1. Baptism-We believe the New Testament teaches that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, but once one is saved, one is commanded to publicly identify themselves as a Christian by being baptized. At MVCC, we practice “believer’s baptism” by immersion (the Greek word translated “baptize” is “baptizo,” which means to dip or plunge), in which immersion symbolizes death to the old life and being risen to new life (Romans 6:3-4) . Baptism does not save nor cleanse one from sins—faith alone in Jesus does. Instead, baptism identifies oneself publicly as a follower of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:2).
2. Communion-We believe that Communion (i.e. the Lord’s Supper) is to be observed in a corporate setting as a remembrance of what Jesus did for us (1 Corinthians 11:23-28). At MVCC, we primarily observe Communion in the gathered worship of the church, approximately once every 4-6 weeks. We invite anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus to share in Communion, whether or not one is a member or regular attender. Communion may also be observed in other settings, such as in a home group, at a retreat, etc.
3. Eternal Security-We believe that once a person repents of sin and trusts Christ as personal Savior and is thereby converted, he/she inherits eternal life and can never lose this salvation. If one however “apostatizes” from the faith, that is indicative that such a person was never a true believer in the first place (1 John 2:19)
4. Marriage-We believe that God's plan for marriage is an exclusive, life-long covenant between a man and a woman, establishing a mutually supportive relationship (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:3-6). Marriage provides the framework for relational intimacy, sexual fulfillment, and raising children. Marriage reflects God's love for His church (Ephesians 5:22-32).
5. Roles of Men and Women in Ministry-We believe that both men and women are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27); are on equal spiritual footing before their Savior, Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28); are recipients of the same spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7); and are believer-priests responsible for doing the work of the ministry (1 Peter 2:9). We believe God gives men and women distinctive, complementary roles, and that the ultimate purpose of these roles is to help men and women work in harmony at fulfilling the mission of the church. At MVCC, some ministry roles are restricted to men only, such as pastor and elder. At the same time, other than the office of pastor and elder, women are involved in serving or leading in every other ministry of the church.
6. Statement on Schooling-We believe that parents have the freedom to choose how to educate their children. We believe that God leads some parents to home school their children, some to send their children to Christian or private schools, some to send their children to public schools and others to choose a combination of those options. We will not show favoritism toward any one schooling option.
7. Stewardship-We believe that God owns all and that He calls believers to be generous, sacrificial givers (2 Corinthians 8-9). However, we do not believe that the tithe, as under Old Covenant, is mandatory for today. The tithe might be a good starting point (Jesus typically challenged his hearers to go above and beyond the O.T. Law---see Matthew 5-7) but we do not believe tithing is a New Covenant command. At MVCC, pastors and elders are not granted access to find out how much people give. Moreover, we typically avoid "fundraising", preferring to rely on the faithful, generous, freewill, and secret giving of God's people to support the ministry of the church.
8. Calvinism and Arminianism-We believe in the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man (i.e., God is sovereign in salvation and man is responsible to believe). Both truths are taught. God chooses and draws sinners to Himself and sinners are commanded of their own will to repent and believe. We respect those who are more Calvinistic and those who are more Arminian and we will not disrespect either view. We do however take a stand on the doctrine of eternal security as we believe “once saved, always saved.”
9. Expository Preaching-We believe in and practice expository preaching. We typically preach through books of the Bible and when we preach topical messages, we still prefer for those messages to be expository. Expository preaching is characterized by taking a paragraph or chapter of Scripture and teaching the central point (big idea) of the passage, covering it verse by verse, and presenting it in a relevant way. In this way, the passage dictates the topic, rather than the topic dictating the passage. We believe preaching should be first geared to the believer, yet be presented in a way that engages the seeking unbeliever. We also aim for the gospel to be proclaimed in some fashion in nearly every sermon, as the Spirit leads.
10. Political Involvement-We believe that believers should be salt and light in their world (Matthew 5:13-16), which includes sharing the gospel in word and deed, as well as exposing the unrighteous deeds of the world (Ephesians 5:8-12). We believe Christians should get involved politically as they feel led, but that the primary mission of the church is to make followers of Jesus, as opposed to seeking to effect political change.
*If you would like a copy of the complete position papers, please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.