Anchor's Theological Distinctives

"In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity"

Gospel Centered                                                                                                                    The above picture is the Acropolis in Athens from Mars Hill (Areopogus), where Paul 1st preached the gospel to that great city. It's a reminder that we still need to take the gospel to every culture. This Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the Gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.

The salvation offered in this gospel message is received by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; no ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved. While Anchor is governed by this truth, there a few distinctives (Below) that Anchor sees as important. While these distinctives would need to be agreed upon by our leadership, they are not required for members. For that see our doctrinal statement What We Believe

Sovereignty Enriched
We believe that we are totally unable to save ourselves from our own spiritual death (As a result of humanity’s sin nature, which affects all aspects of our being), and need an external source to regenerate our dead hearts in order to clearly see the depths of our sin, and our need for salvation, which is only through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. We also believe that regeneration is caused by the Holy Spirit, awakening our hearts and minds to irresistibly choose Jesus as our Savior (Who we previously have willfully rejected), and that the subsequent choice was conditioned by God as a gift that we have no boasting rights over (Ephesians 2:1-9). Likewise we believe that although Jesus’ work on the cross was sufficient for the salvation of all men, it is efficient for those that have been awakened through God’s electing love and believe it is truly a saving act of God (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 8:28-32; Acts 13:43; 16:7; 1 Timothy 4:10). Though there are arguably different nuances in understanding sovereign grace, our salvation is fully the work of God’s grace alone, through faith alone, for His glory alone.

While God has created man and women in His image and both men and women are completely equal in their essence, they image God in a way that demonstrates the relationship in the godhead of Father, Son and Spirit, which is distinct, equal, yet complimentary in their roles (See 1 Corinthians 11:1-4). Subsequently we believe that the church and family is designed in relationship to the godhead, and while God has made us male and female to lead in His church and our homes, He has called men to lead His two institutions; the church (1 Timothy 2:12; 3:1-7) and the home (Ephesians 5:22-32). This is not a matter of ability, intelligence, spiritual superiority, ontological superiority or individual rights; it’s purely a matter of obedience to the order of creation as God ordained it (1 Timothy 2:9-13). This is a spiritual leadership, and not in any way a lording over women. Men are called to nurture, not demand power. Therefore our elders are men called to lead the church as family (1 Timothy 3:5), and husbands who are called to lead their homes as loving servants, by lovingly sacrificing for their wives, and bringing their children up in the fear and admonition of our Lord (Ephesians 5:21-6:4). Our women are equally gifted by the Spirit, and can act as deacons and other leadership positions in the church, assuring the use of their gifts and talents, and they can teach under the spiritual direction of the elders of the church. Women are vital members of the family and church, especially as they teach younger women (Titus 2:3-5), and it is our desire to create a leadership team of men and women that will give a voice to the spiritual health and direction of the church.

Spirit Led
While we believe that much of the charismatic church is not in compliance with clear biblical teaching on the use of gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14), we also do not believe the gifts have ceased, and God is able to use all of the gifts for His glory and the edification of the church. While we believe it is possible for Satan to counterfeit the gifts, and that many of the gifts are abused as they were in Corinth during the time of Paul’s writing, this is no reason to deny the use of any gifts as long as they are used in order, edify the church, not the individual (1 Corinthians 12:7) and are in compliance with the revealed word of God (1 Corinthians 14:39-40). We also believe that it is the Holy Spirit (Third person in the Trinity) that guides and leads the church, and is solely responsible for regeneration and the sanctification of believers. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus would not be raised from the dead, and our faith would be useless (Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:14)! The Spirit can still do miracles, heal people, impress on our minds a word from the Lord, and graciously fill our hearts with love and emotion. While the spiritual gifts can be a sign of the Spirit alive in our lives, they are not the only evidence, and specific gifts such as the sign gifts (Tongues, prophecy, Miracles, etc.) are not mandatory for the Spirit to be real in the life of a believer, or a sign of spiritual vitality. Any prophetic utterances and “Words” of the Lord need to be tested by the community and God’s revealed word (1 John 4:1).

Being missional does not mean that we “become the gospel,” through social means, but we actively pursue opportunities to share the joy and story of Jesus through His cross, for His glory. Works are the result of the gospel, not the means of the gospel (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is clear that God built His church (Those believers He has called out) to be the tool He uses to spread the gospel to the nations (Ephesians 2:18-3:11), thus the planting of “Missional” churches is the mission of the church (Acts 13:1-3). A missional church is one who is on God’s mission in the world (Matthew 28:19), empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and equipped with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:13-15). It is our duty to “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3), while contextualizing it so that it is understood (See Acts 17). As a missional church, our goal is to continue the growth of the kingdom, by proclaiming the gospel, continuing the planting of churches and acting in accordance with the gospel in the world. Therefore we will continue to expand, and send people to fulfill the mission of the church in the whole world, and train leaders for the mission, rather than creating maintenance programs for the church. This will be done without neglecting the spiritual well being of our people, since the church is called to “Make disciples,” not converts.