Tigard Christian Church is a church which has people from many different backgrounds, but we are called to be united as the body of Christ. A theme that expresses how we want to do this is “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.” With this in mind we desire to be very clear on what are the essentials of our faith that are non-negotiable and what are the non-essentials which are negotiable or matters of opinion on which we may disagree, but over which we will not divide. We want to firmly establish the essential elements of faith so that we can be on the same page. There are issues that are salvation issues or essential elements of our faith and on these we will stand firm, but there are also issues that are non-essentials that may have a variety of opinions and we choose to not argue or divide over these issues.
Tigard Christian Church is a non-denominational fellowship of believers who seek simply to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. Following are our non-negotiable Statements of Faith that forms the foundation from which we will Introduce People to Jesus and Follow Him Together.
Essential Matters of Faith
1.The Authority of Scripture: We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Old and New Testaments are the fully reliable and authoritative account of God's activity in human history and of His perfect will for humankind. The Bible is our supreme guide for what we believe and how we live. (2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5)
2.The Nature of God: We believe in one God, who has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that God is eternal, everywhere, unchanging, all-powerful, and all-knowing. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Exodus 3:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Psalm 90:2; 139:7-10; 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 28:19; John 14:26)
3.Jesus, God's Son: We believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God. We believe in the virgin birth and His sinless life. He is uniquely revealed as God in the flesh. His is the only name given to us by whom we can be saved. We believe that Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice for our sins, and we believe in His resurrection from the grave on the third day. (Matthew 1:22-23, 16:16; Luke 1:34-35; John 1:1-5, 10-14; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 4:14-15)
4.The Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their sin and of their need for Jesus Christ. He is also present in the life of each believer and is present with His church as teacher, comforter, guide, and giver of spiritual gifts. (John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Galatians 5:25)
5.Salvation – Saved by God's Grace: We believe that we are saved by God's grace and restored to Him through faith in Jesus. Our response to God includes repenting (turning from sin), confessing Jesus as our Lord, being baptized by immersion into Christ and living a life committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:5-9; Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:16; Acts 2:38)
6.Nature of Man: We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death and separation from God. We believe that all have sinned and stand in need of God’s grace and forgiveness.
(Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:23-24; 6:23)
7.The Role of the Church: We believe that the church is the living body of Christ called by God to continue his work in the world. In the church we share life and ministry together through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Lord's Supper (communion) is a regular part of our public worship gatherings, demonstrating our faith in Jesus and His death for our sins and His resurrection. (Matthew 26:26-28; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 2:1-11)
8.Spiritual Gifts: God has designed the local Church like a physical body, with Jesus Christ as the head. God gifts each of His children in unique and special ways to serve and build up the body. Therefore, spiritual gifts are not for personal benefit or glory, but to bring glory to God, as well as encouraging and building up the Church. No one individual can have all the gifts. We are interdependent on each other; together we are the body of Christ which is a clear demonstration of true diversity. There is no division as we all have equal concern and need for each other. One is an “eye”, another is a “hand”, another is a “foot”; and some are presentable while other parts are not. We all must be the part God has designed us to be; if not, the body suffers and becomes ill. We are aware that some division can come with reference to the use of “tongues”. God gives rules in His word for the use of tongues. If someone speaks in a tongue it will be one at a time and there must be an interpreter (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). Also, there must be one who discerns whether what is spoken comes from God (1 John 4:1). It is noteworthy that 1 Corinthians was written to house churches. Speaking in tongues is not a normal practice in our worship gatherings. (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:7-11)
9.Stewardship: We believe that all believers are to be good stewards of God’s gifts of time, talents, and treasures. As God has blessed us, we are to use that blessing in service of God and for the benefit of each other. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10) As God blesses us financially, we are to give back to Him some of that which He provides for us. The Old Testament had a tithe which some believe is a good starting point for giving, but in the new covenant of grace we should grow and learn to “excel in this grace of giving”. We believe that tithing is like the rest of the Old Testament law, and it is only a “tutor” to bring us along in our understanding of stewardship. The true standard for Christian stewardship is much more than just the Old Testament tithe - it should be grace-based giving. Christians should give with the same gracious kind of giving that God has demonstrated toward us in Christ. (Leviticus 27:30; Luke 12:42-48; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15)
10.Marriage, Gender, 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 (Genesis 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. 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 (Genesis 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18, 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that neither the federal government, the state, the church, nor any other individual possess the authority or jurisdiction to set or alter Scripture’s definition of marriage.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual behavior, transgenderism, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). When we become aware of such practices within the staff and membership of the church, we will follow the Matthew 18 process to seek repentance, reconciliation and restoration. Our heart is always to restore people to God and the body of Christ.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Tigard Christian Church as the local body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Tigard Christian members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Tigard Christian Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by Tigard Christian Church’s Statement of Faith on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). 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 Tigard Christian Church. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18-25; Matthew 5:16, 15:18-20; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31; Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 18, 7:2-5; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Hebrews 13:4)
11.Sanctity of Human Life: We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).
12.The End Times: We believe there will be a literal return of Christ and a judgment day. We also believe there will be a literal rapture (a catching up of the saints). How and when this will happen has been a source of great debate. There are many different perspectives with regard to the issue of a 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth. Some believe that there is not a physical or literal 1000 year reign and this is known as the A-millennial view. On the other hand, there are those who believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, and it is either before or after the rapture of the saints – these two views are Pre-millennialism or Post-millennialism. We believe the details are in God’s hands, and this is not a salvation issue, and therefore we will not argue or divide over it. (Matthew 12:36; John 5:22, 16:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 6)
How We Handle Non-essential Matters of Faith
The negotiable or non-essential issues are matters that are not foundational matters of faith or issues of salvation. These matters may have a variety of opinions, and we have chosen to not argue or divide over such issues. Examples of these types of issues might be the many different views on the millennial issue, end times, spiritual gifts, or the issue of the use of instruments in worship. These issues are matters that have a large variety of opinion and have been divisive in the history of the church. We at Tigard Christian Church believe that they are not essential elements of faith or salvation issues, and as such they are not worth fighting over and dividing God’s church. We encourage people to share their views but ask that they not be forced on anyone and that all things are shared in love. We desire to live out “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.”