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THE CHURCH AT OWENS CREEK

Doctrine and Practice

The Church at Owens Creek strives to be governed  in doctrine and practice by the Holy Scriptures of

 

the Old and New Covenants and historically by  the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. This means two

 

things:

 

1. The Bible alone is the authoritative rule for doctrine and practice of this body of believers. It serves

 

as our Constitution, Creed and Rule of Order. Decisions pertaining to the doctrine or practice of the

 

Church at Owens Creek will be made by first consulting the scriptures, bringing the matter before the

 

LORD in prayer, and careful evaluation in light of church history.

 

2. The 1689 Confession of Faith is recognized as a valuable tool to define and summarize what we

 

believe the Bible teaches concerning essential doctrines of Christianity. In the words of C.H.

 

Spurgeon..."This little volume is not issued as an authoritative rule, or code of faith, whereby you are

 

to be fettered, but as an assistance to you in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and means of

 

edification in righteousness. Here the younger members of our church will have a body of divinity in

 

small compass, and by means of the Scriptural proofs, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is

 

in them."

Our position on the Bible

We adopt the position of the Trinitarian Bible Society as to which translation of the Bible will be used

 

to preach and teach from...

 

"While perfection is not claimed for the Authorized Version (KJV), or any other version, it is known that

 

the translators of the Authorized Version acknowledged the Divine inspiration, authority and inerrancy

 

of the Holy Scriptures; the fruitful use of their translation for nearly 400 years is evidence of the Lord''s

 

blessing upon their work. It is the most accurate and trustworthy translation for English speaking

 

 

people."

We are a "Scripture-Driven" Church vs. a "Purpose-Driven"

Church

1. We are committed to Scripture alone as our sole and final authority.

 

 

2. We are committed to God''s two-fold purpose for His church:

 

 

a. Preaching the gospel to every creature.  We believe that the doctrines of election and

 

predestination motivate rather than hinder the proclamation of the gospel.  The guarantee of a

 

harvest as the LORD of the harvest sends His workers out has been the great impetus for

 

missions of the past and we believe for the church today.

 

 

b. Building up believers in sound doctrine.  The church is for Christians!  We are to strive for the

 

building up in the faith in EVERY BELIEVER "To whom God would make known what is the riches


of the glory of this mystery...which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning


every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in


Christ Jesus..." Col. 1:27, 28

 

 

3. We are committed to teaching the Bible according to the four-fold use of Scripture found in

 

 

II Timothy 3:16-17.

 

 

4. We are committed to functioning under the authority of the Bible alone, asking the question, "Is it

 

 

Biblical?" about everything the church is, says, and does.

 

 

5. We are committed to identification and rejection of all illegitimate authorities, recognizing that

 

 

submitting to the right authority also means that the church must reject wrong authorities.

 

 

6. We are committed to engagement intellectually with anti-Christian positions with apologetics, not

 

 

apologies, giving a clear, biblical defense of the faith and a reason for the hope within us.

 

 

We are an "unregistered" church

We attempt to follow in the teachings of James Madison and Abraham Kuyper on the relationship between the church and the government.

 

Here are two sample quotes to illustrate our position:

 

"intervention of the government in the matter of religion should be seen as the "grasp of despotism."  Abaham Kuyper

 

"The Religion, then, of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate." James Madison

 

We do not have nor do we plan to seek government sanction for our existence. We intend to exist as

 

an "unregistered" church. This means there will be no "tax exempt status" (501c3) on any charitable

 

gifts to the missions and work of the LORD that we support, and we will use our own homes or rent buildings as the need arises

 

for worship and other fellowship focused gatherings.



There are three basic reasons for this position:

 

 

1. The power to tax is the power to control. A tax is a test of sovereignty.

 

 

2. Taxes are the means to which government provides benefits (subsidy or welfare) which robs the

 

church of the ability to perform ministries specifically designated to its sphere of sovereignty. We do no


support government "faith based initiatives" of any sort. If giving is faith based then we believe it will


be according as every man determines in his own heart to give, not grudgingly or of necessity, or in


this case, to get a tax break!

 

 

3. Public buildings are always subject to intrusive government control especially when authorities are

 

hostile towards the purpose the building is designated for.

 

We have not adopted a denominational name for our church, but have endeavored to be called after


the pattern displayed in the New Covenant epistles by the LORD of the churches, who gives no proper


name for any single congregation but rather directs attention to the location where His chosen are


gathered.  Therefore, if the apostle Paul was writing to our fellowship today he would begin with:


"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Owens Creek, and the

 

faithful in Christ Jesus"

 

Our position on Worship in the local church

 

Music has great power to manipulate emotions, and so churches must take great care not to confuse

 

such manipulation, which makes people feel good, with spiritual worship which is pleasing to God.

 

Churches must not use the same techniques as, say, a restaurant or shopping mall, employing music to

 

stimulate moods. This is to please the flesh, not to worship in the spirit.

 

 

True worship is the response of the mind and heart to the objective truth of God's word, the God

 

who is all-holy. It is therefore vital that our worship is reverent. We delight to engage in worship, but it

 

must also be asserted that worship is for God's honor, not man's pleasure. We believe that churches

 

do not need to prove their "relevance" by adopting contemporary music styles, the origin of which is in

 

worldliness and unbelief.

 

Worship, therefore, must not be "theatre", nor a display of artistic talent, nor must it degenerate into

 

entertainment. As a matter of conviction, we have accordingly felt no need to "update" our worship,

 

nor to make it "user-friendly". We have rather deliberately chosen the restrained, thoughtful,

 

deliberate approach of previous generations, in line with the inherited principles of the Protestant


Reformation.

 

 

COMPLIMENTARIAN RELATIONSHIPS


Complementarianism is the belief that the Bible teaches that God created men and women to be

 

completely equal in essence, dignity, value, and human nature while being

 

distinct in roles and function within the home and the church.  This view is in contrast to hierarchical-ism

 

that often neglects the equality of both men and woman, and egalitarianism that often neglects

 

the biblical instruction of distinct roles given to men and woman.