Do I have to be baptized to join Woodville Community Church? What are Woodville Church’s views on baptism?
Greater than mere identity with a church or denomination, baptism is a vivid symbol of the believer’s new identity with Christ. It symbolizes the promise given by our Lord to save through Christ. The outward form of baptism does not make a person part of Christ’s church; a person becomes part of the church when one enters a personal faith with Jesus Christ alone. To become a member of Woodville Community church one must have made a profession of his or her faith publicly. There must be an evidence of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and a commitment to faithful church attendance to join the membership rolls of this church. We take seriously the responsibilities of church membership and believe we are accountable to each other in our walk of faith. The purpose of baptism is to publicly announce that we have been identified with Christ. Water baptism has, throughout the ages, been a means of visibly representing a real, yet invisible, change that has taken place. Paul in Romans 6:1-4 describes this invisible change as the Holy Spirit identifying each believer with Christ in both His death and resurrection. We practice the presentation through covenant dedication of babies before the Lord and this congregation. They are presented for the care and instruction of this congregation with an admonition for parents and members to bring the child up in the teaching of God’s Word. We practice believer’s baptism by immersion for those who publicly confess their faith. In this, we follow the pattern for Jesus’ baptism, as described in Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10. Even though we cannot literally “follow Jesus in baptism” because His baptism was unique, by immersing we can “follow Him in practice.”
What Bible translation does the church use?
Because of its accuracy, Pastor Brett is currently teaching from the English Standard Version (ESV). Pastor Brett studies for and prepares his messages using both the ESV and the New American Standard Bible, 1995 Edition because these translations makes the transition from Greek and Hebrew into English easier for a person trained in the original languages.
When do you serve the Lord’s Supper as part of your Sunday morning worship and who can participate?
Woodville Community Church observes the Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion, six times per year. Our elders believe that this schedule keeps the observance infrequent enough to be a fresh and meaningful expression of worship but not so frequent that it becomes ritualistic. Anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior is welcomed at the Lord’s Table.
What is the correct amount to tithe?
The “tithe” or “tenth part” was first mentioned in Scripture when Abraham presented Melchizedek with a tenth of the spoils from his victory (Genesis 14:17-20). Hebrews 7:5 states that “…those sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have authorization according to the law to collect a tithe from the people, that is, from their fellow countrymen.” The tithe in Israel was essentially an income tax collected by the Levites for the purpose of supporting the Tabernacle or Temple and the functions carried out by the Levites. As such, it was not considered to be optional. There were “freewill offerings” taken at various times for other purposes, like helping the poor or refurbishing the Temple, and these were optional. To be honest to Scripture, we have to acknowledge that tithing is never directly commanded to the Church. The Church is told how to give but not how much to give. (2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.”) “How to give” follows the principle of freewill offerings in Israel, providing a yardstick to tell us how we are responding to the generosity of God (2 Corinthians 8:9). Tithing is also never forbidden to the Church so there is absolutely nothing wrong with following the guidelines of the tithe, as long as it is done in faith and without reluctance or compulsion.
Do you practice the spiritual gifts of tongues, prophecy, miracles, or healing?
No. We believe that these gifts (tongues, knowledge, healings, prophecies, miracles) were authorized and active in the early days of the Church, but their function and legitimacy ended when the reason for the gift was removed. This does NOT mean that God does not heal or do miracles today. God can and does heal according to His own reasons and purposes. God can do anything He wants. We do NOT believe that talking in tongues (glossolalia) which is practiced today is a special spirit language and find no biblical basis for it in Scripture. God can give the ability to bring the gospel message in a known language to one who may not have previously known that language for the purpose of evangelism. God does not primarily use these special gifts through individual people as He did in the apostolic age. These special gifts were given to the apostolic church age to legitimize their leadership authority. Once the completed Scripture was received, the special gifts were no longer necessary. Rather than providing new revelation, the Holy Spirit now does exactly what Jesus said He would do. He “will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you” (John 14:26). The gift of prophecy today is to be understood as the preaching of God’s completed Word; there are no new revelations of Scripture other than what is contained in the sixty six books of the Bible.
For more information on our specific doctrine of beliefs, please see our website and locate, “What We Believe” for a more detailed look at the doctrines of faith we hold, and our church constitution.
Call us at 231- 689-2164, or contact us online for more information about Woodville Community Church.