Calvary Chapel is a fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ. Our supreme desire is to know and enjoy Christ, to be conformed to His image by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission.
We are a non-denominational church that is associated with the global Calvary Chapel movement. We are not opposed to denominations as such. However, we are opposed to the overemphasis of doctrinal differences in secondary matters that has led to the division of the Body of Christ.
We believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ’s love, which is greater than any differences believers may possess and without which we have no right to call ourselves Christians.
We believe that the Scriptures, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are the fully inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, and the infallible rule of faith and practice for all Christians. The Word of God is the foundation upon which the church is built, and the standard by which the church is governed. We believe that the Bible is preeminent over any other authority.
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power, glory and being, but different in their roles. We believe that the Triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all things.
3. God the Father
We believe in the person of God the Father—an infinite, eternal, personal Spirit—perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe He mercifully concerns Himself in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and saves from sin and death all those who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ:
We believe in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, who, being eternally God, was incarnated as a man by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, teachings, substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and His personal, visible return to earth to rule and reign.
5. The Holy Spirit:
We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit, that He proceeds forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; that He regenerates, sanctifies, and empowers for mission all who believe the Gospel. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells all believers in Jesus Christ and acts as their abiding helper, teacher, and guide.
We believe that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a distinct and separate experience to that of regeneration, occurring either subsequent to, or simultaneous with the experience of the new birth. We believe the baptism with the Holy Spirit is evidenced in the Christian’s life as a dynamic enablement to be a bold and more effective witness for the Gospel. We also believe in and advocate the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit regarding the exercise of all biblical spiritual gifts, for the edification of the body of Christ in love, according to the instructions outlined in Scripture.
We believe that God created mankind, both male and female, in His own image. This means that men and women are equal in worth and dignity, but different in function so as to complement and complete each other. Therefore, we believe in the pattern and principle of male leadership and responsibility in both the family and the church. We believe this limits the role of a pastor to qualified men. In addition, God’s creation of man and woman shows that biblical marriage is intended to be only between one male and one female and is the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society.
7. Sin and Salvation:
We believe that, since the Fall, all people are sinners by nature and choice. All people have broken the law and heart of God in both thought and action, and as a result are under God’s righteous judgment. But, we also believe in the Gospel—the good news that God immediately forgives, regenerates, and saves by grace all those who come to Him through repentance and faith in Christ, sealing them with His Holy Spirit and securing their eternal future with Him. This is possible because Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place for our sins, absorbing God’s wrath on our behalf. In so doing, God is able to forgive the spiritual crimes of people without violating the demands of justice. We believe that salvation also means the renewal through Christ of the entire cosmos in the new heaven and earth, and that all who believe the Gospel will rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom.
We believe in the universal church, the living, spiritual body of Christ, of which He is the Head and all who are born-again through faith in the Gospel are members. We also believe that God calls believers into local churches for edification and the fulfillment of mission. We believe that church government should be simple rather than a complex bureaucracy. The Holy Spirit, not human programs, should govern the church.
We believe the worship of God should be spiritual. Therefore, we remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship. We believe the worship of God should be inspirational. Therefore, music plays an important part in our worship. We believe the worship of God should be intelligent. Therefore, in our services we emphasize the teaching of the Word of God. We believe the worship of God should be fruitful. Therefore, we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation of true worship.
We also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church: water baptism by immersion for believers, and communion (the Lord’s Supper).
9. Last Things:
We await the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, through which all believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and be taken out of the world prior to the seven-year tribulation that will come upon the earth. We believe that the second coming of Christ with His saints to rule on the earth will be personal, premillennial, and visible and coincide with the establishment of His millennial kingdom. After this will be the final judgment, the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal condemnation of the wicked.
We believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell. All those who place their faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ will spend eternity in a reunited heaven and earth with the Lord, while those who reject the free gift of salvation proclaimed in the Gospel will spend eternity separated from God and His people in hell.
In addition, it can be helpful to define our differences with other teachings sometimes found among Christians.
– “Positive Confession” – the teaching in the “Faith Movement” that we can command God to fulfill our desires or that we can create reality with the words we speak forth.
– “The Prosperity Gospel” – the teaching in the “Faith Movement” that Christians have the right or “inheritance” to always be rich and healthy and if otherwise, it is a result of sin or lack of faith. We believe that believers are sometimes in sickness and poverty simply because we live in a fallen world. God sometimes heals but sometimes uses suffering in our lives to reveal Himself to us and conform us into His image.
– The teaching that born-again Christians can be demon possessed.
– The teaching about “generational curses”.
– Human prophesies which contradict Scripture.
– 2 of the 5 articles of Arminianism: “Conditional Election” which teaches that God elects to salvation those in whom He foresees faith. “Conditional Assurance” which teaches that our assurance of salvation is dependent on our own obedience. These teachings imply that man, not God, is the initiator of his salvation and the source of his assurance before God.
– 2 of the 5 points of Calvinism: “Limited Atonement” which teaches that Christ died only for the “elect” and not for all people. “Irresistible Grace” which teaches that man is incapable of rejecting God’s call to salvation. These teachings imply that man has no real choice and that God has predestined some for damnation in hell.
– The incorporation of worldly, humanistic psychology and philosophy into the teaching of the Word of God.
– The overemphasis of spiritual gifts, signs and miracles that leads to neglect of the Word of God.
In our services, we focus on a personal relationship with Jesus through worship, prayer, study of God’s Word, the taking of communion and fellowship with one another. Although we believe that topical teaching has its time and place, in Calvary Chapel we desire to know the full counsel of God, therefore we primarily study the Bible verse-by-verse. We desire for people to feel free to express their adoration to the Lord during worship, but we also believe that God is a God of order. Therefore, we do not allow speaking in tongues loudly during services. (We have a prayer time during our home fellowships where we give opportunity for the use of such gifts within biblical guidelines.)