* In essential beliefs – we have unity
* In non-essential beliefs – we have liberty
* In all our beliefs – we show charity

Our Statement of Faith

The Bible

The Bible itself, as the Inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We believe the Bible was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. For purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy and discipline, the GNG Leadership Team is the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.      Psalms 19:7-9; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21

God

We believe in one God, who is eternal and exists in three co-equal persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe.  God is Holy (without sin or imperfection).       Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 6:3; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2

The Condition of Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God.  Originally created without sin, man, through sinful choices, is alienated from God.  Man is incapable of reconciling himself to God.         Genesis 2:1-25; Romans 3:10-18; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8-10

Salvation

We believe that salvation is a gift of God to mankind by grace and is received by personal faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins.         John 1:12-13; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 1:9

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

We believe that, because God is holy, sin violates who He is.  Because God is just, sin must be punished.  Because God is love, He provided a Savior in satisfaction for sin.        Isaiah 6:3; Deuteronomy 32:4; Romans 5:8

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God.  He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order to reconcile sinful man to God.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Thus, He satisfied God’s righteous judgment against sin.  He rose from the dead thereby confirming His victory over sin.  He ascended into heaven and will return again to receive those who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord.         Luke 1:34-35; Luke 24:1-8; John 1:1,2,14,18; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19; 2 Corinthians 5:14,21

Our Response to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

Faith
Faith is belief or trust in the good news that Jesus died for our sins.  Faith involves two elements:
a)  Intellectual belief, or knowledge and acceptance of the good news.        1 John 5:10
b)  Moral belief, or doing what He asks me to do.  In the Bible, faith that is not illustrated in action is not acceptable to God.       James 2:17

Repentance
Repentance is a fundamental and thorough change of heart and mind from sin and toward God.  It is not just “feeling sorry” for our sins, it is a turning around.  Thus, repentance contains the following elements:
a)  Genuine sorrow toward God on account of our sin.          2 Corinthians 7:9-10
b)  An actual forsaking of sin.             Acts 26:20
c)  Humble self-surrender to Jesus Christ as Savior of one’s soul and Lord of one’s life.               1 Corinthians 8:6

Baptism
Scripture associates baptism with salvation, forgiveness of sins, receipt of the Holy Spirit, identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, addition of a believer into the church, and with the believer’s desire to follow the example of Jesus.                  Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Acts 9:17; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-13; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-28; Matthew 3:13-17

While Christians have disagreed regarding which meaning is paramount, there are two things no one disputes:
a)  Jesus modeled baptism                Matthew 3:13-17
b)  Jesus commanded baptism              Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16

Thus, we believe that all believers should be baptized.  Because of the symbolism involved and historical precedent, Good News Gathering baptizes by immersion, rather than sprinkling or pouring.  Our position concerning immersion is not a judgment upon the salvation of those who have been sprinkled or poured.  Also, since we believe that sin is a choice and that faith and repentance should precede baptism, we do not practice infant baptism.

Communion
Christ instituted a memorial by which Christians are uniquely reminded of His sacrifice on the cross, God’s grace, our sin, the community of faith, and His eventual return.

There is Scriptural precedent for daily and weekly communion.  Good News Gathering encourages believers to partake of communion individually, in their families, in their small groups, or at any believer gathering.  Communion may not be offered at gatherings targeted to the unbeliever or unchurched.                  Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Acts 2:42-46; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Growth
We believe that all vital things grow.  Likewise, Christians, must actively pursue a lifelong process of spiritual growth.  Spiritual growth is nurtured, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit, through prayer, Bible study and worship.  Spiritual growth also involves ministry within the local body of believers and mission to non-believers through personal evangelism.           Ephesians 4:11-15; Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 3:18

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Person through whom the world is convicted of sin and through whom new life is brought to those who are spiritually dead.  He indwells believers, thus uniting them with the Church, which is the body of Christ.  He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.  The Scriptures affirm that He bestows spiritual gifts upon us, and that He empowers us for service. We do not believe that any one gift (e.g. speaking in tongues) is a common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we do not permit the expression of the so-called “sign gifts” in our public gatherings.                 John 3:5-8, 14:16-17, 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16, 12:7-13; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 4:13,30, 5:18

The Personality of Satan

We believe that Satan is a personal spiritual being who actively seeks to separate mankind from God. He is the open and declared enemy of God and human beings and he is destined for eternal punishment.                  Matthew 4:1-11; 25:41; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:10

The Final State of Human Beings

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all human beings – the saved to eternal life with God and the unsaved to judgment.                 Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; John 11:23-26; Revelation 20:12-15

The Church

We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught in the New Testament. Good News Gathering is an autonomous, non-denominational local church free of any external authority or control. Any affiliations, societies, organizations or agencies this church affiliates with to further the objectives set forth in the Purpose Statement are not authoritative in matters of faith or practice.                  Acts 1:8; 2:42-47; 8:1-5; 9:19-20; 11:19-21; 13:1-4

Civil Government

We believe that God has ordained realms of authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblical spheres of authority under God. We believe we must obey the state unless it requires us to act contrary to our faith, at which time we must obey God rather than man.               Matthew 22:15-21; Acts 5:17-29; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Titus 3:1-2; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 13-14

Life

The Bible presents God as the Creator and author of life. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Life is a gift from God and should be respected from conception until natural death.

Elective abortion, human embryo destructive research, therapeutic cloning, tissue and organ harvesting, suicide, physician assisted suicide, and voluntary or involuntary euthanasia cheapen the God-given gift of life. God’s word enjoins Christians to protect the weak and the vulnerable – to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot speak. Thus, we are called to defend the unborn, the dependent, the disabled, and the aged. We will not be misled by euphemisms such as “quality of life,” “reproductive rights,” “liberty,” “autonomy,” “choice,” and “death with dignity.” However, the voluntary discontinuation of medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment.                     Genesis 1:1-31; John 1:1-4, 10:10, 14:6; Ezekiel 16:20-21, 35-40; Exodus 20:13, 22:22; James 1:27; Proverbs 31:8-9; Matthew 5:21

Sexual Purity and Marriage

Marriage is a scared union ordained by God. It was first instituted in Genesis 1 and 2, was codified in the Levitical Law, was used to explain the special relationship between God and His people by Old Testament prophets and was used to describe Jesus’ special relationship with the Church in the New Testament. Jesus Himself explained the original intention and core elements of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6, highlighting the male-female aspect (twice) and the lifetime nature of the union. Thus, we believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning – the exclusive union between one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman for life, as delineated in Scripture.

We further believe that God has commanded that intimate sexual activity be confined to the context of a marriage relationship. Thus, we believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexual conduct, incest, polygamy, pornography, bestiality, or any attempt to change one’s biological sex by surgery or appearance, is sin.

Our beliefs regarding marriage and the proper context for intimate sexual activity are consistent with the interpretation of Scripture held by the vast majority of Christian people and churches for the past 2,000 years. Accordingly, marriage ceremonies outside the Scriptural context will not be performed by Good News Gathering personnel or on Good News Gathering’s property, nor will the church’s resources or services be used to promote unions that contradict our beliefs.               Genesis 2:24, 19:1-29, 26:7-10; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:18-32; Matthew 5:27-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4

Gender Roles

We believe that all of our members, whether male or female, should exercise their God-given spiritual gifts to their fullest potential. The various lists of spiritual gifts found in the New Testament do not delineate gifting according to gender. Thus, if a woman has the gift of leading, teaching or pastoring, we would encourage her to utilize that gift to further God’s Kingdom.                Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11

Grace and Redemption

At Good News Gathering, Grace is Core Value # 1. While never consciously condoning or endorsing any form of sinful behavior, we strive to treat all people with the same grace that God extended to us. We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Thus, we believe that every person must be afforded dignity, respect, compassion, and kindness as human beings created in the image of God, while acknowledging the reality of sin. We seek to follow Jesus’ example of accepting each person with love, while not necessarily approving of every belief or behavior in their life.

We do not condone hateful or harassing behavior toward anyone. However, we do not believe that identifying sin as sin is hateful. Scripture is replete with examples of God (Exodus 20:1-7; Leviticus 18), His prophets (II Samuel 12:1-13), John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-4), and Jesus (John 8:1-11) identifying sin as sin. Identifying sin as sin in a context of grace and compassion is, in reality, an act of love. James 5:20 (NIV) says, “…remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Lawsuits and Believers

We believe that God’s Word discourages Christians from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all of the resources necessary to resolve disputes between those in the Good News Gathering family. However, a Christian may seek compensation from another Christian’s insurance company provided the claim is pursued without malice or slander.                  1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32; Matthew 18:15-17

Authority of the Statement of Faith

While the Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith, it accurately represents what we believe to be the core teachings of the Bible. All literature, whether print or electronic, and all statements made by those in leadership roles shall be in complete agreement with this Statement of Faith.

Adherence to the Statement of Faith

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Good News Gathering as a Church of Jesus Christ, and to provide a Biblical role model to the congregation and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the Church in any capacity or who serve as Leadership Team members, Staff, Directors and Teachers shall agree with and abide by the Statement of Faith and conduct themselves accordingly.