Statement of Faith and Spiritual Principles
Statement of Faith:
1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
2. The Trinity
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three person; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
3. God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
We believe God made man—male and female—in his own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will, and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
We believe salvation is the free gift of God, provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and his substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes his child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and, via the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.
8. The Church
We believe in the universal church; a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving and living the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
9. Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are biblically married to each other. We believe that outside of this any form of sexual activity is sinful and offensive to God.
- Sanctity of Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and in every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.
Spiritual Principles Philosophy
We recognize that even with agreement of our Statement of Faith, there are areas of spiritual principles which are debatable, upon which true believers; faithful to God’s Word may differ. This possibility intensifies since we are committed to involving staff and volunteers from different denominations, cultures, and backgrounds. In this policy we are seeking to establish a common ground that can be used as a guide. We expect those in ministry with us to keep their teaching, whether in a group setting or one-to-one, within the common ground and neither endorse nor criticize the various spiritual principles that may be debatable. Peoria Rescue Ministries wishes to clearly state that adherence to this policy is imperative for us as a community, including but not limited to chapel, staff meetings, devotions, classes, or in any kind of required Peoria Rescue Ministries environment.
- Common Ground
1. There is only one God, and He is for all people. There is no other God and no other way to Him or to salvation except through His son, Jesus.
- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct, co-existent, co-equal persons within the one true God.
- God has unlimited power, knowledge, presence, and authority.
- God has given us His written Word (OT & NT) alone as our spiritual authority and that this Word (the Bible) is practical for our day-to-day lives.
- God created all people, men and women of all races and nationalities, in His own image to live in relationship with Him.
- Our sin nature and personal acts of sin have broken our relationship with God. Alone, we are unable to restore that relationship.
- Jesus died on the cross to provide a payment for our sin, to rescue us from the judgment we deserve, to restore our relationship with God, and to give us eternal life. This salvation is by grace alone, and through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- We must repent (confess and turn away from sin) and believe. We trust in Jesus’ provision on the cross to receive forgiveness and a restored relationship. We believe this to be an individual choice of the heart and not the result of church membership, family heritage, works, or participation in the sacraments.
- When we believe and accept Christ as our personal savior, God comes to live in us through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live holy lives, to be transformed, and gives us gifts to use in service to others.
- We are to pattern our lives after the example of Jesus and the commands and principles found in the Bible. This is the cornerstone of our renewal and discipleship programs.
- We believe God has given us the responsibility and privilege to bring others into relationship with Him and disciple them into maturity.
- Examples of debatable spiritual principles that lay outside of the common ground include, but are not limited to the following:
- Prosperity doctrines
- The sign gifts, including gifts of tongues
- Healing teachings
- Style of prayer
- Deliverance and the casting out of demons
- The exact timing of the rapture or Christ’s return
- Calvinism vs. Arminianism argument
- The correct Bible translation
- Style of baptism
- Day of worship
- Role of women in the church
- Dress, make-up, and entertainment restrictions
In regard to the debatable spiritual principles, we will avoid focusing on these traditionally controversial subjects which are known to be argumentative. We acknowledge that sincere and earnest Christians do disagree on some things and agree to return our focus to what we hold in common. For some of us, not teaching a certain spiritual principle may feel like we are betraying the Lord. However, if we don’t honor a commitment or we criticize, we are usually violating a much more certain Biblical truth. If we step outside the common ground and pursue our own agendas, we can add to the confusion and hurt that many of the people to whom we minister have already encountered in their spiritual journey. If we can function within these boundaries and gently correct those who cross the line, we can be a shining light to those who have criticized Christianity for its divisiveness or have been hurt by the church.
It is the policy of Peoria Rescue Ministries that all staff and volunteers limit any and all teaching to the common ground that we have identified and avoid the debatable matters. The intent of this policy is to maintain peace and unity among co-laborers in ministry while at the same time encouraging those to whom we minister to become well-grounded in the basics and fundamentals of the faith and not get side tracked on debatable matters. We want to encourage new believers to ask questions and to seek the truth, to learn how to navigate their own relationship with the Heavenly Father.
Any staff or volunteer who promotes teachings outside of these parameters will be encouraged and reminded to focus on the common ground. If they persist, they may be disciplined up to and including dismissal and/or asked to forfeit their involvement with Peoria Rescue Ministries.