What we Believe @ FJLC

Our Mission • Vision • Values • Promise


Wherever you are in your faith, It is the Mission of FaithJourney Lutheran Church to:


• Equip you with Faith relevant for 21st Century Life

• Connect you with other real and authentic people - 

many who are like you and many who are not

• Empower you to serve the community and the world

in the name of Jesus.


Our Vision:  So transformed by God’s abundant grace, FaithJourney Lutheran Church rejoices together in Christ-centered life, love and service


Our Values: Real People • Relevant Ministry • Relational Connections • Powerful Worship Meaningful Discipleship • Sacrificial Service • Life-Long Faith Formation


Our Promise: “Everyone with whom we connect will have a faith filled experience.”

Faith

When we talk about faith, we are talking about the relationship God’s Holy Spirit creates with us. It’s a relationship where God’s promise of steadfast love and mercy in Jesus opens us to a life of bold trust in God and joyful, generous service to everyone we know and meet in daily life. 


Martin Luther was exuberant when he described the freedom of “a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that believers would stake their lives on it a thousand times.” He once wrote, “Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good things unceasingly.” 


At the same time faith does not close our minds to the world and our hearts to others. We continue to listen to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We listen to the witness of others and we watch for the ways God is active in the world around us. Faith opens a place for engaging others in conversation, for seeking the truth, for asking questions and speaking love in word and deed. 


At FJ✟LC you will rarely hear the pastors telling the people how they should use their faith in the world - how their faith becomes active.  This is simply because only the individual can determine where God is calling them to put their faith into action.  The Church provides the resources to enrich, deepen and encourage faith, however, we cannot be the ones that tell you where that faith "must" be exercised.  There is room in the Body of Christ for a wide variety of expressions of our deep faith

FoundatiONAL BELIEFS



We believe in one God - eternal and everlasting.  God is expressed in three persons - Father Son and Holy Spirit.  God created everything that is from nothing. Jesus Christ, God's only Son lived, died and rose for our salvation and the Holy Spirit is ever present with us as our teacher, guide and counselor.


The Holy Scriptures tell about Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to present Jesus to all who listen to or read them. That is why Lutheran Christians say that the Scriptures are the “source and norm” of their teaching and practice.

The Bible

We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, written by people throughout history and that the Bible exists to inspire, enrich, and strengthen faith.  As the Gospel writer John wrote, “these things are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). 


The Bible is a theological document.  That is to say,  the Bible exists to help us in our faith life - it is, and was never intended to be, a scientific or historical document.  We believe that biblical faith and scientific discovery can and do exist side by side for they are seeking answers to fundamentally different questions.

Creation

This seems to be a very hot topic in the church today and many churches use one's beliefs about creation as THE litmus test for the quality or legitimacy of one's faith.  We do not do that at Faith✟Journey.  As you will discover - there is room for a wide variety of beliefs about the story of creation as well as other parts of the Bible.  The creation stories of Genesis chapters 1 and 2 in the Bible (and other Scriptures) are ways we begin to respond to questions like “How did we get here?” and “What does it mean to be a human being in the middle of all the rest of the universe?” God created all things for good, of which we are all apart. How God created all things, and continues to create, remains a holy wonder and awe-inspiring.  As we study the Scriptures, we note that the creation story is a parable - a story used to teach a truth, not a story about a truth.  Just like Jesus used illustrations (parables) to teach about God and the Kingdom of Heaven, so too writers in the Old Testament used illustrations to explain the unexplainable - like creation.


While there is no rule about what one must believe, it is the teaching and the proclamation of the Pastors of FaithJourney that the creation story was never intended to teach the scientific facts concerning creation.  For the Pastors of this church, we are much more concerned about the "who" than we are about the "how."  We believe that God created everything, period.  How God actually did it is up to God and it really of no concern to us.  Could it have been in 6 literal, 24hr days? Sure it could have.  Could it have been according to the theory of the "Big Bang?" Why not?  God does what God does in God's own way and we are not to try to attach salvific significance to theological discussions.


What that said, the members of FaithJourney are free to believe whatever they choose about creation.  There is no litmus test for theological purity.  One's view of creation is certainly not salvific - that is - you must believe one thing or another lest you endanger your eternal soul.  This topic is what Martin Luther called, Adiophra which means "the things in the middle."  It has been interpreted to mean, indifferent things.  Things that are not commanded or forbidden.  Things that make for good lively debate - but not something to stake your salvation upon.

Salvation

Salvation is a gift, 100% gift.  There is nothing that you can do or stop doing that will ever be able to affect the reality of salvation.  Salvation was won on the cross and in the empty tomb of Jesus.  God did it!  We benefit from it.  Lutherans believe that there is nothing we can do to earn, buy, steal or merit salvation.  This means that God gives it to us and we do not even have to accept it or believe in it to be enjoy the reality of salvation.  St. Paul teaches in the book to the Romans that, "since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God they are now justified by [God's] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus..." (Rom. 3:23-24)  This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in faith - because it sounds so unfair and that is precisely the point.  God is unfair - God does not deal with us - any of us - according to what we deserve (which would be fair) but God deals with us according to God's mercy, love, and forgiveness.


We believe that it is God's desire that we not look at salvation as a "reward" for a well lived life or a life where were able to say or believe the right things, in the right way, and with the right inclination of the heart.  For if that were the case, salvation would be something WE do by HOW we live our life.  Rather, God wants us to revel in the fact that we are saved and start living our lives not worried about ourselves and the state of our soul (which is a sin) but worry about those who still struggle with daily life.  Live not your life attempting to get saved, rather live your life know that you already are saved, it will make a HUGE difference in the quality of the life that is being lived.

The Church

We believe that the church is the physical expression of the real presence of God in the world today.  Jesus said, "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).  The most frequent term used for the church in the New Testament is, "The Body of Christ."  This is far more than a figurative term, we are called by God to "be Jesus" to the world.  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546) said in his explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles Creed:



"...but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way [the Holy Spirit] calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church [the Holy Spirit] daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers."

The purpose of the church is not to be a social club or a nostalgic memorial to a time long passed.  The church is called by God to be an active and dynamic presence in the world, acting on behalf of God. We do this by doing what God would do if God were physically present; loving whom God would love, serving the least and the lost in our community and world, standing in the gap between the weak and the innocent and those who would use them or do them harm, and calling all people into a real, relevant, and dynamic relationship with God.   The example we follow is the example of Jesus who is the "image of the invisible God."  (Colossians 1:15)  This calls the church into a radical involvement in the life of the world and gives purpose and meaning to all that we do.


We gather, in community, to learn, be challenged, comforted, and afflicted. We are fed with Word and Sacrament which gives us strength for our daily walk of faith.  Worship is not an end unto itself - it is the beginning of our week which, we pray, is filled with opportunities for witness and discipleship.  

Baptism

We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  Baptism performed with water and in the name of the Triune God is a valid baptism.  We do not believe in rebaptism.  When one is rebaptised, this is a statement that the Holy Spirit did not do what the Holy Spirit promises to do in the first baptism.

Holy Communion

We believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in, with and under the elements of Holy Communion.  We do not believe that the elements physically become the body and blood of Jesus - but that Jesus is wholly contained within the elements by the power of Holy Spirit.  Holy communion is our spiritual food and drink.  It is given and shed for us and for the forgiveness of sins.

While it is true that any person or faith may Baptise and/or offer Holy Communion - we believe that God is the active one and we are merely the conduits through which God works - the task of presiding over these Sacraments of the Church is reserved for the Clergy who are called into such service.  This is not because we believe the clergy to be better or more holy than others, rather it is to ensure that these Sacraments are administered in good order and good faith so that those who receive them are nurtured in the Church and assured that all has been done correctly according to the theology and traditions of the Lutheran Church.