SCF Statement of Beliefs
What we believe about:
The Lordship of Christ
We have committed ourselves individually and as a community to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord, to obey His teachings and follow His example in everything, displaying the character of God the Father through the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Authority of Scripture
The written word (the Holy Scripture) reveals God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ. As the Holy Spirit interprets the written teachings and life of Jesus, this Living Word becomes our basis of teaching and practice. All interpretation of the written word must be in complete harmony with the teachings and example of Jesus.
The New Birth
Those who will believe and be part of God’s Kingdom must be born of the Holy Spirit and filled with the very nature of God. This radical change of life is evident in one’s passion for hearing and obeying Jesus in everyday life, in ongoing repentance from doing wrong, and in daily choosing to die to the world’s lifestyle and value system.
The new birth is accomplished through baptism of the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by water baptism. Baptism declares that one has died with Christ to sin, and risen with Him to a new life of practical righteousness demonstrated by passionate obedience to the Spirit of God.
The Local Community of Believers
The gathering of believers is the actual incarnation of Christ—His physical body, the Church. Every new believer is designed to become a part of this Body in a local congregation of believers—a community of faith.
The community of faith practices a righteous life of honesty, goodwill, trust, and unselfishness toward all people, both believers and unbelievers. This will boldly contrast with the world’s values and life of pride, greed, lust, and violence.
Mutual accountability and submission to each other in the fear of God is the strong bond that unifies the community of faith under the Lordship of Christ. This humility is evidenced in one’s willing openness to respect the counsel of the community.
Christ is the head of the gathered community of faith, for it is His body. No organizational authority exists above this local gathering. Any effort to create other authority structures or denominational identities are rejected. Fellowship with all true followers of Christ is accepted.
The brothers (men) of the community meet regularly and openly discuss community-wide practices and significant personal matters, and so together are led by the Holy Spirit into the mind of Christ. Each member is committed to obey what God reveals to this congregation.
The offices of bishop and deacon are the New Testament teaching of leadership in organizing the practical affairs of the community. The bishop is primarily an overseer, and the deacon is his assistant. They are to encourage and direct the gifts God has given to the local congregation, to expose all manifestations of error, and to guard the purity of the congregation. These offices are filled only by mature community brothers of good reputation.
The expression of all the gifts Christ has given to edify and equip His body for ministering are encouraged. Preaching and teaching are not limited to official leadership but are open to all the mature brothers in the community.
Marriage symbolizes the mystery of oneness between Christ and His body, the Church, showing His power to reconcile all differences into a holy unity. It is a relationship between one man and one woman, and the union is an act of God based on their vows of commitment to each other. That relationship can be dissolved only by death. Any marriage to or between divorced persons is adulterous. Polygamy and homosexuality are abominable, and are not part of Christ’s community of faith.
Accumulating and storing wealth are forbidden by Christ and evidence of covetousness. Profit through investments is a basic cause of inequality (iniquity) and destroys the equality God desires among His people. Food and clothing are to be earned through the honest gain of manual labor and trust in God’s providence. The community of faith is a community of goods, and everyone shares to maintain a material equality as modeled by the New Testament church. Financial accountability to the community is expected.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper (Communion) is a memorial to our purity and oneness in Christ through His death and resurrection. At these memorial services, the members openly confess their position of unity and peace with the community and Christ.
Separation from the World
As stated in the section Holy Living, the community of faith lives in bold contrast to the world. The passion to follow Jesus affects life’s values and practices and will be evident in a practical simplicity of housing, clothing, transportation, vocation, vacation, speech, etc.
War and Self-defense
The community of faith is a community of peace that returns good for evil and blessing for cursing to all people, overcoming evil with good. Jesus’ followers do not fight or kill for any reason, nor will they for any reason take up the cause of those who fight and kill.
Unity with Christ
Common unity of faith in this life with Christ and His followers is essential for achieving that perfect, eternal oneness with Christ and His Father in the Life to come.