We are a family of missionary disciples in West Portland. We believe the Church is not another sub-culture, but the making of a new humanity. It’s not a building or a weekend activity, but a people. We strive to live out the Gospel together in smaller communities scattered throughout the week, called Westside Communities, then gather each weekend for teaching, the Lord’s Supper, and baptism. We want to partner with God in his relentless pursuit to put the world to rights. Our prayer is as Jesus prayed, that God’s will would be done and His Kingdom come in West Portland.
We believe in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and are committed to living out his teachings in the world. A summary of our key beliefs is stated below, drawn largely from The Lausanne Covenant, which we feel strongly aligned with.
The Purpose of God
We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. (Matthew 28v19; John 10v30; Ephesians 4v4-6).
The Authority and Power of the Bible
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. (1 Thessalonians 2v13; 2 Timothy 3v15-17).
The Uniqueness and Universality of Christ
We affirm that there is only one Savior and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. (Matthew 1v23; John 1v1-4 and 1v29; Acts 1v11 and 2v22-24; Romans 8v34; 1 Corinthians 15v3-4; 2 Corinthians 5v21; Philippians 2v5-11; Hebrews 1v1-4 and 4v15).
We believe that we are saved by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus, the sacrifice he made upon the cross and his resurrection; and not on the basis of human effort or merit (John 1v12; Ephesians 1v7; 2v8-10; 1 Peter 1v18-19).
The Nature of Evangelism
To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord, he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and it includes the kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Savior and Lord, with a view of persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. (Matthew 28v18-20; Acts 1v8; Romans 10v9-15; 1 Peter 3v15).
Christian Social Responsibility
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity; therefore, he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. (Isaiah 58v6–12; 61v1; Matthew 5v1–7v28; 28v18–20; Luke 4v18; 21v1–4; Galatians 2v10; 1 Timothy 6v8).
We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, which are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armor and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. (Ephesians 6v10-18; Matthew 4v1-11; Acts 19v13-16).
The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. (John 3v5-8; Acts 1v8 and 4v31; Romans 8v9; 1 Corinthians 2v14; Galatians 5v16-18; Ephesians 6v12; Colossians 2v6-10).
The Return of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations (Matthew 16v27; Acts 1v11; Revelation 19v11-16, 20v11-15).
The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139; Psalm 139v13; Isaiah 49v1; Jeremiah 1v5; Matthew 22v37-39; Romans 12v20-21; Galatians 6v10).
Marriage, Gender and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1v26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one natural-born (cisgender) man and one natural-born (cisgender) woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2v18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a natural-born (cisgender) man and a natural-born (cisgender) woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6v18; 7v2-5; Hebrews 13v4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15v18-20; 1 Corinthians 6v9-10).