What We Believe About What We Believe (Reading This First Might Help)
Below is a list of a few core beliefs we share as a community of faith called Rock Hill Church. This is not a list of everything we believe. But don’t worry – we don’t have any secret beliefs or community practices. These are just a few of the most important beliefs, so you can know better where we stand. Also, please don’t assume that as a community we have the same viewpoints opinions about everything – things such as politics, social issues, and so forth. We don’t.
We like to think of ourselves as a people with a common faith – we share some core principles and values.
You don’t have to believe just like we do in order to visit or hang out with us.
Also, we’ll work hard to not judge you if you decide you don’t believe like we do. We have learned we aren’t very good judges, and we don’t like being judged by others either!
“Truth” is often a divisive topic when it comes to religious belief, but we think it resides at the “core” of our faith. The concepts described below are not always easy to grasp immediately – we shouldn’t expect truths about God – an eternal, all-present, all-knowing and all-power being – to always be easy to understand! But hang in there, you don’t have to be a professor or a genius to grasp them; just understand spiritual beliefs are, well, spiritual in nature. It’s not like math, more like math and art mixed.
There are some truths we believe God has revealed clearly enough that we can place these truths in the category of spiritual “knowledge.” In other words, we can know them to be true – not because we are so clever or “spiritual” and have “figured them out” – but because God has revealed them through scripture, through the person of Christ, and through his Spirit and in real time to people.
On the other hand, there is much we do not fully understand about God; in these issues we strive not to be narrow-minded. We have our share of questions, things we don’t understand. There is an old saying in the Church, “Where the scriptures speak, we speak. Where the scriptures do not speak, we remain silent.” We think that saying is helpful.
Spiritual “knowledge” – what God has revealed and “belief” are not the same. Belief is what we choose to place our faith in. Belief is important, and an essential part of faith, but faith without “knowledge” is insufficient. Solid, enduring faith should be based in truth that God has revealed. If we base our lives only on matters we have chosen to believe in without a foundation of revealed truth, or knowledge, we run the risk of conjuring belief in things that may not be true. Some people “profess” belief in God “just in case” there is a God. Likewise, commitment to God (which is also important) is not the same thing as knowledge of God. One can be committed to things he or she does not really believe or know to be true and may not actually be true.
We hope that little explanation helps. If it doesn’t make complete sense to you, it’s okay. We also hope it hasn’t left you thinking we are an elitist group thinking we have it all figured out, for we don’t feel that way. We hope you won’t stop your search of God.
What follows is a summary of some core issues of the Christian faith that we believe God has spoken clearly about. We have confidence in these truths, again – not in our ability to fully understand them, but confidence in God who has revealed them. We aren’t necessary expecting you to believe the same way as we do, but we hope you can come to understand them.
1. We believe in the eternal God, who has always existed in a wonderful and mysterious relationship of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe God is the sole Creator of heaven, earth and all that exists. He is the giver of all life. We believe he has always been around. We believe he is all-powerful, all knowing, present everywhere, and totally pure, good and loving. (If that doesn’t blow your mind, read it again!).
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Lord, Savior, and Life. He is a unique person in all of history: he was both fully man and completely God at the same time (Christmas celebrates this). Christ lived on the earth for 33 years and lived and taught what a great life looks like. Christ was crucified at the hands of wicked men, died, and was buried. After three days of death, he rose to life again, a miraculous, unprecedented act (celebrated by Easter). His resurrection destroyed the finality of physical and spiritual death for those who follow him. His death and resurrection is viewed in the Bible as the focal point of all of history. Forty days after his resurrection (during which time he appeared to hundreds of people), he ascended into heaven, where he now lives fully with God and is working with him (he’s not up there taking a nap). Christ will return to earth at some point to bring together those who have committed to follow him.
3. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the God-personality, who lives in and through his people, the Church, and who attracts (sort of like a lover wooing her or his beloved), convicts (sort of like creating a guilty conscience about wrongdoing), and brings life to those who place their faith in Christ – making them new in their soul, or totality of their being).
4. We believe the Church is made up of every person who has decided to follow Christ and has experienced the renewal of their life in Christ – this is often called salvation – where individuals are forgiven by God of all the ways they have fallen short of his intent for us, and who are being changed little-by-little into the character of Christ. The Church exists to give praise and glory to God through worship (giving God first place in our inner being) and giving witness about Christ – standing up for and sharing Christ with others out of our love for him.
5. We believe these things because we believe God has revealed them in the Bible. Pretty thick stuff. We know they are not easy beliefs to wrap your mind around. We also admit –we cannot “prove” any of this to you – but we actually believe there is sufficient evidence to support these truths. We don’t believe these things because some overbearing preacher has made us drink Kool-aid. We believe them because we have come to know them personally.
We would be glad to share more of our understanding of these beliefs (and any others) with you if you are interested. We like questions! We invite you to use the contact page, send us an email, or give us a call (info at the bottom of each page).