Florida Faith Foundations (5/19/2021)
This is a statement of tenets/values for Christians in America to unite around. In today’s divisive political climate, it is imperative that the Church be united now more than ever. However, we must have unity around Biblical truth and not just for unity’s sake. The following tenets are what we believe that we can unite around and help clarify the values Christians use to determine their vote (this list is not intended to be exhaustive but has been carefully designed to point out areas of apparent disagreement between Christians when we vote).
We believe the biblical value that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. NASB
We believe the biblical value of the sanctity of all life, especially that of the unborn
Ex. 20:13 “You shall not murder.
13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. NASB
We believe God’s design for the family, with a father and mother (sons, and daughters) who are in covenant for life and who raise their children together and teach them to respect, honor and obey their parents
Eph. 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” NIV
We believe the biblical value that parents, especially fathers, should raise their children, no matter what the circumstances. The Bible states, “If a man won’t provide for his household, he is worse than an infidel”
I Tim. 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. NASB
We believe the biblical value that “If a man won’t work, don’t let him eat.” Social programs cannot reward and incentivize laziness and lack of industry
2 Thess. 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” NIV
We believe the biblical value that children should be taught to respect their elders and those in authority
1 Tim. 5:1-2 Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. 2 Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. NLT
1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. NASB
Romans 13:1-7 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. NLT
We believe the biblical value that fornication and adultery are sexual sins that must be taught against and not accepted as normative amongst Christians
Gal. 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. NIV
1 Cor. 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. NIV
We believe the biblical value that Jesus taught equal opportunity, not equal outcomes (Matthew 25:14-30).
Parable of the Three Servants
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ NLT
We believe that when someone confesses sin, repents, receives God’s grace, and commits to following Christ, there is an expectation to treat other people as Christ would. We do this by living by the golden rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and loving your neighbor as yourself.
Matt. 7:12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. NASB
Luke 6:31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. NASB
We believe the Church has been self-centered and even greedy to the neglect of its community’s practical needs. We strive to be the best Church for the community not just in the community. In other words, we seek to do good not just look good.
Matt. 5:13-15 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
We believe one of the primary functions of the church is to fulfill Isa. 61 by reaching out to the poor, the addicted, the incarcerated, with the good news that Jesus is the answer. (The results of a good fast – Isa. 58)
Isa. 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair. NIV
Isa. 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness v will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. NIV
We believe Christ purchased, with His blood, people from every people or ethnicity. Therefore, it is inclusive not exclusive for all from all backgrounds who adhere to the timeless truths. Through Christ, according to Galatians 3:28, all barriers are torn down. Therefore, we do not regard each other after the flesh. We are Christians only, not Black, White, Latino or Asian Christians and this identity should supersede your racial identity when it comes to voting.
Gal. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. NIV
We believe we will be known by our extravagant love for one another and those who disagree with us, yet holding to the above truths and values. (I Peter 1:22; Matthew 5:43-48)
I Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. NIV
Matt. 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. NIV
We believe the Church is God’s agent to usher in His Kingdom on the earth. The Kingdom is bigger than anyone of us, therefore we seek to unite with other pastors, leaders, and churches who can ascribe to the above tenets.
John 17:20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. NLT
We believe, as we follow the tenets and influence others to do the same, we are fulfilling the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 to “Go and make disciples” and by doing so advance our King and His Kingdom.
We believe forgiveness must be extended to those who have been offended or experienced injustice to those perceived offenders. It is the only way the offended and those who brought harm can be reconciled and healed. Continuing to hold onto past wrongs by one people to another from actions of past generations only allows the root of bitterness to poison and destroy that offended community.
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Matt. 18: 21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! NLT
We vow to support one another by committing to come to the aid of our brothers/sisters who may receive persecution in various forms for the stances they make for truth.
I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. NIV