Christ Church, Fort Lauderdale
Sunday, April 30, 2017
What We Believe
Christ Church is a community of people committed to following Jesus Christ by worshiping God, growing in faith, and living God’s grace with each other and the world.
Our members pray for others, attend worship regularly, serve others, participate in Wesley Fellowship Groups, also known as small groups, and make a financial pledge to the mission and ministry of our congregation. We understand a tithe -- 10 percent of income to God’s work through the church community -- to be the goal that we are working toward.
We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin.
We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior, putting our whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as our Lord, in union with the church which Christ as opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.
We receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
We strive to grow in our spiritual understanding by using what we call the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, the Bible; Tradition, what Christians have believed across the centuries; Reason, critical thought; and Experience, personal experience of faith. Of these four, scripture is the most important.
We are loyal to the United Methodist Church, and do all in our power to strengthen its ministries.
As United Methodists, we emphasize: Head (learning), Heart, (spirituality), and Hands, (helping others).
John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church, believed that our faith should show in the way we live our lives:
“First: By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind…
Secondly: By …doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all…
Thirdly: By attending upon all ordinances of God.”
Ordinances are spiritual practices, means of grace, that allow us to experience God’s presence in our everyday life, including public worship of God, hearing the Scriptures read or explained, holy communion, family and private prayer, devotional reading of the Scriptures, and fasting or abstinence.
Some of our distinctive emphases, as United Methodists, include:
Prevenient Grace God’s love surrounds us even before we are aware of it.
Justification and Assurance When we respond to God’s love through Jesus Christ, our relationship with God is restored. In God’s eyes, we are more than our worst deeds and failures. This experience of conversion can be gradual or sudden.
Sanctification and Perfection God helps us to become more loving toward God and neighbor. God shapes our hearts to be more like the heart of Jesus
Faith and Good Works The only response God requires is faith. However, as we grow stronger in love, our love will express itself in the way we treat others.
Mission and Service Personal faith, sharing God’s love, and caring for others go hand in hand.
Nurture and Mission of the Church Our church nurtures our personal faith, and equips us for mission and service in the world.
We are ecumenical. We share a common heritage with Christians of every age and nation, and work together with other churches. As John Wesley wrote, “…in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” And: “If your heart is as my heart, then give me your hand.”