“In essentials, unity; In doubtful things, liberty; But in all things, love.” – Peter Meiderlin
We like what Peter Meiderline said. It simply means that in regards to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g. the Deity of Christ) we are unified. Concerning topics that are controversial (e.g. is the creation account of Genesis 1 literal or symbolic), we have the freedom to disagree. What’s most essential is that in all things we demonstrate love. This is not to suggest that we believe doctrine is unimportant. The apostle Paul stressed the importance of sound doctrine to both Timothy and Titus (cf. 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1) and wrote many letters to churches that addressed doctrinal issues. In a day when doctrine is minimized and truth has become grey, we believe it is extremely important for the church to defend and declare truth! However, we are also concerned that “denominationalism” has brought division between genuine Christians where unity ought to be stressed. So we believe it is important to differentiate between what is historically considered orthodox/essential between what is “doubtful.”
We find the historic confessions of faith expressed through the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedonian Creed, and the Athanasian Creed to represent the most basic and essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Therefore, we have no problem affirming them as truthful alongside the countless millions of Christians throughout history. We are proud to share these belief with other denominations and churches.
We are also essentially “evangelical,” “charismatic,” and “baptistic.” That simply means that we are believe the Bible is the final authority for our faith and practices, that we believe that the Holy Spirit still empowers people as he wills with any of the spiritual gifts found in the Bible, and that baptism is a sacrament/ordinance that should be administered to people who have made a a profession of faith in Jesus as Lord.
Finally, as a member of the Vineyard Movement, we affirm the Vineyard Statement of Faith (download the Vineyard Core Values and Beliefs pdf here). You can find some helpful Vineyard Position Papers too.
If you have any questions about our theology, feel free to contact us!