The following is a brief explanation of the beliefs that Parkview Kids hold as the core of Christianity. This is not intended to be exhaustive (or exhausting) but to give the reader a snapshot of what we consider to be the non-negotiables of the faith. A more detailed resource can be found here, but the best resource can be found here.
In this statement of our beliefs, we have arranged those beliefs which we consider to be core to Christianity into three categories: The Bible, God, and Man. We have placed the section on the Bible first not because the Bible is superior to God, but because the Bible is to be the supreme rule from which we draw our beliefs.
In the section on God, we tried to focus on the person of God and not His interaction with mankind. In other words, because He is eternally self-existent, being over and above his creation, we did not want to define Him first and foremost by his relationship to mankind, for He is higher and greater than simply what He has done for man.
In the section on man, we attempted to summarize the story of God’s interaction with mankind, from creation to the end of time. It is in this section that much of the doctrine that is essential to the faith is found.
In addition,we have included a postscript concerning our identification with the Southern Baptist denomination. These are beliefs that we consider important, but do not feel are central to being identified as a believer in Jesus Christ.
We hope that by arranging the information in this way we will have given the reader a fresh way to revisit what Christians believe and why.
The Bible is the only book that has been fully inspired by the Creator of the Universe, supernaturally preserved throughout the ages, and is sufficient for all matters of life and faith.
In the past, the Creator of the universe inspired men to write histories, poems, sayings, letters and visions of the future. The Creator-God did this in a way that incorporated the writer’s language, vocabulary, personality, and other devices the writer was aware of, but superseded the writer’s sin-nature. Therefore, the document that resulted was the perfect Word of God, through the words of man.
2 Timothy 3:15-17, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Peter 1:19-21
As these documents were read, other followers of this Creator-God recognized them as different than other documents of faith. These documents were carefully copied down, and collected over the years. Although mistakes were made by these scribes, there are more than enough early manuscripts to recreate 99.9% of the original document. This degree of accuracy over so many years is evidence of the Creator-God’s hand in the preservation of His Words.
Over the years, these documents began to be collected together and are called the Old and NewTestaments of the Bible.
Luke 21:33, 1 Peter 1:25
The Bible is the authority from which all doctrinal beliefs should proceed. It is a guide to life and life more abundantly. Although the Bible is not a comprehensive compendium of all earthly knowledge, it is more than sufficient for all matters of life and faith. Other books and sources of information are useful, but are only to be trusted in areas where they do not conflict with the Bible.
Psalms 19:7-10, Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17
The God who revealed Himself through the Bible is the Creator of the universe, the First and the Last. He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (all-present), omni-temporal (existing in and above all time) and omni-benevolent (all-loving).
God has eternally co-existed as three separate Persons: Father, Son and Spirit. Each person is completely God, and there is only one God. Therefore, the Father is not the Son in a different form, and the Spirit is not the Son in another form, but they are the same in their nature. There is equality among the Persons of the Trinity, but each Person has different roles.
Deuteronomy 6:41, Timothy 1:17
The Father has always had the role to command, direct and send. The term “Father” is used to connote a figure who is both loving and authoritative.
1 Chronicles 29:10, Hebrews 11:6, 1 Peter 1:17
The Son has always had the role of being obedient to the Father’s will. However, this obedience should not be confused with inequality. The term “Son” is used to connote not only subordination, but a loving relationship and shared authority with the Father.
Psalms 2:7, Psalms 110:1, Mark 1:9-11, John 1:1-18
The Spirit has always had the role of bringing honor to the Father and Son. Again, this should not be confused as inequality. The term “Spirit” is used to connote that which gives life, integral yet incorporeal.
Genesis 1:2, Psalms 51:11, 1 Corinthians 2:10-14, Revelation 22:17
In the beginning, God the Father created the heavens and the earth through the agency of God the Son. Everything in our universe – every star, planet, rock, tree and animal – originated from the imagination of the Godhead. But His chief creation reflected not only His imagination, but His very image. God the Spirit bestowed this image upon man by breathing life into him. The Godhead created man to reflect His nature and all aspects of his being. In all of this, mankind would reflect the very glory of God, and live in a perfect relationship with His Creator. However, when God created man, He also gave him the ability to choose between good and evil.
Genesis 1, John 1:1-3, 1 Cor. 8:6, Job 33:4, John 6:63
Instead of choosing good, the first people chose evil. They disobeyed God, and through this sin they tarnished (but did not completely destroy) the image of God that was bestowed upon them. The perfect relationship with God that they were created to enjoy had been all but severed. But all was not lost, for God, in all his wisdom and foreknowledge, had made a way for His image and that relationship to be restored. But this would come at a great cost for God.
Genesis 3, Genesis 3:15, Luke 1:68-69
Before the foundation of the world, God the Father decided to send His Son to take the punishment that mankind deserved for their sins. He made various promises throughout the Old Testament that He would soon send the Messiah, the chosen One, into the world. In God’s wisdom, He chose around the 4th year of the Common Era to carry out His promise. The Father sent His Son, not as a king in a castle or a priest in a temple, but a baby in a manger. He named His son Jesus, and He promised His Son would save people from their sins. Through the power of the Spirit, Jesus taught people how to have a relationship with God and how to reflect God’s glory. However, his ultimate victory was made on a cross. Jesus was condemned to death by an unjust court, but this served to bring about God’s will. God heaped the sins of mankind upon Jesus, making him who knew no sin to be sin for us. After his death, Jesus was brought back to life three days later, making him victorious over death and hell.
Isaiah 7:14, Ephesians 1:4, Galatians 4:4, Luke 2, Galatians 2:20
After Jesus appeared to his followers, he promised that the Father would send the Spirit to give power to those who had faith in Him. He ascended back into heaven, and soon the promised Spirit came. The Spirit empowered those early men and women of the faith, and they spread their faith in Jesus like wildfire. The Spirit entered into the hearts and minds of those who placed their faith in Jesus Christ, and continued to remake them into the image of God. These men and women formed what is called the universal church. They were charged with spreading the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth, making disciples of every people group, and that is still our charge for today.
Luke 24, Acts 2, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Matthew 28:19-20
Very soon, the Father will send His Son Jesus to return to the earth, no longer as a suffering Servant but as a conquering King. He will fully destroy the work of the Devil, that ancient evil spirit that has engendered disbelief and disobedience, and Jesus will claim those who belong to Him and cast those who denied Him into an everlasting fire. Then those whom the Father gave the Son as an inheritance, those who believed in Jesus and had life in His name, will spend all of eternity with the Godhead, enjoying the relationship they were created to have all along.
Matthew 24:36-44, John 14:1-3, Revelation 12, Revelation 19:11-21, Revelation 21-22
ON BEING A SOUTHERN BAPTIST
As a Christian first and a Southern Baptist second, we felt it right to organize this confession to reflect this sentiment. Below are the primary reasons we have further identified ourselves as a Southern Baptist.
Emphasis on God’s Word
Just as we hope to keep all of our theology firmly rooted in the Bible, we too hope to keep all of our beliefs concerning church life, polity, and so on subjugated to God’s Word. The primacy of God’s word has always been found among those in the Baptist tradition, and is extremely important to Parkview Kids as well.
2 Timothy 3:15-17, Hebrews 4:12
Emphasis on the Great Commission
We believe that the Bible is very clear on what our purpose is to be until Jesus returns: make disciples. Although we still have a lot to learn, Baptists have always been missional and disciple-making people.
Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:44-49, John 20:19-23, Acts 1:4-8
Autonomy of the Church
The Bible describes each congregation of believers as being accountable to one another in matters of faith, but autonomous in matters of church polity. It is important that, although Southern Baptists do cooperate with other Baptist churches, decisions made on an associational, state or national level are never binding on the churches that comprise the organization.
Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:1-3
Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
Baptist churches always share two distinct ordinances: believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. When a person chooses to believe in Christ and understand the commitment of following Christ, then the appropriate profession of faith through baptism will be as followed. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. One thing must be clear, baptism is not a means for salvation, but rather an outward appearance of repentance from sin.
Matthew 3:13-17, 28:19-20, Acts 2:41-42, Colossians 2:12
Imagery of the Lord’s Supper
This is an ordinance which symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Although this ordinance does have a spiritual significance, we do not believe that the bread and wine literally transform into the substance of Christ’s body. Southern Baptists contend that Jesus spoke metaphorically and symbolically when he said that the bread represented his body and the wine represented his blood.
Matthew 26:26-30, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
A final Southern Baptist distinctive that Parkview Kids support would be the Cooperative Program. We believe that we can accomplish more together than we could ever do independently, so the idea of jointly funding mission organizations and other disciple-making organizations connects with us. Although we’re sure we could always improve the way we spend our funds, the cooperative attitude of Southern Baptists is one we share.
2 Corinthians 8-9, Philippians 1:15-18