As many of you know, Christianity has split into smaller divisions, or denominations, throughout its history. Some denominations you’ve probably heard of include Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic. There are even denominations within denominations (such as United Methodist and Wesleyan Methodist)! There are so many different denominations and sets of beliefs, and I wanted to share mine with you.
I am part of a denomination called the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel – ICFG or Foursquare for short. Foursquare is a Pentecostal denomination that came out of the evangelistic ministry of a woman named Aimee Semple McPherson in 1923. As a member of the ICFG, I believe that Jesus is the Savior, the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, the Healer, and the Soon-Coming King.
I believe that Salvation is a gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. I practice evangelism, tithing, moderation, fellowship, communion and water baptisms. I believe that the Holy Spirit gives gifts to believers for ministry. In other words, I believe in spiritual gifts and that they are relevant and working in the present. Finally, I believe that Jesus is coming back one day; that everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for his or life; and that Heaven and Hell are real places – not just a state of mind.
I believe that the Bible is the infallible (incapable of error) Word of God and that belief influences my take on key issues such as:
- Abortion – God is the creator of life. I believe that to take a life goes against God’s law and declares that we as humans know better that God. Therefore, I believe abortion is wrong.
- Drinking – I believe in moderation. The Bible says that we are not to become drunk; however, Paul in his letters to Timothy encouraged Timothy to take a little wine to aid in digestion. I also believe in upholding the laws of the government. The government says that the drinking age is 21, so drinking before then is illegal. As Christians, we should set an example by obeying the laws of our government as long as they don’t contradict God’s Word.
- Identity & Body Image – I believe that we’re created in the image of God. God has adopted us into His family as His very own children. That’s our identity–I believe we are citizens of Heaven, not of this world. The reality of appearance is that your outward beauty is directly related to the state of your heart and mind. If you are confident, your posture will be straighter, you will smile more and your eyes will sparkle. If your heart is kind and gentle, that will show in your appearance. Beauty really is much more than looks.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all in all. – 1 Corinthians 15:48-49
What denomination are you?