DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

The following doctrinal beliefs are agreed to by all pastors, elders, deacons, vocational staff members, and lay teachers at The Shepherd's House. While some members and attendees may not agree on secondary doctrines, unity and consistency can be expected from those who lead and teach regularily. 

The Scriptures

We teach in the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing.  We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament are God’s completed and sufficient revelation for the total well-being of mankind. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.

God

We teach in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).  He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).  In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  He is a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).

We teach that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20 Acts 5:3-4).

Jesus Christ

We teach in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh.  We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be truly God and truly man (John 1:1, 14, 18; John 14:8, 9; I Timothy 3:16).

Holy Spirit

We teach that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ during this age.  He convicts us of sin and regenerates the sinner upon believing on Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head.  He indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living and service through individually bestowed spiritual gifts.  While the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, it does seem to indicate that their usage would vary according to the need that each gift is designed to meet. The Shepherd’s House does not encourage the use of the ‘sign gifts’ as a normative pattern in the life of a believer nor do we teach that any gift is required as evidence of salvation, including the gift of tongues. We believe that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of saints today, and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers. We choose to emphasize the more excellent way of love and zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; I Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; II Corinthians 12:12).  A fuller statement of the Church’s position on charismatic extremism, the word of faith movement, the prosperity gospel, and the New Apostolic Reformation is available upon request.

Man

We teach that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners; not only by constraint, but by choice and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.  We believe that without exception every man is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).

Salvation

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice.  We believe that all who by faith receive Him as their personal Savior are justified on the basis of His blood shed on Calvary.  They are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become eternally secure as children of God.  We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes a person who believes into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; II Corinthians 5:21; I Corinthians 12:13).

Heaven and Hell

We teach the “blessed hope:” the personal, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God. (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).

Resurrection

We teach the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26),

Return of Christ

We teach that Christ Jesus will rapture the church, which is His Body, unto Himself, and return with His church in glory following seven years of tribulation to establish His kingdom on earth. (John 14:2-4, Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 20.

Baptism and Communion

We teach that Christian baptism is a public declaration of and identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection signified by immersion in water.

The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; I Corinthians 11:20-29). 

The Church

Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, all believers have therefore become part of His body, the church.  There is one church universal, composed of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  The Scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; I Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).

Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command there is the local expression of the church – under the watch-care of elders and other supportive leadership.  Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).

Missions Statement

Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world. To this end a Missions Leadership Team will meet regularly under the direction of a Staff Pastor.

The purpose of the Missions Leadership Team will be to administer and develop the missions ministry of the church in agreement with the missions policy statement which is available upon request.

Christian Living (Concerning Conduct)

The Bible teaches that all believers are saints, set apart unto God and are thus responsible to live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord (Romans 2:1-2; I Peter 1:14-19; II Timothy 2:19; Titus 2) lest the Word of God be blasphemed (I Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:5).  As Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, and accept as our responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world (I John 2:3; Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 5:23; Matthew 28:19-20).  A victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who have presented themselves wholly to Christ and walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, which all believers are called to do (Romans 12:1,2; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6, 7 Romans 8:9-16) “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  Romans 12:1

“Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16

“Be not drunk with wine...but be filled with the Spirit.”  Ephesians 5:18

Statement On The Sanctity Of Human Life

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural/physical death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139).

Statement On Marriage, Gender, And Sexuality

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of The Shepherd’s House as a local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the members of our church and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by The Shepherd’s House in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of The Shepherd’s House.