Within our commitment to the foundational truths of historical, orthodox Christianity, we at Mountain View Community Church have certain Biblical Distinctives that may set us apart from other churches. Below, you will find an overview of these distinctives or doctrines that may set us apart in teaching, although hopefully not in spirit, from some of our other brothers and sisters in the Universal Body of Christ. We offer a 12-week Biblical Distinctives class 3 times a year to study through these distinctives and explore what the Bible says about these topics. If you consider Mountain View your church home then we highly encourage you to attend a Biblical Distinctives class. If you have questions about the class or our Biblical Distinctives, contact us!
As we preach through our Biblical Distinctives this fall, we want to create space for people to engage more deeply with the doctrines we will be covering on Sundays. Join us on Tuesday nights from 7-8:30pm in the church basement for an informal Q&A following that Sunday's sermon.
During Biblical Distinctives, we study:
- The Life-Changing Scriptures
- Salvation and the Scripture
- God the Author of Salvation
- The Church in God's Plan
- The Beauty of the Bride (Christ’s Church)
- Leadership in Christ's Church
- Spiritual Gifts: Yesterday and Today
- Spiritual Gifts in the Church
- Church Restoration and Discipline
- Complementary Design of Men and Women
Biblical Distinctives Overview
1. The Scriptures-The Old and New Testament
The Bible as God's Word is the genuine believer's ultimate authority. And because of the spiritual new birth the believer practices obedience. The leadership of MVC will seek to honor and obey the Word of God to their greatest ability regardless of popularity or culture (Acts 20:27; Colossians 1:28; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
- The Bible is both inspired and without error in its original copy or manuscript (Process- 2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; Product- 2 Pet. 3:15,16) and authoritative for us today in all areas of life (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; 1 Cor. 2:13, 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; I Pet. 2:2).
- Because of the inward transformation of the Spirit, commonly known as being "born again", believers practice as a direction of their lives obedience to God's Word (Ezekiel 11:19-20, Jeremiah 31:31-34; Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:3-4; 3:9-10).
- The Bible has the miraculous ability to have multiple applications. Yet, there is but one true biblical interpretation or meaning (2 Pet. 1:20,21). The meaning is found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation.
- It is the responsibility of every true believer to carefully ascertain the true intent and meaning of Scripture (Acts 17:11), recognizing that proper applications are binding on all generations. The truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it (Matt 5:18; 22:31; 1 Cor. 2:12-16; Heb. 4:12).
2. God, The Author of Man's Salvation
(The Sovereignty of God in Salvation): We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace (unearned favor) on the basis of Jesus' shed blood, with which we were bought from the penalty and power of sin.
- God alone provided an acceptable sacrifice for man's rebellion or sin in Jesus' crucifixion, death and resurrection (Is. 53:6; 59:2; 64:6; Heb. 9:27; I Pet. 3:18; 2:24; Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:6; I Cor. 15).
- Because of the lost, rebellious, darkened condition of man's heart (Ro. 3:10-11, 2 Cor. 4:4), no man would seek God or believe had it not been for God's gracious working and drawing of man to Himself (Eph 2:4-10; Jn. 6:35-40, 44; 2 Cor. 4:4-6).
- True salvation will be evidenced in an individual's life over time through a process of increased bearing of fruit - change in world view, thought, and lifestyle, "Like Father like Son" (Matt. 7:21-23; Jn. 10:25-29; Ro. 6; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:22-23; Ja. 2:14-26; 1 Jn. 1:9; 2:3-4; 1 Jn. 3:5-10; 5:11,12).
- Because salvation is wholly of God, man cannot lose salvation. The true believer is eternally secure (Jn. 6:37-40, 44; 1 Pet. 1:2-5; Eph. 1:4,5, 11; 2:4-10; Ro. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 15:2; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn. 2:19, 5:11-13).
3. Spiritual Gifts - Contrasted With Charismatic Church and Dead Orthodoxy:
- God's church is to be a worshiping church (Ps. 2:11; 115:1; Jn. 4:23,24; Ro. 12:1,2; 1 Cor. 10:31; Eph. 5:18-20; Col. 3:22,23; Rev. 5:11-13-worship of the saints). There is to be authentic expressions of worship (hymns, songs, giving of thanks, prayer, lifting of hands, reading and teaching of Scripture - Ps. 18:49; 26:12; 81:1; 28:2; 63:4; 149:1; Eph. 5:18-20; 1 Tim. 2:8). Worship is to be active and meaningful! God is not pleased with dead orthodoxy (Is. 29:13).
- God is free to empower whom He wants for what He wants. MVC is committed to the powerful expression of God's working through the giftedness and prayers of His people. Every Christian is uniquely equipped by God to serve and edify others in order to build up the Body of Christ. (Heb. 2:3-4; 2 Cor. 12:12; Ro. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12-14; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
- With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity and authority of a man's message. Confirming sign gifts are no longer necessary to validate man's message (1 Cor. 13:8-12). Therefore, sign gifts are no longer normative (normal daily occurrence). Yet, God is not boxed in by man, for He does as He pleases when He pleases (Ps. 115:3).
- There is no such thing as "second blessing" or "baptism of the Spirit" subsequent to salvation. There is only one baptism of the Spirit (Eph. 4:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-13). The Baptism of the Spirit takes place at salvation, where the Christian is indwelt (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19), sealed (Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30), and adopted as God's child (Ro. 8:9-18; Eph. 1:5). Then subsequent to being born again or saved, there is a daily commitment to be filled, empowered, or yielded to the Spirit's control (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:16,17; Ro. 12:1,2).
4. Elder Board (Leadership of the Church):
God's design for leadership in the church is a group of biblically qualified men who are respected and followed.
- The local assembly is to be led or governed by a group of elders. These are men, who qualify to the biblical standard for elders/overseers/pastors (Acts 14:23, 20:17,28; Eph. 4:11; Titus 1:5; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
- These men are biblically qualified based on 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
5. The Local Church:
God's perfect design for the maturity of the individual believer and the vehicle in reaching the world is the multiplication of local churches.
- The local church is a family of families (1 Cor. 12:20-26; Eph. 2:19, 4:11-14; 1 Tim. 3:5; Titus 2:1-8; Heb. 10:23-24).
- God's perfect strategy in evangelizing the world is through the multiplication of churches. There is no other entity in the New Testament other than the Local Church (Matt. 16:13-18, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 2:41-43, 8:1-3, 11:22-26; 13:1-3; 14:21-28, 15:2-4, 22-36, 18:22, 20:17, 28, 32; 21:18-19; Phil. 1:27; 2:12-16).
6. Church Restoration (Discipline):
God has provided the safety net of church restoration to lovingly keep individual believers from being ensnared by Satan and to maintain the purity of His Church.
- The Scriptures teach that the Body is to be committed to one another in love. It instructs how we are to pursue a brother or sister trapped in sin against God or another individual. This process could culminate with a professing unrepentant believer no longer being welcomed in gatherings of the church family (Gal. 6:1; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-8; Heb. 3:12,13).
- The purpose of the discipline process is to restore the repentant professing believer and to maintain the purity of the church body, not to punish or to exclude that person (Gal. 6:1,2; Matt. 18:15; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:5-13; Heb. 12:4-13).
7. Biblical Complementary Design of Men and Women:
God has created men and women wonderfully different as complements, of equal value, and with differing functions for the good of all mankind. Qualified women who are gifted in leadership and teaching will have wonderful service opportunities at MVC in women's, service team, or children's ministries which function under the authority of an elder.
- God created men and women different and complementary, and of equal value (Gen. 2:7-25; 1 Cor. 11:1-16; Eph. 5:21-23; 1 Tim. 2:9-15; Gal. 3:23-29; 1 Pet. 3:1-6).
- This distinct and complementary design is seen fundamentally in the marriage relationship where the husband is called to sacrificial leadership as head of the home; as the wife is voluntarily called to follow her husband's leadership (Gen. 2:7-25; 3:1-19; 1 Cor. 11:1-16; 14:34-35; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:18-19; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)
- God's creative design is to be modeled also in the Church Body dynamic. Although equally gifted, women are not to be in a position of leadership, authority or teaching over men. This would apply to any gathering of God's people - worship celebration, small groups, workshops, or seminars (Gen. 2:7-25; 3:1-19; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:1-16).