It can be a confusing time to be a Christian.
Whether you’re new to faith or a long-time follower of Jesus, it’s clear that historic Christian beliefs increasingly run against the grain of culture.
It’s not that surprising when non-Christians doubt or criticize Christian claims. We servants are not greater than our Master. The world criticized Jesus and will criticize us.
But what rattles so many Christians these days is how easily even other Christiansseem to be jettisoning clear biblical teaching.
Some do it by casting doubt on core Christian teaching — especially related to the exclusivity of Jesus, the authority of Scripture, and anything related to sexuality — echoing the words of the serpent who asked, “Did God really say…?” (Gen 3:1).
Others do it by ignoring God’s commands related to love and serving the vulnerable, forgetting that faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:17).
In the midst of this confusion, the leaders of Redemption Church sensed the importance of clarifying and reinforcing a number of our biblical convictions. We do so knowing that, in each case, what we believe and how we hold it will likely make us countercultural.
We don’t see a great deal of value in being countercultural for it’s own sake — the shock-jock approach is great for clicks, but not for shepherding God’s people. Rather, we aim to be faithful in a world that needs the grace and truth of Jesus.
With that in mind, we invite you to connect with any of your local pastors, elders, and leaders as you process through the series. If you hear something you don’t like, don’t storm off. Instead, lean in, invite leaders to help you process, and search the Scriptures to see what God has to say.
What convictions are we covering?
In a world where love is overly about individual desire, sex, convenience or feelings, we believe that Christian love is the willing self-sacrifice for the good of another without demanding repayment or that the person is deserving.
In a world that validates many different paths to God, we believe that faith in Jesus is the only way for us to be forgiven of sin and reconciled with God.
In a world that dismisses the Scriptures as untrue, out-of- touch, and not to be taken seriously, we believe the Bible is God’s authoritative word, so that to disbelieve or disobey the Scriptures is to disbelieve or disobey God.
In a world that sees gender as a fluid social construct, we believe that biological sex (male and female) is created by God and gender identity should be understood and expressed within one’s biological sex.
In a world that validates nearly every consensual expression of sexual desire, we believe that God intends sex to be only practiced within marriage and prohibits any sexual activity outside of this one-man and one-woman covenant (pornography, adultery, pre- marital sex, same-sex sexual activity).
In a world that looks for rescue from our brokenness through human innovation or achievement, we believe that God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together) saves (does everything, first to last, to bring man to glory) sinners (people guilty, helpless, and powerless before God).
In a world that wants to help the poor, but only from a safe and comfortable distance, we believe that we are called to embody Christ’s kingdom through concrete acts of compassion, tangible ministries of mercy, and prophetic witnesses of justice.
Please join us in praying for this series. We hope that it will be helpful, clarifying, and strengthening to our church family.