Whether you’re a Presbyterian leaving a denominational church, an independent Baptist who has just moved into the area, a Christian from a nondenominational background, or anywhere in between, you’re probably wondering what exactly a Bible Church is.
Here are 4 quick facts to help you to understand a “Bible Church”.
In the sense that we take our church history seriously and we understand the division between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church. We’re committed to all the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation, and we stand in doctrinal opposition to the Catholic church.
The Five Solas being:
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”)
- Sola Fide (“Faith alone”)
- Sola Gratia (“Grace alone”)
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”)
- Soli Deo Gloria (“To the glory of God alone”)
We practice what is commonly called “believer’s baptism”: we don’t baptize babies, only believers. In addition, we only baptize by immersion. These distinctions are so important to us that we require them as part of our membership agreement.
Basically, we are very similar to an independent Baptist church, but we focus on expository preaching, and we ordain Scripturally qualified lay elders.
This means we are not a part of any denomination, even in a cooperative sense, like the Southern Baptists. We have a plurality of leadership on our elder board and no regional Bishop above the local assembly who directs us. Of course “independent” does not mean independent from God and accountability! We practice accountability in a number of ways and seek to fellowship more with other churches. Most churches like ours use the word “independent” rather than the word “congregational” although the word congregational also describes what kind of church government we use.
We believe in interpreting the Scriptures in their normal (what is sometimes called literal) sense. Therefore we believe the Scriptures reveal divinely determined dispensations that define man’s responsibilities to God. We do not believe the way of salvation differed from one dispensation to another. Salvation has always been through grace and faith alone. This way of thinking effects our understanding of eschatology (we believe in a millennial reign of Christ) and our understanding of the relationship between Israel and the Church. For example, we believe Israel will ultimately be restored.
Hopefully this has helped orient you to who we are. For more information, read our doctrinal statement.