As a church, we are committed to the centrality of the gospel.
The gospel is the good news of how God’s grace has invaded the darkness of this world through the power of Christ. It is the answer to the bad news that all mankind has rebelled against God and is condemned to eternal death. God’s answer to our rebellion is seen in Jesus, who died in the place of sinners and then rose from the dead—conquering sin & death. Through faith in Jesus, people can receive God’s forgiveness and newness of life. More still, part of this good news is the promise that Jesus will return to make all things new, and all who follow Jesus will be raised to everlasting life with him. The gospel isn’t just good news; it’s the most important reality in the universe. That’s why we want everything that takes place in our hearts and across our church to proceed from the gospel.
These basic doctrines represent what we believe to be core elements of biblical teaching.
We believe in one God eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each of whom is fully God, yet there is one God.
The Bible is the Word of God, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is infallible, inerrant, and our supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
CREATION AND PROVIDENCE
God created the world from nothing, and his creative work is the overflow of the love present within the Trinitarian fellowship. As creator, he knows all things, preserves all things, and governs all things at all times in all places as part of his good and wise plan.
God created humanity in his own image, and because of this every person—regardless of culture, ethnicity, developmental stage, mental capacity, or any other factor—has equal and intrinsic dignity and worth.
Sin has fractured all things. It has left the world broken and in need of restoration. It has corrupted man’s nature and made him wholly opposed to God and in desperate need of salvation.
Salvation is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone who turns away from their sin, pledging allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is declared righteous by God and receives the gift of everlasting life through the atoning death and resurrection life of Christ.
We believe in the universal church as the Body of Christ, composed of all the redeemed of all the ages. We believe in the local church, consisting of a local family of believers, associated by covenant in the faith, seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.
THE KINGDOM AND THE WORLD TO COME
Jesus Christ will return personally, physically, visibly, and suddenly in power and great glory at the end of the age, and he will raise the dead, judge the nations, and establish his eternal kingdom in the new heavens and new earth.
For more details about what we believe in these areas, see the Baptist Faith and Message (2000), which our church has adopted as our formal statement of faith. Additionally, in unity with all Christian churches everywhere, we affirm the Apostles’, Nicene, and Chalcedonic Creeds as accurate representations of Scripture’s teaching.
These areas reflect what might uniquely distinguish Central Church theologically or practically from other churches who would affirm the basic doctrines of Christianity.
Christ-Centered Expositional Preaching
We gather in corporate worship primarily to be fed from God’s word. On top of that we believe the Bible is first and foremost a story about Jesus Christ. That’s why in our weekly gatherings we are committed to expositional preaching—explaining what God has said in his Word, verse by verse. And in that process, we are committed to interpreting the entire Bible and our own lives in light of Jesus Christ and his promised Kingdom.
We are a church made up of people at all ages and stages of life, and our weekly worship service is designed to serve the entire gathered congregation as we build one another up in song. That means we don’t attempt to cater to a particular demographic’s favored taste or style of song or subdivide the congregation out into different services, each styled differently. Instead, we prioritize songs that are biblically true and theologically rich.
We believe Jesus ordained two offices in the church— pastors, who are servant leaders, and deacons, who are leading servants—and placed formal authority for leadership in the church in (1) the pastors of the church, who teach and lead as the primary authority, and (2) in the entire congregation covenanting together who act as the final authority. Thus, we are ruled by Christ, led by our pastors, and accountable to our congregation.
God's Design for Man and Woman
We believe men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity, and value and are complementary by divine design. Both men and women are expected to lead in the church; however, Scripture has reserved the office of pastor for Scripturally-qualified men. In all, men and women both are visible partners in the life of the church—deploying their diverse gifts for the good of the body as equal and complementary partners.
Baptism by Immersion
We believe baptism follows conversion by immersion into water. Baptism itself is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection, signifying that a former way of life has been put to death and depicting release from the mastery of Satan, sin and death.As a church, we only admit to membership and to the Lord’s Supper those who have professed their faith by pledging allegiance to Christ through baptism.
Cultural Implications of the Gospel
We are committed to living out the implications of the gospel in everyday life. This includes defending innocent life and opposing the evil of abortion, unashamedly affirming and modeling a Christian sexual ethic, compassionately caring for the poor, opposing any form of racism, abuse, or other evil. In opposing unrighteous- ness, we hope to bear witness to the beauty of the gospel and its relevance to all of life.