Beliefs

There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all…     Ephesians 4:4-6

The essentials of Christianity are the basic elements that make up and characterize our faith. Historically, these beliefs have been summarized in different creeds. One example is the Apostles' Creed.

The Apostles’ Creed, though not written by the apostles, is the oldest creed of the Christian church and is the basis for other creeds that followed. 

In its oldest form, the Apostles’ Creed goes back to at least 140 A.D. Many of the early church leaders summed up their beliefs in order to express and articulate their faith. Although the creed is not found in the Bible, it is a simple list of the great doctrines of the faith.

 

THE APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

On the third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church,

the communion of the saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen

 

Other than the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed is likely the most universally accepted and recognized statements of the Christian faith. The Nicene Creed was first adopted in A.D. 325 at the Council of Nicea. The Roman Emperor Constantine had convened the Council of Nicea in an attempt to unify the Christian church with one doctrine. 

 

THE NICENE CREED

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy Christian Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

“Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with - even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.”  - Romans 14:1 (The Message Bible)

We value intellectual honesty here, which means that there will naturally be some disagreement in our church over some secondary issues (aka: non-essential beliefs). These are beliefs that the Bible is either silent on, or is unclear about (ie: the age of the earth, political views, gender roles, use of spiritual gifts in the church, end times theology, consumption of alcohol/tobacco, infant baptism vs. adult baptism, etc.)

If the Bible is unclear as to what a Christian should believe about a particular subject, we consider that non-essential. To put it another way, we can have a difference of perspective on non-essential doctrines and still both consider ourselves followers of Jesus.

There's a lot of stuff that we do in a certain way because we like it or we think it's the most efficient or the best way to do something, like the color that we paint the walls, or the type of music we use, or the volume of music, or what kind of clothes we wear to church. Every church is filled with people who give up preferences for the greater mission and Great Lakes Church is no exception. 

Although everyone has difference preferences, we are committed to honoring God by the way we love and show grace to one another.