Statement of Beliefs
At The Lakes, we celebrate the presence of our Risen Christ in The Lord’s Supper, remembering the great sacrifice He made for us. Through this meal we participate in the New Covenant, which is ratified by the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Lamb of God. In the Lord’s Supper we are reconciled as one family of believers, who declare Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, looking forward to Christ’s glorious return. (Matthew 26:26-29 • Mark 14:22-25 • Luke 22:14-20 • 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 • 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 • Acts 2:42-43)
The Bible promotes, celebrates and affirms marriage as a covenantal union between a man and a woman. (Genesis 2:24 • Matthew 19:4-6 • Mark 10:2-9) We affirm that God created us male and female (Genesis 1:27), and that it is God's will and intention that human sexual expression takes place only within the boundaries of marriage. Marriage, however, is not the highest purpose of humanity. Both marriage and singleness are honored as a gift from God. We believe that outside of the boundaries of marriage, the Bible calls for abstinence. (Ephesians 5:3 • 1 Peter 2:11 • Hebrews 13:4 • 1 Corinthians 6:13-7:2) We know that in our culture, premarital sex, along with many other forms of non-marital sex, is normative. We want to lovingly help people of any sexual orientation to live up to this standard (Romans 12:2). We recognize that it can be a difficult journey, and there must be grace along the way. The powerful, beautiful gift of human sexuality must be stewarded with seriousness and compassion.
The importance of baptism as an aspect of salvation and the reception of the Holy Spirit is clearly demonstrated in the New Testament. (Acts 2:38) (1 Pet 3:21 • Mk 16:16 • Mt 28:19 • Acts 22:16 • Gal 3:27 • 1 Cor 12:13. Belief, repentance, allegiance, Holy Spirit, community, trust and assurance of forgiveness are also aspects of conversion.) Baptism signifies our entrance into the Kingdom of God and the washing away of our sins. (Acts 2:38, Titus 3:5, Acts 22:16) In baptism we associate with the death of Christ and thus also his resurrection; our old self dies and is buried, setting us free from sin so that we can live a new life for Jesus. (Romans 6:1-11) Baptism is the appropriate response to our acceptance of the Gospel and shows our allegiance to Jesus Christ. Because this is what we believe here at The Lakes, we practice infant dedication and believer baptism.
In some areas of the church, a person’s stance on this issue is seen as an indicator of whether or not that person holds a high view of the authority of the Bible. While we realize there is room for sincere disagreement on this topic, we want it to be evident that our position is not a compromise or an accommodation to current trends. Rather, it is heart-felt obedience to what we believe the Bible says. We believe that God calls and gifts leaders within the church as He chooses and that this is not limited by gender, age, ethnicity, economic status, or any other human distinction (1 Cor. 12:11 • Gal. 3:28 • Acts 2:17-21). The role of the church community is to discern God’s gifting and calling for leadership and also to discern the maturity, character and competencies required for leadership. In the Jesus-following community, leadership centers around serving the body of Christ in humility and self-sacrificial love (Matt. 20:25-28). In the New Testament church, we see a call to servanthood in imitation of Jesus – with gifts for the building up of the body of Christ given to both men and women equally. We believe we are better together. (Eph 4:4-7 • Eph 4:11-13)