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STATEMENT OF FAITH & ETHICS

It is assumed that members of the Heritage Pastors Association agree with the following Statement of Faith, Statement of Ethics, and Statement on Justice.

Statement of Faith

 

God

God is Triune––Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.

 

The Scriptures

The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore wholly truthful in the original manuscripts and authoritative for faith and practice. 

 

Creation

God created all things out of nothing, and he has created all people in his image, equal in worth. However, because of sin, all people are alienated from God and one another and justly deserve God’s eternal judgment. 

 

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, the only and eternal Son of God and his perfect image, took on human flesh to save us, in order that we might be restored in relationship with God and one another, rightly worship, and love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, and be freed from the power of sin and the just judgment of God. 

 

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect and sinless life, loving others, teaching truth from God, and working miracles. He was crucified for us, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose from the dead with a glorified body. He ascended into heaven, and he now rules as Lord at the right hand of God the Father, where he intercedes for his people. 

 

The Gospel

Because of the love of God and for the glory of God, Jesus died in the place of sinners in order to secure our salvation. All who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, repent of sin, believe in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, and confess him as Lord receive God’s free gift of restored relationship with him and eternal life.

 

Our good works do not earn salvation, but by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit good works always accompany salvation and make it manifest, for the glory of God and Christ. God gives to all believers the Holy Spirit who indwells, sanctifies, instructs, gifts, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service, the unity of faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, through which we grow in the maturity and fullness of the image of Christ in us. The Spirit Himself is the down payment of our promised inheritance in Christ.

 

Jesus has commissioned his church to bring the gospel to all peoples, to make disciples of him, and to celebrate baptism and communion until he returns. Jesus is coming back to earth personally, bodily, and gloriously to consummate his righteous rule. All who trust in him will enjoy eternal, joyful fellowship with God and one another in resurrected and glorified bodies in a new heavens and new earth.

. . . 

Statement of Ethics

 

Protection of Human Life

In virtue of being created in the image of God, human life is sacred. We furthermore affirm that human life begins at conception. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. 

 

Opposition to Racial Discrimination

In virtue of being created in the image of God, people of all ethnicities, nationalities, and races are of equal worth. Furthermore, the diversity of human cultures, languages, experiences, and individual makeup is intended by God and showcases his creativity and diversity. Jesus has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, uniting them in himself in a glorious display of God’s love and unity. Therefore Christians have the responsibility to oppose any form of ethnic, national, or racial discrimination.

 

Care for the Poor 

In virtue of being created in the image of God, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and statuses are of equal worth. Furthermore, God defends the cause of the fatherless, the widow, the alien, and the poor, and Christ rescued us when we were poor and helpless. Those who have been made new in Christ and who seek to serve God will likewise defend the cause of the oppressed and show compassion to the poor. Therefore Christians have the responsibility to aid the poor and needy. 

 

Stewardship of the Environment

In virtue of the earth being created by God and graciously given to humanity as its habitat and physical means of sustenance for the purposes of human flourishing, Christians have the responsibility to steward the environment in a way that brings glory to God and shows love to others. 

 

Justice and Integrity in Government

In virtue of God’s governance of world affairs, his desire for justice, and the Christian’s call to pray for government leaders for the sake of peaceful and just societies, Christians have the responsibility to seek integrity among government officials and that they would promote justice in broader society. 

 

Financial Generosity

In virtue of God’s generosity and the biblical call to love God more than money, to be generous, and to steward resources wisely, Christians have the responsibility to avoid greed, consumerism, and materialism and to give generously and sacrificially for the sake of making disciples of Jesus Christ, relieving human suffering, and blessing others. 

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, though he was rich, became poor for our sake, that through his poverty we might become rich. These riches––physical, spiritual, relational, and otherwise––Christ gives to his church in part even now and in their fullness in the life to come. When we sow these riches bountifully, using the varied abundance God has given each of us to supply the needs of others, we will also reap bountifully. God will multiply our seed for sowing and increase the harvest of our righteousness, enriching us to be generous in every way. We therefore joyfully affirm God’s principle that we reap what we sow, for our joy and good and for his glory, and we thank God for this inexpressible gift! 

 

However, God makes his grace and gifts abound to us not so that we may serve our remaining selfishness or greed, but so that we may abound in good works and increase the harvest of our righteousness. We also recognize that the Holy Spirit distributes the varied gifts and riches of God through Christ’s merit, not our own, and sovereignly, as he wills and not necessarily as we will. Furthermore, we will nevertheless face trouble in this world until our Lord comes again to renew it. The chief and only assured blessing among these riches is restored fellowship God, now and forever. We therefore deny any teaching that offers blessings of our choosing––health, wealth, or any other––as God’s assured promises in this life.

 

Affirmation of the Image of God in Male and Female

In virtue of all people being created uniquely, distinctly, and equally in the image of God as male and female and being called to live holy lives with respect to sexuality, Christians have the responsibility to affirm marriage, legally and morally as exclusively between one man and one woman as the only place for legitimate expression of God’s gift of sexuality. Furthermore, Christians have the responsibility to flee all manner of sexual immorality, including fornication and pornography, in their personal lives and romantic relationships. 

 

Personal Affirmation

Members agree with these statements of faith and ethics in their entirety. Moreover, they have personally repented of their sins and are believing in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. By God’s power they seek to worship God alone, to love him with all their hearts, and to love their neighbors as themselves. They seek to obey God in every way, including according to the ethics in this statement. 

. . .

Statement on Justice

Given the heightened attention the subject of justice has received in the church and wider society in the last number of years, months were spent examining the Scriptures, consulting with Christian ministers, and seeking the Lord to put into words Heritage Pastors Association’s perspective on this important issue.  In general, Heritage Pastors Association seeks to focus on what Christian ministers believe in common, versus taking up a specific angle on current social justice discussions.

 

 

Affirming Humanity and Rejecting the Sin of Partiality

 

  1. We reject racism as totally inconsistent with Christianity and as the sin of partiality, which God detests. God shows no partiality towards people based on their outward appearance and neither should we. He deals with all people according to their conduct. (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11)
     

  2. We affirm that personal acts of discrimination based on race* or ethnicity, as well as systems or institutions that discriminate based on race or ethnicity are to be identified, renounced, and reformed. (Deuteronomy 1:17; James 2:1-9)
     

  3. We affirm that every person is created in the image of God and inherently worthy of respect. (James 2:1-9)
     

  4. We treat people of every ethnic background with kindness, acceptance, life, grace, forgiveness, and generosity. (Romans 14:8-10)
     

  5. We refuse to give place to divisive social and broadcast media that separates people of different races and we refuse to believe the worst about people of different ethnicities. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
     

  6. We are careful to avoid and combat the unforgiving culture of rash and unjustifiable condemnation of others as racist in either a public or private setting. Additionally, we affirm that no person is inherently racist or otherwise sinful just for being a member of a race. (Exodus 20:16; 1 Peter 2:1)
     

  7. We overlook offenses, and if it’s needed to have a private word with someone, we do it with love and grace. We seek unity and healing, not division. When we fail at any one of these godly aspirations, we repent and receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing through Christ. (Colossians 3:12-17; 1 John 1:9)
     

  8. We affirm that all nations, ethnicities, and people groups are established by God and redeemed through faith in Christ to persist into eternity. (Revelation 5:7)
     

  9. We reject the tendency to problematize every circumstance so as to seek out and promote victim/oppressor narratives. In addition to denouncing true victimization and oppression as stated above, we further believe that Christ has given us the power of God’s Spirit and His truth so that, despite human weakness and sin, we can bless, help, heal, overcome, reconcile, and redeem in His name. (Romans 8:18-39)
     

  10. As Christians, our primary identity is in Christ, even while recognizing that the beautiful racial and ethnic distinctions will continue in Heaven. The New Testament subjugates all identifiers to the Lordship of Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

    Affirming Christian Unity and Rejecting Division
     

  11. ​We affirm that the unity of the Body of Christ is founded on repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
     

  12. Christian unity entails God’s intentional diversity of gifts and callings. These differences should not lead to disunity or rivalry, but unity in Christ should prevail as we appreciate the Spirit’s work in other Christians while maintaining our own unique work from the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
     

  13. We affirm the need for each Christian to preserve Christian unity through love, forbearance, forgiveness, wisdom, faith, hope, joy, peace-making, prayer, humility, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. (Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 2:1-11)
     

  14. Christians have the right to follow their own consciences where it does not contradict the Scriptures, and all believers must welcome one another in Christ and refuse to allow secondary convictions to cause division in the church. As Christians, we do not have the right to look down on another Christian or disassociate from another Christian because of differences of opinion on secondary issues. (Romans 14:11-13)
     

  15. We affirm the need for mature discourse on controversial topics. We recognize that sincere, devout Christians can hold legitimately different views on important societal issues and we do not take offense or react emotionally when hearing differing views. (Romans 14:1-23; James 1:19-20; 3:13-18)
     

  16. We affirm Christian Union’s value of intellectual orientation. When disparities between populations occur or when anecdotes of mistreatment between races are cited, we investigate all sides of an issue to discover the truth. (Proverbs 18:17; 1 Corinthians 14:20)

    Affirming Heritage Pastors Association’s Calling and Rejecting Diversions from Our Mission

     

  17. We reaffirm that the sole basis for Heritage Pastors Association’s ministry is the Bible and not a social theory or philosophy. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:15-16)
     

  18. We reaffirm Heritage Pastors Association’s specific calling from God to gather Christian ministers to seek God for radical advancement of His kingdom.
     

  19. God raises up various ministries for various purposes, and Heritage Pastors Association is focused on its particular mission among Christian ministers. Each Christian agency cannot do all things and solve every problem. (Galatians 2:7-9; 2 Corinthians 10:13-16)
     

  20. Heritage Pastors Association aspires to reflect diversity in personnel, levels of leadership, collateral, student involvement, conferences, programming and everywhere else. Maintaining diversity is a priority at the various levels of the organization. Although the ministry highly values diversity, it does not force diversity with non-qualified candidates, but rather works hard to identify and recruit qualified candidates from all ethnic backgrounds.
     

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Endnote

* The Bible identifies groups of people by their faith, sex, age, family, clan, tribe, language, and nationality, but never by skin color. The primary New Testament word used to categorize people groups is ethnos, which is translated in English as “nation.” However, “race” is used in this document according to modern common terminology rather than out of concern for language that is most consistent with the Scriptures.
 

 

Connect

For more information on how you can become involved with Heritage Pastors Association, contact us and we will reach out to you.

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