Theological Distinctives

As a part of our denominational heritage in the Evangelical Free Church of America, we hold to an official 12 point doctrinal statement, which summarizes the denomination's statement of faith.  

In addition to following this creed, each local EFCA church has the freedom to have its own theological nuances. Because of this, some local churches within our denomination may be quite different in their theological tradition or the way they approach “doing church.”  For our local church, we have a rich heritage of theological convictions which we are not ashamed to defend and proclaim.  

The Del Rey Church is thrilled to have the following theological distinctives: Exegetical, Creedal, Reformational, Evangelical, Dispensational, Conventional, Traditional and Missional.

WE ARE: 

Exegetical.  

We interpret the Scriptures literally, and at face value, using the historical-grammatical hermeneutic method of interpretation, taking into consideration literary devices and genres (such as poetry, figures of speech, illustrations, types, and symbols). We believe that there is one sense or meaning for each passage of Scripture, while granting that there may be many applications in continuity with the original authorial meaning of the text.  

Creedal.  

We believe the historic ecumenical creeds of the church universal got it right when it comes to God, the virgin birth, the incarnation of the Son and the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ.

Reformational.

We believe the soteriology of the historic reformational creeds is good stuff.  We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies. We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God's anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy.   Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility as we extend the gospel of Jesus to the lost.

We believe that the salvation of the elect, by God's grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.  All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 

Evangelical. 

We believe it is a great calling, honor, responsibility and joy of every Christian to actively share the gospel with those around us.  

We are happy to be theological conservatives and committed to social engagement.   

Theologically we believe that humans are embodied souls.  At death the substance of the soul separates from the substance of the body.  At death the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, their souls pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own, whereupon soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but the souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when their souls and bodies shall be reunited in resurrection and cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated nor to terminate or transfer to another fate (e.g. heaven), but to be punished justly for the penalty of their sins. 

Because of the above, it is the duty of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to share the gospel in word and deed, making disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's soul by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations.

Socially, we believe it is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ. We are not religious relativists and do believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.  We are not relativists and do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy, and other forms of revelation.  We are not Universalists and do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.

Dispensational.

We believe that the Bible presents the fact that God has not always dealt in exactly the same way with mankind in every historic age. According to Biblical terminology, these distinct periods are called "administrations" in regard to the purpose of God or "stewardships" concerning the responsibility of man as originated from the New Testament usage of the Greek word "oikonomia."  We believe that dispensationalism is the system that best represents the Biblical teaching on this matter.  Dispensationalism is distinguished by:   

   · A consistent literal interpretation
   · A clear distinction between Israel and the Church
   · Taking into account progressive revelation
   · Recognizing the glory of God as the ultimate purpose of God in the world. 

We believe that the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the rapture, that is, the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and that this event is the blessed hope set before us in the Scripture, and for this we should be constantly looking. We believe that the rapture of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel's seventieth week, (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 6:1 - 19:21), which will be a time of judgment on the whole earth (Mt. 24:15-21). We believe that this period of tribulation in the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went, at which time His millennial Kingdom will be established, Israel will be restored, and the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled.

Conventional. 

We believe the ministry of the church should be focused on biblical priorities and led by the biblically qualified and trained.  Our priorities are wrapped up in the proclamation of the gospel, discipleship, living in biblical community, teaching sound doctrine, preaching the Bible, corporate worship (singing, music), prayer and reaching out to those around us with God's love.  We believe that the church of Jesus Christ should be lead by biblical qualified men who are pastors and by the regular preaching of God's word.  We are not egalitarians, distorting the conventional structure of God's Word in the church.  We believe that men should head their homes and male pastors should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ.  In the church, men should be models of passionate care, provision and protection for women and children.  

Traditional. 

We believe in social order.  All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

We believe in religious liberty for all.  God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

We believe the family unit is sacred and should be protected.  God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.  Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.  The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.  Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Missional.

We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3) and passionate preaching of the Bible with accuracy.  We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).  We believe that our mission is to bring people into church so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.  We are not fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.  We are not isolationists and seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in planting church-planting churches. 

 

WE ARE NOT

– We reject the over emphasis of spiritual gifts or experiential signs and wonders to the exclusion of Bible teaching.  

– We reject any teaching that goes against the clear biblical teaching that salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing can be added to His work on the cross, or to the proclamation of one's personal faith and trust in His finished work of eternal redemption.

– We reject the teaching that says a true Christian can be demon possessed.

– We reject racism. All men are created equal. Furthermore, we reject social systems or beliefs that are racially rooted in racism (e.g. we reject those who are against inter-racial dating).

– We reject the eschatological views of post-tribulationsim, mid-tribulationsim, prewrath view, amillennialism, postmillinnialism, or preterism.    

– We reject kenotic theology. 

– We reject the views of postmodernism and any sort of relativism that would deny the existence of absolute truth which is knowable.

– We reject the view known as the Openness of God theory that says, in so many words, that God does not know the future.  He is "open" to the free choices people make, and then responds to their free agency. This view violates the omniscience of God. It also violates the fact that in sovereignty, He has ordained all things!

– We reject modern secular feminist agenda. 

– We reject Darwinian macro-evolutionary theories as scientifically valid. They are false.

– We reject any teaching or ideology that does not view human life as beginning at conception and thereby deserving dignity and protection of the law.  It is inconsistent for any Christian to use abortifacient surgical or chemical means to destroy conceived life and equally inconsistent to remain silent on this issue or use one's voting liberties to endorse those who do not defend life.

– We reject the practice of ordaining those to minister who are living sinful lifestyles (e.g. homosexuals, pron-addicts, adulterers, etc.).

– We reject the teachings of extreme "positive confession."

– We reject the teaching of subsequent baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a divisive and dangerous theology.

– We reject the majority of teachings of the Word Faith movement.  This is a very dangerous movement.

– We reject the emphasis of teaching hypercalvinism, which creates a fatalism allowing no room for a biblical understanding of free will.

– We reject Arminian theology, which allows no room for God’s sovereignty. 

– We reject the idea of human prophecy which supersedes or bypasses scripture and certainly any prophecy that distorts biblical texts or theology.

– While we believe that in the body of Christ men and women stand spiritually equal and that women have had and always will have their God-given gifts and roles within this body, we reject the ordination of women into the office or role of elder or pastor, which is a position reserved for only men (1 Tim. 2:9-15; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 2:1-8; I I Cor. 14:34-35).

– We reject the emphasis of humanistic and secular psychology into Bible teaching.

– We reject teaching that states salvation is not eternally secure.