Our Teaching Policy
Policy and Guidelines for all persons involved in any teaching ministry of
Latchett Evangelical Church
All teaching, in any context associated with Latchett Church, must be in accordance with our Basis of Faith and that of the Evangelical Alliance (below).
There are within the worldwide Evangelical Churches a variety of doctrinal perspectives and emphases which may be mutually exclusive. Our own statement of faith was drawn up to encompass as wide a perspective as possible and still retain an Evangelical emphasis. Our statement for instance would accommodate Lutherans, Calvinists, the Reformed perspectives, Baptists, Arminian and Wesleyan perspectives, Pentecostal and Charismatic perspectives and a number of others. We also hold an open Communion table for those who confess a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Some Christian communions will only accept baptised people to receive communion and others only communicant members, we place no such restriction. We do not teach infant baptism.
Some of the areas where Evangelicals hold differing views are:
The mode and time of creation
The Lords Supper
Human capacity in salvation.
Implications of biblical inspiration
It is the responsibility of every person involved in teaching in any formal capacity at Latchett to be fully aware of the statements of doctrine in appendices A & B but also to be aware of the differences that exist on the illustrative areas noted above and others where Evangelicals differ. This is necessary because no teaching at Latchett can emphasize one perspective over another without noting the differences of opinion held in those areas.
To take eschatology as an illustration of the above principal, we do not subscribe to a particular view which could be identified as either Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial or A-Millennial. We would allow members to hold any of those views or even something different so long as the view held was totally consistent with this statement “We expect the personal and visible return of the Lord, Jesus Christ, in power and glory, to bring salvation and judgement to final completion”.
Accordingly anyone teaching on this area or any other area of Christian belief is free to articulate their own perspective so long as the others are fairly noted and explained and all are consistent with the two statements of doctrine. Under no circumstances can anyone teaching at Latchett insist that one perspective is the only acceptable one.
All invited preachers must be made aware of this policy.
THE EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE Basis of faith
All our members agree that the below statements are true.
WE BELIEVE IN...
1. The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
3. The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
4. The dignity of all people, made male and female in God's image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
5. The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
6. The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
7. The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
8. The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
9. The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
10. The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit's gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
11. The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
Evangelical Relationships Commitment
The Evangelical Relationships Commitment is a modern re-wording of the eight Practical Resolutions originally agreed at the 1846 Assembly that launched the Evangelical Alliance. They were written to guide members in their relationships with other Christians. We hope they will help you as you build good positive working relationships in all areas of your Christian life.
1. We welcome as Christian brothers and sisters all who experience the grace of new birth, bringing them to that fear and knowledge of God which is expressed in a life of obedience to His word.
2. We recognise our Christian duty of trust and mutual encouragement to all who serve Christ as Lord, not least to those who conscientiously prefer not to be identified with the same churches, alliances or councils as ourselves.
3. We respect the diversity of culture, experience and doctrinal understanding that God grants to His people, and acknowledge that some differences over issues not essential to salvation may well remain until the end of time.
4. We urge all Christians to pray as Christ prayed, that we may be one in the Father and the Son, and so by the Spirit promote personal relationships of love, peace and fellowship within the Body of Christ, His universal Church.
5. We encourage all Christians earnestly to contend for biblical truth, since only as we are open to learn from others and yield fuller obedience to the truth will we be drawn closer to Christ and to each other.
6. We call on each other, when speaking or writing of those issues of faith or practice that divide us, to acknowledge our own failings and the possibility that we ourselves may be mistaken, avoiding personal hostility and abuse, and speaking the truth in love and gentleness.
7. We owe it to each other, in making public comment on the alleged statements of our fellow Christians, first to confer directly with them and to establish what was actually intended. Then to commend what we can, to weigh the proportional significance of what we perceive to be in error, and to put a charitable construction on what is doubtful, expressing all with courtesy, humility and graciousness.
8. We rejoice in the spread of the Gospel across the world and urge all Christians to commit themselves to this task, avoiding unnecessary competition and co-operating, wherever possible, in the completion of Christ's kingdom of peace, justice and holiness, to the glory of the one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.