We believe there is a God who loves you, and wants your existence on this earth and beyond to be the BEST it can be and this God has done the impossible to give you the best life possible, but He will not force His plan on you. Here are the details:
We believe that there is a God, one TRUE God to be exact. It would be foolish to try to describe God in a paragraph on a page. The best way to know God is to spend time with Him. There are no quick and easy ways to fully, and accurately describe God. However, here are three things we do know:
God is mysterious – If you live to be 700 years old, you will have begun to understand everything about God. We do not have God in a box. As followers of Jesus, we appreciate God’s mysteriousness and are constantly getting to know God more fully.
God is real – period.
God is love – If you have to pick one adjective to begin describing God, it is “love.” God loves all of His creation, including you, and wants what is best for you.
We believe that Jesus Christ was a man who was born nearly 2000 years ago in the area known as Palestine. Because all people have a distorted notion of who God is (we all tend to make God a “bigger & better me”), God became a man in order to clear up the confusion so that we could really know Him. Although we do not fully understand it, we believe that Jesus is both 100% God and 100% human (I guess you can do that when you’re God). By showing us the real God, Jesus makes it possible for us to have a real relationship with Him. Because of Jesus, we can know what pleases God, what is important to God, and what God wants for our lives.
We believe that Jesus was killed by men who were full of their own little notions about God more than the truth about God (deep down, we’re all like those men). However, Jesus proved himself to be God by coming back from the dead (He can do that too because He is God). We believe that people who trust Jesus, accept his grace, his sacrifice, and follow him will live with Him forever.
We believe the Bible is inspired by God, and is His completely true story about who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do. It is a record of humanity’s relationship with God and He inspired humans to write it. Because humans wrote the Bible, it also reflects their backgrounds, styles, and uses of language. The Bible is God’s untainted and perfect message concerning all things related to knowing Him, pleasing Him, and being connected to Him.
We believe that all people were created by God, and that each person is of infinite value to Him (when was the last time someone told you that you were infinitely valuable?). God loves every single person regardless of gender , age, race, ethnicity, behavior, height, weight, political affiliation and so on. In fact, the diversity of the earth's population is not only pleasing to God; it is an expression of His outlandish ability to create. That's why all people matter to God and to us.
Because each person is a creation of His hands, He has placed inside each of us a deep seated longing to want to know Him and please Him. However, God has also given us the freedom to make our won decisions. And against our better judgment we all choose at some point to do that which displeases Him (see "Sin"). We all live with the tension of wanting to be near God while simultaneously thinking that we know better than He does about what is best for our lives.
If you have hung around churches very much, you’ve probably heard about “sin.” Here is what we believe about it. We believe that sin is the wall-of-pride-and-selfishness that keeps us from being connected to God and to each other. Sin is what messed this world up (recall Adam and Eve and their selfish act in the garden?) and causes so much confusion, pain, and frustration. Sin is the selfish pride that makes our life a mess.
Not only is sin the stuff we do, it is also the state of being separated by God because of what we have done. When we sin (and everybody was born in sin), we get disconnected from God because we take God’s perfect plan for our lives and exchange it with our own agenda. In other words, we convince ourselves that we are smarter than God is.
In his infinite mercy, God does not force his ways on us. Although this is very nice of him, it means that we have to choose to accept his love, his forgiveness, and his work of reestablishing the relationship with Him that He has made available through Christ.
We become connected to God in only one way – by choosing to accept the offer of forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. If we accept His gift and offer, God treats us as if we were Jesus (fully perfect, fully without sin, fully welcomed into God’s presence). There is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor or forgiveness; both are given because of God’s goodness (not ours) and because of what Jesus has done (not because of what we do).
God did not intend for us to do life on our own. Once we become connected to Him, He wants us to become connected with others who love Him and know Him, and live our lives alongside each other.
When we accept God's plan and His gift, we identify ourselves as His children through water baptism and exercising the gifts His Holy Spirit has given us. The new life and relationship with God begins the process of changing our hearts and minds from the inside out and making our character more and more like Jesus'.
We believe that in His own time and in His own way, God will bring the world as we know it to an end. According to His promise, Jesus will return to earth in a real and visible way. When He returns, Jesus will judge every person who has ever lived, and He will begin a new and eternal era of God's reign. The people who followed Jesus and accepted Him as the path to God will live with Him forever. Those who rejected Jesus will be allowed to live out their choice to be separate from God and all that He gives (hope, love, meaning, peace, etc.) for all eternity.