LLRC Statement of Faith

What We Believe

We believe in Jesus

We believe everything can be boiled down to one question: What are you going to do with Jesus?

It sounds simple enough, but Jesus was anything but simple. He hung out with the most religious and the most rebellious, and with ordinary men and women. He did amazing things – truly miraculous things – and was often treated like a celebrity, but he was rejected by all the LR edits-128powerful people of his day and was executed as a criminal.

Jesus claimed that he and God were one, that watching him was the same as watching God. Jesus spoke of God as his Father, and he taught his followers to do the same. Every story he told, every teaching, every miraculous healing and every kind gesture showed just how close Jesus and his Heavenly Father were. We believe he really was God’s choice for king, and as such, he could die on behalf of his people – to ransom them and save them, not from political oppression but from sin and death.

We believe Jesus is still king. We believe he is resurrected from the dead and has been put in control of everything – not to take over but to transform our world through the power of love. The Holy Spirit is given to those who are following Jesus so they can continue to tell others about what has happened, so they can share his love with the world and introduce them into a new, living relationship with God. We believe that life is found by following Jesus

We are Christians

We like to thiLR edits-141nk we are a part of mainstream Christianity. We may not be as old as Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, but we affirm the ancient, ecumenical creeds. Our worship isn’t as formal as the Lutherans, but spend a few weeks with us, and you’ll notice our worship has its own shape and traditions. We baptize infants, which upsets our Baptist and evangelical friends, but we also expect each person to have a personal relationship with God even if they can’t point to a specific time and place.

We aren’t exactly like any other denomination, but we share a lot in common with many of them. In fact, our little congregation is made up of believers that grew up Roman Catholic and Lutheran and Baptist and evangelical and, yes, even Eastern Orthodox. And we like it that way.
 
The Trinity
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in God the Father Almighty, whose love is the foundation of salvation and righteous judgment, and who calls us into covenant relationship with God and with one another.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the Word, who is fully God and fully human. He came to show us God and perfect humanity, and, through his life, death, and resurrection, to reconcile us to God. He is now actively present with us as Savior, Teacher, Lord, Healer, and Friend.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who breathed God’s message into the prophets and apostles, opens our eyes to God’s truth in Jesus Christ, empowers us for holy living, and carries on in us the work of salvation.
 

We are Reformed

The Bible
We are reformed and reforming according to the Bible. We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word and our only foundation for faith and practice. We believe it is authoritative and powerful in all it intends to teach. We do not believe that the writers of the Bible were merely scribes taking dictation, but rather, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write laws, histories, poetry, proverbs, gospels, letters and prophecies in a way that reflects each writer’s personality and understanding of the world. We believe that a faithful church is always reforming according to God’s Word by the Holy Spirit which requires a humility and dependence on God.
 
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Sacraments
We believe the Bible teaches (and the early church’s practice confirms) that there are two sacraments Christ gave to the church: baptism and communion. We believe these two signs communicate and extend God’s grace. As signs, they point us towards something or, better, towards someone: Jesus. And like signs, they invite us to get up and get moving. In other words, they call for us to step towards Jesus in faith.
 
Baptism
We believe baptism gives usthe New Testament’s picture of how Jesus saves all who put their trust in him. We don’t believe the act itself, saves us; instead, it points to the work of Jesus – a work which we must accept by faith. We baptize infants of church members because it shows us how God is already at work all around us – before we are even aware of it. We also baptize infants because they’ll never know a time when they aren’t a part of God’s people, hearing stories about Jesus, being invited to trust him, praying, worshipping, and hopefully, growing in faith. Finally, we baptize infants because in the Bible, when God called someone, the call was to that person and
his or her family. (Think of the stories of Abraham and of Rahab, for instance.) That said, we do not require anyone to baptize their children if that is contrary to their beliefs and celebrate the baptism of a new believer at any age. Also, we do not require anyone to be re-baptized – we honor the baptism of all Christian churches.
 
Communion
We believe that communion (also called the Lord’s Supper) points to the close relationship we have with our risen Lord. More than merely a time of remembrance, we believe that Christ is especially present to us at communion and that the Holy Spirit uses this occasion to draw us closer to Christ. We usually celebrate communion every other month or six times a year.
 
Church Government
We believe that each individual church is best governed by local leadership, not by popes, bishops or denominational heads. On the other hand, we believe that inter-dependent churches reflect the care of God and the interconnectedness or unity of the body of Christ. To maintain this balance, the governing power of our denomination is located in the Classis, a local group of churches (called a “presbytery” in Presbyterian churches). Each church has a great deal of autonomy and freedom yet is ultimately accountable to other local churches.
 
Marriage
We believe marriage is a biblical institution established by God as clearly described in the Scriptures. Our church recognizes that God’s design for marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.
 
Homosexuality
We believe the Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is a sin but that we should reach out in love and truth to minister to people touched by homosexuality, and that those who contend Biblically against their own sexual temptation should be patiently assisted in their battle, not ostracized or disdained but encouraged to seek God’s ideal of sexual obedience and wholeness. We affirm that both heterosexual and homosexual persons should find help in the church to engage in the Biblical battle against all improper sexual thoughts and behaviors.
 
Ethnic Diversity
We believe that all people are created in the image of God, therefore racism and discrimination are deeply subversive to the equality and freedom we have in the good news of Jesus (see above). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the beliefs of our church. Every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.
 

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