Our Beliefs

We believe that a scriptural understanding of beliefs and doctrine is important
to the life of the believer and the health of the church. Scripture clearly lays out
certain doctrines that hold significance, both historically and practically. We also
believe there are other doctrinal beliefs that are less clear in Scripture and have
resulted in disagreements among sincere Christians throughout history.
Consequently, the eldership has adopted a philosophy called essential, important, and
nonessential doctrines. These can be explained as follows:

1. Essential Doctrines help us understand who God is, the nature
of the salvation He has provided for us, and His will for the
structure of the Christian Church. These issues and positions are
of paramount importance and, therefore, non-negotiable. They
are clearly laid out in the Scriptures and establish the historical
foundations of Christianity and the structure of the church.
Prospective members of Richwoods Christian Church must embrace
these positions to be members.

2. Important Doctrines represent matters of the church that Richwoods
holds as vital to the work God is doing through this local congregation.
These beliefs and doctrines aren’t essential, but do hold key value in
our church and how we view the structure, work, and context for
the mission God has given to His church. We hold a specific position
on each of these issues and believe that prospective members
should be in agreement with our stances on these doctrines.

3. Non-Essential Doctrines involve matters of the faith that are
commonly disputed and not clear-cut in Scripture. We believe
there is room in these matters for liberty and differences of
opinion. Even though we hold a position on these issues, we do
not require that all church members share our interpretation and
understanding of them. Therefore, there is room for differences of
opinion in these nonessential doctrines as long as these
differences do not undermine the leadership of the church or
threaten the church’s unity.

Below is a list of our essential, important, and nonessential doctrinal positions. Once again, prospective members must agree with the essential doctrines in order to join Richwoods Christian Church. Prospective members must also be at peace with our positions and philosophy regarding the important and nonessential doctrines because nonessential, important, and essential doctrines define our corporate understanding of Scripture and provide the authoritative direction for the faith and ministry of
Richwoods Christian Church. If you need more information or further explanation, please do not hesitate to contact an elder or senior staff member.

Essential Doctrines
• The Trinity – God in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
• Humanity & Divinity of Jesus Christ (fully God and yet fully man)
• The Literal, Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ
• God’s Word
• Creation/Created by God
• Salvation Through Grace by Faith
• The Church
• Communion

Important Doctrinal Positions
• Baptism by Immersion
• Role of Elders
• Role of Women & Men (Pastoral & Leadership)

Non-essential Doctrinal Positions
• Eschatology (the specific order and events associated with the End Times)
• Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit (and how those gifts are used today)
• Conditional Assurance of Salvation
• Political Opinions and/or Issues

NOTE – This list of non-essential doctrines is not exhaustive. If you have questions about an issue that is not represented in this statement, please contact an Elder or Staff Member.