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Elder Affirmation of Faith

Introduction

 

As an Elder Board, we have formally defined our Doctrinal stance on a variety of Doctrines relating to the Christian life and the life of the Church. The Elder Affirmation of Faith provides a more exhaustive list of Doctrinal stances officially endorsed by the Cityview Church Leadership.

Index

I. Baptism

II. The Church

III. Human Sexuality

IV. Life (Abortion, Euthanasia, and Suicide)

V. Marriage/Family

VI. Sovereignty of God

VII. Spiritual Gifts

VIII. The Role of Women

IX. Deliverance Ministry

 

I. Baptism

Baptism is commanded in The Great Commission. All Disciples of Jesus are to be Baptized as a sign of their decision to follow Jesus as a Disciple. Jesus modeled Baptism for all believers. (Matthew 3:15) Baptism functions as a Declaration of Faith in and fellowship with Christ in His Death and Resurrection. Baptism also serves as a sign of Submission to God through Christ, that the Baptized would walk in Newness of Life. (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12) New Cityview Church Members (Baptism is required for Membership), are not required to be re-baptized; however, if a Believer was Baptized as an infant, we strongly encourage that they be re-baptized. Believers should be Baptized immediately after confession of Christ as Lord and as evidence of Faith. (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16) Cityview Church does not Baptize infants because those who are Baptized must be able to receive the Word of God, profess Repentance, and demonstrate Faith and Obedience to Christ. Cityview Church dedicates children as a public declaration of the parent’s commitment, before and with Cityview Church’s help, to raise their children according to God’s Word and Ways. (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

 

II. The Church

There is one, Universal Body of Christ from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. The head of the Universal Church is Jesus Christ. Those who profess Faith in Christ, maintain Gospel Truth, and walk in Obedience with God through Jesus, are part of the invisible and Universal Church, and are referred to as Saints. The collection of these Saints can also be called The Church or the Bride of Christ. Christ, as Sovereign Head of the Church, commanded that the Saints gather in Fellowship. Local congregations or churches should be made up of Saints, members of The Church, and be founded on and grounded in the race of God in Christ. Membership and participation in these local congregations, is imperative to the Discipleship and maturity of Believers. Christ has intended that we Christians love one another, bear one another's burdens, build one another up, serve one another, and encourage one another. The Scriptures give guidelines for discipline and excommunication, which is used as a means to return an unrepentant person back toward the Grace of God in Repentance. Elders are to give an account of their shepherding and care for God’s people, and Deacons are to assist the Elders in their service to Believers. All of this only becomes possible in a committed, covenant, local congregation. We call that Covenant Commitment, Church Membership.

 

​III. Human Sexuality

The Bible reveals God’s intention for human personhood and sexual identity. God created humanity in His image as male and female; therefore, there are only two genders. This gives humanity value, dignity, and eternal significance. (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 5:1-3) The distinction God created between male and female, is part of His Glorious Plan to Bless humanity. What God has created, male and female, He calls good. (Genesis 1:31) God chooses one’s birth gender, and embracing one's birth gender gives honor to God, and order to humanity. (Psalm 139; Matthew 19:4-5) Dishonoring one's birth gender is a sin, and violates God's intention for human relationships. In the New Testament, Jesus affirms the goodness of God’s creation and the view of human sexuality. (Mark 10:6) The Bible reveals Christians need to live out ethical demands of their relationship with Christ, as it relates to human sexuality. (Galatians 5:16-26) We also understand that our bodies are the Temple of God and we should worship God with it. Therefore, we reject cultural views and movements that contradict God’s design for human sexuality.

IV. Life (Abortion, Euthanasia, and Suicide)

God is the creator of all living beings. In His creation, man stands above all others because only man is created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Life begins at conception. (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:25) God continues the creative process in the womb of the mother. (Psalm 139:13-14; Jeremiah 1:5) God knew us before He formed us in the womb. God is the giver of life, from Adam and Eve to the last person who will ever be created.

In the light of God being the giver of life, what does Scripture say regarding abortion? It is clear that God’s view of abortion is death, for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb, just as it is death for someone who commits murder. (Exodus 21:22-25) This Law and its punishment clearly indicate that God considers a baby in the womb to be just as much a human being as a full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose to have a baby. The baby is already present and living. Abortion is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6) Simply put, abortion is murder. It is the killing of a human being created in the image of God. Nevertheless, through Repentance and Faith in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all sins can be forgiven. (John 3:16; Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:14) For a woman who has had an abortion, a man who has encouraged an abortion, or a doctor who has performed an abortion, forgiveness can be found in Jesus Christ, through Repentance and confession of sin.

What does the Scripture say regarding euthanasia? Euthanasia is the practice of ending the life of a patient in order to limit the patient’s suffering. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are man’s attempts to usurp that authority from God, the giver of life and the one who takes life away. (Job 1:21) Our time is in God’s hand not man’s, (Psalm 31:15) therefore, neither of those practices would be in line with the Bible’s view regarding life. Supporting Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:26; 1 Corinthians 54-56; Genesis 2:7; Deuteronomy 30;19 {...choose life, that you and your offspring may live); Psalm 89:48; Hebrews  9:27; Job 30:27; Ecclesiastes 8:8 {no man has … power over the day of death}; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:14-15; Revelation21:4; Ecclesiastes 7:14; Romans 5:3; James 1:5.

What does the Scripture say regarding suicide? The Bible mentions six (6) specific people who committed suicide: Abimilech (Judges 9:54), Saul and his armor bearer (1 Samuel 31:4-6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5)

The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is … self-murder! God is the only One to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the Psalmist, “My times are in your hand.” (Psalm 31:15) God is the giver of life. He gives, and He takes away. (Job 1:21) Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end their own life.

In Scripture, some people felt deep despair in life: Solomon (Ecclesiastes l. 2:17) hated life. Elijah, fearful and depressed, yearned for death (1 Kings 19:4). Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die (Jonah 4:8). Paul and missionaries .... despaired of life itself. (2 Corinthians 1:8) Nevertheless, none committed suicide. “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)

 

So, according to the Bible, suicide is a serious sin against God. It is always wrong. Christians are called to live their lives for God, and the decision of when to die is God’s decision and God’s decision alone. It is not the ‘greatest’ sin … it is no worse than other evils, in terms of how God sees it, and it does not determine a person’s eternal destiny. Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, their sin is still covered by the blood of Christ. For the unsaved person who commits suicide, they will ultimately be in hell for rejecting Salvation through Christ, not because they committed suicide. (see John 3:18) In addition, suicide definitely has a lasting impact on those left behind. The painful scars left by a suicide do not heal easily. May God grant His Grace to each one who is facing trials today. (Psalm 67:1; Psalm 43:5) Those who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

 

V. Marriage/Family

Marriage was instituted by God. (Genesis 2:23-24) The Believing Marriage is made up of a male and female couple only. (Genesis 2:24) God ordained Marriages to be fruitful and multiply, not only to populate the world, but to fill the world with image bearers of God. (Genesis 1:28) Marriage must maintain its purity. (Hebrews 13:4) Marital intimacy is strengthened by fulfilling the spouse’s desire, to avoid temptation, and to avoid fornication. (1 Corinthians 7:1-5) God’s Design is for children to leave their parents and form a new family, the spouses being one flesh. (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:7-8) Marriage is for life. It is a covenant with God. (Mark 10;9; 1 Corinthians 7:39) Believers do not marry unbelievers. (Deuteronomy 7:3-4; Joshua 23:11-13; Ezra 10:10-12; Nehemiah 13:23-26; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Amos 3:3) Note: We as believers are subject to and respect human laws, as long as they respect and align with the order established by God. (Titus 3:1; Romans 13:1)

 

VI. Sovereignty of God

The Sovereignty of God is the Control, Authority, and Presence of God over all things. ‘God has the Rightful Authority, the Freedom, the Wisdom, and the Power to bring about everything that He intends to happen.’ God is Lord of all Creation, and He continues to rule and reign over His Creation. (Psalm 47) God the Father’s most common name is Yahweh, LORD. (Exodus 3:14) God the Son is Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit is called The Spirit of God or The Spirit. God has authoritatively defined Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is self-existent and needs no creation to exhibit His attributes. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in complete union and exercise sovereignty in unity. (John 17:11, John 21-22; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16) God is present with His People (Revelation 21:3); therefore, God’s Sovereignty is personal. God knows the future because He planned it from eternity. (Proverbs 16:33; Ephesians 1:11)

 

VII. Spiritual Gifts

All Spiritual Gifts mentioned in the New Testament, are still in operation in the Church today. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) The Fullness of the Holy Spirit is given at Conversion. All Believers are to continually seek His Divine Empowerment and the Outpouring of God’s Spirit upon the Believer. (Ephesians 4:18) Spiritual Gifts are given to the Church for the manifestation of all. (1 Corinthians 12:7) These Gifts are diverse, and are manifested in ways that edify the body of Christ, spread the Gospel, and glorify God. They are vital for the edification, equipping, and empowerment of the Church. (Ephesians 4:12) The Holy Spirit gives Spiritual Gifts, according to His Sovereign Will, to every Believer upon their Conversion. (1 Corinthians 12:7) These Gifts are given for the common good and the advancement of God’s Kingdom; therefore, the Church is to seek the operation of the Gifts in the Church. (1 Corinthians 14:1) The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are essential for the Church's Mission to proclaim the Gospel, make Disciples, and demonstrate the Power of God in the world today. The Scriptures do not provide an exhaustive list of Spiritual Gifts; however, there are a few passages that list a variety of Spiritual Gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

VIII. The Role of Women

Men and women are equal partakers of the Gospel and Eternal Salvation (“...in Christ there is not male or female.”). Both are equal in value because both are made in the image of God. Their roles within the family (home) are different, but both hold equal merit. Eve was made as a helper to Adam which was the completion of God’s Divine Plan for mankind. (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:18-24; Galatians 3:28) Men and women have distinct giftings, callings, and complementary roles within the family. The husband is the head of the wife and the children, and is given the responsibility to lead, love, protect, provide for, and care for his family. (Genesis 2:16-18, Genesis 2:21-24, Genesis 3:1-13; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9; 1 Timothy 5:8) The husband’s authority is to be characterized by love and self-sacrifice. He is to lead with humility as a benefactor, not domineering or ‘lording over.’ (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Peter 5:3; Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:25-27; Ephesians 5:25-30) The wife has authority over and responsibility for her children. She is to love and care for her children, as well as her husband. She has the responsibility to submit to her husband as head of the family, in the same manner she submits to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-24; Ephesians 6:1; Titus 2:5) Singleness, like marriage, is to be honored as a Gift and used for the Glory of God. If a woman can be self-controlled in her singleness, it provides a distinct advantage in allowing her to focus on serving and loving God. (1 Corinthians 7:6-9; 1 Corinthians 34-35; Colossians 3:17) Women are encouraged to Serve and Lead in Ministries within the Church, however, there is a restriction regarding women preaching in the Corporate Worship Sand serving as an Elder. (1 Timothy 2:10-12)

 

IX. Deliverance Ministry

Unclean spirits (demons) can influence both Believers and unbelievers; the amount of influence varies person to person. God is a Deliverer, and it is His Will that all walk in freedom. (Galatians 5:1; Romans 11:25-36) The goal of Deliverance is to disciple Believers into ongoing resistance of the devil, and to evangelize unbelievers into salvation, where they have given no opportunity for Him in their life. (Ephesians 4:27; James 4:7)  Scripture also cautions that deliverance without belief in, and submission to Christ, will leave the delivered in a worse condition than before. (Luke 11:24-26) Spiritual Warfare is a normal part of the Christian life, and God has supplies Believers with Spiritual Armor and Weapons to fight Spiritual Battles. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Demonization is when a demon gains influence over a person's thinking or faculties, to the point where that person’s own volition is compromised. The degree to which Believers experience demonization is unknown. The Bible cautions Believers not to give a foothold giving the devil an opportunity. (Ephesians 4:27) God calls Believers to cast out demons and set people free from demonic influence. (Mark 16:17) God has given us the authority to do this by the Power of the Name of Jesus.

True and lasting Deliverance is rooted in Believing God’s Word. (John 8:31-32) Deliverance Ministry is marked by breaking down wrong beliefs, teaching Biblical Truth, taking authority over demonic influence, and Evangelism. The recipient of Deliverance should be an active participant through Repentance and Agreement with God’s Word. The Administrator of Deliverance operates as an Intercessor between God and the oppressed, and should exercise Discernment in order to distinguish between demonic activity and the participant’s battle against the flesh.

Baptism
The Church
Human Sexualtiy
Life
Marriage
Sovereignty
Gifts
Woman
Minsitry
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