Phone (508) 588-4668

Our Beliefs

The Church as Unique Transforming Agency:

We believe that the root of all social ills and social evil is spiritual and there is no partiality to the person and locality of their presence and power. However, it is in Jesus Christ, the Living Lord of the universe, as revealed in the Bible, when received and obeyed will change the spiritual DNA of a person (John 1:12-13). This spiritual regeneration becomes the key for any effective change of the human heart which in turn becomes the best means for any lasting social change.  The Church is granted the privilege to be the guardian and deliverer of this good news and therefore is a unique transforming agency in the community. Our unique ability is a key strength that the Church brings to the table as it seeks to do its part in improving the quality of life of the city we serve. Pastors and churches practicing mutual submission within the community become some of the best evidence to this transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 17:23, Phil. 1:27).

Doctrinal Statement:

We believe in the triune God: that He is the infinite personal Spirit, who has revealed Himself as a unity, existing eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons, yet one God.  We believe that the Bible (Old & New Testament) is the verbally inspired Word of God and the absolute rule in doctrine and life.

We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and was truly man, manifested in the flesh, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the world; He bore our sins on His own body making a final atoning offering, a full satisfaction for all our sins, and that through personal faith in His atoning work, God grants forgiveness of sins and imparts His righteousness.

We believe that human beings were made in the image of God, but fell into sin through rebellion and is lost (for all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God, Romans 6:23). All are in need of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ and except all are born again, none can see the kingdom of God.

We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, His ascension into Heaven, His present ministry of intercession for believers, His personal, visible return to each in order to consummate the blessings of His people, and to bring the ungodly to the judgment of eternal condemnation.

We believe the Church, baptized by the Holy Spirit into One Body, under One Lord, was commissioned to serve as His ambassador of reconciliation. We believe that we are not functioning fully as His commissioned Church until urban/suburban, white/black, rich/poor etc. are recognizing and sharing their strengths and resources in accordance to how our Lord and Savior has endowed and lead us.

We believe that saving faith will manifest itself in the good works of believers in a way that will contradict the self-centeredness of the world and bring attention to the person of Jesus Christ.

Commitment to Kingdom Collaboration:

LTLF seeks to help catalyze a trusting relational network between pastors and churches. Since we adhere to a Biblical, orthodox understanding of the Scriptures we understand that we will not always be in total agreement doctrinally or positionally with some of the churches or leaders we seek to serve.  We understand that convictions over issues like the role of women in the church, marriage and divorce, homosexuality, abortion, the environment, hermeneutics, the extent of the atonement, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the communion table, eternal security, church polity, or eschatology, etc. will likely need to remain as points of disagreement.

However, rather than allowing convictions and controversy to divide us we prefer to emphasize what we have in common, our faith in Jesus Christ. We respect other views and prefer to serve together in the midst of such tensions believing that as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another (Prov. 27:17). In other words, apart from orthodox Christology (John 1:14, 12:48-49, 14:6, I John 4:2) and the condoning of habitual sin (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:1-9; I John 1:6) there is very little that will move LTLF to withdraw from a relationship with other clergy members or churches.

On the other hand, it is our hope that we will likewise be given the freedom to serve in accordance to our beliefs which usually come from of a literal, historical, and grammatical interpretation of the Bible. We ask to be invited to the table of collaboration as well, bringing our strengths that the whole body might be built up into Christ-likeness and that our community might experience the whole Gospel delivered by the whole church.

 

10 Core Values of LTLF

Bibliocentric:

We believe the Bible is the Word of God, and provides all the wisdom a community needs to become a place where God’s peace and prosperity can be experienced by all (Ps. 119:105; 2 Tim.3:16-17)

Pro-church:

We believe that the church is God’s unique, called out, transforming agency in the world (Matt. 5:13-16, 16:18-19; Eph. 1:18-23).  However, we further belivee that the practices of most of today’s local churches and denominations are largely determined not by His Spirit and Truth but by a religious culture regularly accomodating to the ways of the world (1 John 2:15-16, Rev. 3:17-18)

Wholism:

We believe that maximum impact for Christ occurs when minsitry is done wholistically, addressing the spiritual and physical needs of the community by incorporating discipleship and community development (Rom. 12, Acts 2:44-4; 2 Cor. 8).

Partnership:

We believe that the proper way to mutually impact our community for Christ is by establishing relationships with stragic leaders, churches and other organizations that embrace the core ethic of denial of self and model a contradiction to the selfishness often found in the world. (Mark 8:34, Acts 43-44, Phil. 2:3-4, 21).

Empowerment:

We believe that our efforts should facilitate the empowerment of indigenous churches and ministries so that their impact is effective and their presence in the community prevailing (Ge. 9:6; Ps.8; Heb. 10:24).

Leadership:

We believe that a multi-ethnic community can dwell in peace when the church leads the way in becoming exposed of its own prejudices, committed to biblical education and by providing training and service in cross-cultural settings (2 Tim. 2:16-17; Phil.2; Matt. 20:28; Gal. 5:13; 2 Tim. 2:7)

Mobilization:

We believe that the cause of Christ is advanced as His people sacrificially steward their time, spiritual gifts and material resources into His kingdom service (Rom. 12:5; Eph. 4; Gal. 6:2-10; 1 Cor. 12).  One of the greatest hindrances to a united mobilization is the church’s love 9i.e. dependence) on Mammon.

Community:

We believe that lives are changed when people serve the under-resourced while being in authentic, reconciled relationships with one another (Ps. 133:1; Col. 3:14; John 17:23; Eph. 4:11-13).

Pro-City:

We believe the city is a primary tool used by God to bless peopel and to introduce Himself to the world.  Therefore, it is better if Christians acknowledge the pacement of cities (and towns) as a function of God’s sovereignty and his love for people.  Cities have a divine purpose and are held accoutnable for fulifilling it (Ps. 107:6-9, 36; Is. 60:1-22; Ez. 22:1-31; Matt. 10:11-15; Rev. 21, 22).*

  *Please read Transform A City, by Eric Swanson & Sam Williams, Zondervan, 2010.