What We Believe
The following eight items summarize the essential beliefs of Charter Oak Church.
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three “personalities” – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Regarding Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Regarding the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
Regarding the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without error.
Regarding Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. All of us are born with a “sin nature” that manifests itself as an attitude of disobedience toward God. Disobedience to God is called “sin.” Our sin nature separates us from God, and our sin causes many problems in life.
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never overcome our sin nature by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we return from our self-ruled and sinful life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our lives by faith.
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Marriage described in Scripture is between one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, until death. God created sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman within the marriage covenant, therefore, there should be celibacy in singleness. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. We do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Scripture. We affirm God’s grace is available to all. We expect families and individuals not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture.
Partnering With Families
The Orange Strategy
We believe that a parent has the most influence in the life of a student. On average, a parent gets 3,000 hours a year with their student. We believe that by partnering the light of the church, yellow, with the heart of the family, red, we can make the most impact. When these two influences in a student's life come together, it makes orange. In order to do this, we desire to connect our small group leaders to the parents so that we can work together.
Reaching the Whole Student
We believe that it important to meet students where they are at in order to help them become closer to who God has made them to be. Research states that the current generation is the most stressed generation yet. While it is our desire that students meet regularly with a body of believers their own age, hearing messages tailored to their circumstances, we realize that students may not always be able to attend due to sports or academic obligations. It is our goal to help students understand that Jesus goes with them in a situations, not just during Student Ministry. We encourage our small group leaders to attend student's events and to host gatherings outside of Sunday night to help students who cannot make it weekly to still be a part of a body of believers their own age.