What We Believe
We know you might have questions about us. Perhaps you have questions about what to expect when visiting. Maybe you have questions about what we believe and teach. The answers below are not intended to be a comprehensive list, and if you have questions we haven't answered here, please use the form below to submit your question and we will do our best to answer it for you.
What Are Your Beliefs About...
We hope that these answers may help provide a clearer understanding of why we worship in the manner we do. Some of your questions may be answered by the videos on the "About Us" and "What to Expect" sections of our site.
What denomination are you a part of?
We are not a part of any Christian denomination. We are autonomous and are not subject to authority under creeds or earthly headquarters. We are a Biblical model of the church as it was established in the first century AD in Acts 2. Jesus Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 1:22-23) and reigns in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 1:1-4).
Why isn't your preacher called a "Pastor" and why don't you "go to church?"
We believe it is important to call Bible things by Bible names. The Greek word that the term "pastor" is derived from in Scripture refers to the role of the overseers, elders, or bishops of each congregation to "shepherd" the flock of God (1 Peter 3:1-5). In the New Testament, this role is clearly separate from the role of an evangelist (Ephesians 4:11). However, it is possible for an evangelist to serve in the role of an overseer as well, and is the case presently in the Panlener congregation, where Ron serves as both the evangelist and an elder.
Similarly, the Greek word "ekklesia" from which the term "church" is drawn, simply means "the called out." Therefore, the church is the body, or the members, of the congregation. Thus, we don't "go to church" because we are the church! Our location on Panlener Ave. only serves to identify the location where we meet.
Why do you observe the Lord's Supper every week?
Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper in his memory (Luke 22:19). The Lord's Supper is observed in New Testament Scripture as seen in 1 Corinthians 11:17-33, and the disciples came together to break bread (1 Corinthians 11:33) on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
Do you use any supplementary creeds or teachings besides the Bible?
The Bible is the sole source of authority for the Lord's church. Manmade creeds designed to supplement the word of God, and raised to a level equal to the Bible, are contrary to Biblical teaching. We utilize the writings of Biblical scholars for the purposes of assisting in study of the Scriptures and for topical studies, but we always compare those writings with Scripture to ensure that these teachings are consistent with Biblical teachings. The Bereans were commended by Luke in Acts for taking this approach (Acts 17:11).
Why do you sing without the use of instruments?
Singing without instruments may seem like a novel idea in this day and age, but it is common throughout Christian history. While there are many examples throughout the Old Testament prescribing various instruments for Temple services, the same is not true of the New Testament. Instead, humans are commanded to sing with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16). We do not use mechanical instruments because there are no examples or instructions to the early Christians to do so. We honor God by worshiping in accordance with the manner in which Christians were instructed to do so in Scripture.
What must I do to become a Christian?
There are no Scriptural instructions that require a person "ask Jesus into their heart" in order to be saved. Becoming a Christian involves following several steps to get from being "in sin" to being "in Christ." For all have sinned and have fallen short (Romans 3:23), so in order to be covered by the blood of Christ, we must change our sinful habits and live according to Christ's teachings.
Hebrews 11:6 states that one must first Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Once a person believes, he must then
Confess the name of Jesus Christ as Lord in the presence of others (Romans 10:9-10) and
Repent (Luke 13:3, 5) by turning from past sins. The next action is to
Be baptized for the remission of sins, (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21), which illustrates the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Finally, a baptized Christian begins a new life of Faithful Service to God (1 Corinthians 15:58)