Ends of the Earth Network is intentionally diverse; we embrace those from different streams of the Church who can agree on the core doctrines of the historic Christian faith. We aim to be a catalyst for reconciliation and unity in Christ’s Body, not sectarianism and division. Those who can unify around worship of the triune God, the vision of reaching our generation with the gospel through the multiplication of disciples, and agreement on the core doctrinal truths of historic Christianity will be welcomed to participate in this movement.
Above all, we want to be faithful to the admonition of the Scriptures. We long to see the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17:11-12 fulfilled:
Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
Similarly, our hearts resonate with the prayer of the Apostle Paul for the church in Ephesians:
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3).
We do believe doctrine is important. We want to be faithful to the Scriptures. However, we don’t want our desire for doctrinal 'purity' to outweigh our love for our brothers and sisters (1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 John 4:7-21). Regardless of our doctrinal distinctions, we seek to love and show Christ to all:
• In essential beliefs — we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all...” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
• In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters... Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls... So then each of us will give an account of himself to God... So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” (Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22)
• In all our beliefs — we show love.
“...If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains — but have no love, I amount to nothing at all.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)
We believe the Apostles’ Creed is a doctrinally sound barometer around which most followers of Christ can rally. The Creed developed from the “Rule of Faith” that emerged from the writings of several early Church Fathers. It was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome.
The creed was designed as a statement of the essentials of the faith as espoused by the Apostles, although there is no assertion that it was crafted by any of the Apostles. Each of the doctrines found in it can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (ca. 215). It summarizes in relatively few words the broad sweep of Christian belief in a way that is easy to memorize.
It reveals the high value early Church leaders placed on the spiritual formation of baptismal candidates, a process that in some cases lasted three years. During this period of Church history, baptism could lead to persecution or even martyrdom. The creed was retained by Protestant Reformers such as Luther and Calvin in their liturgies, and in the liturgy of the Church of England.
It is widely used among Christians in modern times.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic [meaning 'universal'] Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)
We believe that the Body of Christ can rally around these foundational Christian truths and maintain other distinctions. We can have unity in diversity around the historical apostolic doctrines. For the sake of clarity and understanding, Ends of the Earth Network adheres to the following basic doctrinal understandings:
1. About God
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. From all eternity, He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit with no beginning or end. These three are co-equal and are one God. This doctrine is called the Trinity.
Genesis 1:1,26-27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19;1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
2. About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. Jesus was conceived of a virgin, lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15;
1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
3. About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also dwells in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer spiritual gifts when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17;
Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; Galatians 5:25; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-14
4. About The Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.
Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Psalm 12:6; 119:105,160
5. About Human Beings
People are made in the spiritual image of God and are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Part of our makeup as humans is that we are sexual beings. We realize that the mores of society are in constant flux on issues related to human sexuality.
However, we maintain that those seeking affiliation with this ministry must submit to the teaching of the Scriptures in regards to sexuality; in short, God has ordained sexual relations only within the context of a monogamous relationship between one man and one woman who are married. Anything falling outside of these guidelines is deemed sinful in the sight of God and unacceptable in terms of one’s relationship to this Christian ministry.
Genesis 1:27; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10-16; Psalm 8:3-6;
Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1-2; Matthew 5:27-28; 19:2-13;
Romans 1:26-27; 3:23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Hebrews 13:4
6. About Salvation
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must receive it by faith. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. We must turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith to be saved.
Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. From the moment of salvation, the believer is to grow more and more to be like Jesus in the process of sanctification.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; 14:6; Titus 3:5; John 10:29; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1-7
1Corinthians 3:10-15; Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
7. About Eternity
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation.
To be eternally separated from God is Hell.
To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9