What I Believe

I hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. You can read it here. The LBCF does not cover every area of doctrine in-depth, so for those who are curious, I will briefly explain my thinking in a few other areas.

Creeds

I fully accept and endorse the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. I do, however, prefer the phrase “He descended to the dead” over “He descended into Hell”, as I believe it helps to avoid confusion. This is a commonly accepted translation of the original Latin.

Gender Issues

I believe that only qualified men are to be ordained as elders and deacons. Women should assist in the mission of the diaconate, particularly with regard to sensitive concerns of other women.

I believe that the best description of the marriage relationship is found in Ephesians chapter 5, where the Apostle Paul explained how husbands and wives relate to one another. Other passages provide further clarification of these issues. Men do have a leadership role to play in marriage, particularly in regard to providing spiritual leadership for their families. However, there should be absolute mutual respect between spouses, and how exactly the biblical model plays out may look a bit different depending on the individual personalities present in a marriage.

I believe that scripture clearly teaches that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. Same-sex relationships are explicitly forbidden. Cases of polygamy are described in the Old Testament, but never presented as an ideal to follow. The New Testament suggests that only monogamy is acceptable.

I do not believe that male headship extends into the secular sphere, parachurch ministries, or relationships between unmarried laymen and laywomen.

I believe that while some aspects of how we understand gender are dictated by cultural norms, gender is nevertheless a biological reality. Gender dysphoria is a real medical/psychological condition and should be treated as such. However, that does not mean that gender has no meaning or can be arbitrarily assigned, because it was created by God and part of His good intention. A very small minority of individuals are born intersex, and I realize that this is an exception to the rule, but it is a biological exception.

I believe that some people have a tendency to struggle with same-sex attraction, even as people may have other sinful tendencies. Sin would actually occur if this was fostered into lust or if it was acted upon physically. Science has not yet discovered a specific genetic basis for homosexuality, although it is possible that this could happen at some point. In general, God has provided two equally valid paths for the Christian: marriage to someone of the opposite sex or celibacy. Those who choose not to be married to the opposite sex are therefore required to be celibate. If they observe these biblical commands, they are not barred from any offices of the church. God may grant some people relief from same-sex attraction, but this does not occur in all cases and should not be seen as proof of someone’s faith.

I believe that scripture does not dictate whether a woman should work for pay or not. The same could be said of men. This is a matter of Christian liberty and every family should consider it individually. Parents do have a duty to care for their children and each other, so these principles should be kept in mind when making such decisions.

Eschatology

I believe that the two best models for describing biblical prophecy regarding future events are the Historical Premillenialist and the Amillenialist views. I tend toward the Amillenialist view.

I believe that the book of Revelation must be understood primarily as the original audience would have understood it.

I do not believe that the Dispensational Premillenialist or Postmillenialist views provide an accurate representation of what is taught in scripture.

Worship and Revelation

I believe that under no circumstance should we bow before or pray to images of any kind. Furthermore, we should not make artistic representations of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. At this time, I am not entirely certain if the prohibition against images of God should extend to those of the incarnate Jesus Christ. I have currently stopped using artwork of Christ on this site out of respect for my Reformed friends, but you will find it in some of my older articles.

I believe that the songs we sing in worship should be thoroughly saturated with strong theology and scriptural quotations. I do not believe that scripture dictates that all songs included in corporate worship must be direct quotations from scripture. I also believe that the use of musical instruments is permitted in corporate worship and that this was not merely part of the Mosaic Temple worship.

I believe that the prophetic gifts of speaking in tongues, prophecy (in terms of new revelation), and miraculous healing have ceased. However, I qualify this statement. God does still act to heal and it is appropriate for an ill person to receive anointing and prayer from the elders of the church as described in the New Testament. I do not believe that individual persons have a special God-given gift of healing, nor should anyone be made to feel that their lack of healing is necessarily due to a lack of faith. I believe it is possible that at the very end of this present age there may be an increase in revelatory prophetic activity, but this depends greatly on one’s interpretation of the book of Revelation. I am not yet convinced.

I believe that the Word of God is fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and fully inerrant. I generally hold to the historical-grammatical method of interpretation. It is because of my belief in the sufficiency of scripture that I am skeptical of any supposedly new revelation.

Reproductive Issues

I believe that abortion is the taking of a human life and therefore violates the prohibition against murder. There may be certain exceptional medical circumstances in which a pregnancy may be terminated morally. I extend grace in such circumstances.

I believe that birth control methods which merely prevent pregnancy from occurring are generally permissible according to God’s commands.

I believe that the number of children that a married couple has is a matter of Christian liberty. There may be some valid reasons for couples to not have children. All Christians are called to care for others, so those who do not have children of their own should seek to be a support to those who do.

If there is another issue that you would like to see me address, I would be happy to do so. In general, I refer you to the 1689 LBCF.