As there are many controversial doctrinal issues, it is our desire at Lighthouse Bible Church that we diligently seek to understand God’s truth in such a way that truly represents God’s nature and character as well as His intent. Therefore we have set two foundational principles upon which all our doctrinal positions are to be built upon:
A HIGH VIEW OF GOD
As today’s society continues to promote a humanistic world view that places man in the place of primacy and centrality, it is our conviction that God is to be the only one who is worthy in the foremost and central position regarding all truth and knowledge. Therefore we believe God’s sovereign authority is to be recognized in all matters of truth and practice as we believe that all things are for His glory (1 Cor. 10:31).
A HIGH VIEW OF GOD’S WORD
Corresponding with a high view of God would logically lead to a high view of God’s Word as His very nature and character are tied to His revealed truth. Therefore it is our conviction that the Scriptures are the only authoritative source for God’s will and it is our responsibility to accurately handle it (2 Tim. 2:15) and follow the authorial intent as given by God. We believe the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of Scripture to be foundational to all beliefs and then humbly seek to submit ourselves in holy obedience before God.
As we therefore address particular issues that are difficult or controversial in the church today, it is our hope that as a church we uphold these two foundational principles in the process of searching the Scriptures and coming to conclusions. While we will stand firm on the positions we believe to be representative of the Scriptures, we will also seek to be teachable and flexible if our position is found to be biblically deficient. Some of the more prominent issues include:
- The Inerrancy, Authority, & Sufficiency of the Bible
- Literal-Grammatical-Historical Interpretation of the Scriptures
- Literal Recent Six Day Creation of the Earth
- God’s Sovereignty in Salvation
- Lordship Salvation
- Local Church Membership
- Biblical Eldership
- Church Discipline
- Biblical Manhood & Womanhood – Roles of Men & Women in the Church and Home
- Biblical/Nouthetic Counseling
- Cessation of the Miraculous Sign Gifts
- Pretribulational, Premillennial Eschatology (Theology of End Times)
- Believer’s Baptism
- Expositional Preaching
- Local Autonomy
WHY ESTABLISH CLEAR DISTINCTIVES?
First, Because They Are Important and Relevant: Our church leadership regards them as key issues of Christian life, belief, and practice that must be clarified and taught for the orderly, obedient, and united existence of our church.
Second, Because They MAY be “Non-Essential” and Practical: While not all are necessarily matters of salvation, we recognize that many churches and individuals, committed to historic orthodox belief, differ with us on some non-essential interpretation and practice. They are not meant to divide the true universal church, but are practical household concerns that require a clear commitment for teaching and direction.
Third, Because They Are Clarifying and Local: Nevertheless, they bring clarity to the doctrinal positions that distinguish our church from other congregations and organizations, whether they be orthodox or heretical, similar or dissimilar. God’s people are called to a sober and high level of doctrinal discernment. As Charles Spurgeon had written, “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather, it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” Careless doctrinal ambiguity is not humility.
Fourth, Because They Are Biblical and Objective: While not held by all who profess to be believers, we strongly believe they are grounded and defended by the sound interpretation and obedient application of the Scriptures. We affirm that there is only one sound interpretation of a given text, but recognize in some areas we may still see through a glass dimly. But we deny any doctrinal pluralism and affirm the Bible’s inerrancy.
Fifth, Because They Are Uniting and Teachable: While they may or may not be required as the personal convictions of all our members, all members are required to publicly uphold and abide by them in submission to and support of local church authority and unity. For prospective members, who are unsure or untaught concerning these or other doctrines, we invite them to humbly and carefully search the Scriptures with our shepherd leaders without a spirit of divisiveness or personal pride, until such a time that their conscience and convictions are clear, as whether to continue as a regular member of our local church with that understanding or to transfer to another local church.