What We Believe
We agree with, adopt, and endorse the Baptist Faith & Message (2000) in its entirety.
We believe the Holy Bible (consisting in its entirety as the 66 books of Genesis through Revelation) was written by men divinely inspired by God the Holy Spirit and is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. It is God’s revelation of Himself to man, to be accepted in its entirety as the final authority in matters of faith and practice. It is truth without any mixture of error, and is absolutely trustworthy to build one's life upon. It is, in its essence, the Word of God and therefore has His authority in our lives. Interaction with and obedience to the Word of God and the God of the Word changes our lives and strengthens our souls (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 1:1-3; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 19:7). The Bible is the basis for this statement of faith (Psalm 119; Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We believe the eternal triune God exists coequally as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is the Father to those who are born again into His family through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:1), and He sovereignly reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and human history, according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful (Ps. 115:3; Dan. 4:35-37), all knowing (1 Jn 3:20; Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 46:46:9-10; Isaiah 55:8-9; Ps. 147:5; Heb. 4:13; Romans 11:34), all loving (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:7-8, 19; Romans 8:22-31), all wise (Isaiah 40:28-29; Romans 11:33; Ephesians 1:11-12), and unchanging in nature (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; Heb. 6:17). He is also present everywhere at once (not as a life force - but as a relational Person - Jeremiah 23:23-24; Psalm 139:7-11; Isaiah 66:1-2; 1 Kings 8:27). These unchanging truths of God's character should encourage believers as they can rely on a God that sees all, knows all, is all wise, and is all powerful to intervene in their lives! A great God that is good watches over us and lovingly seeks to relate to us.
We believe Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, fully God and fully man (Jn 1:1-3, 14; Hebrews 2:9-18), conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23). He lived in this world without sin (1 Peter 2:21; Heb. 4:15), was crucified (Matthew 27:32-44; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:16-37), and in His death bore the sins of all mankind as our substitute, bearing God's wrath in our place and freely offering us His perfection (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Jn 2:2). He was buried and on the third day physically, bodily rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4), overcoming and conquering sin and death, thereby obtaining redemption for all who receive Him as Savior and Lord. He ascended to the right hand of God the Father (Mk. 16:19) and will come again bodily to receive to Himself the redeemed (Matt. 24:30-31; 1 Thess. 4:14-18) and pass judgment on all who reject Him as Savior and Lord (Romans 14:10-12; Heb. 14:13).
We believe the Holy Spirit is fully divine and the third Person of the Trinity, not some force, convicting unbelievers of sin (Jn 16:8), calling them to the Savior, effecting regeneration, indwelling (1 Cor 6:19) and sealing every believer (Eph. 1:13), and baptizing each into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit works in the believer’s life by glorifying Christ (Jn 16:14); by cultivating Christian character (Gal. 5:22-23); by comforting, empowering (Zech 4:6), filling (Eph. 5:18), and guiding the believer into all truth (Jn 16:7-15). God the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts on His followers with which the believer serves God through His church (Romans 12: 3-8; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7-16).
We believe every person is a sinner by nature and also sins of his or her own free will (Eccls. 7:20; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8), and he or she lives under God's righteous judgment of sin and needs to be saved from the penalty of their sin. Sin is simply our rebellion against our Creator God and disobeying His benevolent commands and demands on our life as His creation. He created and made us and our universe, and keeps it completely under His providential order and care despite its corruption under the fall. Yet, our sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:2). Salvation for all is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to God's glory alone (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Jn 5:11-12; Titus 3:4-7), whereby, through regeneration, the sinner is given the free gifts of faith and repentance (Acts 2:38). We choose to accept the free gift of salvation from our sins. Those whom God has accepted in Christ have been sealed by His Holy Spirit and will persevere in their faith and will never lose their salvation (Jn 10:27-30; Jude 24; Romans 8:38-39; Phil. 1:6).
We believe a New Testament church is an autonomous local body of baptized believers associated by agreement in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38, Acts 2:42-47). We are self governing, self funding, elder led, and congregationally accountable. We voluntarily associate with fellow Southern Baptist churches towards the goal of the spread of the Gospel and making disciples in all the world. The New Testament also speaks of the universal church consisting of believers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. In Christ, all who choose Him are included in the family of God (Revelation 5:6-10). Therefore, there is no room for xenophobia, racism, or prejudice against differing people groups due to race, cultural, or gender differences. Our only opposition is against sin!
We believe the ordinance of baptism is the immersion in water of professed believers in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and symbolizing his or her own death to sin, the burial of his or her old life, and his or her resurrection to live a new life in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; Col. 2:11-12; 2 Cor. 5:17). Baptism is a symbolic representation of a spiritual reality of being "in Christ". Historically, baptism is the initiatory ordinance of new believers into the church.
We believe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) is an act of obedience to Christ’s command, whereby members of His body regularly partake of the bread and the fruit of the vine remembering, commemorating, and proclaiming the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ until His return. We believe the elements of the Lord’s Supper symbolize Christ’s body and blood, broken and shed for us to pay the penalty for our sins and redeem us to Himself (Matt. 26:26-30; Luke 22:14-23; 1 Cor. 11:17-34). We further believe that the church regularly partaking in the Lord's Supper lends itself to unity out of our diversity. As we regularly gather as a body of Christ around the Lord's Table we are truly God's people, His church, just as when we gather around His Word. As in all obedience to Christ's commands, the Holy Spirit ministers to our souls in the Lord's Supper, as in other means of God's grace like prayer, the reading and study of the Bible, baptism, fellowship, or praising God in music and song.
We believe that Jesus Christ our Lord is coming again, bodily, a second time to earth with His angels as King and Judge (1 Thess. 4:14-18; Matthew 24:27, 30-31; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; 2 Timothy 4:1, 6-8). In the end, He will judge the righteous and unrighteous, the just and unjust (Acts 17:31; Ecclesiastes 12:14). He will reward each person according to their faith and deeds (1 Corinthians 3:8-15). Those that are His children by turning from their sins and trusting in Jesus Christ to forgive their personal sins and make Him Lord of their lives will inherit eternal life and pleasure with God in heaven forever (Ps. 16:11; Jn 14:1-6). He will resurrect the righteous to eternal life with Him in heaven forevermore (1 Corinthians 2:9-10); He will resurrect the unrighteous to everlasting punishment that will shut them out of His Presence forever (Jn 5:27-29; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). In the end, God's enemy Satan and his minions will be cast into everlasting punishment for their rebellion against God and sin will be no more (Matthew 25:41; Rev. 20:10). In heaven, sin, pain, and sorrow are no more (Rev. 21:1-7).
What we believe regarding gender roles, marriage, and sexuality: We believe the biblical teaching that God created humanity as distinctly male and female only in His image as the apex of His creation. God made man and woman in His image to reflect His glory, and with His blessing (Genesis 1:26-28). He made them both with co-equal immense value, dignity, and worth as His beloved children. God made them with complementary gender roles and capabilities that are meant to work together with one another to further the God ordained created order. Complementing one another they nourish and flourish humanity as well as glorify God. As opposed to being alone, God instituted the divine institution of marriage for many to but not all to participate in. Marriage is not a contractual agreement nor a civil union. Marriage is not the government's idea nor is it theirs to govern. Marriage was and is God's blessing to men and women who are called into this institution. Marriage is the normal state of most men and women throughout their lifespan, but God calls some to be single and celibate. Marriage is between one genetically born man and one genetically born woman in a lifelong, covenantal union with God as their witness. Marriage exists for the purposes of procreation, sexual pleasure, companionship, mutual loving care, protection, teamwork that multiplies the fruit of our labor, and as the bedrock of discipleship in the faith (Genesis 2:18-25; Malachi 2:13-16; Ecclesiastes 4:8-12; Amos 3:3). Ultimately, marriage exists as a cosmic, glorifying testimony to the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the church (seen in the husband's role) and the love and faithfulness of the church (seen in the wife's role) to her Lord (Ephesians 5:22-33). What God has divinely joined together, men and women should not separate and thus God is opposed to divorce (Matthew 19:6; 1 Corinthians 7:10) except for sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), abandonment (1 Corinthians 7: 12-16) , and abuse & neglect (Exodus 21:10-11 [expectation of provision of food, clothing, and conjugal rights, or spouse free to leave]; Ephesians 5:21-33 [love, feed, care for wife like own body]; 1 Timothy 5:8). We further support and affirm the biblical teaching that God determines one's gender at birth, that it corresponds with and is congruent to one's birth biological sex, and is not chosen freely by any person, group, nor culture. We believe the Bible expressly forbids and sees as deviant sin all forms of sex before (fornication) and outside of heterosexual marriage (adultery), as well as homosexuality, transgenderism, bestiality, pedophilia, polyamorous and polygamous relationships as well as other paraphilias like cross dressing and S&M sex. We further deny the value of and reject transhumanism as a sinful movement since God made men and womenin His image, and He is perfect. We know that all sin distorts God's created order and so we believe that all persons struggling with these issues need the Gospel and the love of the local church that will speak the truth in love from the Scriptures and lovingly minister to those afflicted by such concerns. Furthermore, as serious as sexual sin is, we believe that acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its corresponding sanctification is sufficient and necessary for men and women struggling in this area to overcome such sins and live in God's created order as He designed and purposed them to do so. Therefore, those Christians who struggle with same sex attraction (SSA), struggle under the Lordship of Christ and should NOT engage in homosexual behavior. Those Christians who struggle with transgenderism, struggle under the Lordship of Christ and should deny engaging in actions and behaviors that represent the opposite of their biological sex. Those who struggle with fidelity, struggle under the Lordship of Christ and should maintain the purity of their marriage faithfulness to their spouse and in their thought life and behaviors with the opposite sex. Pornography, a form of sexual immorality that objectifies a person as a sex object just for one's own sexual pleasure and use and abuse always feeds sex trafficking of the marginalized, and disenfranchised. Pornography for a married person, with its corresponding sexual fantasizing and self pleasuring, is a grave evil and needs to be addressed by the grace of God for the faithfulness of those in marriage. Pornography for the single or divorced is a matter of fornication and the purity of those out of marriage. Pornography takes the special, divinely reflective nature of the marital sexual union and cheapens, twists, and perverts what God made beautiful and a blessing for the married. It feeds discontentment and lust of the eyes and heart, capturing the offender in sexual sin. We are to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) and worship God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:13-20).
We believe that women in ministry is a good thing, but this church holds to the biblical position. We believe women are co-equal, called, gifted ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and amazing ministers of God's grace. We involve women in worship arts, teaching classes, prayer ministry, Scripture reading, and as serious contributors in the main worship service! We see in Scripture women powerful in prayer, prophesying, teaching other women and youth/children, discipling men with their husbands, but NEVER teaching men as a pastor. Therefore, they cannot ever hold the pastoral office of pastor/overseer/elder. 1 Timothy 2:12-13 indicate that women are not to have authority over men. In addition, the Scriptures clearly teach in multiple passages that the office of elder/pastor/overseer is reserved for those who are "faithful to one wife", which is a "one woman man" (literal translation of 1 Tim. 3:2 & Titus 1:6). A woman cannot be a "one woman man", therefore she cannot be a pastor/elder. In Scripture, elders are always men. In addition, Paul clearly teaches that these roles are based in the creation order of God. This is not because women are not gifted teachers nor because men cannot learn from a women, but it is the God assigned roles in the church and grounded in the creation order as Paul argues. While women teach children, youth, and other women, they are not called to the pastor/elder/overseer office which is primarily a teaching role. Therefore, you will NOT see or hear a woman preach on a Sunday morning at Calvary. This does not diminish women's ministry in the church and outside of it as women are usually the center of their homes and social spheres having great influence on people all around them.