What are Fourth's values?
1. We value God’s glory. God’s glory refers to the perfect unity of all His attributes. We esteem His glory by acknowledging His holiness with humility and respect. We value the fear of God more than the favor of people. The apostle Paul wrote, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Our pursuit is to be more concerned about God’s renown than our reputation.
Exodus 15:11; Psalm 145:5; Matthew 6:9; 10:28; Romans 11:33–36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17, 23; 1 Timothy 6:13–16; Hebrews 10:31
2. We value local church community. The local church is God’s program to build up believers and bring about societal transformation. We believe that a de-churched Christian is an oxymoron with no New Testament precedent. Therefore, we urge professing believers to gather for the purposes of worship, teaching, prayer, fellowship, and outreach. It is our conviction that God will not grant lasting peace and significance apart from involvement in the local church.
Matthew 16:18; 28:18–20; Mark 11:17; Romans 12:4–8; Acts 2:42–47; 1 Corinthians 12:12–31; Ephesians 4:11–16; 6:18–19; Colossians 1:28; 4:2–3; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 4:10–11
3. We value Christian unity. The greatest testimony that we are Christians is the love and unity we share with other believers. Hence, we adhere to the historical creed: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” We strive to grant one another biblical freedom in non-essential areas (e.g., beliefs and practices that have nothing to do with salvation). Paul writes, “We will all stand before the judgment seat of God . . . So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10, 12). In this brief interim, there is freedom in Christ, but we must be careful not to use our freedom to indulge ourselves. As followers of Christ, we are commanded to be holy in all our behavior.
We also welcome theological diversity within the confines of evangelical theology. An evangelical believes at least three essential truths: (1) the Bible is God’s authoritative Word, (2) Jesus Christ is the only way to God, and (3) salvation is by grace through faith. Thus, we may hold positions on disputable doctrinal issues (e.g., creation, charismatic gifts, women in ministry, divorce and remarriage, end-times, Calvinism/Arminianism), but still love and appreciate those who do not necessarily share our views. Fellowship should not be avoided on the basis of these issues. Biblical unity is not uniformity; it is a commitment to love and accept other believers in spite of our differences.
Psalm 133; John 17:21–23; Romans 14:1–23; 1 Corinthians 12:12–31; 13:10; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:1–6, 13; Philippians 2:1–4; 1 Peter 1:14–16; 2:16