Statement of Faith, By-Laws and Policies
We believe (Eastgate Ministries – the Church) the Bible is the source for all doctrine knowing that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We believe that there are certain basic Christian truths about which there must be agreement. On all other doctrines there should be liberty. We therefore steer away from doctrines of debate that the church has been divided over for centuries, while standing on common ground. We seek to fellowship based on what we have in common, not our differences, always endeavoring to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (See Ephesians 4:3).
The following declaration of faith is our position on Christian doctrines. We seek to glorify His name in upholding the highest standards of biblical integrity, morality, and sound doctrine built upon the pure and un-compromised gospel of Jesus Christ. Although they are not all that we believe, they are the most basic in regards to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are doctrines we may consider non-essential, but which are important. We make known our beliefs in regards to these while being tolerant of those who may hold a different position. We are committed to truth and accuracy in doctrine but we also understand that one can hold to right doctrines and still do damage to the body of Christ by causing divisions especially over the non-essential. It is our resolution to protect the liberty of Christians who hold different perspectives, without becoming critical and judgmental. We are just as committed to Christian character believing that we are to “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Additional Information: APPENDIX:
Whenever we refer to Eastgate Ministries or to “The Church” in the following, we are denoting them as one and the same.
On Marriages. It is the policy of Eastgate Ministries (the Church) and its ordained ministers, and divisions, regardless of their location, to perform marriage ceremonies before God in accordance with Scripture. We do not perform legally binding marriages recognized by the State of Maine, or any other State or legal entity that is contrary to Eastgate Ministries (the Church) By-Laws, Statement of Faith, and policies. Therefore, for those individuals who wish to have their marriage recognized by the State need to do so in accordance with the laws of the State of Maine, or elsewhere they may reside or desire to be married.
On Use of Facilities. All real property facilities of Eastgate Ministries (collectively , the “Church Facilities”), whether leased, rented, or owned, including without limitation its sanctuary auditorium, fellowship hall, gymnasium, educational facilities, conference rooms and other meeting rooms or facilities used for the mission of Eastgate (the Church), wherever located, when used by the Church, its ministers, officers, staff or employees or its congregation members or Church attendees, and if used by other persons or groups with the permission of Eastgate (the Church) or the ministerial or administrative staff of Eastgate ( the Church) shall be used solely for purposes consistent or compatible with the mission, faith and doctrine of Eastgate Ministries (the Church) as defined in its Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and Bylaws, or in Statements of Faith adopted by Eastgate (the Church) from time to time, it being acknowledged and understood that Facilities are intended not to be facilities of “public accommodation” as defined by law, but are facilities owned or leased by Eastgate Ministries (the Church, a Maine Non-Profit Corporation, dedicated solely for such permitted uses.
Eastgate Ministries (the Church’s) facilities were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of its members. The Church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and always to God’s glory and His worship, although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we do on occasion make our facilities available to non members, both individual and groups, after approval by the Church consistent with this policy.
Facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs, or advancing, advocating, or engaging in practices that conflict with Eastgate’s (the Church’s) faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, Eastgate Ministries (the Church’s) Statement of Faith, Bylaws and other policies or statements of faith adopted by the Church. Nor may facilities be used for activities that express viewpoints that contradict, or are deemed by the pastor to be inconsistent or incompatible with the Church’s faith or moral teachings, The Church designates the pastor as its final decision-maker on whether a person or group is allowed to use Church facilities for particular activities.
The restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, Eastgate Ministries (the Church) may not in good conscience materially cooperate or participate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict Eastgate’s (the Church’s) beliefs would be viewed by some as material cooperation with that activity and complicity in that viewpoint, and would be a grave violation of the faith and religious practice of the Body and its individual members (See 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Second, it is very important to Eastgate Ministries (the Church) that it presents a consistent message to the community, which Eastgate’s (the Church) staff and members conscientiously maintain as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To allow facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to Eastgate’s (the Church’s) faith would have a severe negative impact on the message that Eastgate Ministries (the Church) strives to promote. It could also be a source of confusion and scandal to Eastgate’s (the Church) members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, Eastgate (the Church) is in agreement with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using Eastgate’s (the Church’s) facilities.
Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict the Church’s faith use any Church facility. Nor may facilities be used in any way that contradicts the Church’s faith (See Colossians 3:17).
The foregoing policy shall apply to any ceremony, whether or not recognized by law, involving persons of the same birth gender or transsexual persons, including a civil union, commitment ceremony, or so-called same sex marriage.
Eastgate Ministries (the Church) full statement of faith
On the Creation- There is only one God, who, in the beginning created both the heavens and the earth. God created mankind in His own image to reflect His divine nature, Holy Character and glory. Mankind was created for fellowship and intimacy as partakers of His divine nature. (Ge. 1:1, 26, 27, and 2 Pe. 1:4)
On the Trinity- We believe in the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct personalities and yet one God.
On Holy Matrimony – God created both man and woman in His image for the expression of the fullness of the glory of God. (Ge. 1:28) We define a sanctified holy marriage as the union between a man and woman only, ordained by God for the purpose to be fruitful and multiply to replenish the earth as “one flesh” under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (Ge. 2:24, 1 Cor. 6:9)
On the Person of Jesus – Jesus Christ is the Word (Logos) of God Who was with God in the beginning. John 1:1-2, states His pre- existence as one with God “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God”. Jesus Christ is also the creator for “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth” (Col. 1:16).
Jesus is the purpose of God for all things were created by Him and for Him. (Rev. 4:11) He is the way, the truth and the life, the way to the Father. As the Lamb of God, through Him we are saved through faith by grace.
The Fall of Mankind – We believe that man was created by God without sin. The first man, Adam, transgressed against the command of God, and as God had warned, because of sin the process of death became interwoven into the soul and fabric of mankind. Thus began the generational curse of being separated from God, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Ro. 3:23, 5:12, 1 John 1:10).
The Redemptive Love of God – Because all mankind are sinners, mankind is under the sentence of the judgment of God. But God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed upon Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) All who trust in the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross for the remission of sins will escape the judgment and inherit eternal life. (Ro. 5:9) “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Ro. 6:23)
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent His only begotten Son in the world, that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9).
Saved by Grace – It is through the blood of Jesus that we have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Eph. 1:7) Jesus died on the cross for the atonement of sin was buried and rose again the third day, now seated on the right hand of the Father with all authority in heaven and in earth. (Mt. 28:18, Eph. 1:20-23) All who seek restoration and fellowship with God must go through Jesus and cannot approach God through any person, means, method or doctrine. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).
Salvation is the free gift of God, “For by grace are you saved by faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works least any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Those who trust in Jesus have access to the Throne of Grace by His sacrifice and His sacrifice alone. “We therefore have brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (He. 10:19) Good works are acceptable to God only as a love offering given to Him because of His worthiness, and have no bearing on our acceptance, standing or approval, all of which were accomplished by Jesus upon the cross. “And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18).
On the New Birth – At the time that a believer embraces the cross of Jesus, believing in their hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and in His propitiation made for our salvation, a regeneration and renewal occur that constitutes our new birth as a new creation in Christ Jesus. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Being “born again” implies a new beginning but Christian maturity is a process of growing up in Christ that takes place over time by faith. While it is possible to change our behavior without regeneration, changing our hearts requires the new birth;
On Water Baptism – We believe that water baptism is a personal and public statement of faith by the believer, that they have received Jesus Christ into their heart as Lord and savior, confessing they believe in His death, burial and resurrection. We believe water baptism by immersion thus signifying that our life is dead in Christ, and we are committed to rise and walk in newness of life – His life! For “We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead but the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Ro. 6:4).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit – We believe that the “Baptism of the Spirit” is an impartation of the grace of God, which usually occurs subsequent to Regeneration “Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38, see also Acts 8:15 -17). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is usually accompanied by gifts of the Holy Spirit as noted in 1 Cor. 12:7-11, such as speaking in tongues, the gifts healing, the gift of prophecy, etc.
The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to empower the believer to be a witness of Christ, (Acts 1:8) empower the believer with spiritual gifts to do the work of the ministry (1 Cor. 12: 7-18, Ro. 12:5-8, 8: 26 and Eph. 4:14) to guide the believer into truth, reveal Christ and glorify God. (John 16:13-14) Only the Spirit of God can reveal the Son of God, and only the Son of God can reveal the Father. (Eph. 1:17-18) Those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit should also begin to take on the divine nature and Holy Character of God, bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially that of love. (1 Cor. 11:31, 13:1, Galatians 5:22).
By My Spirit – We believe it is the Holy Spirit that ministers the gospel in power, not that of human eloquence, persuasion, intellectual or oracle abilities, or emotional appeal – but the Spirit of God. For it is “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord” (Zech. 4:6). Therefore, the gospel that is able to save souls, heal the sick, open prison doors and set the captives free, (Luke 4:18) is by the power of the Spirit of God; not our trust in principles, methods, certain prayers, rituals or scientific formulas. It is the Holy Spirit who anoints believers to minister the Kingdom message with power and demonstration to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils. (Mt. 10:8)
The Authority of the Scriptures- We believe the Holy bible is the divinely inspired word of God. It is the Word of God that came as “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pe. 1:21). We are committed to esteeming the Scripture as the very Word of God inerrant in its original form. We do not accept any doctrine or religious practice which contradicts scripture knowing that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness” (2 timothy 3:16). We do not accept any spiritual experience as having its source in the Holy Spirit that does not have a precedent in Scripture. Nor do we accept any revelation, vision, dream, prophecy, or discernment as truth which contradicts Scripture or that cannot be verified by it. Although we accept revelations of God, they are filtered through the scriptures before being acknowledged.
The Ascension Gifts of Christ –We believe “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (He. 13:8) and that His ministry in the church by the Holy Spirit has not changed from the beginning. We accept, encourage and seek all of the biblical gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as present and vital for the church to accomplish her full purpose today. It is for this purpose that the fivefold ascension gifts of Christ (Eph. 4:11) are given by Christ to men to build up, equip, and release the church “For the perfection of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (See Eph. 4:3-15)
The Church – We believe the church consist of the body of believers in Christ. The relationship of Christ with His church is noted in scriptures as Christ being the groom and His church as His bride, thus signifying the close relationship that the church is ordained to have with Him “But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). Together we make up the body of Christ. The purpose of the church is to be a holy habitation for the Spirit of God (Eph. 2:22). We consider it the primary purpose of the church to esteem and exalt Jesus in every place and in every way. He is our goal and purpose.
On Divine Healing – We believe that the ministry of healing and the working of miracles are for today through the operation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. “To another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles. Healing may occur through the members of the body of Christ” (1 Cor. 12:7-18).
The Lord’s Supper -We acknowledge the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus and as a testimony of our communion (common -union) with Him in His body -the Church. We believe that in order to take communion, we must first examine ourselves and judge ourselves in regards to discerning the Lord’s body -His church, least we should be judged. (1 Cor. 11:23-32)
The Second Coming of Christ – We believe that Christ will return for His bride -the church, and to take authority and rule on the earth. We believe as the scriptures states in 1 Cor. 15:51-55, that those who are alive and remain at the return of our Lord will be changed and caught up to be with Him in the air. Those who have died in the faith will be resurrected and precede those who are alive in being changed and caught up to be with Him.
In His great grace and love, Roy Roden