. Therefore, taking one’s life or assisting another in taking their life for any reason is scripturally prohibited. (Genesis 1:26-27; Exodus 20:13; Hosea 10:13-14; John 9:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 5:9-10)
GAMBLING: We believe gambling invites people to place their faith and trust in material possessions rather than on God whom Christians believe is the provider and supplier of all their needs. Gambling is a cancer to society and is deadly to the interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life. As an act of faith and concern, we contend Christians should abstain from gambling and should strive to minister to those victimized by the practice.
Where gambling has become addictive, we will encourage such individuals to receive therapeutic assistance so their energy, time, and resources may be redirected into more positive and constructive ends. We promote standards and personal lifestyles that make unnecessary and undesirable commercial gambling — including public lotteries — as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of self, charities, or government. (Mark 12:29-30; 1 Timothy 6:9-10)
HOMOSEXUALITY: We believe all humans are persons of sacred worth and have been created in the image and likeness of God. We believe the definition of Holy Matrimony has been defined and described within the pages of the Bible as being explicitly between one man and one woman for the purpose of sexual pleasure and procreation of the human race. We believe the practice of homosexuality to be incompatible with both the teachings of the Bible and Orthodox Christian Doctrine.
Therefore, we believe the act of homosexuality is a perversion of God’s will for both males and females and can potentially be detrimental to the emotional, relational, spiritual, and physical lives of those who practice it. We believe God loves the sinner but hates the sin. In other words God loves the Homosexual but hates the act of Homosexuality. We seek to imitate God and love people regardless of their sins or behavior. We cannot condone or comply with any act of sin regardless what it is. (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
WAR: We believe war is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we reject war as an instrument of national foreign policy, to be employed only as a last resort in the prevention of such evils as genocide, brutal suppression of human rights, and unprovoked international aggression. We believe the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve any differences or disputes between them by peaceful means. We believe human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities; that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped; that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons should be condemned. (Luke 21:9; 2 Corinthians 10:2-4; Ephesians 6:10-20)
WOMEN IN MINISTRY: We believe women can serve and honor God in all levels and capacities according to the spiritual gifts He gives them. Men and Women are equal in importance and value to God and can serve in a variety of similar and different roles within the church and greater society. We will not discriminate when it comes to gender who or who cannot do ministry. God does not make those differences and neither will we. All persons, male or female, have been used as instruments of God across the ages of human history. We welcome both men and women into vital Christian ministry. (Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24: 1-12; Acts 2:17-19; Romans 16:12; 1 Corinthians 11; Philippians 4:3; 1 Timothy 2:11-12, 5:1-3; Titus 2:3)