At Graffiti Fellowship Church, in our faith and doctrine, we agree firmly with the following quote often attributed to St. Augustine:
“In essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”
This means that while everyone is welcome to fellowship with us at Graffiti Fellowship Church (we included FELLOWSHIP in our name for this reason), in order to become a formal member of our church or to serve in certain capacities, we must agree on certain essentials of our faith, as taught in the Bible, outlined below. This is UNITY.
However, there are some things about our faith that are less clear and nonessential. On these matters, we can disagree and opinions may vary. It should be understood that these nonessentials are not specifically and clearly answered by the Bible, as anything clearly defined by scripture is considered essential. On these nonessential matters, we have the LIBERTY to disagree.
While we must agree on the essentials to covenant together as formal members of this church, and while there are nonessentials upon which we may disagree, whether someone agrees with us on a matter or not, we will always show CHARITY. This means that though we may disagree, we disagree well, with love and respect. We hold the Bible to be completely true and without error, and we do not conceal nor do we apologize for this belief, however, if you chose not to believe what we believe we love, honor, and respect you regardless.
These are the essentials:
We believe the Holy Bible, specifically the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, to be the Word of God. Its inspiration is verbal and total. Its authority is absolute. Its original manuscripts are inerrant. We believe that all Scripture is to be interpreted in a plain, normal, or literal manner in light of history, grammar, literary devices, and context.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, the source of love and grace, hates sin, and keeps his promises. He is worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. God has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each identical in essence, equal in power and glory and having the same attributes and perfections.
We believe the biblical account of the creation of all things, mankind included, as recorded in the book of Genesis. It is literal; wholly true and accurate.
ABOUT GOD THE SON
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God and person of the Triune God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe that He provided redemption from sin through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for all people everywhere that would accept this gift through faith. This redemption is sufficient for all people, but effective only for those who believe. We believe that salvation and future resurrection are guaranteed to all believers by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. We believe that Christ’s atonement and resurrection ensure redemption from physical affliction for each and every believer in the eternal state and that until such time, God heals some and not others depending on His wisdom and will. We believe that He will return again to earth in a literal, physical Second Coming.
ABOUT GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person, the third Person of the Godhead. His ministry includes convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; regeneration; baptizing believers into the Body of Christ; permanently indwelling believers; sealing believers unto the day of redemption; bestowing spiritual gifts to each believer, and filling believers.
We believe that God created Lucifer and innumerable spiritual sinless beings called angels. Lucifer sinned through pride, desiring to be “like the most High.” and becoming Satan, fell from heaven with a company of demons who joined him in his unholy purpose to corrupt the human race, beginning with leading Adam and Eve into transgression. Satan was judged at the cross, but is still a usurper who rules as the “god of this world.” He now appears as an “angel of light,” counterfeiting the works of God, denying the sufficiency of Christ for salvation. We believe another company of angels serves God’s purposes, sent forth as ministering spirits for those who shall inherit salvation.
Created as male and female, humans are the special creation of God, made in His likeness, and the greatest work of His creation. In the beginning, humans were given the choice to listen to and obey God. However, as a result of Adam’s disobedience, the human race fell into sin.
We believe that human life begins at the moment of conception and that all life is equal in value.
Salvation is God’s free gift to all people who accept it. Sin cannot be atoned for by self-improvement or good works. A person is saved by turning from a self-ruled, sinful life and placing faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Salvation includes the whole person (body, mind, and soul) and is never-ending to the true believer. We believe that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure in Christ forever.
ABOUT THE CHURCH
We believe that the Church is composed of all born-again believers and, as the Body and Bride of Christ, exists in two aspects, universal and local. The universal Church is that elect company of believers, baptized by the Holy Spirit into one spiritual organism, the Body of Christ. The local church is a group of like-minded believers voluntarily joined together to glorify God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and to administer the ordinances of the holy communion and believer’s baptism.
ABOUT THE ORDINANCES
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the holy communion to be observed by all believers until His return. We believe that believer’s baptism is a public symbol of the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. We deny that baptism is necessary for salvation but is rather an outward, symbolic, and public representation of salvation. Baptism shall be administered after a candidate has been examined by the Elders of the church.
We believe that the holy communion is also a public symbol of the believer’s identification with Christ and His body, the Church. It should be regularly observed.
ABOUT THE KINGDOM
The Kingdom of God includes His general rule over the whole of His creation as well as his rule over people. People of their own free will choose to accept Him as King. The disciple prays and works so that the Kingdom of God may come by His will being done on earth. The Kingdom of God will be complete when Jesus Christ returns to earth again at the end of time.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its right end. On that day, Christ will return to earth and the dead will be raised. Christ will judge all people as wicked or righteous. Only those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous. All others are wicked in his sight. The wicked will be sent to Hell, the place of never-ending punishment. The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward of endless joy. They will live forever in Heaven with the Lord.
ABOUT THE FAMILY
God has planned the family as the first institution of the world. It is made up of persons joined to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
We believe, based upon the teaching of the holy scriptures and affirmed by rudimentary science, that all people are born with a true, biological gender, either male or female. This gender is a matter of one’s biology and is unalterable, irrespective of one’s preference or wishes to the contrary. We disagree with any attempt or desire to change or alter one’s biological gender.
The above notwithstanding, any persons in disagreement with Graffiti Fellowship Church’s position on biological gender, whether in principal or deed or some combination thereof, will be shown love and respect by this church.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. 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.
ABOUT DECENCY AND RESPECT
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 not in accord with scripture nor the doctrines of the Church.