There are many reasons churches are started and exist. Some are looking to simply provide a generic place of worship. Others desire to organize into a ministry of social service or reform. Still others feel their particular church offers something that no other local church offers by way of special revelation or theological insight. As the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Eagle my heart’s desire is to simply be an extension of the early church started by Jesus and the apostles. I believe it is unwise to be owned by the labels of much of Christendom, whether it’s Fundamentalism, Pentecostal, Calvinism, Arminianism, Charismatic, Dispensational, Reformed, etc. It’s unrealistic to think that any individual, man-made system of belief is completely error free or, conversely, without merit at all. It is therefore our sincere desire to simply teach the Bible simply; be true to its original languages; and be respectful to its historical context, the context of each passage, and the recognized, normal use of language. We trust that this will enable us to understand the original intended meaning and truth that is to be found in God’s inspired Word. Therefore, we place great emphasis upon the study of the scriptures. We are careful not to erroneously think we can advance beyond or stray from the clear teachings of scripture. Therefore, we are careful not to add to or subtract from the Word of God.
We are not so naive to think we can understand and practice the teachings of scripture without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we place a great emphasis upon the maintaining balance of employing the written word of God in the power of the Spirit of God. We also recognize the importance of maintaining the balance of knowledge and practice so as not to be a mere “theologically trained” church but a church that both understands and obeys the will of God.
It is my pattern as your pastor to start out each year by laying out a simple set of spiritual priorities that will keep us on track for the coming year. These three priorities can be summarized as, “Up-reach”, “In-reach” and “Out-reach”. I believe these are God’s priorities for every church as modeled for us in the book of Acts. In the next few Sundays I will take time out of our normal “through the Bible” studies to review and elaborate on these three priorities. I pray that you will join me and embrace this vision given to us by The Lord and confirmed by His Word.
May you have a happy and blessed New Year as you walk in His will.