Covington Bible
Church

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(540) 965-4256

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2140 S. Carpenter Dr.

Covington, VA 24426

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The State of Theology at Covington Bible Church

 

What do we believe as a church? The beliefs that we hold about God and the Bible will shape the life of our church in a very powerful way. On November 11 our church family took a survey about our theological beliefs. The survey was presented in the form of statements, and church members were invited to mark that they agreed with, disagreed with, or were not sure about each statement. Read on for the results!

Statement 1: God is a perfect being and cannot make a mistake.

91% Agree

4.5% Disagree

4.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. The Bible tells us that God and His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30, Matthew 5:48). His law is perfect (Psalm 19:7), as is His will (Romans 12:2), and only a perfect being can have a perfect will and can reveal a perfect law.

Statement 2: There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

94% Agree

3.5% Disagree

2.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. In the one true God there are three co-eternal and co-equal persons-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit-each of whom possesses all of the attributes of God (Matthew 28:19, Romans 1:1-4, Romans 8:1-11, 2 Corinthians 13:14). Each of these three are distinguished by personal properties, but none of them is more divine or less divine than the others (Genesis 1:1-2, Psalm 110:1, John 1:1, 1:18, 5:18, 16:7, 16:13-15, Acts 2:33, 5:3-4). God is one in essence and three in person.

Statement 3: God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

11% Agree

75% Disagree

14% Not Sure

Answer: False. God tells us that we "shall have no other Gods" before Him, and commands us to keep ourselves from idols, which includes any god that is not the one true God revealed in the Bible (Exodus 20:3, 1 John 5:21). God does not accept any worship unless it is offered in spirit and truth, which is worship that approaches the one true God through Christ the Mediator (John 4:24, 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 7:25), so God does not accept the worship of all religions but accepts only the worship offered in Christianity.

Statement 4: God created male and female.

95.5% Agree

2.25% Disagree

2.25% Not Sure

Answer: True. When God created mankind in His image, He created male and female (Genesis 1:27).

Statement 5: Biblical accounts of the physical (bodily) resurrection of Jesus are completely accurate. This event actually occurred.

89.5% Agree

4.5% Disagree

6% Not Sure

Answer: True. The four Gospel accounts all agree that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-49, John 20:1-28). The historical fact of Jesus' bodily resurrection is so important that Paul wrote that the Christian faith is false is Jesus did not rise from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:12-28).

Statement 6: Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.

28% Agree

57% Disagree

15% Not Sure

Answer: False. The Son of God, whom we now know as the God-man Jesus Christ, is God and was in the beginning with God (John 1:1). He is from all eternity and has always existed according to His divine nature (John 8:58, Colossians 1:19). Thus, the Son of God, according to His own divine nature, is uncreated, and there has never been a time when He did not exist.

Statement 7: Jesus Christ is the only person who never sinned.

88.5% Agree

7% Disagree

4.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. The Bible teaches that all people have sinned (Romans 3:9-18, with one exception-Jesus Christ. Jesus alone obeyed God perfectly and committed no sin (John 8:46, Romans 5:12-21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22).

Statement 8: The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.

31% Agree

54% Disagree

15% Not Sure

Answer: False. The Holy Spirit can be grieved and lied to (Isaiah 63:10, Acts 5:3, Ephesians 4:30). He can also speak (Hebrews 3:7-11, 10:15-17). An impersonal force can do none of these things, so these personal characteristics indicate that the Holy Spirit must be a person.

Statement 9: The Holy Spirit gives new birth or new life before a person has faith in Jesus Christ.

26.5% Agree

62% Disagree

11.5% Not Sure

Answer: True-With a Caveat: The wording of this statement is somewhat unfortunate, as there are two truths at play here. One is that the Holy Spirit indwells believers at the point of salvation (Romans 5:5, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 5:5). It is true that unbelievers are not indwelt by the Spirit (Romans 8:9). However, it is also true that we are born spiritually dead. Apart from a work of God in our hearts, none of us would ever seek after God (Ephesians 2:1-4, Romans 3:10-18, John 6:65). Before we are saved, the Holy Spirit draws us to God, convicting us of our sinfulness and allowing us to see God's truth in a way that we never have before (John 16:8, 1 Corinthians 2:14). While language like "new birth" and "new life" are likely more broad than is ideal in light of Scripture, it is vital to understand that there must be a work of the Holy Spirit in a person's heart before salvation.

Statement 10: The Holy Spirit can tell me to do something that is forbidden in the Bible.

9% Agree

86.5% Disagree

4.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. "God is not a God of confusion but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33). Therefore, God cannot contradict Himself, for that would cause confusion. Since the Holy Spirit is God and since God ultimately authored the Bible (Acts 5:3-5, 2 Timothy 3:16-17), the Holy Spirit will never contradict Himself by telling us to do something that is forbidden in the Bible.

Statement 11: Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.

10% Agree

82% Disagree

8% Not Sure

Answer: False. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, human beings (except Jesus Christ) have been born into sin. According to God's perfect standard, "none is righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:9-18), and apart from God's grace, the intentions of our hearts are evil from our youth and our thoughts are evil continually because we do not seek the glory of God (Genesis 6:5, 8:21).

Statement 12: Even the smallest sin deserves eternal condemnation.

77% Agree

15% Disagree

8% Not Sure

Answer: True. God does not grade on a curve but demands that we "be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). If we fail to keep even one of God's commandments, we are guilty of breaking the entire law and are under the divine curse, from which only Jesus can save us (Galatians 3:10-14, James 2:10).

Statement 13: God counts a person as righteous not because of one's works but only because of faith in Jesus Christ.

91% Agree

3% Disagree

6% Not Sure

Answer: True. God does not save us "because of works done by us in righteousness" (Titus 3:4-7). We are justified-counted as righteous-by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Luke 18:9-14, Romans 4, Galatians 3:1-9, Ephesians 2:8-9).

Statement 14: The Bible, like all sacred writings, contains helpful accounts of ancient myths but is not literally true.

3.5% Agree

85% Disagree

11.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. The Bible presents itself not as a record of ancient myths but as literal truth. It records actual historical events such as the destruction of Jerusalem and the policies of Cyrus that are also described by ancient historians (2 Kings 25:1-21, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23). The Apostle Paul assumes that Adam was not a mythological figure but a real person (Romans 5:12-21). Paul says that the Christian faith is in vain is the historical events recorded in the Bible did not actually happen (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Statement 15: The Bible is 100% Accurate in all that it teaches.

88.5% Agree

8% Disagree

3.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. All Scripture-the Bible-is breathed out by God, and His words are truth (John 17:17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Every word of God proves true and the sum of His Word is truth (Psalm 119:160, Proverbs 30:5), so the Bible cannot be anything less than fully accurate in all that it teaches.

Statement 16: Modern science disproves the Bible.

11.5% Agree

76% Disagree

12.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. God reveals Himself both in the Bible and in creation (Psalm 19, Romans 1:18-20, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Since God cannot contradict Himself (1 Corinthians 14:33), what we learn from the Bible and what we learn from science-which studies the creation-will always be in perfect harmony when both the Bible and science are rightly studied and understood.

Statement 17: God will always reward true faith with material blessings in this life.

13.5% Agree

75% Disagree

11.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. Although God promises material provision for His people, He says that believers will also suffer persecution (Mark 10:29-30. There is not a one-to-one correlation between true faith and material abundance. Some Christians believers will experience great lack and mistreatment for their faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:7-12, Hebrews 11:32-38).

Statement 18: Hell is a real place where certain people will be punished forever.

88.5% Agree

7% Disagree

4.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. The Bible consistently testifies to a places of eternal conscious punishment for those who do not turn from their sins and trust in Christ (Isaiah 66:24, Daniel 12:2, Luke 16:19-31, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 12-13, Revelation 20:7-15). Jesus Himself talked about this place of punishment-Hell-more than any other biblical figure did, and He clearly referred to it as a real place (Matthew 5:22-29, 10:28, Luke 12:5).

Statement 19: There will be a time when Jesus Christ returns to judge all the people who have lived.

91% Agree

4.5% Disagree

4.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. According to the Bible, a day is coming on which God will judge the world by the one He has appointed-Christ Jesus, whom God raised from the dead (Acts 17:31, Romans 2:16). Jesus Christ is coming again to judge the living and the dead (Daniel 7:13-14, Luke 21:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 2 Timothy 4:1).

Statement 20: Worshiping alone or with one's family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church.

4.5% Agree

75% Disagree

20.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. From the earliest days of the church, Christians have gathered together for worship, teaching, fellowship, and prayer (Acts 2:42, 13:1-2, 20:7, 1 Corinthians 14:26). While private worship and family worship are appropriate, Hebrews 10:24-25 explains that they are no substitute for gathering regularly with other Christians for worship and encouragement.

Statement 21: Christians should be silent on issues of politics.

2.25% Agree

80.5% Disagree

17.25% Not Sure

Answer: False. The mission of the church in baptizing and making disciples of Jesus Christ is primarily spiritual, but that does not mean Christians must be silent on political issues. The Bible addresses many political issues-including capital punishment, abortion, honest measurements (Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21:22-25, Proverbs 20:10), and many others-so believers who seek to be faithful to the Bible cannot be silent on political matters where biblical teaching applies. Moreover, Paul appealed to his rights as a Romans citizen (Acts 16:35-39, 25:1-12), showing us that Christians may make appropriate use of whatever political rights they possess, including the right to speak to political issues. That being said, we are also commanded to present a good testimony of our lives to unbelievers (Colossians 4:5-6). When it comes to political matters on which the Bible is silent, believers should be careful to not drive unbelievers away from Christ through our speech and social media posts.

Statement 22: Only the power of God can cause people to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.

67% Agree

13% Disagree

20% Not Sure

Answer: True. All people (except Jesus) since Adam have been born in a state of spiritual death, so God must make the first move in our lives before we can place our trust in Christ (Psalm 51:10, Ezekiel 36:26, Ephesians 2:1-10). Unless God by His mighty power awakens us to His truth, we cannot trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Statement 23: Churches must provide entertaining worship services if they want to remain effective.

8% Agree

80% Disagree

12% Not Sure

Answer: False. Effectiveness in ministry is found not in our techniques but in the faithful preaching of the Word of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). While our worship should be intelligible to outsiders (1 Corinthians 14), the purpose of our worship services is to glorify God and edify God's people, not to entertain us (Acts 2:42, Hebrews 10:24-25).

Statement 24: God is unconcerned with my day-to-day decisions.

3% Agree

91% Disagree

6% Not Sure

Answer: False. God is sovereign over all things and actively governs everything (Psalm 33:13-15, Hebrews 4:13). We are called to do everything to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Everything includes our decisions, so God is concerned that our day-to-day decisions glorify Him.

Statement 25: The Bible has the authority to tell us what we must do.

80% Agree

6% Disagree

14% Not Sure

Answer: True. All Scripture is God-breathed and sufficient to correct us and to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). "Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35), and since the Bible is God-breathed and is God's very Word, to disobey the Bible is to disobey God (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, Mark 7:1-13).

Statement 26: Sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin.

88% Agree

4.5% Disagree

7.5% Not Sure

Answer: True. In the beginning, God established marriage between one man and one woman as the only legitimate context for coming together as one flesh in both a sexual and emotional union (Genesis 2:18-25). Traditional marriage and celibacy are the only divinely appointed alternatives to sexual immorality, so all sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin (1 Corinthians 7).

Statement 27: Abortion is a sin.

88% Agree

3% Disagree

9% Not Sure

Answer: True. All people are made in the image of God and are worthy of protection from conception to the point of their natural death unless they are guilty of a capital crime (Genesis 1:27, 9:5-6, Psalm 139:13-16). Unborn children are divine image bearers who are living and responsive to the work of the Lord (Luke 1:39-40); therefore, abortion is the sin of murder.

Statement 28: Gender identity is a matter of choice.

10.5% Agree

81.5% Disagree

8% Not Sure

Answer: False. God created human beings in His image as male and female (Genesis 1:27). Gender is not a social construct, but a reality of created order. We do not choose our gender; it is a gift of God given to us in our creation (Matthew 19:4).

Statement 29: The Bible's condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn't apply today.

3.5% Agree

86% Disagree

10.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. One man-one woman marriage was established in creation as the only legitimate expression for sexual activity (Genesis 2:18-25, 1 Corinthians 7). Homosexual behavior is contrary to God's original design for human beings and is a consequence of the intrusion of sin into creation; therefore, the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality is for all time (Romans 1:18-32). Unrepentant practitioners of homosexual behavior and all other sexual sins will not inherit the kingdom of God, but God will save all sexual sinners who turn form their sin and trust in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Statement 30: Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth.

7% Agree

72.5% Disagree

20.5% Not Sure

Answer: False. The Christian faith does not claim to be mere subjective, personal opinions, but claims to reflect objective truths about reality. Our faith is based on historical events such as the resurrection of Jesus that must be historically true in order for Christian belief to be valid (1 Corinthians 15:1-10, 15:17). The same God who raised Jesus from the dead proclaims that He is the only God who can save us (Isaiah 45:20-25). If this is not objectively and universally true, then there is no Christian faith. As individuals, we exercise personal faith, but to believe in something that is mere opinion and not objective truth is to believe in something that cannot provide salvation.

Statement 31: The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.

88.5% Agree

2.25% Disagree

9.25% Not Sure

Answer: True. The Bible is the only God-breathed special revelation that we possess (2 Timothy 3:16-17), so it has unique and final authority. Jesus, the Son of God, appealed to the Bible as the highest authority, so we dare not appeal to anything else other than the Bible as the highest authority for our faith and practice (Matthew 5:17-18, 15:1-9, Mark 14:43-49, John 10:35).

Statement 32: It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.

88.5% Agree

3.5% Disagree

8% Not Sure

Answer: True. Faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to be reconciled to God (John 14:6, Romans 5:1). Christians are to proclaim the gospel to all people, making disciples of Jesus Christ and teaching them to obey all that He has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 1:14-15).

Statement 33: Jesus Christ's death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.

94% Agree

1% Disagree

5% Not Sure

Answer: True. Since the fall of Adam, all people (except Jesus Christ) have been born in sin and are under the wrath of God. Only Jesus can save us from this wrath, and He does so by His death on the cross, which is a propitiation that turns away God's wrath (Isaiah 53, Romans 1:18-3:26, Hebrews 2:17). Nothing but the atoning death of Jesus can take away our sin (Hebrews 10:1-18).

Statement 34: Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God's free gift of eternal salvation.

93% Agree

1% Disagree

6% Not Sure

Answer: True. Jesus is the only way to the Father, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Salvation is found in no one else besides Jesus Christ, as their is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved (Acts 4:12). In order to be saved, we must believe in Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:24-25, Acts 16:25-34).