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Theology

We believe God inspired the authors of Scripture by his Spirit to speak to all generations of believers, including us today. God calls us to immerse ourselves in this authoritative narrative communally and individually to faithfully interpret and find ourselves in God’s meta-narrative as we are led by the Spirit of God.  We believe that it is God’s desire for Scripture to interpret us before we interpret Scripture.  In this we are asking the question “who does God say that I am?” Rather than, “Who do I say God is?”  A faithful search will come back with the conclusion that you are loved and cherished by God but in desperate need of repair due to sin.

In the beginning God created all things good. He was and always will be in a communal relationship with himself-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created us to be relational as well and marked us with an identity as his image bearers to serve, care for, and cultivate the earth. The enemy tempted the first humans, and darkness and evil entered the story through human sin and are now a part of the world. This devastating event resulted in our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation being fractured and in desperate need of redemption.

We believe God did not abandon his creation to destruction and decay; rather he promised to restore this broken world. As part of this purpose, God chose a people, Abraham and his descendants, to represent him in the world. God promised to bless them as a nation so that through them all nations would be blessed. In time they became enslaved in Egypt and cried out to God because of their oppression. God heard their cry, liberated them from their oppressor, and brought them to Sinai where he gave them an identity and a mission as his treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy people. Throughout the story of Israel, God refused to give up on his people despite their frequent acts of unfaithfulness to him.

We believe that humanity has always been looking ahead with longing and hope to a renewed reign of God, where peace and justice would prevail.  We believe that all of human action both good and evil is a result of a longing for God and his kingdom.

We believe these longings found their fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, mysteriously God having become flesh. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and set captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the kingdom of God, bringing about a new exodus, and inaugurating the restoration of our fractured world.

He and his message were rejected by many as he confronted the oppressive nature of the religious elite and the empire of Rome. Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between us and God. Through Jesus, all who call on the name of the LORD will be forgiven and brought into right relationship with God.

We believe that those accepting Christ in faith have the joy to repent of sin, confess their faith, and be baptized to begin the “joining up” process with the Holy Spirit and his work in the world and in your life.  We believe that one who has “joined up” with Christ has a great impact in the world by connecting in membership to the local church.  A burning coal left alone will eventually burn out while those feeding off each other will burn and produce more heat as they feed off each other.  The church is rooted and grounded in Christ, practicing spiritual disciplines and celebrating baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world.

We affirm the central truths of historic orthodox Christian faith, seeing ourselves in a long line of generations taking part in the endless conversation between God and his people. We believe the Bible to be the voice of God recorded by many who have come before us, inspired by the Spirit of God to pass along their poems, histories, stories, accounts, and letters of response and relationship with each other and the living God.

We believe the day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, this judgment will bring about eternal joy for the follower of Christ and eternal separation from God to those indifferent to Christ.  This appearing will bring an end to injustice and will restore all things back to God’s original intent.  God will reclaim this world and rule forever. The earth’s groaning will cease and we will dwell with God in his restored creation. On that day there will be no more death, and God will wipe away all our tears. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All life will flourish as God intends. These realities of shalom are what we long for but as a church we are unwilling to wait for.

We believe in praying ‘Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’ now!  We believe in the participation of heavenly peace in all we set out to do and in how we live our lives.  This is what we hope for. And this is what we are giving our lives to living out that future perfection of God’s plans right now.  The future perfection in our love. The future perfection in our relationships.  The future perfection in our identity as his.  The future perfection of our confidence in Jesus as the ascended King.

We meet in a rented church because we would rather use our money to rebuild lives than build buildings.

We believe God looks at the heart so come as you are.  No dress code required, just that you dress in something.

Our music is intended to express gratitude and to ascribe glory back to God so you have to be on your toes at Common Ground whether we use drums, hymns, prayers or praises because its purpose is worship, not relevance.

We celebrate Communion every week because we never want to pass on the opportunity for Christ to form us by looking back to his sacrifice, looking around us to how we can love like him and looking forward to the day when we eat this meal with him.

We celebrate Community every week not only through the corporate gathering but in small gatherings all over the city.  These community groups are designed to work out the truth of the Sunday experience into everyday life.

We believe that God’s Kingdom is bursting forth in the midst of our world because Jesus has inaugurated a new reign through his birth, death, resurrection, and ascension.  We believe that a follower of Jesus will participate in active service by following Jesus’ example for ministry.  This means we despise racism, classism, sexism, elitism, and religious arrogance.  This is why we eat with sinners and declare that no perfect people are allowed.  Common Ground is for Common People extending Common Grace to a broken world.

We believe the mission of the church is to worship God and to participate in the restoration of all things back to God in the name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This participation takes us all over the globe but doesn’t give us any justification to neglect our own neighborhoods.  Our mission floats seamlessly between Revelation 4 (Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!); Matthew 25 (whatever you did for the least of these my brothers you did for me) and Matthew 28 (Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them to observe all I have commanded) and it is in these truths that we find our bearings.

We believe there are no ordinary people.

We believe there are no mere mortals.

We believe the place to start is at the cross where all can find a Common Ground.