Is the Bible all we need?
Yes. The Bible is truly all we need for faith and practice. But it’s also good to be able to read what a church believes in a few minutes. This is why we have these statements below!
Is there room for disagreement?
Yes and no. We welcome any and all people to visit Raintree, no matter what you believe. For membership, however, we do think it’s very important to be unified on major tenets of the Christian faith, which are outlined below in our “Statement of Basic Beliefs.” All members and elders agree to this statement.
Our “Statement of Theological Distinctives” captures the leadership’s convictions on areas that are debated even among Bible-believing, gospel-centered churches. Though agreement with this statement isn’t necessary for membership, we wanted to be sure you know a few more specifics on the leadership’s theological perspective.
God is sovereign over all things such that there is no aspect of reality outside of His ultimate control. Though God’s rule extends to all things, it is particularly His sovereignty over the work of salvation that is a theological distinctive. We believe that it is exceedingly good and glorious news that salvation is not dependent on the desires and deeds of man, but is grounded instead in God’s eternal decree of election. Though man is responsible for his sin, God is ultimately and entirely responsible for drawing those He would save unto Himself and overcoming their natural resistance to the gospel (Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Ephesians 1:3-14, Romans 8:26-9:23; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The Complementary Role of Men and Women
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are different by divine design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church, especially as it comes to teaching and authority. These role distinctions are God’s grace to man and woman and are to be protected, preserved and practiced for His glory and our joy (1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:33-35; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and can give sufficient testimony to the basics of Christian beliefs. We also baptize by immersion because it is the original meaning of the word and best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points: our death and resurrection in Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-11).
The spiritual gifts that we see exercised in the Scriptures are for the building up of the faith of the church, but it seems clear that the apostles were given gifts with particular power and consistency that aren’t necessarily the norm for the church today. We recognize that particular gifts (like tongues, prophecy, and healing) have been greatly misunderstood and misused in some modern churches, so to focus more around the experience rather than the truth to which they point, in particular, the Gospel. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16).
The Relationship of God’s Glory to Man’s Joy
We believe that man’s greatest joy is found only in faithful obedience to God and that our enjoyment of Him is one of the chief means by which He is glorified (Psalm 16:11; 37:4; Matthew 13:44; John 15:11; Philippians 3:8; Hebrews 11:6).
We are a thoroughly Bible-believing evangelical church that supports missions through Converge Worldwide and The Cooperative Program. We also align ourselves in philosophy of ministry with The Gospel Coalition.
Along with our statement of beliefs above, we are also in agreement with the following:
- The Gospel Coalition’s Confessional Statement (here)
- The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (here)
- The Danvers Statement of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (here)
- The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (here)