We Affirm the Apostles Creed
We believe in God the Father, maker of heaven, and of earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate. He was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into the dead. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven, where he was seated at the right hand of God. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and of life everlasting.
We Affirm God is Love
We believe creation came into existence by way of God’s love. His love initiated; took the first step to create humanity and the entire cosmos. We believe His love is always non-coercive, which is why God gave humanity the freedom of choice. The story of Adam and Eve illustrates the abuse of this freedom and our walking away from God. But, love never gives up, and so God, unwilling to force His children to turn back, wrote himself into the story. Yes, the author became a character. The Divine became human. God became incarnate in Jesus.
Jesus shows us who God is. Hebrews says he’s the “exact representation.” Colossians says he’s the “visible image of the invisible God,” Matthew says he’s, “Emmanuel, God with us.” Philippians says, “He’s the fullness of God.” We believe Jesus is God, and God is love (1John 4:18); therefore, through Jesus, the love of God is manifested.
We Affirm our Connection with the Early Church
The revelation of Jesus came to us by way of the eyewitness accounts of his earliest followers, his disciples, and the apostles. We believe their accounts as recorded in the Gospel stories, as affirmed in the earliest New Testament Biblical stories, as well as the traditions and creeds of the early church. We affirm our connection to the early church, to the early Greek Fathers who helped frame our understanding of Jesus and to the church catholic and universal. We are part of a community of believers that began with Jesus’ first followers, spread to all nations and language groups, exists today throughout the world, and will continue until Christ returns.
We Affirm the Word of God
We believe that the Bible was written by people inspired by God to reveal God’s love. Though there are a variety of stories, principles, and ideas within the Bible that can be difficult to interpret we believe all of it is best understood through the lens of Jesus Christ. The words lead us to realize the authority of Scripture is anchored in Jesus himself, the Living Word. (John 1:1)
We Affirm the Way of Jesus is our Salvation
We see God’s commitment to humanity in the incarnation and in the life of Jesus. We see him revealing the heart of our Father. In his death, we see his solidarity with all of us, but in particular with those of us who have been scapegoated and marginalized. In his resurrection, we see God validating the way he lived. He shared in our humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15) We learn, in all of this a new way to be human, and a new way to participate in his death and resurrection. We then affirm the Kingdom of God as a present reality inaugurated with the birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
We Affirm His Way to be Non-Violent
The death of Jesus was surely violent and sacrificial, but we affirm neither the violence nor the sacrifice to be something God needed; rather, it was something we needed. God is love, non-coercive and without need of violence. It wasn’t God’s will that Jesus reveal a new way to sacrifice. It was God’s will for Jesus to reveal a new way to live. It was this commitment to life that led Jesus to death. The resurrection is God’s validation of his life.
We Affirm our Participation in the New Creation
The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TNIV). For us, this means that we can be born anew in Christ as we respond to his invitation to follow him. This new creation is marked by turning away from violence. Our participation in His Kingdom means that we follow Jesus in his mission of witnessing to the peaceable reign of God. It is a life that has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy, and peace. Being born anew is only the beginning, growing to maturity in Christ-like love of neighbor and love of God is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us-and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
We Affirm the Church as a Fellowship of All Believers
The church is not an institution, organization, or building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals. As the New Testament teaches, within Christian community there is to be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). For this reason, we are open and inclusive of everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation and gender expression. We observe baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice both infant and believer baptism. We affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership. We believe in the priesthood of all believers, that is, we all share in the ministry of the church.
We Affirm the Trinity, and a Conscious Dependence on the Holy Spirit
Mission Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The beauty of “three” saves us from the binary trappings of “two.” It’s not either or, it’s a continual flow. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ’s body.
We affirm the Reality of Freedom in Christ
The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly but is given to serve the community and the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from the power of those things that on their own tend to divide. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. At Mission Church, we seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.
We Affirm Everyone Belongs
One doesn’t have to believe exactly like us to belong to our community. Questions and doubts are welcome. We recognize that faith is an unfolding process. We commit in journeying together with people toward affirming the Apostle’s Creed and that God is love.