Distinctives

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A High view of God, a High View of Scripture: these are our distinctive beliefs. These priorities anchor us as we address issues particular to our time, region, and culture. Pastor-Teacher Tom Pennington addressed many of these issues in his sermon series: The Distinctives of Countryside Bible Church.

The Sufficiency of Scripture

We believe that God has provided us in the Scripture with everything necessary to nurture and sustain spiritual life.1 That means we are committed to teaching and to counseling directly and exclusively from the Word of God.2 We do not believe that secular psychology has any legitimate role in the sanctification of the believer.

  1. Ps 19:7-11; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3
  2. Ps 19:7; 119:9,11; John 15:3; 17:17; 1 Thess 2:13; 5:14; 2 Tim 4:2; James 1:21

A Changed Life

We believe that all those whom God has genuinely saved by grace through faith alone are new creatures in Christ1 and will demonstrate that new life by submission to Christ and obedience to God's Word.2 All Christians still sin3, sometimes horribly, and sometimes for extended periods without repentance.4 But a decreasing pattern of sin and an increasing pattern of holiness will characterize every Christian's life.5

  1. John 3:3; Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 5:17
  2. Matt7:21; Luke 6:46-49; Rom 10:9-10
  3. James 3:2; 1 John 1:8-10
  4. 2 Sam 11:26-12:15
  5. John 15:1-11; Gal 5:19-25; Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6; 2:12-13; 1 John 1:6-7; 3:4-10

The Gift of Tongues

We believe that the gift of tongues was the miraculous, God-given capacity to communicate the truth of God's Word in human languages the speaker had never learned or studied.1 It was a manifestation of God's power and blessing to validate the gospel message the Apostles taught and to establish the early Church.2 We believe that ecstatic outbursts and private prayer languages share nothing in common with the New Testament gift of tongues, and that they are patently unbiblical.3

  1. Acts 2:4-12; 8:15-17; 10:44-46; 19:1-7
  2. Acts 14:3; 1 Cor 14:22; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4
  3. Acts 2:4-12; 1 Cor 14:5, 13, 27

The Role of Women

We believe that both men and women bear the image of God and that those in Christ enjoy equal spiritual standing before God.1 But Scripture teaches that God has assigned different roles and responsibilities to men and women. In the home, the husband is to be the gracious, loving head and the wife is to submit to her husband's leadership.2 God has provided equally clear roles in the church. While there are many ways women can serve, we believe that Scripture forbids women from teaching and leading men, or in any way exercising authority over men in the context of the church.3

  1. Gen 1:27; 5:1-2; Gal 3:28
  2. Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1-7
  3. 1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Tim 2:9-12; 3:1-2, 5

Creation

We believe Genesis is a straightforward, literal presentation of the historical events it describes. We teach, therefore, that God created everything in six literal days.1We reject every form of theistic evolution.2

  1. Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; Ex 31:17
  2. Isaiah 44:24; 45:18; John 1:3; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16

Human Sexuality

We believe that God created mankind in His own image.1 In two separate acts, He created only two distinct genders: male and female.2 The genders of Adam and Eve were established by God and defined by their physiological sex at creation.3Subsequent to creation, God determines the gender of all other humans by their physiological sex at the time of birth.4 Thus, all attempts to redefine human sexuality beyond the physiological male-female distinction (whether framed biologically or culturally) and all attempts to change one’s birth gender are sinful rebellion against our Creator. As our Creator, God stipulates in His Word that the only legitimate and acceptable sexual desires and sexual acts are those between a man and a woman within the context of marriage.5

  1. Gen 1:27; 5:1; 9:6; James 3:9
  2. Gen 1:27; 5:1-2; Matt 19:4; Mark 10:6
  3. Gen 1:27; 2:7, 22
  4. Gen 18:10; Lev 12:2, 5, 7
  5. Gen 2:24; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Matt 5:28; 19:4-6; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 7:1-5; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Thess 4:3-8; 1 Tim 1:10; Heb 13:4

Marriage

We believe marriage is a gift of God’s common grace to all mankind as a fundamental building block of society.1 As the architect of marriage, God alone retains the right to define its constructs and guidelines, and He has done so in His Word.2 In accordance with Scripture, we teach that God’s design for marriage is a public, formal, and official covenant between one male and one female.3 God designed the marriage covenant to be a life-long bond, with divorce permitted only in the case of unrepentant4 sexual sin or of desertion by an unbeliever.5 Although sexual sins of thought are not justification for divorce, all sexual immorality, both thoughts and behavior, must be taken seriously as a transgression against God.6God intends that the union between two believers be a loving illustration of the relationship between Christ and His church, when carried out in obedience to the Bible and through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.7

  1. Gen 1:28; 2:18, 24; Ps 127:3; Prov 18:22; 31:10-11; Heb 13:4
  2. Gen 2:18-24
  3. Gen 2:24; Pr 2:17; Ezek 16:8-14; Mal 2:14
  4. In keeping with the spirit of Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments, we urge reconciliation in most cases in the event of an unfaithful spouse who demonstrates sincere biblical repentance (cf. Hosea 1-3; 11; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13).
  5. Mal 2:16; Matt 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; 1 Cor 7:12-16, 24
  6. Job 31:1; Matt 5:28; 15:19; James 1:14-15
  7. Eph 5:18-33; 2 Cor 6:14; 1 Peter 3:7