. . . about the Bible
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (comprising 66 books in the English versions) were written by the direct and verbal inspiration of God, that they were inerrant in their original manuscripts, that they have been divinely preserved through faithful translations for all generations, and that they are the supreme and final authority for all life and faith (2Peter 1:21, 2Timothy 3:16-17).
Seeing the dust settle after much debate on the Bible translations issue and having been convinced that there is very little difference between all the extant manuscript copies of the Bible, we believe the real issue of importance in the Bible translation debate is the translation philosophy behind any particular Bible translation. Because we hold a very high view of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, we believe it is vital that those who undertake the translation of the Scriptures be careful to translate as literally as possible from the original languages, instead of opting for “dynamic equivalence” more often than not. We believe it is vital to have a clear, faithful translation that is reverent and at the same time understandable in today’s use of the English language so that the believer can most easily understand God’s will and ways.
After careful consideration of these priorities stated above, we have chosen the New American Standard Bible as our “pulpit and pew Bible.” We respect the time-honored, classic King James Version as a faithful translation and we are aware that a very few other recent translations have merit; however, we cannot endorse the vast majority of modern English translations because of their poor translation philosophy.
. . . about God
We believe in the existence of the one and only true God of the Bible, existing eternally in three persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1; John 10:30; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4).
We believe that Jesus Christ, being miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin, Mary by name, and that He was and is wholly God and wholly man (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Colossians 2:9).
. . . about man
We believe that man was created by God and in the image of God, that he then willfully sinned against God, thus bringing upon himself the sentence of both physical and spiritual death, which is separation from God. We believe that since then all human beings are born with a sin nature and so are sinners by birth and by choice, that they have a natural tendency toward sin, that they therefore fall under the divine and just condemnation of eternal ruin, and that they are without excuse. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-17; Romans 1:18-20; 5:12-21; 1Corinthians 2:14)
. . . about salvation
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that His death was substitutionary, and that all who believe in Him are fully justified on the basis of His blood which was shed on the cross for us (Romans 5:9; 1Corinthians 15:1-4; 2Corinthians 5:21; 1Peter 1:18-19; 2:24).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord, in His bodily ascension to Heaven, and in His bodily presence in that place where He now stands as our great high priest and advocate (Acts 1:9-11; 1Corinthians 15:1-4, 20-25; Hebrews 7:25).
We believe that all those who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior are born again by the Spirit of God, and are therefore the eternally saved children of God (John 1:12; 3:3-8; Galatians 3:24-26; 1John 5:13).
. . . about Satan
We believe in the literal and personal existence of Satan, the agent of the sinful fall, the prince of the power of the air, and that he will be ultimately condemned and punished forever in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:1-10; Ephesians 2:1-5).
. . . about the two ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that immersion is the only form of baptism revealed and commanded in the scriptures; that baptism contains no saving power, but that it is rather commanded for those who have already been saved; that the new birth, which comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, is prerequisite according to the Scriptures; and therefore that only those who are old enough to believe on their own should be baptised (Acts 2:38-41; 8:12, 26-39; 16:25-34; Romans 6:3-5).
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is simply a memorial of Christ’s death and that it is to be reserved only for those who have been saved by faith in His precious blood and who walk in obedient fellowship with Him. We do not believe in or practice “closed communion” (1Corinthians 11:23-32).
. . . about the church
We believe that a New Testament church is a body of baptised believers, assembled together for worship, for service, and for the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts1:8; 2:41-42).
We believe that the Bible teaches that the following offices in the church should only be filled by biblically qualified men and therefore are not open to women: pastor, assistant pastor, deacon (1Timothy 2:12; 3:2, 12).
. . . about living the Christian life
We believe that living the Christian life is impossible in the power of the flesh (our old sinful nature), and that it can only be done through divine enablement (grace). All believers are called to renounce the flesh, die to self, put away sin, and allow Christ to live His perfect life through us (Romans 8:1-14, 26-29;Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:8-11; Hebrews 4:14-16).
We believe that all believers are called to a life of separation. This separation covers three areas: moral separation, personal separation, and ecclesiastical separation.
MORAL SEPARATION: The Ten Commandments remain the perfect standard of God for man. We are commanded to perfect our holiness in the fear of God (2Corinthians 7:1). The believer is commanded to be pure in body and in spirit (1Timothy:5).
PERSONAL SEPARATION: Romans 14 explains clearly that there will be areas where believers will be in disagreement about what qualifies as sin. Some will participate in things that others will abstain from. Concerning food, special days, etc., every believer, after searching the Scriptures for guidance in the matter, is to be fully convinced before he practices it (Romans 14:5-6).
ECCLESIASTICAL SEPARATION: While recognizing the unity of all true believers, it is also evident that many unbiblical organised religious associations between believers and unbelievers have developed to the point that clear and unquestionable apostasy exists. We therefore disapprove of “The World Council of Churches”, “The National Council of Churches”, “The National Association of Evangelicals” and all other associations or groups that would promote Ecumenism, Neo-Orthodoxy, New Evangelicalism and other programs of cooperative evangelization between churches and persons who do not share our same precious faith (2Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:11-12; Luke 12:51).
. . . about the sign gifts
We believe that the present day “charismatic” movements of healing and speaking in tongues, as well as the so-called “signs and wonders” or “Third Wave” is contrary to the Holy Scriptures and sound doctrine, and that those who believe and practice these things are in error (1Corinthians 14:33, 40; 13:8-11).
. . . about Heaven, Hell, and Future Events
We believe in the “blessed hope of the believer” (also called “the Rapture”) — that is, the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillenial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all who have repented of their sins and trusted in Him alone for salvation from sin and hell. Since the spirits of believers who die are immediately in the presence of the Lord, they will return with the Lord at the time of the Rapture and will be united with their newly-resurrected, glorified bodies. The remaining believers who are still alive at the time of the Rapture will have their bodies changed to the new, glorified bodies as well, and both of these groups of believers will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever. (John 14:1-3; 1Corinthians 15:20-28, 35-57; Philippians 1:20-25; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Just as we believe in the bodily resurrection of those who have died in Christ (this is called “the first resurrection”), so we believe in the bodily resurrection of the unsaved (this is called “the second resurrection”). We believe in a literal heaven and in a literal hell, that the souls of the unsaved descend immediately after their death into hell, where they will be punished until the final day of judgment (Luke 16:19-31; 2Peter 2:9), on which day their bodies will be resurrected, after which they will be judged according to their works and finally thrown into the lake of fire, where they will suffer eternal punishment and separation from God (Mark 9:43-48; 1Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15; 21:8).
. . . about worship in general and music in particular
(Psalm 5:7) But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, at Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.
(Psalm 29:2) Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array.
(Psalm 66:4) All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.
(Psalm 99:9) Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy hill, for holy is the LORD our God.
By the very definition of the words in biblical Hebrew and Greek translated “worship” in the Bible, we are to “bow in submission and reverence to” and “ascribe worth to” God, whom we worship. In other words, God is to be the focus of our worship, not ourselves. His matchless, infinite worth is to be the emphasis in God-centered worship. His desires should command what we do in our worship to Him. Sadly, much of what passes for worship in most churches today is entertainment-oriented, self-centered, man-centered worship by virtue of the fact that the focus is on how the worshipers feel, what kind of music the worshipers like, etc., not what brings glory to God.
“God is a musical God — He created music and has a definite will regarding it,” as has been so ably pointed out by Dr. Frank Garlock in his video lectures called “The Language of Music” and in his other lectures and books.
Music (apart from the lyrics/words) communicates a message. We need to make sure the music we either perform or listen to is acceptable to God.
In music meant to worship and praise the Lord, the message of the music itself must support the message of the lyrics — good words by themselves do not necessarily make the song acceptable to God.
God is a God of beauty and order and His kind of music is beautiful because it is orderly. This applies not just to sacred music to be played in church, but to the kind of music we listen to in our daily lives. What you listen to is feeding your mind and heart something. It will either be wholesome “food” or “junk food.”
Scooping, sliding, and other worldly techniques (i.e. taking time to get to the right note or not getting to the right note at all) are deliberately meant to rebel against order. This also gives music a sensual quality, which is directly opposed to God’s command that we avoid participating in or even letting our mind dwell on things that are sensual (Philippians 4:8; 2Timothy 2:22)
God’s emphasis in music is melody. In fact, the order of emphasis in music should be first melody, then harmony, lastly rhythm.
Melody is the “tune you sing” in every song. It should have progression (move forward), have a purpose, and come to a conclusion (closure). Music with a “wandering” quality is not good music. Music without closure fosters a hopelessness and purposelessness in the mind and heart of the listener.
Harmony is meant to add depth and beauty to the melody.
Rhythm is meant to support and carry along the melody, but is to be unnoticed and in the background, except in places where it has a good purpose — to get across the sense of marching, etc. Emphasized rhythm that is repetitive and hypnotic is not acceptable to God — it plays into the hands of our enemy, Satan, arouses the flesh, and suppresses the conscience. Because of this principle, we will not allow to be played in our services certain musical instruments that are used for the purpose of emphasizing the beat (such as drums, tambourines, electric guitars, etc.) or which have a sensual sound (such as the saxophone).
Almost all that is called “Contemporary Christian Music” fails the tests summarized above; therefore, in order to glorify God in every aspect of our worship and fellowship, we do not use CCM in any of our services or gatherings.