Evangelical Together Mandate: Frederick
*Commitments collected and summarized from Lausanne Covenants, Gospel Coalition, Act 24, Operation Rolling Thunder (If you would like access to the background documents please ask!)
1.We believe we are called first, foremost and always to preach Christ and Him crucified and resurrected as Savior and Lord by the power of His Spirit in us. This results in disciple making, baptism and teaching obedience to Christ’s commands.
2.We believe that the Church, the Bride of Christ, is Jesus’ primary strategy for bringing first the gospel and then change to a community. We believe that the Church includes all local congregations and believers in a community. We believe the health of local churches precedes work of the Church together.
3.We believe that all work of the gospel through the Church should be bathed in prayer, preceded by prayer, informed by prayer, done in prayer and followed with prayer. We believe that the Church should find ways to pray together in concert across local congregations for Christ and His Kingdom to come.
4.We believe serving those in need is part of the work of the gospel, a secondary yet vital part of the call of the Church to be like Christ and obey His commands. Service always flows from the power of the Spirit in a believer who has been saved by grace through faith in Christ. Serving the broken is to be preceded and followed by preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.
5.We believe that the Church is called to serve and bring the light of Christ and His teachings into all areas of our community including: Business, poverty, education, family, politics, media, arts and religion. This begins with prayer groups built on organic relationships in each arena seeking God’s will together.
6.We believe that we should prayerfully find ways to serve together when doing #1-5: sharing the gospel, serving and bringing Christ’s teachings into all areas of our community. The devil is our only competition in Frederick. We repudiate competition or needless duplication of services due to distrust or overemphasis on non-essential theological disagreements. We also recognize that there is a limit to working together and important boundaries we must honor for the health of local congregations/non-profits (including non-essential theological convictions).
7.We believe the church should find ways to work with and serve humbly alongside the public and unbelieving, and non-Christian faith community. We believe this provides an important platform for sharing Christ, which is our primary goal.
8.We believe that the Church should be at the forefront of racial reconciliation and all arenas of peacemaking. Reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection sets the model for serving as peacemakers both in the church and in the community at large. Though we primarily work to bring people to God through Christ, at times we also serve to reconcile conflicts among those who are not yet ready to receive Christ as Lord. (We recognize that peacemaking requires God’s standards righteous and justice to bring peace. In that case, persecution for righteousness may affect the peacemaker as it did the prophets, apostles and Christ.)
9.We believe that disciples of Jesus should pray and fellowship together across political divides. The Democrat, Republican and Independent parties all need strong Christian voices in their midst. We will often disagree on the best policy but commit to stay in communication, fellowship and prayer together in Christ for our community.
10.We believe that we should serve the immigrant in our community. Though we might disagree politically on the best way to do so, we all agree that scripture gives a clear mandate to serve them, be a voice for them and help release them from any oppression. In particular we recognize that human trafficking and drug trafficking often arise in immigrant populations; we should work to set those oppressed free.
11.We believe we should work with Catholic and Orthodox believers in areas where we share common gospel commitments.
12.We believe we should engage other religions in our community in dialogue with a clear and absolute commitment to Jesus’ death and resurrection as necessary for salvation and reconciliation with God and each other. Jesus is the only way to the Father. However, we will be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. We repudiate misrepresenting other religions through over-simplistic caricatures that breed resentments instead of better understanding. Some people call this Multi-faith dialogue not Inter-faith dialogue, (Interfaith dialogue would, unfortunately, be less committed to Jesus’ exclusive path to the Father).