Loving God, Loving Others, and Being Real
Loving God and loving others is the core of what God calls us to be as disciples and disciple-makers. The distinctive for this season of ministry at FCC is to foster this love of God and love of others in an atmosphere of increased authenticity. We dream of a church without fear where people could be free to be themselves in their true identity as children of God: sinners saved by grace, confessing to one another, caring for one another, helping one another grow, “rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn.” This vision for an increasingly authentic Christ-centered community is captured in the phrase: Loving God, Loving Others, and Being Real.
Values statement: (from our elder retreat 2013)
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one,” answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28-31
The most important thing is to Love God. Therefore we value the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: He is supreme, our source, the object of our worship, our primary desire, our delight. We value God’s love for us. We value being loved by God, having an increased capacity to be loved by God, and therefore an increased capacity to give and receive love (“as I have loved you” Jn 15:12). Because we love God we value His Word, the Bible. We value a relationship with God and the transformation, spiritual growth, and conformation to the image of Christ that comes from this primary relationship. We value this type of spiritual growth as a regular expectation through a connection to the “true vine” (Jn 15:1), bearing fruit. We value relationships and behaviors that foster this transformation.
The second most important thing is to love others. Therefore we value relationships: with other children of God (the fellowship) and with the lost (evangelism). If we value relationships, we must also value authenticity, being “real,” grace-filled love, and accountability. These things foster healthy community. Authentic relationships are fearless because “perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn 4:18). We value biblical peacemaking, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We also value Christ-like humility (Phi 2:5) (as opposed to valuing “excellent,” high-capacity, outwardly self-competent people). Because we value others we value one-body unity (1 Cor 12) across things that would otherwise separate people (e.g. geography, age, gender, culture, socio-economic status). We value everyone’s part in the body, i.e., everyone using his or her Spiritual Gifts.
Our Statement of Faith
Free Christian Church is committed to a biblical, Christ-centered understanding of the Christian faith as reflected in our belief:
- in a Trinitarian God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- that through the transgression of Adam man is born into a condition of sin and death and is in need of divine assistance for salvation.
- that the Son became human (Jesus Christ) and died on a cross and rose bodily from the grave in order that those who come to Him in faith might receive abundant and eternal life.
- in the authority of the Bible as the infallible rule and example of faith guiding the life of the church and of the believer in both doctrine and practice.
- that the church, as the living body of Christ, is God's primary means for proclaiming the good news of His kingdom as well as the primary community where the Christian life is practiced.
- that, from the beginning, God has guided His creation and His people by His loving care and providence.
- in a future and historical return to Earth of Jesus Christ and the bodily resurrection of the dead - the faithful to eternal life and the lost to eternal separation from God.
- in the sacraments of the Lord's supper and in Christian Baptism.