Non-Essentials

Worship Music

At Green Pond Bible Chapel we affirm that the content of worship music should accurately express who God is and should help the congregation to give Him praise. The musical style should be one that encourages as many as possible in attendance to participate. We want to glorify God in our worship music, and we will utilize songs written in the church’s past and present to do so.

Epistemology

Are we an “emerging” or “emergent” church? No. Most (not all) emerging churches affirm that we as finite beings cannot know beyond doubt whether or not something is true. While we affirm that as finite beings we cannot know anything exhaustively, we maintain that we can know accurately. The emerging church movement is much more than epistemology, but for this reason alone we would not label ourselves as emerging.

Gender Roles in Ministry

The Scriptures teach that God created men and women equal in importance but different in function. In the NT that truth is specifically applied to their specific roles in the church. In 1 Timothy 2 we find that women are excluded from the role of elder in the church. Paul does not base his argument on the cultural situation, but on the created order (1 Timothy 2:13). For this reason we hold that this teaching is not culturally specific but is universal. God has designed for men and women to fill different roles in the body of Christ, yet each is equal in spiritual value and importance.

This brings up a greater issue: does a distinction in roles imply superiority? Absolutely not. The most clear evidence of this reality is the distinction of roles in the Trinity. While God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are equal in essence, they are distinct in function. God has prepared men and women to fulfill different roles in both marriage and ministry.

The End of the World

The Scriptures teach several truths about the end of time that are clear: no one knows when it will occur (Matthew 24:36), Jesus will return and will redeem the church and judge the lost (2 Thess. 1:5-10). Thus we reject any claim to know the time of Christ’s return. We are called repeatedly to be ready for His return at any time because it can occur at any time. There are major differences in interpreting the details of the book of Revelation among respectable scholars in Christianity. Of specific difficulty is correlating the events described in Revelation with Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians.

We want to be gracious with those who may differ with our view of how those details are correlated. We hold to a pre-millenial view of the end times. We believe that after Jesus’ second coming He will set up a literal kingdom on earth for 1,000 years. We believe that Israel as a nation will indeed be restored to the land God promised to them. We respect the views of those who disagree, and consider them our brothers in Christ.

Bible Translation

The task of Bible translation is a crucial and constant task. The Scriptures have been translated since they were written. Because languages will always differ in form we affirm that an accurate translation must preserve the thought of the original in the target language. Jesus affirms that the very letters and syllables of the Scriptures are inspired by God, so the details in translation are of great importance.

Pastor Ryan uses an “essentially literal” translation at Green Pond Bible Chapel called the English Standard Version. Other popular translations at GPBC are the New American Standard Version, the New International Version, and the New English Translation. While we have tremendous respect for the King James Version, we are not a “KJV only” church.

We hold that any translation is the Word of God to the degree it accurately reflects the original text. No subsequent translation of the Scriptures can claim the same inspiration and inerrancy that the original autographs possess. Our Bibles in English are not perfect, but they are reliable representations of the original texts of Scripture and can be trusted as the Word of God.

Different ages and occasions will call for different translations of the Bible. English speakers have enjoyed 500 years of having a Bible translation in their tongue. We are committed to helping produce Bible translations for those cultures in our world who do not yet have the Bible in their language.

Baptism

We believe that baptism is the outward sign of the inward reality of faith in Christ for salvation. Properly speaking baptism does not cause or contribute to salvation- it is a result of salvation. Jesus calls all believers to follow Him in water baptism to declare to the world their faith in Him. Consistently in the New Testament the apostles call for baptism to follow repentance and faith in Christ. As infants are not yet able to repent and trust Christ we reserve baptism for those who are old enough to understand and express repentance and faith in Christ. Each Christian should be baptized after coming to faith in Christ for salvation.

Spiritual Gifts

At Green Pond Bible Chapel we affirm, based on the teaching of the NT, that every Christian is uniquely gifted to serve in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). We believe that the gift lists in the New Testament are not exhaustive, but representative. They reflect the reality that God has equipped each of us to serve one another in the body.

During the apostolic age it is clear from the book of Acts that God used miraculous means to establish the foundation of the church. We believe that miraculous gifts are not the norm. Each member of the church should actively seek ways to serve as God has individually crafted them for service in the church.