We, the members of PARKSIDE CHURCH, do ordain and establish the following Constitution to which we voluntarily submit.
The name of this church shall be "PARKSIDE CHURCH". The word "church" as used in this Constitution shall refer to Parkside Church, whereas the word "Church" shall refer to the Body and Bride of Christ.
The purpose of this church shall be to glorify God. It shall seek to attain this end through the public worship of God, the preaching of the Scriptures, consistent Christian living by its members, personal evangelism, missionary endeavor and Christian education (Eph. 1:5-14; Col. 1:9-10; Mat. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:9-12).
The Board of Elders is the governing body of this church.
To implement this purpose legally, the church is incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio, so that it may own, provide and/or maintain a place of worship (including suitable real estate and buildings), receive, hold and disburse gifts, bequests and funds, and/or do all and sundry things necessary or incident to carry on such purpose.
Any person may become a member upon professing saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and upon satisfactorily meeting the requirements set by the Elders.
A person whose permanent residence is outside a 100-mile radius of the main Parkside Church facility shall be classified as a "non-resident member". This membership retains status on the church roll but does not carry the privilege of voting in the church business meetings. Members, such as students and servicemen, temporarily living beyond this 100-mile radius shall retain the right of voting in all church business meetings.
I. Responsibilities of membership: The responsibilities of church membership are summarized in the church Covenant as follows:
Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we do now in the presence of God and this church most solemnly and joyfully enter into this Covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit.
- To walk together in Christian love;
- To exercise Christian care and watchfulness over one another;
- To pray with and for one another, sharing our burdens, sorrows, and joys;
- To be thoughtful and courteous to one another, to be slow to take offense, and to be quick to forgive and to seek forgiveness;
- To guard the spiritual and Scriptural purity, peace, prosperity of the Church, and to promote its usefulness as a witness to the saving grace of God and Christ Jesus;
- To assist, through the gifts of the Spirit, in the work of the Church and to promote its usefulness as a witness to the saving grace of God and Christ Jesus;
- To contribute, as the Lord directs, to the financial support of the Church, the relief of the needy, and evangelism of all people;
- To love and to pray for all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ;
- To engage regularly in personal Bible reading and prayer, and to establish family devotions where possible;
- To bring up such children as may be entrusted to our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;
- To walk circumspectly in the world, to provide things honest in the sight of all men, to be faithful in engagements, exemplary in deportment, denying ungodliness and worldly lust;
- To endeavor by example, by work, and by prayer, to win others to an acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
- To purpose that when we remove ourselves from this place, we will as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this Covenant and the principles of God's word.
II. Renewal: There shall be an annual renewal of membership. Such renewal procedures shall be adopted and approved by the Board of Elders.
III. Discipline of Members:
The purpose of church discipline is to effect a return to a Biblical standard of conduct and doctrine in a member who errs (Galatians 6:1), to maintain purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6) and to deter sin (1 Timothy 5:20).
Any member of this church who teaches or insists on holding false doctrine, and persistently conducts himself or herself in a manner inconsistent with Biblical teaching, or who persists in disturbing the unity or peace of the church shall be dealt with as follows, according to Matthew 18:15-18:
- It is the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of an erring member's heresy or misconduct to warn and correct the erring member in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration.
- If the erring member does not heed this warning, the warning member shall again go to the erring member accompanied by one or two other members as witnesses to warn and correct, seeking repentance and restoration.
- If the erring member still refuses to heed the warning, the matter shall be brought to the attention of the Elders, who, upon careful and prayerful investigation, shall tell it to the church encouraging the congregation to pray for repentance and restoration of the erring member.
- If the erring member refuses to heed the warnings of the Elders and the church, he or she shall be dismissed from the church pursuant to the Scriptures and treated as an unbeliever. There shall be no appeal of the discipline process or the dismissal to any court. The congregation shall be encouraged to pray for the repentance and restoration of the erring member.
It is clearly understood that the discipline process will continue to conclusion whether the erring member leaves the church or otherwise seeks to withdraw from membership.
IV. Termination of Membership: Membership may be terminated in one of four ways:
- By physical death.
- By transfer: When it is requested, the Elders may grant to a departing member in good standing, a letter of dismissal to the fellowship of another church. No such letter may be given to a member who is at the time under the corrective discipline of this church. The Elders may refuse to grant a letter of transfer to any church which is in their judgment disloyal to the gospel (Jude 3).
- By exclusion: If a member habitually absents himself from the stated meetings of the church without valid reason, or if due to relocation he ceases to maintain a vital contact with the church, he may be excluded from membership. If an excluded member applies again for membership, the procedures set forth will again be followed.
- By dismissal as a final step of church discipline. The Board of Elders shall only apply the above-mentioned dismissal (see IIId) in strict accordance with the Scriptures.
We accept the Scriptures as our authority in matters of faith and practice and adopt the following Confession of Faith as our interpretation of Bible Doctrine:
- We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as being verbally inspired by God and inerrant and infallible in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority.
- We believe in one God eternally existing in one essence, yet three co equal persons, the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born to the virgin Mary.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, Who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He is the life of the believer, and He empowers the preaching and teaching of the gospel.
- We believe that mankind was created in the image of God, sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but spiritual death, which is separation from God, and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature.
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the basis of His shed blood.
- We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, His ascension into heaven, and His present life there as High Priest and Advocate for us.
- We believe in the blessed hope, which is the personal, visible, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit, and thereby become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in hell, and the fellowship of the saved in heaven.
- We believe in the existence of a personal devil, who is still working in the world to destroy the souls of men, and that he and all his angels and all who do not receive Christ as their Savior will eternally perish in the lake of fire.
- We believe in the Church, whose mission it is to preach the Scriptures to all the world, all of its endeavors being guided by multiple leadership and supported by the wise stewardship of God's people.
- We believe that the ordinances of the Church, given by our Lord, are Baptism and the Lord's Table (Communion).
- We believe that the foregoing are Bible doctrines; therefore, we stand firm upon this Confession of Faith.
A further explanation of the Doctrine is contained in Appendix A.
QUALIFICATIONS OF CHURCH LEADERS:
All persons who hold any position of leadership (including but not limited to teachers, committee members, church staff and church workers) must meet and maintain the following spiritual qualifications for leadership:
- Has accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
- Is a member of Parkside Church. (Non-members may be invited to teach on a temporary basis).
- Teaches no doctrine contrary to the "Confession of Faith" as put forth in the Constitution of Parkside Church.
- Provides systematic spiritual, financial, and physical support to Parkside Church ministry.
- Is known for a dedicated Christian life according to the standards of God's Word, and will purpose to put any sin, including doubtful conduct and conversation, out of his/her life so that the resulting influence is helpful rather than a hindrance.
- Fulfills such specific biblical requirements as may apply to the position of responsibility.
PASTOR(S), ELDERS AND STAFF:
God has provided various forms of leadership for His Church. At Parkside Church we recognize and seek to channel this leadership focus through a variety of positions including Pastor(s), Elders and staff. Those who serve and minister in these roles shall collectively and individually oversee, provide for, and encourage the spiritual life, welfare, and total ministry of the congregation in order to insure the proper equipping of the saints.
As God's servants and stewards, these leaders shall be persons:
Who meet the qualifications as given in Scripture (1 Tim. 3:1-15; 5:19-25; 2 Tim. 2:24-25; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 6:3-6);
Who adhere to the doctrinal basis of this church;
Whose soundness in the faith and whose ability to serve has been examined and approved by the church.
Therefore, our church leaders are to be assisted, obeyed and respected as they carry out their duties (Heb. 13:17).
I. Duties of Senior Pastor: As an Elder of this church the Senior Pastor shall:
- Give himself to prayer and the study of the Word of God;
- Preach and expound the Word of God;
- Administer the Ordinances in accordance with the Word of God;
- Share in the pastoral care of the congregation along with the other Elders and members of the pastoral staff;
- Perform the marriage ceremony at his discretion in accordance with the laws of God and the State;
- Officiate at funerals of members of the church and non members at his discretion;
- Together with the other Elders maintain church discipline;
- Participate in the installation of newly designated Elders;
- Act as an ex-officio member of all committees and boards;
- Perform other constitutional, Scriptural, and general pastoral duties.
The Senior Pastor shall be free to accept invitations to preach the Word of God to other groups or organizations, provided such engagements do not interfere with the work of the church. Before accepting invitations to speak for other groups which require his absence from the church and its activities, the Senior Pastor shall consult with the Board of Elders and obtain its permission.
II. Duties of Elders:
- To be devoted to prayer and the study of God's Word and sustain a caring ministry for the flock, which involves:
- Serving as partners with the Pastor(s) for the church's spiritual growth;
- Praying for the sick and visiting the congregation;
- Serving as partners with the Pastor(s) for the church's spiritual growth;
- To teach and exhort as well as refute those who contradict the truth, which involves:
- Insuring that instructors, Bible study leaders and youth leaders are properly qualified;
- Arranging for pulpit supply during the Senior Pastor's absence.
- Insuring that instructors, Bible study leaders and youth leaders are properly qualified;
- To lead by Christ-like example, which involves:
- Consistently modeling spiritual character, attitudes, values, and behavior among the congregation;
- Providing and inviting the opportunity for frequent and on-going contact with members of the congregation;
- Conducting the affairs of the church in an atmosphere of openness and mutual sensitivity, focusing as much on nurturing one another as on decision making.
- Consistently modeling spiritual character, attitudes, values, and behavior among the congregation;
- To oversee the affairs of the church, which involves:
- Being responsible for the employment, terms of employment, direction, and termination of employment of pastoral staff, with the exception of the Senior Pastor;
- Installing the duly elected Pastor and/or Pastors;
- Approving all subordinate organizations of the church;
- Approving all applicants for church membership;
- Maintaining the legal status of the church;
- Being responsible for securing funds necessary to meet the current expenses of the church;
- Conducting the Annual and special business meetings of the church;
- Submitting the approved budget to the congregation at the Annual Business Meeting of the church;
- Approving nominations for the Board of Elders for the Annual Business Meeting of the church.
- Communicating to the congregation on a regular basis concerning the activities and concerns of the Elders.
- To perform other constitutional, Scriptural, and general duties of oversight.
- Being responsible for the employment, terms of employment, direction, and termination of employment of pastoral staff, with the exception of the Senior Pastor;
III. Duties of Pastoral Staff: To perform such duties as are outlined by the Board of Elders.
NOMINATION AND SELECTION OF SENIOR PASTOR AND ELDERS
- The Senior Pastor:
When the Senior pastorate of this church becomes vacant, it shall be the duty of the Board of Elders after prayerful consideration to provide for the filling of the pulpit ad interim, and to nominate for Senior Pastor one who possesses the requirements set forth in these articles. In carrying out this process, the Board of Elders shall directly, or through a search committee, communicate to the congregation regularly, and at reasonable intervals. We encourage that all church members who desire to suggest the name of an individual for consideration as Senior Pastor do so in writing to the secretary of the Board of Elders.
When the Board of Elders intends to nominate a Senior Pastor they shall notify the membership by mail at least ten business days in advance. The notice shall include the name of the individual being considered for nomination. We encourage all church members desiring to submit questions, comments or suggestions concerning the individual being considered for nomination to do so in writing at least three business days before the meeting of the Board of Elders at which they intend to nominate an individual as Senior Pastor for the church.
The Board of Elders shall then call a church meeting which shall be announced at least two Sundays in advance from the pulpit, and which shall be announced by mail to each member at least ten business days in advance of said meeting. We encourage all comments be given to the secretary of the Board of Elders, signed and in writing, at least three business days prior to this meeting for the election. Voting shall be by secret ballot. This meeting shall, if possible, be presided over by the chairman of the Board of Elders. Only one person eligible to become Senior Pastor shall be considered or voted upon at a meeting. The election and its returns shall be conducted and announced publicly at the election meeting and shall be sent by mail to all church members promptly. A two-thirds majority of all votes cast shall be required for an election.
After the Senior Pastor has been duly elected a written call shall be tendered to him, signed by the Board of Elders. In this written call the Elders shall specify the financial support. A copy of this Constitution shall accompany the letter of call.
- Board of Elders:
The Board shall consist of a minimum of seven members and a maximum as determined by the Board. Each Elder shall hold office as long as he is faithful to his calling and has the confidence of his brethren and the congregation.
The selection process shall be as follows:
- The members shall be encouraged to regularly submit to the Board of Elders, the names of members whose life and gift are consistent with their being considered for nomination to the task of Elder. The Board of Elders shall review the individuals so nominated by the congregation and present a list of individuals for the vote of the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.
- The Elders may at any time during the year nominate a candidate or candidates to the Eldership and call a special congregational business meeting for their consideration. In no case should a man be nominated without his knowledge and prior consent. Any questions concerning the nominees shall be addressed to the Elders in writing no later than one week prior to the business meeting.
- The members shall vote on the final list of nominations at the business meeting by secret ballot or by absentee ballot. It is hoped that the vote of the congregation will in such matters always be unanimous, but if unanimity is not realized, no less than a three fourths majority of those members voting in person or by absentee ballot shall be required for the election of an Elder.
- Following recognition of an Elder by vote of the congregation, he shall be publicly installed in his office at a regular worship service by the prayer of the whole church and the laying on of hands by the existing Elders.
The Board of Elders shall elect a chairman, president, treasurer and a secretary from its members and may elect additional officers from the church membership. Two or more offices may be held by the same person. The chairman of the Board of Elders shall preside over the meetings of the Board of Elders and shall insure that the Board serves the congregation in a balanced manner addressing each area of responsibility as outlined in the duties. The term of chairman shall be for one or no more than two consecutive years. Thereafter a break of one year shall occur before assuming chairmanship again.
Every three years the church shall reconfirm (or express the withdrawal of) its confidence in each of its Elders at its Annual Meeting in the manner designated above. An Elder may, however, resign his office without prejudice if for good and valid reasons he finds he is no longer able to discharge the duties required.
In recognition that the task of Eldership is significant and is accomplished while continuing care of family and work responsibilities, we understand that individual Elders may need to take leave of some of the responsibilities of Eldership for periods of time. Such sabbatical times will be arranged through mutual consent of the Elders.
A process of mutual accountability among the Elders safeguards against the continuation in office of an Elder who has rendered himself unqualified for future participation.
TERMINATION OF SENIOR PASTOR:
The Senior Pastor shall serve until removed by the Lord; by two thirds of all votes cast at a church meeting called for the exclusive purpose of removing the Senior Pastor from the church pulpit; or by resignation. In the event a church meeting is called for the exclusive purpose of removing the Senior Pastor from the pulpit, the Board of Elders shall notify all members of the church by mail at least ten business days in advance of said meeting. We encourage all members desiring to make a comment or suggestion as concerns the removal of the Senior Pastor from the pulpit of the church do so in writing to the secretary of the Board of Elders at least three business days in advance of said meeting.
When the Senior Pastor resigns to accept another call, or for reasons of his own choosing, he shall give the church three months notice in writing of his intention to do so.
PROPERTY AND ASSETS:
- The church shall have the power to receive, either by gift or purchase, and so hold such real, personal, or mixed property as is authorized by the laws of the State of Ohio and is deemed necessary for the functioning of the church, and shall have the power to dispose of such property by mortgage, bill of sale, deed, or otherwise. All property shall be held in the name of the church.
- In case of division of the church caused by conflict (from which we pray God by His mercy to preserve us), all property and assets of the church shall belong to those who abide by its Constitution.
- In case of dissolution of the church organization, the property and all assets shall be sold, either through private or public sale. From the proceeds, firstly all current and long term obligations of the church shall be paid. Secondly, all remaining funds shall be directed to such one or more Christian organizations qualified under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, for the benefit of the church's supported missionaries and/or such other Christian endeavors as the congregation shall determine. The church shall be considered dissolved if so decided by the congregation, or when the church has not held an annual meeting for three years, or when less than six members remain.
- Any Sale or other disposition of the main Parkside Church facility at 7100 Pettibone Road, Bainbridge Ohio, shall be approved by majority vote of voting members of the Congregation. All other real estate transactions shall be approved by majority vote of the Board of Elders.
There shall be two types of business meetings of the church: The Annual Business Meeting and special business meetings.
- The Annual Business Meeting shall be held during the month of May or such other time during the year as the Board of Elders may determine. The Board of Elders shall be responsible for the selection of the date on which the Annual Business Meeting will be held. Written notification to the congregation shall be mailed at least ten business days prior to the meeting, except that no mailing shall be required to those members who shall have picked up their written notices at Parkside at least ten business days in advance of the meeting. The notice of the Annual Business Meeting shall include a typewritten agenda of business. All reports required by the Board of Elders for the annual business meeting must be legibly written and submitted to the secretary of the Board of Elders by the first Monday in February. Typewritten reports from all church boards and appropriate committees shall be available to the congregation at least ten business days prior to the Annual Meeting. These reports shall include but not be limited to a current financial statement and recommendations and comments as to past, present, and future matters relating to the congregation. Matters of church discipline shall not be included within the annual reports. We encourage all comments or amendments to the agenda or reports be given to the secretary of the Board of Elders, in writing and signed, at least five business days prior to the Annual Business Meeting.
- Special business meetings may be called:
- by the Board of Elders,
- upon written request of ten percent of the church members (as defined in Articles III and XI) presented to the secretary of the Board of Elders, or
- by the Senior Pastor
Notice of a special business meeting shall be mailed to each church member at least ten business days in advance of the special business meeting, except that no mailing shall be required to those members who shall have picked up their written notices at Parkside at least ten business days in advance of the meeting. This notice shall include the agenda of the business to be conducted or considered at said business meeting. In the event that a condition or situation arises which is deemed an emergency by the Board of Elders, the advance notice regulation may be waived.
III. Except as otherwise provided herein, all church business meetings shall be publicly announced in all appropriate church services.
Only members of this church who are at least eighteen years of age and whose permanent residence is within a 100 mile radius of the main Parkside Church facility shall have the right to vote in person or by absentee ballot at any business meeting of the church.
The presence in person or by absentee ballot of thirty percent of Parkside Church membership eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum at any church business meeting except for constitutional amendments which shall require a quorum of forty percent. The secretary of the Board of Elders shall be responsible for determining the number which accurately represents the total voting membership of the church. For purposes of determining a quorum, those members who are present and those who are absent but have submitted absentee ballots shall be counted.
Fifty percent of the Board members must be present to constitute a quorum at any Board meeting.
A quorum shall be necessary for any vote.
The Constitution or Articles of Incorporation of this church may be amended at any business meeting by a two-thirds majority of the members voting, provided that both the text of such an amendment and the basis for its consideration have been mailed to all members at least thirty days in advance of any meeting at which such a proposal will be considered or voted upon, except that no mailing shall be required to those members who have picked up their written notices at Parkside at least thirty days in advance of the meeting.
It shall not be the policy of this church to promote suppers, parties, or engage in the sale of products and/or services for the purpose of raising funds. Any exception to this general policy must have the prior approval of the Board of Elders.
When Parkside Church members disagree or their interpretations differ, we pray that the love of Christ guard our attitudes toward one another so that we exhibit a genuine concern for the building up of all God's people in an atmosphere of love.
Parkside Church will indemnify and hold harmless any and all officers, directors, Elders, Ministers, Pastors, and business administrators for any expenses actually and necessarily incurred in connection with any action, suit or proceeding against said officers, directors, Elders, Ministers, Pastors, and business administrators. This indemnification shall include costs for attorney fees. The indemnification shall occur as the expenses are incurred and in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit or proceeding, on receipt of the officers, directors, Elders, Ministers, Pastors, or business administrators' promise: (1) to repay the amount advanced it if proved by clear and convincing evidence in court that the officers', directors', Elders', Ministers', Pastors', and business administrators' conduct involved a deliberate intent to injure the corporation's best interests, (2) to reasonably cooperate with the corporation in connection with the action, suit or proceeding.
This indemnification shall be available to any officer, director, Elder, Minister, Pastor, and/or business administrator which is made or thereafter to be made a part to any action, suit or proceeding because of the person's relationship with the corporation. Persons who are officers, directors, Elders, Ministers, Pastors, and/or business administrators at the time of being made a party, or threatened with being made a party to any action, suit or proceeding, or were officers, directors, Elders, Ministers, Pastors, and/or business administrators shall be allowed indemnification. Indemnification will also be available in criminal actions only if it is found that the officer, director, Elder, Minister, Pastor, or business administrator had no reasonable cause to believe that the subject acts were unlawful.
EFFECTUAL POWER OF THE CONSTITUTION:
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by two-thirds vote. This Constitution shall remain in force as presently formulated or as duly amended according to Article XIII until this corporation is legally dissolved. This Constitution shall not be suspended or abrogated.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF CHURCH RECORDS:
No member shall have the right to inspect the church records as to (i) the disciplining of any member, (ii) the hiring or firing of any employee, (iii) the need or problems of any member or employee, (iv) the financial contributions of any member, or (v) any other records which the Board of Elders may determine to be in the best interests of the church to keep confidential; except that as to item (v) of this Article XVIII, the congregation in any business meeting shall have the right, by a majority of those members voting, to inspect any of such other records.
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as being verbally inspired by God and inerrant and infallible in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority.
- Verbally: This means that the individual words of the Bible are true and without error in the original writings. Therefore, more than just the thought or concept is inspired, but also every word (Mat. 5:17,18; Prov. 30:5,6). The term "plenary" is often used with the word "verbal" to give the view that all Scripture is fully and equally inspired (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
- Inspired (Inspiration): Inspiration is that particular work of God by which the Holy Spirit, becoming the co-author of Scripture, supernaturally directed the writers of Scripture and without excluding their human intelligence, individuality, literary style, personal feelings, or any other human factor, God's own complete and coherent message to men was recorded in perfect accuracy and the very words of the Bible bear the authority of this divine authorship. Inspiration is not equivalent to dictation except in certain instances, as God uses the experience, feelings and thinking of the human author. The end result, however, is just as accurate as if God Himself had taken the pen. Hence, the Scriptures were inspired or breathed out by God and, though the authors were fallible men, what they wrote was without error (2 Peter 1:20,21). Inspiration does not suppress the intellectual ability and talent but rather uses that intellectual ability and talent (Luke 1:1-3; 2 Samuel 23:2).
- Inerrant: Inerrant means that the Scriptures in their original writings were without error (John 10:35; Luke 16:17).
- Infallible: Infallible means that the Scriptures in their original writings were incapable of error and never wrong (John 10:35; Luke 16:17).
- Final Authority: The Scriptures are God's special revelation (communication of truth) to man and because they are inspired and inerrant they become our final authority. However, we take careful note of what the Bible indicates as not being authoritative, such as Satan's statement to Eve in the Garden of Eden, "You surely shall not die." (Gen. 3:45; 2 Tim. 3:16,17).
We believe in one God eternally existing in one essence, yet three co equal persons, the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Eternally existing: There is but one God (Deuteronomy. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6,14,18,21-22; Mark 12:29 32), Who has no beginning and no ending (Ps. 90:1-2; Gen. 1:1).
- Three in One: God is one in essence, yet three persons, co-equal, eternally existing (Mat. 28:19; Eph. 4:4-6; Rev. 1:4; John 12:26; 15:26; 16:15; 1 Peter 1:2; Acts 2:32-36; I Cor. 12:3-6, II Cor. 13:14).
- The Bible tells us that the Father is God (John 6:27; Rom. 1:7).
- The Son is recognized as God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; I John 5:19-27; Phil. 2:6).
- The Holy Spirit is also identified as God (Mat. 28:19; Acts 5:4,9).
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born to the virgin Mary.
- Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ had two natures in one person, so that He was simultaneously fully God and fully man, and this relationship was such that there was no dividing of person nor confounding of the two natures. (John 1:1-14).
- Conceived by the Holy Spirit: The conception of Jesus was a divine act of God, without human agency (Mat. 1:18; Luke 1:26-38).
- Born to the virgin Mary: At the time of Christ's conception and birth, Mary was a virgin (Mat. 1:18-25; Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:27).
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, Who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He is the life of the believer, and He empowers the preaching and teaching of the gospel.
- Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, equal with the Father and the Son (John 14:16; Mat. 28:19).
- Convicts: Jesus Christ said that the Spirit would perform this ministry with respect to the world (John 16:7-11).
- Life: The Holy Spirit is the agent of spiritual birth (John 3:5-8). The Spirit regenerates, indwells, seals, and baptizes into the Church body all believers (1 Cor. 12:13; Titus 3:5; Eph. 1:13; 4:30; 1 Cor. 6:19; Rom. 8:9,11; 2 Cor. 1:21,22). The believer's life is strengthened and guided by the Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 3:16; John 16:13; Rom. 8:4,14,26-27). The believer is commanded to be filled or controlled by the Spirit, so that the characteristics of Christ likeness will be evident in a powerful life (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16).
- Empowers: The Holy Spirit enables the spreading of God's word in testimony, preaching and practical living (John 15:26-27). Spiritual obedience will give fruit to a spiritually powerful life of service for Christ (Eph. 5:15-21; Gal. 5:22-25).
We believe that mankind was created in the image of God, sinned, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but spiritual death, which is separation from God, and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature.
- Created in the image of God: Gen. 1:27; 5:1; 1 Cor. 11:7.
- Separation from God: When mankind, of its own free will, chose to disobey God, it sinned (the breaking of God's law). This original sin separated us from God, Who, because of His holiness, could not tolerate sin, and therefore, judged such sin (Rom. 6:23; 3:10; 8:7; Gal. 3:22).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the basis of His shed blood.
- Representative: This means that Jesus Christ represented all the sins of the world and that He who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:14 21). As Adam was the representative of man in the fall, so Christ was the representative of man in the Atonement (1 Cor. 15:22). Therefore, if Christ represented all, His sacrifice will cover all (John 3:16).
- Substitutionary: This is called the "vicarious" suffering since Christ died in our place. He did not die for His own sin (Heb. 4:15 16; 1 John 3:5), but died for the sins of others (1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:8).
- All Who Believe: The gift of salvation provided by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ is for all mankind (Rom. 1:13; 1 John 2:2), yet only those who exhibit faith are justified (Gal. 2:16; 3:11).
- Justified: Justification is that act of God whereby He declares the guilty and depraved sinner to be righteous because of God's own righteousness having been imputed, or credited to the sinner (Deut. 25:1; Prov 17:15; Rom 3:23-26; 4:5 8,25; 5:18; 8:33).
RESURRECTION, ASCENSION, EXALTATION
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, His ascension into Heaven and His present life there as High Priest and Advocate for us.
- Resurrection: We believe that after three days, Jesus Christ arose bodily from the grave (Luke 24:23-40). The doctrine of the resurrection is essential to salvation (Rom. 10:9,19; 1 Cor. 15:12 23,35-37).
- Ascension: After His resurrection and forty day ministry Jesus ascended up into Heaven (Acts 1:1-11; 1 Peter 3:22).
- High Priest And Advocate: Since Christ's atonement has restored our relationship with God, we now can approach God through Christ, Who as our High Priest represents us before God. As our Advocate, He compassionately deals with our needs and strengthens us (John 14:18; Heb. 4:14; 5:1-10; 13:5; 7:25; 8:1-2; 9:11-15,24).
We believe in the blessed hope, the personal, visible and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Blessed Hope: The return of the Lord is an event that believers ought to wait for with high expectation and excitement. As still imperfect people, we eagerly await the restoration of all things to perfect Christ likeness after the return of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13; Rom. 8:18-25; 1 Peter 1:7,13; 4:13; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:7).
- Personal, visible: Jesus, not just in spirit, but in bodily form, will return to this earth (Acts 1:11).
- Imminent: The Church, as God's steward, ought to consider the return of Christ as an event which is about to happen, and therefore, though patient, we are to be alert to such an event as we seek to glorify Him through our lives (Mark 3:33-37; Mat. 24:22,24,29-51; Luke 21:34).
- Patient Lifestyle: The Bible's teaching concerning the Lord's impending return is always set in the context of practical exhortation, focusing upon our present lifestyle, rather than upon undue speculation (2 Peter 3:11; Mat. 24:42-51).
We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit, and thereby become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
- Faith: Faith is the "gift of God" (Eph. 2:8) and is produced by the Word of God (Rom. 10:14,17). We are saved by faith alone apart from works (Eph. 2;9; Rom. 3:20; Titus 3:5). However, genuine faith necessarily leads to good works (Eph. 2:10; Mat. 5:16; James 2:17-26).
- Born again by the Holy Spirit: The new birth (regeneration) is absolutely necessary for fellowship with God (John 3:7). Man is totally passive in regeneration since it is completely a work of God (John 1:13; 3:6). The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8) by which He creates within a person a new nature, a new heart, a new spirit (John 3:5; 2 Peter 1:4; Ezek. 11:19; 36:26; 2 Cor. 5:17).
- Children of God: Those who have received the Spirit of Christ have therefore been born again into God's family (John 1:1-12; Rom. 8:9,14-17). As members of His family we not only have fellowship with our Father in Heaven, but we are being transformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Christ, and when Christ returns we will be completely changed in body and spirit to be like Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:19-23; 1 John 3:2). This experience of the life of Jesus Christ within us now by the presence of the Holy Spirit and forever ours in the presence of Jesus Christ is "eternal life".
HEAVEN AND HELL
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in hell, and the fellowship of the saved in heaven.
- Bodily resurrection: Those saints who are "asleep in Jesus" will be raised at the same time the living saints are "raptured" and changed (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-58). After the resurrection, all the unsaved will stand before the Great White Throne for judgment, and since their names will not be found in the Book of Life, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 20:11-15; 21:8,27; Mat. 25:31-46; Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:3; Acts 13:48).
- Everlasting conscious suffering: Luke 16:19-31; Mat. 25:30; 24:51; Heb. 12:23; 2 Cor. 5:6-9; Phil. 1:23; Rev. 6:9; 20:4.
- Heaven: We believe heaven to be a literal place where Jesus Christ is preparing an eternal home for believers of all ages (John 14:1-6; Heb. 1:10-16).
- Hell: We believe hell to be a literal place where all unsaved will spend eternity (Rev. 20:15; Mat. 13:36-43).
We believe in the existence of a personal devil, who is still working in the world to destroy the souls of men and that he and all his angels and all who receive not Christ as their Savior will eternally perish in the lake of fire.
- Devil: Though a created being and one the highest angels, the devil fell because he wanted to be greater than God (Isa. 14:12-15).
- Eternally perish: The judgment upon the devil and his followers is an unending punishment (Rev. 20:10,14,15; 19:20).
We believe in the Church, whose mission it is to preach the Scriptures to all the world, all of its endeavors being guided by multiple leadership and supported by the wise stewardship of God's people.
- Body of Christ: The collective body of believers in Jesus Christ is the Church (Eph. 5:23-32; Col. 1:18; Mat. 18:20; Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 2:19; 3:15).
- Mission: Mat. 28:18-20; Rom. 15:6; Eph. 1:15-23.
- Preach: By this term we encompass all of the believers who are to declare and make known God's truth through the totality of their lives, in addition to the formal proclamation of the Word of God (Eph. 3:8-10; 4:15,16; Col. 1:10-28).
- Multiple leadership: Within each local church we believe God provides a team of Pastor(s), Elders, Deacons and other workers who are to guide and enable the congregation to develop spiritual maturity. Pastors are literally shepherds, or those who feed sheep, and therefore, figuratively, those appointed to feed spiritually and serve the congregation. Elders are appointed to exercise spiritual oversight for the flock entrusted to them. We believe the functions of Elders or bishop/overseers to be identical, and that the term "Elder" refers mainly to the person, while "bishop" or "overseer" refers to what an Elder does. Deacons serve as helpers, or ministering workers who fulfill various formal or informal roles within the congregation.
- Stewardship: As members of God's family we recognize the obligation under which God places us to exercise care and concern with regard to all time, possessions, wealth and persons as may be entrusted to us. One mark of the spiritually wise person is the mature choices made with respect to these areas (Mat. 20:8; Gal. 4:2; Luke 16:2,3; 1 Cor. 4:1,2; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 3:2; Col. 1:25).
- Tithe: We believe the guideline of ten per cent to be highly appropriate, yet we recognize the individual believer as free from compulsion or formal requirements in stewardship matters or church support (Lev. 27:30-33; Num. 18:21-29; Deut. 12:5-7,17-18; 14:22-29; 26:12; Gen. 14:17-24; Luke 11:42; Mat. 23:23f; Heb. 7:1ff).
- Offerings: We believe that offerings consist of any gift, whether money, time or effort, that is freely given in response to the direction of God's Spirit (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:24 9:15).
We believe that the ordinances of the Church given by our Lord, are Baptism and the Lord's table (Communion).
- Baptism: Baptism is commanded of all believers and it is an act of obedience signifying the believer's death, burial and resurrection "in Christ" (Rom. 6:3,4; Acts 18:8; 1 Peter 3:21). The disciples were commanded to see to it that baptism was a part of their ministry (Mat. 28:19,20; 16:16) and the pattern of the book of Acts (Acts 2:38-41; 8:12,13,36,38) indicates the widespread practice of water baptism for believers. This church does not believe in baptismal regeneration, nor do we hold that baptism is necessary for salvation.
- Lord's Table (Communion): On the night of His arrest, Jesus instituted what is known as the Eucharist, or Communion service, which symbolizes and calls our attention to the atonement. This celebration is one in which we look back to the finished work of Christ and also forward to the yet to be completed consummation of our redemption (Mat. 26:26-30; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-30; 2 Peter 2:13).
GENDER, MARRIAGE, AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen 1:26-27). Rejection of one's biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe the term "marriage" has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:18-25). Parkside Church will only conduct a marriage ceremony and recognize the marriage between a biological man and a biological woman.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Parkside Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to Parkside Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Parkside Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by the Scriptures and the doctrines of Parkside Church.
PARKSIDE CHURCH FACILITY USE POLICY
Parkside Church's facilities were provided through God's benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members. The church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and to bring God glory. Although the facilities are not generally available for public use, we make our facilities available to approved non-members as a witness to our faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice.
However, facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices that conflict with the church's faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, Appendix A above. Nor may church facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, the church's faith or moral teaching. The board of elders is the final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.
This facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, the church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the church's beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of the church's faith and religious practice (2 Cor 6:14; 1 Thess 5:22).
Second, it is very important that the church present a consistent message to the community, and that the church staff and members conscientiously maintain that message as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the church's faith would have a severe, negative impact on the message that the church strives to promote. It could also cause confusion and misunderstanding to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the church agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its 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 church facilities be used in any way that contradicts the church's faith. This policy applies to all church facilities.