Why does Charter Oak Church exist?
Our mission is to reach out to those who are searching, and to equip believers to be fully-devoted followers of Jesus.
"To give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."
Isaiah 61:3, ESV
Scripture reveals that the Christian life is largely about relationships. Our primary relationship is with God. Jesus died and rose again to reconcile believers to God so that they could have a relationship with Him. And out of a relationship with God, we seek to love others and build reltionships with them.
Every human being longs to be known and loved. The good and bad; the beautiful and ugly; the highs and lows. All of it. To be unconditionally loved in a conditional world. This is why a relationship with Jesus is so important, whether you believe in Him or not. The very foundation of the Christian faith is God sent His Son to die for us, without conditions, in my uttermost ugliest of moments (dead in my sin), because He loved me. Unconditionally.
The Gospel not only hinges on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the church's ability to authentically, sincerely, genuinely share that hope through broken and messed up people. We want our love to be authentic. No perfect people here and no fake people here.
One by one, Jesus authentically invited the disciples into a relationship with Him and each other. He taught them, sometimes in more of a classroom setting, other times by putting them into real life situations to see what they would do, and then He would pull them back together to debrief.
One of the last things Jesus says to us is our missional mandate - make disciples, baptize, teach obedience based discipleship, not simply knowledge based. It's ultimately about taking what Jesus taught and authentically living it out in love.
2 Timothy 2:2
Most of our learning has a finish line, but not when it comes to the work of the church. We see four generations of teacher/student in this one verse as a model for how the Gospel will continue to grow and be passed on from generation to generation. We want to multiply workers, leaders, groups, teams, campuses and churches.
OUR ESSENTIAL BELIEFS
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three "persons" -- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
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 error.
God created humans in His own image, He created them to be like Himself. He created them male and female. People are the supreme object of God's creation. All of us are born with a "sin nature" that manifests itself as an attitude of disobedience toward God. Disobedience to God is called "sin." Our sin nature separates us from God, and our sin causes many problems in life.
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 in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Salvation is God's free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never overcome our sin nature 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. When we turn from our self-ruled and sinful life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our lives by faith.
Marriage described in Scripture is between one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, until death. God created sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman within the marriage covenant, therefore, there should be celibacy in singleness. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. We do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Scripture. We affirm God's grace is available to all. We expect families and individuals not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture.