Our Faith Statement
What we believe – The Vineyard stands firmly in the center of orthodox Christian teaching. Out of loyalty to Christ and the gospel we have come to a number of convictions concerning the clear teaching of the Bible. At the same time, we have not included in our statement of faith much that can be legitimately debated by orthodox Christians. In other words, we do have boundaries, but our boundaries are broad and inclusive. On the spectrum of Christian churches:
• We are orthodox. This ties us to the historical church.
• We are evangelical. We believe in calling men and women to conversion.
• We are empowered evangelicals. We believe in the active ministry of the Holy Spirit.
1. God the King and the Holy Trinity
WE BELIEVE that God is the Eternal King. He is an infinite, unchangeable Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, power and love. From all eternity He exists as the One Living and True God in three persons of one substance, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory.
2. God the King: The Creator and Ruler of All Things
WE BELIEVE that God’s kingdom is everlasting. From His throne, through His Son, His eternal Word, God created, upholds and governs all that exists: the heavenly places, the angelic hosts, the universe, the earth, every living thing and mankind. God created all things very good.
3. Counterfeit Kingdom: Satan and Demonic Hosts
WE BELIEVE that Satan, originally a great, good angel, rebelled against God, taking a host of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and, as a usurper of God’s rule, established a counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.
4. The Kingdom in the Creation of Man, the Fall and The Doctrine of Original Sin
WE BELIEVE that God created mankind in His own image, male and female, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth. Under the temptation of Satan, our original parents fell from grace, bringing sin, sickness and God’s judgment of death to the earth. Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God’s good creation. Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam’s original sin. Human beings are born in sin, subject to God’s judgment of death and captive to Satan’s kingdom of darkness.
5. God’s Providence, Kingdom Law and Covenants
WE BELIEVE that God did not abandon His rule over the earth which He continues to uphold by His providence. In order to bring redemption, God established covenants which revealed His grace to sinful people. In the covenant with Abraham, God bound Himself to His people Israel, promising to deliver them from bondage to sin and Satan and to bless all the nations through them. WE BELIEVE that as King, God later redeemed His people by His mighty acts from bondage in Egypt and established His covenant through Moses, revealing His perfect will and our obligation to fulfill it. The law’s purpose is to order our fallen race and to make us conscious of our moral responsibility. By the work of God’s Spirit, it convicts us of our sin and God’s righteous judgment against us and brings us to Christ alone for salvation. WE BELIEVE that when Israel rejected God’s rule over her as King, God established the monarchy in Israel and made an unconditional covenant with David, promising that his heir would restore God’s kingdom reign over His people as Messiah forever.
6. Christ the Mediator and Eternal King
WE BELIEVE that in the fullness of time, God honored His covenants with Israel and His prophetic promises of salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, into the world. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, as fully God and fully man in one person, He is humanity as God intended us to be. Jesus was anointed as God’s Messiah and empowered by the Holy Spirit, inaugurating God’s kingdom reign on earth, overpowering the reign of Satan by resisting temptation, preaching the good news of salvation, healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. Gathering His disciples, He reconstituted God’s people as His Church to be the instrument of His kingdom. After dying for the sins of the world, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, fulfilling the covenant of blessing given to Abraham. In His sinless, perfect life Jesus met the demands of the law and in His atoning death on the cross He took God’s judgment for sin which we deserve as lawbreakers. By His death on the cross He also disarmed the demonic powers. The covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth from David’s house, His Messianic ministry, His glorious resurrection from the dead, His ascent into heaven and His present rule at the right hand of the Father. As God’s Son and David’s heir, He is the eternal Messiah- King, advancing God’s reign throughout every generation and throughout the whole earth today.
7. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus. WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the filling or the empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.
8. The Sufficiency of Scripture
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture so that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. We receive the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
9. The Power of the Gospel Over the Kingdom of Darkness
WE BELIEVE that the whole world is under the domination of Satan and that all people are sinners by nature and choice. All people therefore are under God’s just judgment. Through the preaching of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, God regenerates, justifies, adopts and sanctifies through Jesus by the Spirit all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. By this they are released from Satan’s domain and enter into God’s kingdom reign.
10. The Church: Instrument of the Kingdom
WE BELIEVE in the one, holy, universal Church. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and form the living Body of Christ, of which He is the head and of which we are all members.
11. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are available to all believers.
12. The Kingdom of God and the Final Judgment
WE BELIEVE that God’s kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible and triumphant appearing of Christ – His return to the earth as King. After Christ returns to reign, He will bring about the final defeat of Satan and all of his minions and works, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment and the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal conscious punishment of the wicked. Finally, God will be all in all and His kingdom, His rule and reign, will be fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, recreated by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells and in which He will forever be worshipped.
To see the fully annotated Vineyard Statement of Faith as well as other documents pertaining to Vineyard theology and philosophy please go to: http://www.vineyardusa.org/site/about/vineyard-values
Our Core Values
What we think is important
Every house is built upon a foundation. The Vineyard is built upon the foundation of our theology (how we think about God) and our values (the kinds of ideas and attitudes that we feel are important).
Values concern what a church feels like. Values are reflected in the atmosphere of the church, the ethos. It is possible for two churches to believe exactly the same doctrine, but to feel very different due to the varying value systems of churches.
Below is a list of our core values:
1. We value worship.
We envision worship as intimate fellowship with God…the thing we were born to do. This means we desire to encounter the very presence of God whenever we worship. We model this by making worship a priority in all our gatherings and by encouraging people to worship freely in whatever fashion is authentic and meaningful to them.
2. We value discipleship.
We envision discipleship as a process of constantly growing and maturing in our faith as we work to become better followers of Jesus. This means we encourage people to be lifelong learners and to view spiritual maturity as a journey, not a destination. We model this by practicing and teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual disciplines such as worship, Bible study, solitude, silence, fasting, prayer, simplicity, celebration, fellowship, and service through life groups – small, relational environments that meet weekly for the purpose of Biblical discipleship.
3. We value fellowship.
We envision fellowship (Gk: koinonia) as a cohesive force which results in mutual love, respect and unity. This means we endeavor to share with one another: (1) our faith in and love for Jesus Christ; (2) participation in the things of the Spirit; (3) the profound benefits of partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and; (4) friendship based on common experiences, interests and purpose. We model this by warmly welcoming each new person who comes to our gatherings and by providing many activities and ministries that emphasize these commonalities but allow the expression of individual gifts.
4. We value restoration.
We envision restoration as an earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God where people are made whole physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally. This means we endeavor to do the works of Jesus – healing the sick, raising the dead and setting the captives free. We model this by making the giving and receiving of prayer a priority in every gathering and encouraging everyone to participate.
5. We value spiritual gifts.
We recognize spiritual gifts as the special abilities given by God the Holy Spirit to each person for the common good. These gifts are available to all but can be unique to an individual; they equip us to minister in power – proclaiming the words of Jesus and performing the works of Jesus. We model the value of spiritual gifts by participating in God’s ministry of restoration and by encouraging people to desire these gifts and to utilize them fully for their own edification and that of the entire Church.
6. We value outreach and evangelism.
We envision outreach and evangelism as the expression of God’s “good news” – his love, grace and mercy for all humankind – to those who have not heard it. This means we desire to go into our community, our state, our country and even to all nations to show and tell others this news. We model this by conducting local outreaches, through focused ministries to the least and the lost and through support of worldwide missionary efforts.
7. We value everyone’s participation.
We envision everyone participating as the natural extension of God’s command and charge to Adam and Eve to extend and expand his kingdom to every part and place of creation. This means God endows everyone with a combination of talents and abilities to enable humanity to partner and participate with God to advance his Kingdom. We model this by providing classes on spiritual gifts, by encouraging folks to discover and utilize their gifts, by encouraging everyone’s participation at every opportunity and by providing a variety of service activities and ministries.