We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Through Him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, He came down from heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
On the third day, He arose again from the dead, in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
Doctrinal statements of faith are limited in expressing the fullness of Christian beliefs. The entire Bible really contains our “doctrinal statement,” so creating a small, selective list of verses from the Bible to represent a community of believers is not an easy thing to do. In reality, you could have dozens of pages about specific beliefs so we have tried to have a short statement to represent some of the central beliefs of Soul Sanctuary. However, it is important to highlight that simply “knowing” doctrine is not what changes our heart or actions.
Jesus criticized the religious leaders of his day for being hypocrites and legalists. They were very familiar with the Bible and knew a lot of doctrine, but they didn’t let that doctrine seep into their hearts and impact their lives. We can know doctrine intellectually, but if it doesn’t impact us on a deeper level, the knowledge is almost useless.
What Jesus cares most about is whether or not our lives are being changed by the Spirit as we put saving faith in Him (Romans 10:9) and whether the doctrine we learn expands our love for God and for people (Matthew 22:36-40). That kind of transformation produces in us the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
At Soul Sanctuary, we live with the tension of approaching the Scriptures recognizing our inadequacies as human beings to determine with 100% certainty every single thing in the Bible, but it doesn’t mean that we cannot make certain theological conclusions. There are many Scriptural truths and doctrines that have been held throughout the 2,000 year history of the church which we as Soul Sanctuary believe are central to the Christian faith.
There is a saying from church history which we find explains our position well: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”
At Soul Sanctuary we have determined what our “core” or “essential” beliefs are so that we can hold onto unity as a local church expression and so that we can embrace liberty in issues that aren’t as “essential.” This means that among the people of the church there will be a welcomed variety of beliefs on what we hold as “non-core” or “non-essential” beliefs and doctrines such as: whether someone has a view of the end times that is amillennial or a premillennial or whether someone believes in a pre-tribulational rapture or post-tribulational rapture – we will hold as a core essential that Jesus is going to return one day. Whether someone holds the belief that the universe was created in 6 literal days or that it was created in 6 billion years – we will hold as a core essential that God created everything.
Holding differing viewpoints on non-core doctrines should not degrade or cause dissension. When we teach about non-core issues, we will commonly address a variety of theological perspectives, as we desire to respect and honour the diversity of beliefs among us.