We believe the gospel. We are Christians who believe that Jesus Christ is exactly who he said he was, that he literally rose from the dead on the first Easter, and that each of us can know God as we turn to Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. At the same time we believe that church should be a place where all people feel welcome – skeptics, searchers, doubters, and believers. We believe that as Christians we are to do what Jesus taught us including feeding the hungry, helping the oppressed, and sharing the good news of the gospel.
We think we have a responsibility to think carefully and deeply about the issues our culture faces. We embrace everything Science can demonstrate, but we also believe there is more going on beneath the surface of things than what can be measured by Science. On our own, we humans have access to only part of reality. But we are not alone, there is a Maker of Heaven and Earth who can reveal to us things we couldn’t have figured out on our own. We believe that God loves every person on this planet (John 3:16). We believe that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Our theology is in the reformed tradition, and perhaps one of the most helpful summaries of our beliefs can be found in one of the earliest statements of Christian faith – the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God the Father,
almighty maker of Heaven and Earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the Third Day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy universal church,
The communion of saints,
The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
For more on the full implications of the creed, Click Here.
When it comes to theology and doctrines, we are all tempted to be quick to judge, to try to figure out if someone leans to the left or to the right, to try to figure out if they are good guys or bad guys. Here at Leverington, we are not into that. Our politics do not drive our theology, rather our theology informs our politics. People of good will can disagree. Our church’s theological stance could be labeled in all kinds of ways – Orthodox, Evangelical, Deep Church, Ancient-Future church, Bible believing – but all of these soundbites can be misleading and overly simplistic. We have a high view of scripture – we take it as our final authority in doctrine and in practice. This includes conforming my personal morality and behavior to the teachings of Jesus and his scriptures. For example, we believe the principles found in the Ten Commandments apply to all people, in all places, at all times. We are accountable to God for both our personal choices and how we treat others.
We are convinced that God can be trusted and is at work right now in the world. We are confident we can know real things about God – thanks to the revelation of Jesus Christ. But we also know that finite creatures like us can’t claim to fully understand an infinite God. We need to be humble, to hold on tightly to Jesus, and to be open to the possibility that we have some parts wrong. We embrace the stance of the ancient church:
“In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, charity.
In all things, Jesus Christ.”
We think our church can learn something from the beautiful diversity of churches all around us – both denominational and non-denominational – we believe that no church (including ours) has the corner on the market, no church has it all figured out. We believe our own denomination has made wrong-headed decisions on some issues – and we do not align our church with those stances. And though, as Presbyterians, we are firmly planted in the reformed tradition, we are most interested in simply being Christians, being followers of Jesus, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and being amazed at the goodness of God.We believe Jesus was fully God and fully human. We think sin and God’s judgement of sin are real, but that God’s primary stance towards us is one of Grace and Love – calling us to repentance, calling us and empowering us to become the people he always meant for us to be. We believe that when a person becomes a Christian – the entire trajectory of their life changes forever, and therefore our desire is to help other people encounter our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We think that Mystery and Doctrine aren’t enemies, but rather friends that desperately need each other. We embrace the doctrinal mystery of the Trinity – the conviction that God is three in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we believe all these things exactly because we believe the bible can be trusted as the word of God.