Statement of Belief at The Alley Church has Some Substance but does not Mention the Sacraments, by Pr. Rossow

The Biblical Convictions statement from The Alley (see below) has some meat to it but does not mention Baptism or the the Lord’s Supper. It has some good solid stuff on the depravity of man and the existence of the devil. However, they say nothing of baptism or the Lord’s Supper. This helps us to understand the landscape of the church these days. On the one hand you have liberal churches like most of the congregations of the ELCA that have embraced the relativism of modern culture  but on the other hand you have emergent churches like The Alley. They  are not what we would call “liberal” but have embraced the “pop” elements of culture and seek to reach people with the psychology of sensitivity and the informality of current culture by promoting such things as small groups and the cultural critique of the traditional church. For more on the ELCA’s liberalism see our post on the fact that one no longer has to believe in the devil anymore in the ELCA and for more on the pop culture church see Scott Diekman’s series on the emergent church, also from this website.

Here is the text of The Alley’s Biblical convictions page.

  1. The only hope for man’s eternal salvation is Jesus the Messiah (Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; John 14:5-7) Jesus is the Son of God promised through Old Testament prophets and as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible. He is both perfect man and God and his atoning sacrifice for man’s sin is the only means by which mankind receives forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Therefore death is no longer something to be feared.
  2. There is one true God revealed to us in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 11:26-28) There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the godhead there are three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. They are one God, in three persons.
  3. The Bible in its’ entirety is the true and inspired word of God (Isaiah 55:9-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13) The 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 New Testament books are the inspired Word of God though which He continues to speak to humankind. His word is the foundation of our teaching, the direction for our lives and lays out the hope of salvation for of all humankind through Jesus’ Life, death and resurrection.
  4. We believe in the total depravity of humankind (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12; Ephesians 3:1-3, 12) God made man – male and female – in His own image, that man might have fellow ship with Him. Tempted by Satan, mankind fell into a broken relationship with God. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. Because of this mankind is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God.Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
  5. The role of the church is to equip people to know, follow and share who Jesus is and what He has done (Ephesians 4:7-13; Colossians 1:18) The church at it’s most basic definition is the people of God and not the building, worship or organization. The role of the church is to equip, mentor and hold each other accountable to following Jesus. It is also meant to be a community of people who do life together and hold each other accountable. The church is a body, made up of many diverse parts. Everyone has a gift and everyone has a calling, as God sees fit.
  6. The devil is the adversary of God and His church (Genesis 3; 1 Chronicles 21:1; Mark 4:15; Luke 22:3; Acts 5:4-6; 2 Cor. 11:14; 2 Thess. 2:9) The devil is the real and active adversary of God. He tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, he prowls the earth like a lion, looking for whom he can devour. Satan is not the ruler of Hell but will bear the brunt of its worst punishment. He was defeated along with death and sin when Jesus rose victorious from the dead.
  7. God has created every person with unique gifts and abilities intended to bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 12:1ff; Ephesians 4:7-8) God has created every person with unique gifts and abilities and they are only used to their fullness when they are used to glorify God. Through the Holy Spirit, God gives gifts of His spirit, according to His desire, to be used to His purpose.

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