Prince Avenue Baptist Church Statement of Belief
Prince Avenue Christian School is a ministry of Prince Avenue Baptist Church.
The Statement of Belief, Statement of Biblical Morality, and Statement of Christian Life Commitment for employees and volunteers listed below will clarify both the church and school position.
Statement of Belief
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
We believe in one God who exists eternally in three persons:
- The Father Almighty, who created all things, visible and invisible, for His own glory and purpose.
- The Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, being one in substance with the Father, came down from Heaven, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, died as the substitute for our sins, rose bodily from the grave according to Scripture, ascended to Glory to serve as our Advocate, and will come again to judge all humanity.
- The Holy Spirit, who, being equal with the Father and Son, proceeds from them to convict the world of sin, to seal, equip and empower God’s people.
We believe that man was created in the image of God by a direct act of God and did not evolve from existing forms of life. The historical Adam, acting as the representative of all humanity, sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death which is separation from God. Consequently, all humans are born with a sinful nature.
We believe that salvation is by grace through faith apart from works of the law, secured by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and granted to all who place their faith in Jesus Christ. We further believe in the eternal security of all those who are genuinely saved.
We believe that the will of God is summarized in these two commandments: The first is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Statement of Biblical Morality
When an individual becomes a member of a community, he or she always lays aside certain personal rights for the good of the total community. To this end, it is understood that those who accept positions of leadership, employment, or volunteer service within Prince Avenue Christian School, and enrolled students and their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) are to commit themselves to uphold the standards as cited in this statement.
PACS stands firmly upon the historical truth claims and moral foundations of Christianity. This includes, but is not limited to, the biblical definition of marriage, the attendant boundaries of sexuality and moral conduct, and the clear biblical teaching that gender is both sacred and established by God's design.
In addition, the Board of Trustees urges parents, leaders and employees to recognize their scriptural responsibility (Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Psalm 78:5, 6, Proverbs 22:6) to provide their children with a Christian education and to understand that the primary responsibility for this task rests with the parents (Ephesians 6:4). PACS was founded and continues to operate upon biblical values and the desire and commitment for Bible-believing Christian parents to enroll their children in an intentionally Christian environment. PACS will accept students who are willing to support the school's philosophy of Christian education, student conduct requirements, and the school's stated positions and whose parents are willing to allow their children to be educated and influenced in an intentionally Christian environment. Continued enrollment at PACS is contingent upon this same understanding and support by both the student and parents.
PACS is a religious institution providing an education in a distinct Christian environment, believing its biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christ-like. On occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home or the activities of the student are counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, practicing, condoning, or supporting sexual immorality, including but not limited to, sex outside of marriage, homosexual acts, bi-sexual acts; gender identity different than the birth sex chromosomal level; promoting such practices; or otherwise the inability to support the moral principles of the school (Leviticus, 20:13a, Romans 1:27, Matthew 19:4-6).
PACS believes that humanity’s creation in the image of God included ability to choose between right and wrong. Thus individuals were made morally responsible for their choices. But since the fall of Adam, people are unable in their own strength to do the right. This is due to original sin, which is not simply the following of Adam’s example, but rather the corruption of the nature of each mortal, and is reproduced naturally in Adam’s descendants. Because of it, humans are very far gone from original righteousness, and by nature are continually inclined to evil. They cannot of themselves even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what humans in self-effort cannot do. It is bestowed freely upon all, enabling all who will to turn and be saved. This is validated by Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 20:40; Psalms 51:5; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21–23; Luke 16:15; John 7:17; Romans 3:10–12; 5:12–21; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:1–3; 1 Timothy 2:5; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 11:6; and Revelation 22:17.
PACS believes that every person is created in the image of God, that human sexuality reflects that image in terms of intimate love, communication, fellowship, subordination of the self to the larger whole, and fulfillment. God's Word makes use of the marriage relationship as the supreme metaphor for His relationship with His covenant people and for revealing the truth that that relationship is of one God with one people. Therefore God's plan for human sexuality is that it is to be expressed only in a monogamous lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within the framework of marriage. This is the only relationship that is divinely designed for the birth and rearing of children and is a union made in the sight of God, taking priority over every other human relationship. This is validated by Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18, 20, 23-24; Isaiah 54:4-8; 62:5b; Jeremiah 3:14; Ezekiel 16; Hosea 2; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:9; John 2:1-2, 11; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Ephesians 5:23-32; 1 Timothy 5:14; Hebrews 13:4; and Revelation 19:7-8.
PACS believes to follow the teachings of the Scriptures regarding marriage and divorce we must affirm that sexual relationships outside of marriage and sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are immoral and sinful. We further affirm that heterosexual monogamy is God's plan for marriage, and we regard sexual sin of the spouse, such as adultery, homosexual behavior, as the only biblical grounds for considering divorce, and then only when appropriate counseling has failed to restore the relationship. PACS abhors the trend to ignore God's laws of chastity and purity, and vigorously opposes public acceptance of sexual promiscuity and all factors and practices that promote it. The school maintains a biblical view of human sexuality that makes the sexual experience, within the framework of marriage, a gift of God to be enjoyed as communion of a man and woman, as well as for the purpose of procreation. Sexual relationships outside of marriage and sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are immoral and sinful. The depth of the sinfulness of homosexual practice is recognized, and yet we believe the grace of God sufficient to overcome both the practice of such activity and the perversion leading to its practice. This is validated by Exodus 20:14, 17; 22:19; Leviticus 20:10-16; Matthew 5:32; 19:19; Mark 10:11-12; and Luke 16:18.
Gender differentiation and male/female uniqueness are part of a divine design that God indelibly engraved upon creation. God gives our bodies to us for spiritual and relational purposes, as well as physical ones. It is His desire that the most fundamental distinctions we experience as human beings should remind us that our completeness is ultimately found in communion with Himself and others. For this reason, "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'" (Genesis 2:18). Personal fulfillment involves intimate fellowship and union with God, as exemplified by the ideal of Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as His bride (Ephesians 5:22-32; Revelation 19:7-9). Based on our biblical and theological study, there is no argument for a "third gender" among humans. Gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the biological, psychological, social and spiritual consequences of the human race's fallen condition. This state of depravity affects all persons individually and collectively. While society is at liberty to legitimize any behavior it chooses simply by reclassifying and renaming it, Christ-followers adhere to biblical boundaries. It is our Christian conviction that renaming them cannot normalize sin and its expressions. We call upon biblical Christians to continue to accept their role as witnesses who speak prophetically about the need for repentance and sanctification in every culture.
MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY STATEMENT
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 (Genesis 1:26-27). We believe that the term "marriage" has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 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, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of PACS as Christian ministry, and to provide a biblical role model to the PACS families, it is imperative that all persons employed by PACS in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22). 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; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 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 and are not in accord with Scripture.
FINAL AUTHORITY IN MATTERS OF BELIEF AND CONDUCT STATEMENT
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of PACS's faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Trustees is PACS's final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application.
Statement of Christian Life Commitment for Employees and Volunteers
STANDARDS BASED ON SPECIFIC COMMANDS OF SCRIPTURE
The Word of God is the final authority on all matters of faith and conduct. Therefore, behaviors expressly forbidden in the Scripture are never acceptable. Included among these are such as, but not limited to drunkenness, stealing, lying, the use of slanderous or profane language, pornography, addictive behaviors of any kind, extramarital sex, and homosexual behavior. (Exodus 20:7, 14-15; Leviticus 19:11; Romans 1:21-27; I Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 4:28-32, 5:3-4; Colossians 3:9; I Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:6) Also condemned by Scripture are such attitudes as greed, jealousy, pride, lust, bitterness, hostility, an unforgiving spirit, and prejudice based on race, sex and socio-economic status. Therefore, Prince Avenue Christian School strives to see these attitudes eliminated as evidenced in speech and action and replaced by Christ-like attitudes appropriate for maturing Christians.
STANDARDS BASED ON SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES
While Scripture does not provide specific teaching regarding all social practices in a given cultural setting, it does speak to the Christian’s responsibility in areas of conduct which may be harmful or spiritually offensive to self or others (Romans 14; I Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). Based on the teaching of Romans 14:13-23 – to protect from becoming a stumbling block – leaders and employees are expected to exercise biblical discretion by restricting their freedom in the use of addictive substances such as, but not limited to, alcohol or tobacco, and in their choice of entertainment and literature. They should demonstrate sound judgment based on biblical principles and display tangible evidence of spiritual growth and maturity. (Titus 2:11-12). PERSONAL STANDARDS OF GODLINESS Since we are members of both the local and universal Body of Jesus Christ, it is expected that everything we do will reflect our commitment to our Lord and to His body of believers. This commitment is to be demonstrated by personal spiritual growth, faithful involvement in a local church of like faith, and expressions of Christian love toward those with physical or spiritual needs. All are also expected to aspire to a faithful pattern of godliness and devotion to Christ and His work, typified by, but not limited to the following (I Timothy 4:6-16): 1. Regular devotional life: Scripture reading and study, prayer (I Timothy 4:7) 2. Faithful church membership and attendance (I Timothy 4:12, 13; Hebrews 10:24,25) 3. Faithful financial stewardship (2 Corinthians 9:6-8) 4. Personal volunteer ministry work (Romans 12:11; 1 Peter 5:2,3) 5. Active involvement in evangelism/discipleship (Matthew 28:19,20) 6. A strong commitment to conscientiously represent the Lord Jesus Christ within the organization, throughout our community and to the ends of the earth.
SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE STATEMENT
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps 139).
STANDARDS BASED ON OUR RESPONSIBILITY OF INFLUENCE
In our relationship with others within the body of Christ, our conduct should demonstrate an attitude of personal responsibility and sensitivity, by always being aware of the impact of our actions and attitudes on others “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13).
It is recognized that conflicts and personal failures may occur, as Scripture declares “we all stumble in many ways.” (James 3:2). It is expected that when an offense occurs, the instructions of Matthew 18:15- 20 must be followed. This is to be done in the spirit of Galatians 6:1, thereby making “every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3). When personal failures occur within our lives, we are to quickly repent, seek forgiveness and, with the help of godly counsel, prevent these from getting a hold on our lives. To do otherwise would jeopardize our continued role in leadership or responsibility.
We should understand that our acceptance of responsibility within the ministries of Prince Avenue Christian School reinforces the importance of our personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and to the Bible as God’s inerrant Word. It is in view of this and the seriousness of the impact our ministry responsibility brings that we are to commit ourselves to live in accordance with the above Statement of Christian Life Commitment.