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What We Believe

About Center Point Church

Center Point Church exists to bring glory to God and to commune in fellowship with those seeking to make Jesus known. We are a Christ centered family of hope pointing others to Jesus Christ.

Mission Statement

Center Point Church, a Christ centered family of faith, glorifies God by inviting others to Jesus and learning together the hopeful life of following Him.

 

Vision Statement

Center Point Church, as a hopeful family, will engage our community through building relationships with Jesus, pursuing life as He taught, and accomplishing His good work.

Our Values

Worship

Responding to God with all that we are and have.

 

Prayer

Giving thanks and praise to God while crying for His help, recognizing our need, and His sufficiency.

 

Engagement

Telling people who Jesus is and inviting them into a relationship with Him.

Community

Caring for and encouraging others in response to God's love.

Our Beliefs - Statement of Faith

The basic doctrines within Center Point Church’s Statement of Faith represent what we believe to be core elements of biblical teaching. We expect all members of Center Point Church to affirm these doctrines.

The theological distinctives within The Center Point Church Statement of Faith reflect what distinguishes Center Point from other churches who would affirm the basic doctrines. These distinctives shape the way that Center Point is led and the direction the church is headed. We do not expect all members to embrace all aspects of these distinctives, but members should expect that the distinctives will be maintained in all ministry environments at Center Point, and members may not teach contrary to them.

Doctrine of God

We believe in one God eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, each of whom is fully God, yet there is one God.

We believe in one God eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Each person is fully, equally and eternally God, yet there is one God. Each person has precisely the same nature and attributes and is worthy of precisely the same worship, honor and praise. The entire Christian faith is bound together with the confession of God’s Trinitarian nature (Matt. 28:18-20).

We believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth. We believe in the Son, God from God, eternally begotten but not made, who in history assumed to Himself a human nature for the sake of our salvation (John 1:14; Heb. 1:3). He is fully God and fully man. Through Him, all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him, all things hold together by the word of His power (Col.1:15-20). He suffered, died, was buried, resurrected, ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father until He returns for the final judgment and consummation of the Kingdom. We believe in the Holy Spirit who eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son and is sent by the Father and Son to give new life (John 15:26-27). The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate (Eph. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshiped as God, the third person of the Trinity.

The triune God, Father, Son and Spirit, is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible. As the immortal and eternal Creator, He sovereignly rules over all of His creation (Ps. 24:1).

Doctrine of Revelation

God has made Himself known to the world in Jesus Christ, the Scriptures and creation.

We believe that God has made Himself known to His creation. He has revealed Himself to us in His Son, the incarnate Word (Heb.1:1-2), in Scripture, the inspired Word (2 Tim. 3:16), and in creation (Ps. 8; Rom. 1:20)

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the perfect revelation of who God is. Jesus Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), “the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3) and a perfect reflection of God the Father (John 5:19).

We believe the Scriptures, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God and are therefore without error in their original writings. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and free from error. The Scripture is sufficient for all that God requires for us to believe and do and is therefore to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises (Is. 40:6-8). As God’s people hear, believe and obey the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel (Rom. 10:14-17).

Doctrine of Creation and Providence

We believe that God created the world from nothing and governs all things at all times in all places.

God created the whole world from nothing (Gen. 1:1-2; Ps. 24:1). God’s creative work is the overflow of the love present within the Trinitarian fellowship. Creation, according to the design of God, was good (Gen. 1:3-31).

God doesn’t let the world exist, He makes the world exist. He upholds the universe by the word of His power, and He holds the world together in himself (Col. 1:17).

Doctrine of Humanity

We believe that all humanity is created in the image of God and possesses intrinsic dignity and worth.

God made humanity—male and female—in His own image (Gen. 1:27-30). Set apart as His image bearers, every human being is sacred. All men and all women, bearing the image of God, are meant to represent God in His creation (1 Cor. 10:31). God declares the created order to be very good, distinguishing men and women as His agents to care for, manage and govern over it. They enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union in the covenant of marriage that establishes the only God-ordained pattern of sexual relations for men and women. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.

Distinctive - Complementarianism

Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are distinct by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church. As it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to lead; however, the office of elder is reserved for qualified men (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1).

Doctrine of Sin

We believe that sin has fractured all things, leaving the world in desperate need of salvation.

Through the temptation of Satan, humanity transgressed the command of God and fell from their original holiness and righteousness (Gen. 3). Now the entire human race inherits a corrupt nature that is opposed to God and His law (Rom. 3:9-20). Therefore, all humans are under condemnation. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to the mind, will, body and affections. Unregenerate humanity lives under the dominion of sin and Satan (Eph. 2:1-3). He is at enmity with God, hostile toward and hateful of God.

Doctrine of Salvation

We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

We believe that, due to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again (John 3:5-8); that salvation is only by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ; and that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith are declared righteous by God and become children of God (Heb.10:19-25).

We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that act of God by which the Holy Spirit imparts a new nature and a new spiritual life, not before possessed, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus (Gal. 2:20). The mind is given a holy disposition and a new desire to serve God, the dominion of sin is broken, and the heart is transformed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God.

Distinctive - Sovereignty of God in Salvation

The salvation of humanity is fundamentally the work of God. Before the foundation of the world, God elected His people, setting His affection and grace upon them (Rom. 8:29-30). In love God predestined His people for adoption (Eph. 1:4-6). Faith is a gift of grace that is given by the mercy and pleasure of God, so that no one may boast. Apart from the intervention of God, humanity cannot choose of his own accord to worship God and pursue righteousness (Rom. 3; Eph. 2:1-3). God’s sovereignty in salvation is comprehensive: from first to last, all of salvation is the work of God.

Doctrine of the Church

We believe that the Church is the body of Christ sent into the world to shine forth the glory of God.

God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful humanity into the fellowship of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:12-31). By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that newly redeemed humanity. The Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The ministry of the Church is an extension of the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Spirit.

The ultimate mission of the Church is to bring glory to God by making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). The Church is called to make disciples through worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances, fellowship, the exercise of our gifts and talents, and the proclamation of the gospel both in our community and throughout the world.

We believe there are two ordinances of the Church. One is that of believer’s baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the other is the Lord’s Supper.

 

Water baptism is only intended for those who have received the saving benefits of Christ through the new birth of the Holy Spirit. In obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself and the world, believers are baptized by water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts the release from the mastery of Satan, sin and death.

As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we come to the table with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls and signify our unity with other members of

Christ’s body.

Distinctive - Baptism by Immersion

The precedent we find in the New Testament is baptism following conversion by immersion into water. Baptism by immersion is meant to symbolically depict the believer’s real union to Christ in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:1-14). (For more on this distinctive, consider attending one of our Baptism classes, held several times throughout the year.)

Doctrine of Resurrection and Consummation of the Kingdom of God

We believe that Jesus Christ is returning to the world in the future to judge the living and the dead.

The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the glorification of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment (Rev. 20:7-15), but the righteous, in glorious bodies, will live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then the eager expectation of creation will be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, who makes all things new (Rev. 21:1-5).

The Family

We believe that God has ordained marriage to be the union of one man and one woman in a life-long covenant, as they submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Husbands are called to love and lead their wives as Christ loved the Church. Wives are called to respect and submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Jesus. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing from God and parents bear the primary responsibility of training them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Genesis 2:24; Deuteronomy 6:7; Psalm 139:13-16; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 5:21-25

Marriage and Sexuality

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are neither in accord with scripture nor the doctrines of the church. Any such behavior or attitudes will be subject to discipline by the elders.  Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:21-25; Hebrews 13:4

 

We believe that the term 'marriage' has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God. We believe that God has ordained marriage to be the union of one man and one woman in a life-long covenant, as they submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexual or bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one's sex, or stated disagreement with one's biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Position Papers

The Position of Deacon

The church has two Biblical offices, Elders and Deacons. The early church, in Acts chapter 6:1-7, had an issue that arose, and the solution was to appoint those that would serve the needs of the congregation. Biblical scholars agree that those appointed in Acts 6 show the pattern of the Diaconal office. Deacons are those that fulfill the qualifications of Acts 6, and as laid out in 1 Timothy 3:8-12. The primary function of the role of a deacon is to care for the physical and logistical needs of the congregation as they are appointed and assigned by the Elders, so that Elders can concentrate on their role as teachers, leaders, and shepherds. 

As the needs of a congregation grow, so does the complexity of meeting those needs. We see in scripture that Deacons were appointed by the church to help fulfill the practical and logistical needs of a growing congregation, as the elders saw fit, and as the congregation approved. Deacons in the New Testament church were those that the congregation, and Elders, agreed were qualified to serve in their appointed capacity. The appointment of Deacons allows for the Elders of the congregation to, as Acts 6 says, “devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” A growing congregation needs both Biblical Elders, and Deacons, to care for the people.

An issue that can be found in many congregations is the underdevelopment of Elders, and the inflation of the role of a Deacon. In such congregations, Deacons fulfill the role of Elders by shepherding, setting direction, and teaching the congregation with an incorrect title, and therefore a different set of qualifications as outlined in scripture. This inflation of the office of Deacon to the position of an Elder or Overseer limits the functionality of both Biblical offices, as outlined in the New Testament. It does this by limiting the office of “Elder” to presumably the Lead pastor, when scripture portrays a plurality of Elders or overseers as the model for congregations, and by denying the church the practical and logistical office of Deacons. 

 

Who can serve as a Deacon?

 

The qualifications for the role of Deacons as stated in the constitution of Center Point Church read as follows, “A Deacon candidate must be at least 22 years old, who has been a member in good standing of the church for at least one year. The candidate must exemplify the qualities of a Deacon as found in Acts 6:3 and I Timothy 3:8-13.” Furthermore, the constitution outlines the duties and responsibilities of Deacons as the following:

1. They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit within the church in the bonds of peace.

2. They will care for the physical and practical ministry needs of the members. This will include, but not be limited to, bereavement, hospital visitation, etc. The spirit of servant hood should mark the ministry of Deacons and all who labor for the Lord at Center Point Church.

3. Deacons may also be appointed to serve over specific ministries assigned by the Elders. Their responsibilities would include the oversight of assigned ministry and the inculcation of that ministry into the church congregation.

Given the nature and role of Deacons, and considering Center Point Church has functioning qualified Elders as teachers and Shepherds, it is the position of Center Point Church, that those that fulfill the qualifications of Deacon outlined in scripture and our constitution can be appointed by the Elders and affirmed by the congregation. This applies to both qualified men and women.

It is the position of the Elders that women can serve as Deacons based on the following conclusions.

  1. Paul refers to Phoebe as a Deacon in the book of Romans. In chapter 16 of Romans, verses 1-2 Paul refers to Phoebe as a Deacon “Servant.” We can conclude this because the word used in Greek is “diakonos” which is a male ending to a greek word, which would have been odd to use referring to a female. We can then conclude that Paul was ascribing to her an official title, rather than speaking to her character. Additionally she is referred to as a Deacon of a specific church, the church in Cenchrea, furthering the evidence of the title of her office.

  2. There is nowhere in Scripture that forbids women to be Deacons. In 1 Timothy 2:12 Paul gives a regulation that men be teachers and those with authority over a congregation. Therefore Elders are uniquely charged with teaching, and giving oversight to the whole congregation. There is never a command within the New Testament to submit to Deacons, such language is specifically applied to Elders (1 Peter 5:5, Hebrews 13:17). Given that there is no such regulation that Paul gives over Deacons, as he does in 1 Timothy 2:12, we do not seek to limit what Scripture does not Limit. 

  3. In 1 Timothy 3, Paul refers to Women Deacons, and not the “Wives of Deacons.” Paul uses the same word in Greek eight other times in 1 Timothy, gynaikas, as used in 1 Timothy 3:11. It is arguable that every instance is better translated as “women” rather than “wives.” The first five instances (2:9,10,11,12,14) are clearly translated as “women” and are without dispute. To arrive at the conclusion that 3:11 is referring to “Deacon’s Wives” or “their wives” you must insert the possessive pronoun “their” into the translation, which is not present in the Greek. This coupled with the general syntax of the Greek paragraph concludes that Paul outlines the qualifications of male and female deacons. Furthermore, Paul does not give qualifications for Elders wives in the same passage. We can conclude that Paul had two lists in mind for qualification, one for Elders, and the second for Deacons, and the list for deacons included qualifications for both male and female Deacons.

Given the above stated conclusions, it is the opinion of the Elders, as seen in scripture and reflected in our church constitution, that both men and women can serve in the position of Deacon as appointed by Elders and affirmed by the congregation.

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