What Some of Us Believe
1. Some of us believe in a broadened concept of God’s Grace. In this broad concept of God’s Grace, we believe that God loves and accepts us, not because He has made us clean and we have spent lots of our own efforts faithfully following the rules so that we can remain clean and worthy of His love, but simply because He Himself is a loving, forgiving God. Therefore, we do not believe in mixing Law with Grace, because the question then arises, Exactly how much Law do we mix in with Grace before it is no longer Grace?
2. Some of us believe in a sanctifying process of acquiring the ability to live with personal victory over sin, shortcomings, and character flaws. We do not believe in any sudden spiritual event that eradicates all character flaws and weaknesses. We believe that this process begins with the infilling of the Holy Spirit, after which God works though the daily events occurring in the life of the believer and gives the Grace (divine power/assistance) to overcome and grow beyond those flaws and weaknesses as the believer yields and submits to Him in each situation. Thus, we still believe in living free from sin.
3. Some of us believe that the church’s foundation and focus must be the Word and the Spirit alone, not church history, traditional teachings, “settled doctrines,” or ministerial agreements. We believe that the Word is the only valid authority in the New Testament church.
4. Concerning teachings about “external holiness,” we believe that modesty of dress is a definite New Testament concept that cannot be explained away (1Timothy 2:9-10). But we also believe that much of what is called “external holiness” is nothing more than matters of conscience being taught as matters of sin, which we do not have biblical authority to enforce upon all believers. We believe that all believers should live their lives according to the principles of holiness (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15). We believe that it should be taught and emphasized that it is the duty of all serious Christians to seek for a Holy Spirit conviction regarding every area in their lives, in order to prevent themselves from abusing their freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:13, 16). We believe that true holiness is an inward condition of the heart based on a living relationship with the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:28-29; Philippians 3:3).
5. Some of us believe that when a group begins to find its identify through its various church doctrines instead of getting its identity from the Word of God alone, then that group begins to worship its doctrine, which is a form of spiritual idolatry. By focusing on church doctrine in this manner, that group makes itself a sect. Some of us no longer want to be forced to defend or focus mainly on church doctrine or history. We consider that to be sectarian bondage, from which we declare our freedom.
6. We believe it should be made clear why some of us want freedom: We desire freedom, not in order to abuse it by living selfishly, but because the Holy Spirit itself can only thrive in an environment of freedom. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). We want to be part of a church with a greater degree of the Spirit and its manifestations. Revival cannot thrive or survive in an environment of legalism.
7. Some of us believe that we should make serious efforts to reconnect with the larger Body of Christ in the world, because this is the only true application of non-sectarianism (John 17:20-21). We believe that true Christian “unity” is actually practiced among Christians at large, not merely between the members of one specific group only (John 17:21). Jesus said, "He that is not against us is on our side” (Mark 9:38-40). We believe that true unity is the “unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:3), not a unity based on doctrine. “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way we do, accepting one another without passing judgment on disputable matters” (Romans 14:1).
8. Some of us believe that each local group of believers should be autonomous and only loosely networked with the rest of the various church groups for the mutual benefit of all. We do not believe that any national ministers’ council has the power to force or pressure us to comply with its policy of turning various matters of conscience into matters of sin or a basis for fellowship. We do not believe that any group leadership has the authority to tell us which saved people we may or may not fellowship in order to remain in good standing with that group. We believe that we have the freedom to recognize and work with whoever God leads us to work with, including ordaining those we believe He has called and anointed. We regard all such attempts to limit this freedom as sectarian and carnal.
9. Some of us believe that the church should focus on the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 9:35; 10:7; 24:14; Luke 4:43; 9:2; 10:9; 12:32; Hebrews 12:28). We believe that obedience to the Great Commission is not optional, simply because it includes all of the work the church is supposed to do (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). We believe that building the Kingdom, not maintaining church doctrine, is the main biblical focus of the church. We believe that a failure to fulfill the Great Commission is actually a failure to obey God, and as such, is sinful, resulting in serious spiritual consequences.
10. Some of us believe that spiritual leaders have a duty to give clear, definite, and biblical vision, light, direction, and inspiration, for the church. We believe that this clear, definite and official vision and direction should include spiritual growth gatherings open to all believers for the following purposes:
- To pray and seek for a greater outpouring/baptism of the Holy Spirit and a fresh anointing;
- To create an atmosphere of openness to God in which new leadership and new direction can be can be fostered and produced, discovered and encouraged;
- To develop and adopt an intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare paradigm;
- To emphasize a “Kingdom” vision versus a historical, denominational vision; to teach Kingdom principles and develop a Kingdom mentality in order to implement the Great Commission (Revelation 1:6; 5:10; Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9);
- To help believers to identify and develop their spiritual giftings, and to help equip and deploy believers in the operation of those giftings (Ephesians 4:11-16);
- To teach believers their authority in Christ to help promote the Kingdom of God in its battle against the kingdom of darkness; to get believers actively involved in the Ministry of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18-19);
- To teach believers how to achieve and maintain personal victory (Philippians 2:12);
- To create and maintain an interactive network among believers that will serve to enhance spiritual growth, development of ministries, and sharing of resources.
This is what some of us believe, and we know these beliefs to be biblical and, therefore, non-negotiable.