Beliefs & Practices of Beth-El
STATEMENT OF FAITH*
The Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19; John 10:30-33, 15:26; Rom. 8:9; Col. 1:15, 2:9; Heb. 1:2-3; John 1:1)
In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. (The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John; Heb. 4:15, 9:26-28; 1 Pet. 2:22; Rom. 3:21-26; Acts 7:56; Col. 3:1; 1 Cor. 15; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 5:15-17)
That for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. (John 3:3-8, 16-21; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:21-26, 6:23; Eph. 2:1-10)
In the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. (Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-25)
In the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. (Matt. 25; John 6:40; 1 Cor. 15; Rev. 20:11-15)
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 17:20-23; 1 Peter 2:9)
* As adopted by the National Association of Evangelicals, 1943.
The Lord's Supper elements represent the shed blood and broken body of our Savior Jesus Christ. We do not believe these elements are the actual body and blood of Jesus nor do we believe they become the actual body and blood of Jesus. It seems evident since Jesus was physically present with His disciples when He commanded them to eat the bread and drink the cup, that the elements were intended to be symbolic. Yet, we do believe that The Lord’s Supper involves far more than mere symbolism. For when we, as a church of Christ followers, remember and worship Jesus through The Lord’s Supper, we believe that the risen Christ is actually among us during our worship, receiving glory from and giving faith to His covenant people. At Beth-El we practice open communion, meaning anyone who has trusted Jesus as Savior is invited to join us in partaking of the elements. (Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
Water Baptism is intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be baptized in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and depicts a release from the mastery of sin. (Matthew 28:19-20; Act 2:38-41; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 10:9)
Baby Dedication is a special time for a parent(s) to affirm their intention to raise their child in an environment where the child’s faith will flourish. We dedicate our babies or children to God as a testimony of our dependence upon God and of our belief that our children ultimately belong to God. It is also an opportunity for the church body to affirm their intention to support the parent(s) and the children in those efforts.
Weddings-- We believe that marriage in the sight of God only applies to the union of one man and one woman in a covenant relationship (Genesis 2:24). We further believe that our sexual identity or gender is determined by biology at birth, not by psychology, personal choice, or affectation (Genesis 1:27). For those reasons, we will only offer the rite of marriage to a man and a woman (one male and one female from birth) who have a sincere desire to become husband and wife with the blessing of God on their union.