Who We Are
We are a Christian church. That is, we are committed to knowing, loving and following the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is our Head, and we are his body on earth. Christ is our Bridegroom, and we are his bride. The members of Bethel come from various ethnic, cultural and denominational backgrounds, but we are united to Christ through faith and to one another through Christ. In Christ, we are sons and daughters of God, and brothers and sisters to one another.
We are a Reformed church. That means that we trace our historical roots back to the protestant Reformation of the 16th century. God used the reformers and the reformation to bring about a recovery of the Scriptures and of gospel of Jesus Christ. While the Scriptures alone are our final authority, we value several of the teachings and confessions of the Reformation.
Purpose and Vision
Our purpose is to proclaim the gospel. The gospel is the good news that God came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life on behalf of everyone who trusts in him, died to pay the penalty for their sin, and rose again to guarantee their resurrection to eternal life.
Our vision is that our proclamation of the gospel would cause us to know Christ better, to love him more deeply, and to follow his will in every area of our life.
What We Believe
We believe that the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, the only infallible rule for faith and life. We afﬁrm three creeds—the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed—as ecumenical expressions of the Christian faith. We also afﬁrm three confessions—the Belgic Confession , the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort —as historic Reformed expressions of the Christian faith, whose doctrines fully agree with the Word of God.
The foundational beliefs of reformed theology can be summarized as follows:
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.
Bethel Statement on Gender and Sexuality
- God created every human being in his own image (Gen 1:26-26, 9:6), and therefore every person is to be treated with respect and dignity. Christians are commanded not to belittle, insult, hate or kill our neighbor by out thoughts, words, look or gesture or to be party to this in others (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 105).
- God created humans in two distinct genders: male and female. That He himself designates a person’s gender and links a person’s gender to his/her biological sex (Gen. 1:27-28). As far as a person is able to know it, and by God’s help, a person should be encouraged to embrace their biological sex.
- God designed marriage to be a union between a man and a woman, joined together by God himself in order to represent the relationship between Christ and his church. (Gen 2:22-24, Eph 5:22-33).
- Sexuality is a good gift from God, to be enjoyed in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman (Gen 1:28, 31; 2:25), and that “God forbids anything that incites unchastity, whether it be actions, looks, talk, thoughts or desire” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 109).
- Homosexual practice in any form is sinful. God calls same-sex attracted individuals to abstain, by God’s help, from practicing homosexuality, and he empowers them by his Spirit to live holy and pure lives (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
- God’s love and acceptance is not based on our own righteousness or moral performance, but on Christ’s righteousness counted as the believer’s by grace alone. God’s grace towards us in Christ “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Tit 2:12).