Church Distinctives. Can you name the group?

Status
Not open for further replies.

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
This afternoon I visited the website that's common to a group of churches. I was reading their distinctives, a lot of which I liked.

1. Without googling, can you name what group of churches these distinctives represent?

2. Which distinctives do you agree and/or disagree with, and why?

Distinctives of XYZ Church
1. The XYZ Church is inclusive not exclusive.
The great heritage of the XYZ Church people around the world includes the fact that fellowship and ministry opportunities in the local church are based solely on one's personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting in Him alone for salvation. Membership requires commitment to sound doctrine as expressed in our Statement of Faith. However, a person is not excluded from membership because he or she does not agree on every fine point of doctrine. Within the XYZ Church, there is allowance for legitimate differences of understanding in some areas of doctrine.


2. The XYZ Church is evangelical but not separatistic.
The XYZ Church was born out of a heritage of commitment to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. We have deep convictions based on the authority of God's Word, but we do not draw battle lines over minor points. Nor do we make minor issues of doctrine a test of fellowship in the local church. We are evangelical. We believe in separated living and personal holiness. But we are not separatistic.


3. The XYZ Church is ecumenical in spirit though not in structure.
We believe in the spiritual unity of the church, though not necessarily in structural union. We join with other Christians and other denominations of like precious faith in common goals and ministries to accomplish the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. But we believe that there is strength in diversity and that it is important to preserve our Distinctives. We recognize that union in structure does not guarantee unity of spirit. Our foremost concern is unity of spirit with our Lord, with each other and with other Christians.


4. The XYZ Church believes in liberty with responsibility and accountability.
We believe in Christian liberty, but freedom always has its limitations. Responsible Christians do not abuse freedom. The Apostle Paul wrote forcefully about Christian liberty in the book of Galatians. He shattered the legalists with the doctrine of grace. But in First and Second Corinthians and Romans, the apostle also rebuked believers when liberty was abused. He declared boldly the principles of Christian liberty but spoke with equal forcefulness about Christian accountability. The XYZ Church desires to preserve our freedom in Christ and encourage our people to be responsible, godly men, women and young people who desire to live under the control of the Holy Spirit, in obedience to the principles and precepts of God's Word and in harmony with God's will for life as revealed in the Scriptures.


5. The XYZ Church believes in both the rational and relational dimensions of Christianity.
We believe the Scriptures must be applied to our individual lives with warmth of heart, warmth of message and warmth of concern. We believe it is essential to have solid biblical content in our doctrinal understanding of faith, but it is equally important to have a dynamic, vital relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son and to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Sound Christian doctrine must be coupled with dynamic Christian experience. Ours is a ministry of love and reconciliation.


6. The XYZ Church affirms the right of each local church to govern its own affairs.
The XYZ Church is committed to a congregational form of government as stated in Article 10 of our Confession of Faith: "We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs."

Strong pastoral leadership coupled with discerning and well-equipped Christian lay people can produce spiritual growth as well as significant church growth. The New Testament emphasizes the importance of the Body of Christ ministering through the spiritual gifts that have been given to each believer. "Congregational in government" means that each local church governs its own affairs. Within the local church, the highest human authority rests in the congregation.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
:cheers:
I know, I know, I know! Call on me, call on me, call on me!
:cheers:

. . . the Association of Broad Congregational/Baptistic Evangelicals, but not Too Broad (e.g., inerrancy)
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
I have two very different guesses - Calvary Chapel or EVFree?

Their distinctives are a bit worrisome simply for lack of clarity. Many of those points can mean very different things, so I'm not sure whether I agree or not.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I have two very different guesses - Calvary Chapel or EVFree?

Their distinctives are a bit worrisome simply for lack of clarity. Many of those points can mean very different things, so I'm not sure whether I agree or not.

Calvary Chapel is not congregational. In fact, they don't even have membership. I don't know about EVFree.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I have two very different guesses - Calvary Chapel or EVFree?

Their distinctives are a bit worrisome simply for lack of clarity. Many of those points can mean very different things, so I'm not sure whether I agree or not.
One of those is correct. Since Dennis raised his hand, I'll let him tell us which one is correct.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Actually, I was not sure until you said that it was either Calvary Chapel or EVFree. EVFree, definitely.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
2. The XYZ Church is evangelical but not separatistic.
The XYZ Church was born out of a heritage of commitment to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. We have deep convictions based on the authority of God's Word, but we do not draw battle lines over minor points. Nor do we make minor issues of doctrine a test of fellowship in the local church. We are evangelical. We believe in separated living and personal holiness. But we are not separatistic.

3. The XYZ Church is ecumenical in spirit though not in structure.
We believe in the spiritual unity of the church, though not necessarily in structural union. We join with other Christians and other denominations of like precious faith in common goals and ministries to accomplish the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. But we believe that there is strength in diversity and that it is important to preserve our Distinctives. We recognize that union in structure does not guarantee unity of spirit. Our foremost concern is unity of spirit with our Lord, with each other and with other Christians.
Coming from a background that really stressed the doctrine of separation, I like distinctive 2 and maybe 3, depending on what they mean by structural unity. I don't feel at all comfortable with the extreme separation, nor do I support the ecumenical movement and churches involved in that.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I'm not real familiar with them, though I did attend one of their churches. I'm not sure which doctrines they consider minor and which ones are the major, non-negotiable ones.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
So, what's the prize?
One year's free access to the EVFree website. Congratulations.

Bob, may your relatives put you on the Joel Osteen priority prayer list to receive his "sermons" in MP3 form on a weekly basis, and may Jan and Paul Crouch deem you worthy to receive ALL of their special mailings, and may Ergun Caner select you as his favorite pen pal.

Whew, that's as close as I dare get to Deut. 28:15ff!
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Bob, may your relatives put you on the Joel Osteen priority prayer list to receive his "sermons" in MP3 form on a weekly basis, and may Jan and Paul Crouch deem you worthy to receive ALL of their special mailings, and may Ergun Caner select you as his favorite pen pal.
Um...thank-you...its the thought that counts...

Whew, that's as close as I dare get to Deut. 28:15ff!
<looking up Deut.28:15>...and what a thought that was!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top