Our Distinctives as Grace Connection - What sets us apart?
We believe and practice the belief that is held in common with all of Christianity - Jesus is God come in the flesh to reconcile humanity to Himself, paying the penalty for our sins through death on the cross, rising from the dead, and ascending into heaven. All of us who hold to this doctrine are in the universal family of God headed for heaven.
However, we do have our particular distinctives that set us apart from many others, as all other churches do as well. These distinctives do impact the way we live out our Christianity.
Below we have tried to articulate some of these doctrines that we consider our distinctive voice differing us from some others in our community of Christian churches. Of course, we are a Foursquare Church with Foursquare distinctives, yet we also have some distinctives we think define our unique personality within our Foursquare family. These will appear here as well.
(1) We are a member of a larger family of believers within the universal church who have joined together on an international mission and global movement of God - The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Foursquare has Pentecostal roots, yet it has been said that they are not truly Pentecostal but Foursquare. We are Foursquare and we hold to Foursquare's Statement of Faith. Watch the video explaining the Foursquare name by scrolling down on the HOME page of this site.
(2) We believe in GRACE - that we are saved and maintained by the pure grace of God without works of any kind on our part. We are not ashamed of the gospel of grace. Grace is the root of our salvation and it is the power to live out the Christian life when understood and lived under. Good works that follow in our lives may be fruit of our salvation, but not the root of it nor necessary in order to maintain salvation.
(3) We believe all the spiritual gifts and offices mentioned in the New Testament have not ceased and are in operation in the life of the church and it's members today.
(4) We believe we as believers are living in the tension of the already and not yet of God's Kingdom, thus, we sometimes experience healings, etc. but at other times we still experience sufferings of various kinds. With the second return of Christ His Kingdom will be established in it's fullness and there will be no more pain and suffering.
(5) We believe in Sound Doctrine and that there is but one truth that is transforming. Thus, we are students of the Word. We exalt God's Word above all else and it is our only standard of truth.The studying out of Scripture and knowing why we believe what we do and why others might believe as they do but we don't is important to us. By God's grace, our roots are deeply rooted in the sole source of spiritual authority – the Word of God rather than men's traditions.
(6) We believe in the simultaneous existence of the seen natural realm and the unseen spiritual realm. We believe in the reality of the powers of darkness who is God's enemy and the enemy of all of humanity, who holds people captive to sin and darkness. Satan was defeated by Jesus at the cross where a way was made to be set free from captivity and to enter into the Kingdom of Light (Christ's Kingdom) by being born again through a belief in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross on our behalf.
(7) We believe the leadership of the church and in the home is shared by both men and women. We understand there are two places in Scripture that appear to contradict this, however, we believe it is clear that these few prohibitions concerning women were for a particular church in a particular time of history for a particular crisis situation. We believe this truth prevails when we study as did the Bereans in Scripture, to study and see if these things are so. Systematic theology and honest principles of interpretation must be applied when approaching Scripture. A willingness to set aside tradition and allow the Holy Spirit to show us truth is necessary in order to find truth.
(8) We believe in empowering leadership and service. According to God’s gifting and calling, we will intentionally prepare and release men and women across generations and cultures into all positions of leadership and areas of ministry. There is no race, social status, or gender differences in relation to Kingdom work and service. We feel it is important to release people according to their giftings rather than gender to have the full power of the church on mission for Christ and that not doing so actually dishonors Christ's full accomplishments for us on the cross where He redeemed and restored what was lost at the Fall. Male and female relationships called to rule and take dominion over the earth side-by-side. We have more information on this topic. Please make an appointment to talk with Bible in hand to Pastors Sarah and Jon, one or both to learn more about study and understanding of this controversial topic.
(9) We believe all of humanity has value and is loved by God as they are created in the image of God - imago dei. This motivates our mission of evangelism.
(10) We believe God calls us to do things beyond our ability, so that in our weakness He is seen strong performing the extraordinary through the ordinary. To God be all the glory.
(11) We believe in Kingdom Partnerships. We will work alongside some other churches and Christian organizations with whom we can partner in mission. We will be a distinct movement ourselves, but will also hold a collegial spirit and maintain a helpful and cooperative posture. The Foursquare motto is "In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; and in all things charity."
(12) We believe in Family Relationships between our Foursquare Churches. We desire to relate to each other with love in our Global Family. ackknowledging relationships are at the heart of God and extend grace to fellow believers through ministry, cooperation and mutual submission in our global church.
(13) Spirit Empowerment - As a Spirit-filled believers, we will consistently minister the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and teach and encourage believers to fully express the gifts of the Spirit in their daily lives. We totally submit ourselves in obedience to the Spirit’s use of our lives and His miraculous works in our day. We invite His presence at our every service and acknowledge He is the One who can bring us understanding of the Scriptures as we read and listen to our teachers in the body of Christ. We believe our services are to be open to the move of the Holy Spirit, yet are to be decent and in order, and not fanatical as in some of the early charismatic movement.
(14) We believe in a shared mission and teamwork on our mission with God. Holding to God’s passion for the lost, we will seek a movement of evangelism, mercy ministries, contextualized church planting and mobilizing indigenous believers in ministry among all peoples.
(15) We believe God gives us resources and we are to give out of what He has given us. True religion is helping & giving to others who are in need without expecting something in return,
(16) We believe true worship of God is in spirit and in truth and is a lifestyle of relationship with God involving every moment of our every day, not just the 20 minutes of singing and praising we do each Sunday morning.