STATEMENT OF FAITH
Along with our guiding principles and core beliefs affirmed in the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed, the association abides by a Statement of Faith, which is the cornerstone of the organization.
We affirm the following:
- The Trinitarian name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- God has revealed Himself fully and decisively as attested in Holy Scripture. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. The Scriptures are the guide of faith and life.
- There is only one way to salvation – through Jesus Christ.
- The sanctity of human life at every stage based on our creation in the image of God and our election by God for service in His kingdom.
- The Biblical guidelines for human sexuality: marriage as the union of one man and one woman, chastity outside of marriage, lifelong fidelity and holiness in marriage for the sake of the Kingdom.
- That the mission of the Church is to spread the good news of the Gospel of salvation in every word and deed. We are sent by Christ into all the world to bring every person into a life of faith, discipleship and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
God is at work: The scriptures teach us that God is relentlessly at work in the lives of His people. The Spirit that indwells us is convicting us of sin and driving us to Christ; Jesus is at work ruling and reigning as king, building His Church and interceding for us; The Father is at work sustaining all things and actively loving us as He draws us to Himself through His Son Jesus. This understanding gives us confidence to join God in the work He is already doing.
The Scripture: The Bible is our only infallible rule of faith and practice: God-breathed, and authoritative in our lives and in our churches. A high view of scripture is displayed as we seek to understand God’s Word through study and faithful preaching. So, instead of approaching scripture with the goal of interpreting it through our own lens of what is acceptable to us, we allow it to interpret and examine us.
The Gospel: The Gospel is “The Good News” of changed lives. It is the message of the person and work of Jesus Christ to reconcile us to the Father through His life, death and resurrection. We encourage our members and churches to proclaim and apply the gospel boldly.
Fellowship: One of the primary purposes of the EA is to encourage fellowship, partnership, and association within our members and congregations. We will stand arm and arm sharing encouragement, ideas, and resources as we serve God in our respective spheres of influence. We place a high value on encouraging our members to network together for kingdom advancement.
Discipleship: The Great Commission commands us as Christ followers to make disciples. We urge our members and congregations to be disciples who make disciples. The natural response of a healthy vibrant faith is to see others come to know Jesus and to know Him more deeply. This work is accomplished as we reproduce new disciples, ministries, and churches; and as we encourage growth in grace in one another.
Mission: We believe that the call of all believers and all churches is to be on mission for the Gospel. We encourage our members and congregations to be on mission and to serve with our resources, prayers, and works, and to proclaim with great expectation the Gospel of Jesus Christ locally, nationally, and around the world. Also, we look for opportunities to partner together in missions.
Reformation: In its most basic sense, Reformation is the ongoing theological renewal of biblical Christianity in our lives and in our churches. We believe that this reformation is an ongoing process and therefore churches will at times in the course of their history need revitalization and renewal. We encourage our congregations and members to regularly examine their priorities and practices with the goal of being both rooted in the historic faith and able to understand their congregations and communities to insure they are vibrant and winsome in their ministries.
The Image of God: The Bible clearly teaches that each human being is created in the image of God and has intrinsic dignity and value. This is the guiding principle for our views on the sanctity of life at every stage.
ISSUES AND CORE BELIEFS
In light of these Core Values and our Statement of Faith we affirm our stance on these matters:
|We affirm the Biblical principle of the sanctity of human life. We also understand the sensitivity of this issue and are filled with Christian love for those affected by abortions. Still, we are unashamedly pro-life.|
|Allows for Local Autonomy||All our churches are independent, self-governing but are a part of the One, Holy, Universal Christian Church|
|Baptism||We affirm freedom in baptism including infant baptism and believer’s baptism, sprinkling and immersion.|
|Belief in the Infallibility and Authority of Scripture||We believe that all Scripture is ‘God-breathed’; therefore, Scripture is holy, infallible, and our authority for life and faith.|
|Confirmation||Many of our churches practice this beautiful rite and we affirm the historical importance of this tradition while acknowledging that some of our churches have not inherited the history of this practice.|
|Cross of Jesus and Blood Atonement of Christ||Necessary for salvation and taught with reverence, respect, and grateful hearts.|
|Doctrinal Identity||Strong evangelical “Statement of Faith” and the historic creeds of the Protestant Christian heritage.|
|Emphasis on Church Planting||The Scripture is clear that we are to go and make disciples. Church planting is encouraged on local and regional levels.|
|Emphasis on Missions||Strong encouragement for each local church to be involved locally and globally. Direct relationships between churches and missions/missionaries encouraged. Mission Renewal Network available to assist local churches.|
|Euthanasia and suicide||Viewed as outside of God’s will.|
|Human Sexuality||The Biblical guidelines for human sexuality; marriage as the union of one man and one woman, chastity outside of marriage, lifelong fidelity and holiness in marriage for the sake of the Kingdom.|
|Inclusive Language||Biblical language clearly uses the masculine references to God (Father, Lord, He) and are affirmed. Modern documents, in language dealing with humans, are more inclusive.|
|Lord’s Supper||Practices vary in local churches|
|Non-Christian Religions||Christ is the only Savior of the world|
|Ordination||Local church ordination or recognized denomination. Candidate applies to local church.|
|Sacraments||Two: Baptism and Lord’s Supper; local church freedom|
|Theology||Evangelical, conservative, classical and historic Christianity as affirmed in the Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed and other creeds of the Protestant Christian heritage.|
|Local Church Polity||Congregational|
|Types of Churches||Evangelical, Congregational, Christian, and Reformed in background; also Independent churches|
|Women in Leadership||There are women in ministry, but the decision is left to local church|
|Year Founded||Organized in 1998|