WE BELIEVE that there is only one true God, revealed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity).
WE BELIEVE in the eternal deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In His incarnation, He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and performed miracles. His death provided salvation to all who would believe in Him. He was then resurrected bodily, and ascended to the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
WE BELIEVE that the Bible is the Word of God, and that every word of Scriptures has been inspired by God to infallibly declare His design and plan for mankind.
WE BELIEVE that although mankind willingly fell to sin, ushering evil, death and separation from God into the world, every person can be restored to fellowship with God through “salvation” (trusting Jesus Christ, through faith and repentance from sin, to be one’s personal Savior and Lord).
WE BELIEVE that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a further encounter that every believer may have with God’s Spirit, in addition to salvation, which empowers us for witnessing, effective service, and transformation into the image of Jesus, just as it did in the New Testament times.
Ordinances of the Church
WE BELIEVE in and practice two ordinances: 1) water baptism by immersion after receiving Christ’s gift of salvation: and 2) the Lord’s Supper as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation.
WE BELIEVE in the rapture of the Church, and a literal 7 year period of tribulation which is yet to come in the future. This will be followed by the return of Jesus to earth, followed by His Millennial Reign, in which He physically reigns over the earth, from Jerusalem for 1,000 years.
WE BELIEVE in and look forward to the perfect New Heaven and New Earth that Jesus has prepared for all people who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever, following His reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’
What is Calvary Chapel
One of the most common questions we hear is: “What denomination is Calvary Chapel?” In a broad sense, Calvary Chapel is the middle ground between fundamentalism and Pentecostalism in modern Protestant theology. Calvary Chapel rejects the over-emphasis of spiritual gifts and experiential signs and wonders to the exclusion of Biblical teaching. In our services, we focus on a personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. We do not allow speaking in tongues loudly during services because we do not believe the Holy Spirit would interrupt Himself.
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 the primary emphasis on the Word of God, which we look to as our primary rule of faith.
Calvary Chapel services are designed to be centered around the verse-by-verse teaching of God’s Word. Many Pentecostals think Calvary Chapel is not emotional enough, and many fundamentalists think Calvary Chapel is too emotional.
Worship at River Rocks Church and most Calvary Chapel’s is contemporary and causal in nature. We believe that there our worship should be directed towards God in a manner that best connects with the people that are in attendance.
We believe the family is to be patterned after the church, and that the church is patterned on the eternal model of Jesus Christ (The Bridegroom) and His Bride (The Church). Since God has designed the man to be the “head” in the marriage relationship (Ephesians 5:23; I Corinthians 11:3; I Timothy 2:12-13), we believe this pattern naturally follows for the church. We therefore look for godly men as pastors and elders to oversee the flock here at Calvary Chapel. We do not believe in ordaining women as pastors and/or elders. This does not at all mean that women cannot be used mightily in ministry. It only means that we do not believe the Lord has called women to be the “overseers” of the church.
Church government at Calvary Chapel is very simple, not a complex bureaucracy. Committees and sub-committees are essentially non-existent. Basically, at Calvary Chapel we believe that the pastor is ultimately responsible for the church, responsible to hear from God, and responsible to feed and love His people faithfully. At River Rocks Church we also have overseers whose purpose is to provide spiritual and personal accountability to the pastor of the church and seek God for confirmation that the direction of the church is moving as the Holy Spirit is directing.
CLARITY ON CERTAIN BELIEFS
At Calvary Chapel, we reject some popular doctrines of certain Christian groups because we believe them to be in error Scripturally. This does not mean that we will not fellowship with those holding these views, it simply means that such views are outside the boundaries of what constitutes a Calvary Chapel church.
At Calvary Chapel, we are strongly pre-millennialists and pre-tribulation rapturists.
We reject the belief, held by some Pentecostals and charismatics, that Christians can be demon possessed. The Scripture says “greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world” which makes no sense if a believer can be simultaneously indwelt by both the Holy Spirit and evil spirits. Christians can be attacked by demons, but they cannot be possessed or controlled by them.
We reject “five-point Calvinism.” For a deeper understanding of what Calvinism is, see Calvinism, Arminianism & The Word of God by Pastor Chuck Smith, but for our purposes here, suffice it to say that Calvary Chapel rejects two of the five points of five-point Calvinism. First, Calvinism teaches that Jesus’ atonement on the Cross was limited, that is, that He died only for a chosen group, His “elect,” not for the sins of the entire world. At Calvary Chapel, we believe that Jesus died on the Cross for all the sins of all people, and that anyone can accept Him as Lord and Savior and be born again. Strict five-point Calvinists believe that only the elect can be saved and that God has elected others to spend eternity in hell.
Secondly, we reject the Calvinistic teaching called “irresistible grace,” which is the belief that man cannot, even if he wants to, resist the wooing and calling of God to salvation. Instead, at Calvary Chapel we believe that man has free will and he can resist the call of God if he chooses to do so. Therefore, those who hold to five-point Calvinism are outside of the borders of what defines Calvary Chapel.
We reject the teaching of “positive confession.” At Calvary Chapel, we believe that many believers, both in the Bible and in daily life, are often afflicted not because their confession is wrong, but simply because we live in a foreign world.
Some churches have incorporated human, secular psychology and philosophy into their teaching programs, creating sermons that are based more on secular humanistic theory than on the Word of God. While we respect our fellow believers who work in mental health related fields, we at Calvary Chapel believe that the central mission of the church is to proclaim God’s Word to a lost and hurting world. We believe people respond best when God’s Word is proclaimed in the power and love of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s Word that changes lives for the better.
This is not to imply that we object to the work of the many dedicated Christian mental health professionals; conversely, we thank God for them. Our point is simply that in our ministry, we emphasize the teaching of God’s Word.
By clarifying some of what we believe at Calvary Chapel, our purpose has been simply to help others less familiar with the movement gain insight into who we are. It has not been our intention to say that we are right and everyone else is wrong, nor has it been our intention to argue our position with any Christian believer. We are content to agree to disagree, and we desire to have nothing but love and fellowship with anyone who calls on the name of the Lord in truth and sincerity.