STATEMENT OF FAITH
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Biblical References: Genesis 1:1, 26–27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to claim His own and take them to that same Heaven.
Biblical References: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22–23; John 1:1–5; 14:10–30; Acts 1:9–11; Romans 1:3–4; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; 1 Timothy 6:14–15; Titus 2:13; Hebrew 4:14–15
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right, and is our intercessor. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily.
Biblical References: John 14:16; 16:7–14, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26–27; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:16–17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. Human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is God inspired, it is the truth without any mixture or error.
Biblical References: Psalm 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5–6; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:20–21; 3:15–16
About Spiritual Gifts
Few areas of theology within the church have caused more division than the subject of spiritual gifts. Some in our church believe all of the spiritual gifts spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12–14 are for today. Some believe only some of the gifts are for today, and some believe none of the gifts are for today. You can see the potential for problems.
The Non-Negotiable Aspect:
We do not believe that this subject constitutes a salvation issue.
- You can believe that some of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.
- You can believe that all of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.
- You can believe that none of the gifts are for today, and be wrong, and still be a Christian.
For those who believe that the gifts are present today:
The Spirit of God does not work contrary to the Word of God.
We seek behavior that unifies us.
At Southeast, it is okay to believe differently on this issue, but we will act in this way:
- Because this is a non-salvation area of contention between believers we will not have a place in our church where the gift of tongues is encouraged.
- We will not allow the discussion of a non-salvation issue to destroy the Lord’s work.
- We do believe God does miracles and answers our prayer, and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, empowers us to serve Him and do good works.
For churches where the gift of tongues and prophecy are used, there are rules for their use:
- If someone speaks in a tongue it will be one at time. (1 Corinthians 14:27, 33, 40)
- There must be an interpreter. (1 Corinthians 14:28)
- There must be one who discerns whether it comes from God. (1 John 4:1)
- If it is a prayer language, there is a place to pray. (Matthew 6:6)
- All the gifts must be used to edify the church, not the individual. (1 Corinthians 14:4–5, 26)
- No one has all the gifts, but the Church is to be a body. (1 Corinthians 12:27–30)
- For those who believe prophecy is a gift that is active today, the rules of a prophet apply. (Deuteronomy 18:20–22)
About Eternal Security
This is not a salvation issue. You can be wrong about this and continue to be a Christian.
Some people have an Arminian background.
- They believe that salvation can be gained and lost.
- Arminians do not believe that a bad decision means you lose your salvation.
- The way you can tell a person is a Christian is by their fruit (growth).
Biblical References: Luke 15; Romans 11:22–23; Hebrews 6:4–7; 2 Peter 2:20
Some people have a Calvinist background.
- They believe that salvation cannot be lost.
- Calvinists do not believe you can do whatever you want and be a Christian.
- If a person is not showing fruit and growth then they were never saved at all.
Biblical References: John 10:28; Romans 8:29–30; 1 John 2:9
Either bent leads to knowing people are Christians by their fruit. In our church we encourage everyone to grow in Christ.
Communion at Southeast is defined as scripture defines it.
Biblical Reference: I Corinthians 11:23-26
- Communion is a memorial.
- Communion is a new covenant.
- Communion is a proclamation.
When we take it, we do so in a worthy manner.
“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” I Corinthians 11:27-28 (NIV1984)
We do this by self-examination.
- Do I have any sins to confess? (1 John 1:9)
- Relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23–24)
- Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)
It is distinctive of our church that we take communion every week.
We do not believe you have to take communion every week. However, when you do partake in it, do so in a correct manner. (1 Corinthians 11:25–28)
Who should take it?
- Only those who believe
- We do not recommend that young children, who do not understand salvation and the relationship, take it.
About the Priesthood of Every Believer
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading. We believe people are called to witness and to minister.
Biblical References: Revelation 1:6, I Peter 2:9
About the End Times
This is not a salvation issue.
We have people with many views on this issue in our church. Some are premillennial, others are a millennial, and there are various other views. But this is not a salvation issue. We believe that there will be a literal return of Christ, a rapture, and a day of judgment.
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Biblical References: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3–6; Isaiah 53:6; 59:1–2; Romans 3:23
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Biblical References: John 3:16; 14:17; Romans 6:23; 8:17–18; 1 Corinthians 2:7–9; Revelation 20:15
At Southeast, we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s body, the Church, as God commands. We recognize that giving 10% of our income is the biblical standard of giving. Tithing is not just an Old Testament concept.
Biblical References: Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:7-12, Matthew 23:23