The following represents the core beliefs and convictions of Lighthouse Baptist Church. A scholarly comprehensive Statement of Faith is available upon request in person.
We believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God, and that it is the final governing authority for faith, life, and the church. We believe that the King James translation of the original Scriptures is likewise inspired by God and that it accurately and faithfully reflects His Word. While we accept that there are other divinely-inspired translations, the official translation used by LHBC is the King James Pure Cambridge Edition.
We believe in only one true living Triune God (also known as the Trinity), who eternally exists in three unique people: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is Holy, righteous, and full of glory. In Him there is no sin, evil, nor deception. Truth, love, justice, mercy, and grace are His. God has divine foreknowledge and is sovereign over all things. Each person of the Godhead fulfills specific role(s) as they pertain to the creation of the universe, heavenly beings, and humanity.
- The Father is the head of the Triune God. His roles are those of chief architect, planner, administrator, and judge.
- The Son, (also known as Jesus, Christ, Messiah, Great Physician, Prince of Peace, and Teacher among other names) sits at the right-hand of the Father. He was present and instrumental with Creation and performed his earthly ministry by becoming the sole propitiation for our sins by offering his life on the Cross in our place. We believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and that it is only through his mercy and grace are people saved from eternal judgement.
- The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God. His roles include witnessing the credibility of Holy Scripture, providing discernment of its contents and wisdom for its proper application. He convicts people of their sin, of righteousness, and of judgement. He is the divine agent in sealing believers, regenerating them spiritually, and providing them with the Fruit of the Spirit (specific gifts). The Holy Spirit witnesses all that believers see, hear, feel, and do; He helps them to discern Scripture and guides them on the path of righteousness, and convicts their conscience when they falter. He is, as Jesus promised, a Comforter.
We believe that the laws of physics, the universe, and all that is in it were created by God in six literal twenty-four-hour days, and that on the seventh day God rested. We believe that God’s Creation was originally without sin, holy, pure, and good. We believe that God created human beings in two distinct genders, both male and female equal to each other, and that He gave them the gift of limited free-will so that they could choose to love God freely.
Sin and the Fallen Nature of Man
We believe that humanity revolted against God by disobeying Him, and thereby introduced sin in to the world and into the genetic line of humanity. “As it is written there is none righteous, no not one,” and “All have come short of the glory of God.”
The punishment for sin is spiritual death and eternal separation from God in a literal place called Hell. In its purest form, sin is high-treason against the Sovereign Creator of the universe, God. Each generation of humanity inherits its sin nature from his father’s seed.
We believe that there is only one path for salvation from sin, and that is the perfect propitiating sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Scripture states that, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And within the context of the entirety of Scripture, we believe that means if a person confesses the Jesus Christ as the Son of God, repents of their sins, acknowledges that he died, was buried, and was resurrected as the Gospel accounts proclaim, if the ask Jesus to forgive them and be their Lord, he is just and faithful to save them in his mercy and by grace.
We believe that salvation cannot be bought by people, that there are no amount of good works that people can do which will restore righteousness to them. We believe that good works are a natural result of being saved by Jesus and sealed by the Holy Spirit; good works can be evidence of salvation, not the means of salvation.
We believe that once a person is saved, that their salvation cannot be lost, because Scripture states that no man can pluck them out of the Father’s hand.
The Two Churches
- The Eternal Church consists of all the people in the past, present, and future who have placed their trust in Jesus for salvation. The spirits of those who have died in the faith are presently with the Lord, while their bodies wait to be restored.
- The Local Church consists of living people who have placed their trust in Jesus for salvation and who have adopted a local church body in which to be discipled and serve. We believe that the local church was established to glorify the Lord until He comes again, and to do so by committing to learn His Word, spread His word to those who don’t know it, disciple people who accept His Word, and serve the local community as a living sacrifice for Jesus’ sake.
We believe that this is the first of two ordinances commanded by the Lord for the local church. Baptism is the public reenactment of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It reflects a believer’s chosen affiliation with the Lord through His sacrifice for them. We believe that in order for a Biblical baptism to reflect these things, that it be via full-emersion in water whenever physically possible. We believe that while pastors usually perform this ordinance, the Bible does instruct believers to go into the world, spread the Gospel, and baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; as such, any believer licensed by the local church may perform a public baptism.
Baptism has no relation to the eternal assurance of salvation, but can only be performed on those people who have already willingly come to the Lord to receive salvation and understand the implications of what they have done. Baptism marked the beginning of Jesus’ adult earthly ministry work and we believe that while it is not required for church membership, as it is not in the Eternal Church, it does exhibit the authenticity of salvation and a believer’s commitment to the Lord.
The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper (also known as Communion) is the second of two ordinances commanded by the Lord for the local church which is to be administrated on a regular basis by the local church. The Lord’s Supper is a time where the body of the local church collectively memorializes the sacrifice that our Lord Jesus Christ made for us when He allowed His body to be broken and His blood spilled for us. Without His sacrifice, the bondage of sin would remain over us, and with His sacrifice our bonds have been set free.
As with the ordinance of baptism, the Lord’s Supper has no part in a believer’s redemption or eternal security. It is a solemn memorial of what Jesus has already personally done for each believer; it is a sign of respect; it is indeed a communion with God on that one issue.
POINTS OF CONVICTION
Satan & Hell
We believe that Satan (the Devil) is real, that he was a powerful angelic being created by God, and that he led a revolt against God. We believe that Satan was cast out of Heaven and was responsible for tempting First Man to sin against God. Satan is the adversary of God, and he is attempting to prevent the reconciliation of humanity to God. As such, Satan is also the enemy of humanity. Since Satan is a created being and God is sovereign over all of His creations, the power of the Adversary is limited by the Lord, and there will come a time when the Devil is cast into Hell with all of his followers for eternity.
As such, we believe that Hell is a real place, created by God, whose original purpose it was to serve as judgement for Satan and his legions of fallen angels. Since humanity has fallen from grace, all people who choose not to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus, shall be judged by God based upon their own works, and will be found to have come short of the glory of God. The Lord Jesus Christ holds the keys to both Heaven and Hell.
We believe that Jesus is our Sabbath’s Day Rest, and as such is holy. We believe that it is on the first day of the week, Sunday.
The local body of the Eternal Church of God shall be established in a manner which is consistent with the model presented in Scripture and act in accordance with the authority of Scripture for the purpose of glorifying God. Activities contrary to these ends shall be brought to the church leadership and corrected in a manner which reflects Jesus’ love but maintains His truth. Believers are citizens of God before any earthly nation, state, or local municipality.
We believe that God has ordained all leaders and nations on Earth, and that while all nations may not follow the Lord, He uses them to accomplish His divine plan; to seek and save the lost who would call Jesus Lord and Savior, and restore the original relationship with humanity as He intended in the beginning. As such, it is the responsibility or every believer to obey the laws of the civil government and respect the leaders which God has ordained, in as much as following such laws are not contrary to God’s explicit instruction in Holy Scripture.
If a Christian is forced to choose between obeying God or obeying a civil law, they are to obey God and endure the consequences of the civil government in the faith that their eternal home is not of Earth and the love of their government pales to God’s love for them.
We believe that while the civil government may allow abortions to take place, as Christians we consider it to be murder void of any Biblical justification. We believe that from the moment a human egg is fertilized, it is a living human being, and that the stages of growth in a womb are just a few of the many phases in a person’s life. To take that life is murder, even if it is considered lawful by civil authorities.
We believe that the blood of Christ covers all sin but one, the rejection of God which grieves the Holy Spirit. As such, abortions can be forgiven like any other sin.
This is not a topic that the church takes lightly. We realize that there are very difficult circumstances that many women face with unwanted pregnancies. However, the circumstances of living with having committed such an act are equally, if not more, difficult. We acknowledge that the church should do what it can to help women in this situation.
Marriage is defined by God to be a union of one natural mature man and one equally-yoked natural mature woman for a lifetime. The word “natural” has been inserted to accurately reflect the context of the entirety of Scriptures in that a person born a specific gender shall remain that gender for their lifetime regardless of cultural influences or personal feelings. The word “mature” was inserted to accurately reflect the context of Scriptures that the first marriage, as defined, were between two mature adults. Equally-yoked refers to believers marrying believers, not a non-believer marrying a believer.
We believe that the purpose of marriage according to the Bible is several-fold: 1) To provide companionship, 2) For procreation of the human race, and 3) To reflect the relationship of Christ (the groom) with the Church (His bride).
As such, this church and its leadership, in accordance with its First Amendment Right of the Freedom of Religion, will not perform or allow the administration of any marriage or wedding ceremony of non-Christians with Christians, or same-gender couples, or transgender couples. We do not believe that any of the people representing these groups are a “protected class” according to the Bible; they are free to utilize the services of other organizations and institutions to accomplish their will.
Divorce & Remarriage
We believe that the Bible allows for divorce under two circumstances: 1) Sexual impurity (adultery, abuse, etc), and 2) Abandonment (physically leaving or physical and mental abuse befitting considering an abandonment of marriage vows). In situations where it is safe to do so, the church believes that every reasonable effort for reconciliation and restoration be made prior to initiating a divorce.
Remarriage is permitted if the former spouse is deceased or if the divorce was for one of the two Biblical reasons listed above. Note that the blood of Christ does cover the sins of the person who is the cause of the divorce if they are truly repentant and marital reconciliation has failed. Divorced individuals are limited in the church offices that they can hold; specifically, divorcees cannot be Elders, Pastors, or Deacons. However, at the discretion of the church leadership and its governing documents, divorcees may lead specific ministries, teach, participate in many ministries, and enjoy all of the responsibilities and privileges of being an adopted child of the Most High.
Perpetual Sin & Church Discipline
Any member of the church who is willingly engaged in perpetual sin, sin as defined by the Bible, may not hold a position of responsibility within the church until they have dealt with the sin and have evidenced that they have had victory over it to the satisfaction of the church leadership.
The concept of church discipline is not to punish a person, but to seek reconciliation and restoration. Mathew 18:15-17 provides a model for how this occurs. Perpetual sin may include, but is not limited to the following activities: Regular drunkenness, sexual abuse, homosexual activities, fornication (unmarried sexual intimacy), adultery, chronic acts of fraud, perpetual lying, thievery, etc…
Missions & Ministry Service
We believe that ALL Christians are to contribute to building the kingdom of God by following the Great Commission to spread the Gospel Message, baptize believers, and disciple them. We are to proceed using the resources which God has provided to us. Local ministry activities include filling various roles in the church and volunteering in the community for the purpose of sharing Christ’s love and spreading the Good News. Christians are also called to support mission ministries around the nation and the world. We do this by praying for them on a regular basis, providing financial support, and sometimes offering personal support via mission trips.
Lighthouse Baptist Church believes that EVERY member should be regularly active in one or more ministry activities as part of their reasonable and cheerful service to the Lord.
Giving and Offerings
We believe it is the responsibility of every member to support the local church, its ministries, and the professional staff who serve them. We believe that we are called by God to give back a portion of what He has given to us and to act as a good steward with everything that He provides us. This includes finances, time, spiritual gifts and talents. We are to give cheerfully and with the faith that God provides all things to us for a purpose. We believe that every believer should pray about their giving and service on a regular basis, and follow what the Lord has laid on their heart.
While we are not under the Law as in Old Testament times, Jesus fulfilled the Law and covered us with a spirit of grace in order to play an important part in His divine plan. The Law required 10% of earnings as a tithe plus additional offerings throughout the year. How much more has Jesus given us? How much more do we need to reach others so that they can know of His grace too?