The purpose of Calvary Chapel Sheridan is:
(1) To worship God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit;
(2) To glorify God, we look to Jesus Christ as our Savior and example;
(3) To live out His Ministry in prayer, worship, discipleship, evangelism and nurturing we use the Bible as our standard and guide;
(4) To build up the Church Body of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, we faithfully teach and practice of the Word of God, and continually engage in Biblical, charitable, and educational activities.
Calvary Chapel Sheridan shall give pre-eminence to:
The preaching of the Gospel,
Studying the Word of God,
Exalting the Lord Jesus Christ by being conservative in theology and evangelical in spirit, and by emphasizing the spiritual unity in Christ of all true believers.
Calvary Chapel Sheridan exists to demonstrate and spread the love of God through prayer, worship, discipleship, evangelism, and nurturing, that all who will, may know, worship, and obey God according to the Bible.
Statement of Faith
WE BELIEVE that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:8 and 48:16; Matthew 28:19-20; John 10:30; Hebrews 1:3).
WE BELIEVE that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired without error in the original manuscripts, and are the true and only basis for our faith and practice. (Isaiah 28:13; Nehemiah 8:8; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:3-4 and 1:21).
WE BELIEVE in God The Father, an infinite personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 90:2; Psalms 102:27; John 3:16 and 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; Titus 1:3).
WE BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings, His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people and His personal, visible return to earth. (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23; Mark 16:19; Luke 1:34-35; John 1:1-2, 8:58 and 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 1:2; Revelation 1:8).
WE BELIEVE in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and the Son to convict and teach the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower for ministry all who believe in Christ; we believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the proper exercise of all the Biblical gifts of the Spirit, with the greatest of the gifts being love. (Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 16:8-11; Romans 8:26 and 15:13,16; Hebrews 9:14; John 6:13, 14:16-17 and 16:8-11; Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 13 & 14).
WE BELIEVE that all people are sinners by nature and choice, and therefore, are under condemnation, born in the original sin of Adam; that God regenerates by the Holy Spirit those whom He draws to Himself by the power of His grace, as one repents of their sins and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord; that Jesus Christ baptizes the seeking believer with the Holy Spirit, empowering them for service. (Acts 8:15-17; Ephesians 2:1-3 and 8-9; Romans 3:23 and 5:8; Titus 3:5).
WE BELIEVE in the universal church, the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head and that all truly regenerated persons are members. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 4:15-16).
WE BELIEVE that the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: 1) water baptism and 2) the Lord's Supper. We believe in baptism by immersion and communion that is open to all believers. (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
WE BELIEVE in the physical rapture of His church, the millennial reign of Christ on the earth, the salvation and restoration of Israel during such time, and the establishment of His kingdom, in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment and eternal blessing of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:11-15).
WE BELIEVE in a literal Hell, a literal Devil and the reality of his fallen angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whoever is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life shall be consigned to everlasting punishment, separated from the presence of God in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:3, 5:22, 18:9 and 25:31-34; Mark 9:42-49; Luke 12:5; John 3:18; Hebrews 12:23; 1 Peter 1:4; Revelation 14:10-11 and 20:11-15)
WE BELIEVE firmly in the biblical teaching of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. We avoid any theological systems of belief that go beyond the written Word and thereby divide the body of Christ.
WE BELIEVE in what is termed "The Apostle's Creed" as embodying the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity.
WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN: "positive confession" (the faith movement belief that God can be commanded to heal or work miracles according to man's will); human prophecy that is authoritative above the Scriptures; the incorporation of humanistic and secular psychology into biblical teaching; the overemphasis of spiritual gifts or behavior that would be disruptive, or that true Christians can be demon-possessed.
In a broad general sense, Calvary Chapels are the middle ground between fundamentalism and Pentecostalism in modern Protestant theology. In fact, we believe that this is at least part of the reason God has raised up this ministry.
Fundamentalism is that portion of Protestantism, which holds to the literal interpretation of the Scriptures, believing that they are divinely inspired and inerrant. Hence, the “fundamentals” of the faith are emphasized. Although the modern news media and the liberal church scorn fundamentalists as backwards and stupid, the truth is that fundamentalism has preserved the integrity of God’s Word and held to the essential doctrines of the orthodox Christian faith.
Pentecostalism as a modern movement grew out of the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles at the turn of the 20thcentury, and spawned denominations that emphasize the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of spiritual and Scriptural gifts of the Spirit which had fallen dormant in the main line churches. This is also criticized by the liberal church and news media as being emotionally driven. However, Pentecostalism restored to the church the importance of gifts of the Spirit and the power of God for the believer today.
Over the years, however, fundamentalism, which clung to the integrity of God’s Word, tended to become rigid, legalistic, and unaccepting of spiritual gifts. Similarly, Pentecostalism became enthusiastic and emotional at the expense of the teaching of God’s Word.
Calvary Chapel is the balance between the two. At Calvary Chapel we believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible, and we encourage their exercise, but always decently and in order, and with primary emphasis on the Word of God, which we look to as our primary rule of faith.
To quote Pastor Chuck Smith: “We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Scriptures, and that they are valid today if they are exercised within the Scriptural guidelines. We as believers are to covet the best gifts, seeking to exercise them in love so that the whole Body of Christ might be edified. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without this love all exercise of spiritual gifts are worthless.”
Because of this balance, Calvary Chapel services are designed to be centered around the verse by verse teaching of God’s Word, and special “after glow” services are provided where the gifts of the Holy Spirit can operate freely under the leadership of mature Christians. Many Pentecostals think Calvary Chapel is not emotional enough, and many fundamentalists think Calvary Chapel is too emotional. That balance is an indication, in my opinion, that we are right where God wants us to be.
Calvary Chapel also differs from most mainline churches in its style of church government. Most denominational churches maintain either a Congregational form of church government, a Presbyterian form, or an Episcopal form of running their churches. These three terms should not be confused with the denominations that bear the same names because other churches of different names share these same styles of government.
The congregational form of church government is an American invention and appeals to our American sense of democracy. Basically, the congregation as a whole makes all decisions in these churches by voting on matters of importance and appointing committees from its ranks to run the daily operation of the church. Most Congregational, Baptist, Pentecostal, Brethren, and non-denominational churches are organized in this fashion. The congregation voted on hiring the pastor, votes on how to spend the money, and on anything else of importance. Although democratic people like the idea, congregational forms of church government often wind up at best causing the pastor to be directed by the sheep he is supposed to lead, and at worst reducing the pastor to a hireling.
The Episcopal form of church government, used by Episcopal, Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, and Methodist churches (to name a few) is controlled by a church hierarchy, which may have differing names. Basically, there is a bishop, or someone of similar stature if called by a different name, who oversees the churches, appoints pastors to pulpits, sets policy and monarchies, this leaves little freedom for the local pastor or congregation to follow the leading of the Spirit.
The Presbyterian form of church government, which is typical in Presbyterian and Reformed churches, puts the decisions of church policy in the hands of a select group of elders (“the presbytery”) who are appointed in various different ways, depending on the church. These elders are over the pastor, who in turn is over the congregation. The problem here too is that this system puts the God-appointed leader, the pastor, under some of those he is supposed to lead.
Calvary Chapels are organized differently. Church government at Calvary Chapel is very simple, it is not a complex bureaucracy and committees and sub-committees are essentially non-existent. Basically, at Calvary Chapel we believe that the pastor is responsible for the church, responsible to hear from God, and responsible to feed and love God's people faithfully. Elders are appointed in the larger churches to help the pastor care for the spiritual needs of the congregation, as are deacons to help the pastor care for the material needs of the church.
In addition, our churches have church boards as required by most states which vary in size depending on the size of the church and which usually are made up of mature Christian businessmen who can advise the pastor with respect to the business operations and decisions of the church in such things as property management and investments. At Calvary Chapel, church organization is de-emphasized, and only the organization that is actually needed to run the church is instituted. The pastor guides the church as he is lead by the Holy Spirit, and we trust God to put pastors where He wants them to be.