Division is in the air. Differences over gender, race, and religion, to name a few, make the internet boil and people snap. But division is not something that should mark the Church. Of all people in the world, the Church should be the most unified. We possess both the responsibility and resources to display compelling unity as the people of God. Here is what the City Life Statement of Faith says regarding the doctrine of the Church.
CITY LIFE STATEMENT OF FAITH*
We believe that God’s new covenant people have already been seated with Christ, and together form the universal church, which is manifested in local churches of which Christ is the only Head. Thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world.
In the local church each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord and must submit to the instruction and discipline of elders. The church’s scriptural officers are elders (also called pastors) and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. Both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God.
Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: he has not only brought about peace with God, but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. The church serves as a sign of God’s future new world when its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for self- focus. The church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.
- Life Together, Bonhoeffer
- Total Church, Timmis & Chester
*This statement includes excerpts from other orthodox Christian statements of faith, including the Gospel Coalition.