Theology–what we believe about God–is at the heart of every church because it shapes how we view God and how we live out our faith together.
Here’s the thumbnail sketch of the things we deem core to our understanding of God and the teachings of Scripture. (If you’re a bit more theologically inclined, you can find an in-depth version here.)
The Bible…is God’s unique message to us of who he is and how to know, love and join him in his work in the world. It speaks with authority to our everyday lives. It is the story of God’s deep desire for us to be with him.
God…is a person, not a force. He is not far, far away; rather, he is near us and engaged in our lives and in our world. He can, and wants to be, known. He hears our prayers and answers them (though not always as we wish he would!) God is the most joy-filled being in the universe.
Jesus Christ…is God with skin on. While on earth, because He was and is Himself God, He showed us what God is like. His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead made a pathway for us to be restored to relationship with God. Jesus is the most intelligent, engaging, skilled leader ever. He had such a strong ‘presence’ that people were constantly drawn to Him–which was great, because He loved to be with them!
Sin…is my (and your) natural bent to place my will above God’s, to say ‘No!’ to Him and others. It’s not learned, it’s genetic (how else can you explain a two-year-old’s temper tantrum?), and it is a barrier between us and God (and others). Sin keeps us from experiencing the life–and future–God created us to have. On our own, we cannot remove it.
Salvation…is the Bible’s word for Jesus reconnecting us with God. When I admit that I’m separated from God by my sin, claim forgiveness through Jesus’ death on the cross, and commit myself to following Jesus as my Lord and Leader, I am made right with God and begin the journey of being connected to Him and His life, both now and after I die.