What we believe
In brief, Geneva Push is Christian, Evangelical, Reformed and Missional.
The more lengthy answer is included below and intentionally omits some finer points of doctrine and secondary issues as we allow the leaders of local churches to operate according to their convictions on these matters.
It has been built on the bones of a doctrinal statement generously provided by the Acts 29 Network and has been developed by the attendees of the 2009 National Church Planter's Summit.
We are Christians
Our proclamation to be Christian distinguishes us from other world religions and cults. Therefore, we adhere to both the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.
We are Evangelicals
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father and in his personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those who are saved to the resurrection of life and those who are lost to the resurrection of judgment.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are Reformed
Being Reformed means:
- We believe that God created the heavens and the earth. God's inherent goodness and purposeful creation gives objective moral order and purpose to this world. All of life, thought, work and community is to be lived in joyful and thankful worship of the creator God.
- We believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as his image bearers on the earth.
- We believe that Adam and Eve sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring God’s image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (including reasoning, desires and emotions).
- We believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishment of hell.
- We believe that God in his unparalleled love and mercy has chosen to elect some people for salvation. We also believe that the salvation of the elect was predestined by God in eternity past.
- We believe that the salvation of the elect was accomplished by the sinless and obedient life, the substitutionary atoning death and the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of his people for their sins.
- We believe that the salvation of the elect, by God's grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.
- We believe that God's saving grace is ultimately irresistible and that God can soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to his will.
- We believe that the gospel should be urgently proclaimed to all people so that through the preaching of God’s word and by the power of God’s Spirit they may believe and so be saved.
- We believe that true Christians who are born again of God's Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church and love of lost neighbours in their culture.
- We believe God continues to give gifts to his people for the edification of his church. However we do not believe any particular gift is evidence of a fullness of the Spirit. We believe the mature course for church life is to focus on the centre – prayer, preaching the gospel to the world, godly living, loving service and Christ himself as revealed to us in the fully sufficient word of God.
We are Missional
Being Missional means:
- We believe that our local churches must be faithful to the unchanging content of Biblical doctrine.
- We believe that it is important for local churches and ministers of the gospel to take heed to the changing context of the culture in which they minister.
- We believe that our mission is to bring people to Christ, enfold them in his church so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.
What does Geneva Push not believe?
To help clarify our beliefs we believe it may also be helpful to declare what we do not believe. In stating who we are not, we do not seek to attack those who disagree with us, but rather distinguish ourselves so that pastors considering joining our network are aware of who we are, as well as who we are not.
- We are not Liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctive of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place and people.
- We are not Fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries, faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.
- We are not Isolationists but seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organisations in establishing church-planting churches.
- We are not Hyper-Calvinists who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelise and do good works because we believe that the sovereign plan of God is accomplished through us, his people.
- We believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus’ Second Coming is unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return have not been revealed to us.
- We are not Egalitarians but do believe that men should be heads of their homes and male elders should lead their churches with servant minded love like Jesus Christ. We believe that this is expressed in the public assembly by only inviting godly and gifted men to preach.
- We are not Open Theists but believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things.
- We are not Religious Relativists but do believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
- We are not Nationalists seeking simply to improve one nation but rather ambassadors of the King of kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of his kingdom to all nations of the earth.
- We are not Moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but rather evangelists seeking to help people become new creations in Christ.
- We are not Relativists but do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy and other purported forms of revelation.
- We are not Universalists but do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.
- We are not Naturalists but do believe that Satan and his demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God. We believe Satan’s work in the moral realm is effectively undone by the work of Christ applied through prayer, preaching the word and calling people to repentance and faith, without the necessity of exorcisms.
- We are not Rationalists but do believe that not everything can be known but that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things.
- We are not Evangelical Feminists but do believe that God reveals himself as Father and is to be honoured without apology by the names he reveals to us.
- We are not Polemicists who believe that it is our task to combat every false teaching but are passionate about preserving the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- We are not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ and do believe he died as a substitute for the sins of his people in selfless love.
- We are not ashamed and do proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant, while also saving multitudes with ears to hear the good news.
Members of Geneva Push online community and those applying for assessment as church planters will be asked to agree with this doctrinal statement before their membership is processed.