In his epistles, Paul established decrees on many facets of the faith to preserve the church’s unity as Christ commanded. Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 1:10-11: “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For… there is quarreling among you.”
In light of this instruction, we agree to preserve our unity on the issues listed below that tend to cause division in churches today. While we may engage in respectful dialogue on the following issues we will not seek to divide or act divisively regarding our personal preferences on these issues.
Scripture says that marriage is a God-ordained institution that involves a life-long vow between a man and a woman (e.g. Gen. 2:24; Mic. 2:14) and sex is prohibited outside of this bond (e.g. 1 Cor. 6:15-7:5; Rom. 1:26-27). While scripture permits divorce in rare cases (e.g. Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9; 1 Cor. 7:15), we will first encourage reconciliation to a couple that’s in trouble by exhorting them to rely upon God’s readiness to forgive sin and restore lives (e.g. Mt. 19:3-9; 1 Cor. 7:10-16).
We will do our best not to focus on our own preferences in the style of music, use of art or other forms of worship, but focus on giving God glory and learning His truth (e.g. 1 Cor. 11:17-34).
Both men and women will be welcomed by the leadership to serve in staff positions, lead small groups, lead worship, serve communion, baptize, teach and serve as deacons and in all of our ministries. While scripture says that only men will serve as elders/pastors and preach in the place of highest authority (e.g. 1 Timothy 3:2, 5:17 and Titus 1:6), this practice should by no means dissuade women in our church to lead in any other venue and share their wisdom, gifts and commitment to fulfilling the church’s mission.
Scripture includes many instances where alcohol is moderately consumed and doesn’t prohibit drinking alcohol (e.g. Deut. 14:26; Jn. 2:6-10; 1 Tim. 5:23). Therefore, we are free to drink in moderation. However, scripture also commands us to be disciplined in order to avoid the sins of: drunkenness, alcoholism, violating governmental laws (such as under-age drinking) and becoming a stumbling block to the weak by refusing to love them well by abstaining (e.g. Ecc. 10:17; Eph. 5:18; Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 10:23-33; 1 Pet. 2:13-17).
From the outset of a conflict we will (1) get right with God and remove any sin from our life (Matt. 7:5) and (2) pray for His wisdom (Js. 1:5). After that will we (1) maturely approach one another with a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1) and (2) follow the process that Jesus suggested in Matt. 18:15-17. We also agree to mediation of conflicts before reverting to lawsuits (1 Cor. 6:1-11). At any point, if a person repents, we will re-affirm our love for them by (1) forgiving and (2) comforting so that they will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow (2 Cor. 2:7-8).
*Since issues that threaten church unity rise & fall over time, it is expected that the leadership of Resonate will update this statement from time-to-time.