We worship Jesus through the means which He has supplied: preaching, praying, singing, and sacraments.
We experience life together as a church family because of the unity we have through Christ.
We see all of life through God’s eyes.
We are employed in the Lord’s work in the world.
…Another way to articulate our values is to simply say that we are ALL ABOUT:
M A R R I A G E , F A M I L Y , & F E A S T I N G
The imagery of marriage is throughout Scripture (Gen. 2:23-25; Ex. 4:26; Isa. 54:5; 61:10; 62:5; Hosea; Matt. 25:1; Mk. 2:19; Rev. 21). We believe that it is impossible to rightly understand and apply Scripture unless it is read and interpreted as a covenantal/marital document (Ezek. 16:8-14). The Bible begins and ends with the covenant of marriage front and center (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:23-25; Rev. 21-22). The imagery of marriage permeates Scripture, and ultimately Scripture reveals that marriage is all about the relationship between Jesus Christ & His Bride – the Church (Deut. 25:5; SoS; Isa. 62:3-5; Hosea; Matt. 9:15; 22:30; 25:1-10; Lk. 5:34-35; Jn. 3:29; Eph. 5:32). If we fail to see ourselves as Jesus sees us (i.e. as His beloved Bride), we soon cease to be a true church. Therefore, special attention is placed not only upon the overarching biblical story of Christ’s pursuit of His Bride, but also upon the importance of the marriages represented in our local church (1 Cor. 7; Eph. 5:22-33). We invest time, energy, and money in pre-marital and marriage counseling, mentoring relationships, date nights, and a complimentarian perspective of marriage; and we encourage & equip husbands and wives to serve together (Acts 18:18, 26; 1 Cor. 16:19). Marriage inescapably effects and influences ALL of us in the most formative sort of way. By God’s created design, our very existence is contingent upon the promise and/or privilege of marriage. The story of Scripture is at its essence a story of marriage, and this story doesn’t just entertain or enlighten us …it holistically shapes us.
The imagery of family is throughout Scripture (Gen. 4:9; 12; Ps. 22:22; 50:20; 122:8; 133:1; Hos. 2:1; Mal. 1:2; Matt. 5:22-24; 12:46-50; 18:15-21; Lk. 22:32; Acts 2; 9:17; Heb. 10). In our union with Christ we find that Jesus has taken the liberty of inseparably connecting us to His Body. Jesus insists that we belong, engage, contribute, and live in reliance on others. We are called into fellowship with God and with one another. Jesus tells us that our love for God cannot be separated from our love for one another (Jn. 13:35). It is the will of God that we not only be born again (Jn. 3:3), but much like our first birth we are unavoidably born into families. The family of believers is to be a diverse (yet not divided), unified (yet not uniform) body (1 Cor. 12:21-26). Much like our first family, we perhaps wouldn’t even choose to be friends with our fathers, mothers, brothers, and/or sisters …but we nonetheless find ourselves inseparably connected to them, and persevering in our relationship with them (e.g. every Thanksgiving …there we are, gathered together again!). Jesus actually makes it clear that our church family is more primary than even our biological family (Matt. 12:46-50; Luke 14:26). Moreover, people are best cared for in the context of family, therefore we intentionally emphasize small groups, meeting for meals, Bible study, and prayer in homes. We seek to serve our neighbors and those whom God has placed in our sphere of influence, eager to invite them into the familial fellowship of the church. We engage and minister to one another as family, and we seek to serve our neighbors and the community of East Charlotte – including the widows, the orphans, the oppressed poor, the foreigners and the refugees in East Charlotte – as family.
The imagery of feasting is throughout Scripture (feasting fosters & nourishes marriage & family) (Gen. 19:3; Ex. 12; 23; Lev. 23; Deut. 16; Neh. 8; Isa. 25:6; 55; Matt. 22; Lk. 5:29; 24; Jn. 6). Practically, and most regularly, family is community gathered ‘round a table. Feasting fosters and nourishes relationships. God’s people are called to regularly and lavishly feast with God and one another throughout Scripture (Exod. 12:14; 23:16; Num. 28:26; 29:12; Deut. 16:16; Esther 9:21-22; Matt. 9:11; 14:16; 15:32; 26:26; Luke 15:23; 22:15-16; 24:35-47; Jn. 6:50-58; Acts 2:42; 10:13; 27:35; 1 Cor. 11:23-25; Rev. 19:9, 17). The most regular and lavish feast disciples of Jesus are called to partake of is the Lord’s Supper. Moreover, meals are inherently relational and life-giving, and therefore we minister with and amongst one another via food.
…Or, to go Old School:
We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
*To be a communing member of East CLT Pres. you must deeply, sincerely, solemnly, and passionately say YES to these 5 questions:
• Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
• Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
• Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
• Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
• Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?