What are Elevate’s convictions?
The short answer is that Elevate is first Christian, second Evangelical, third God-centered, and fourth missional. The more lengthy answer is included below and intentionally omits some finer points of doctrine and secondary issues.
First, we are Christian which distinguishes us from other world religions and cults. Therefore, we adhere to both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds.
Second, we are Evangelical and in agreement with the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals:
-We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
-We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
-We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
-We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
-We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life We also believe that all gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible are for today and are intended to increase the worship of Jesus.
-We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those that are saved unto the resurrection of life and those that are lost unto the resurrection of damned.
-We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Third, we are God-centered:
-We believe that the greatest value in the universe is the worship of Jesus Christ, therefore all actions and decisions are directed toward that end.
-We believe that God created the heavens, the earth.
-We believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as His image bearers on the earth.
-We believe that our first parents sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring human image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (e.g. reasoning, desires, and emotions).
-We believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishments of hell. We also believe that God in His unparalleled love and mercy has chosen to elect some people for salvation.
-We believe that salvation was accomplished by the sinless life, substitutionary atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins.
-We believe that the salvation, by God's grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.
-We believe that God's saving grace is ultimately irresistible and that God does soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to His will.
-We believe that the gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all peoples so that all who believe may be saved through the preaching of God's Word by the power of God's Spirit.
-We believe that true Christians born again of God's Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church, and love of lost neighbors in the culture.
-We believe that God is Lord over all of life and that there is nothing in life that is to be separated from God.
-We believe that the worship of God is the end for which people were created and that abiding joy is only to be found by delighting in God through all of life, including hardship and death which is gain.
Fourth, we are Missional:
-We believe that our church must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3).
-We believe that our church must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
-We believe that our mission is to bring people into contact with Jesus. After rebirth each believer is trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.
What Elevate does not believe?
-We are not liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place, and people.
-We are not fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.
-We are not isolationists and seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in planting church-planting churches.
-We are not hyper-Calvinists who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelize, and do good works because we believe that the sovereign plan of God is accomplished through us, His people.
-We are not eschatological Theonomists or Classic Dispensationalists (e.g. Scofield) and believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus Second Coming are unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return are unclear to us.
-We are not Open Theists and believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things.
-We are not religious relativists and do believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
-We are not nationalists seeking to simply improve one nation but instead ambassadors of the King of Kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of His kingdom to all nations of the earth.
-We are not moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but instead evangelists laboring that people would become new creations in Christ.
-We are not relativists and do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy, and other forms of revelation.
-We are not Universalists and do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.
-We are not naturalists and do believe that Satan and demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God.
-We are not rationalists and do believe that not everything can be known but that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things.
-We are not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ and do believe He died as a substitute for the sins of His people in selfless love.
-We are not ashamed and do proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant while also saving multitudes with ears to hear good news.