Here are some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about Calvary Chapel Lynchburg. These are not meant to be exhaustive but rather to provide a basic understanding of where we stand on these important issues. If you need further explanation, you may contact the Church office and a Pastor or an Elder would be glad to discuss these things with you in greater detail.
What about the Word of God:
We hold the Word of God in high esteem both in theology and practice. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible Word of God in its original writing. We believe that the Bible we have today is an accurate account of the writings of the men who were inspired by the Spirit of God. We believe that everything we need to know about God, salvation and life are fully and accurately given to us in the Bible. Therefore we encourage every believer to have individual, daily Bible study where they can be instructed from the Word of God. We corporately study the Bible verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter. It is not only our goal to teach from the Bible but to actually teach the Bible itself. Therefore our services are structured in such a way as to give ample time for the study of the word of God, noting the application to our lives. We recognize that topical Bible study affords a certain benefit and we will from time to time study certain topics of the Bible. However, our commitment is to study the entire Bible, trusting that God will thoroughly teach us and help us through every issue we face in life.
What about Worship:
A time of corporate praise and worship takes place at every service at Calvary Chapel Lynchburg. Using choruses, we are led into worship by a small team of musicians and singers. We do not emphasize style but rather encourage all to join in the exalting of God in sincere, heart- felt worship. During this time, we encourage all believers to be sensitive to those worshipping around them and to do nothing that would take the focus off of God and put it on them. In each of our services we give considerable uninterrupted time to worship God. We believe that God is worthy of worship and should therefore be exalted in the congregation. We also believe that this time of worship begins the dialogue between the worshipper and God and serves as an invaluable time of preparation for what God will say to us in the study of His word.
What about Fellowship:
Fellowship is a vital part of Calvary Chapel Lynchburg. It is encouraged both in organized church functions as well as in a more personal setting. In the development of relationships with others who have like faith, we are encouraged challenged, and blessed. It is our hope that every time the doors are opened at Calvary Chapel Lynchburg we would interact spiritually with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have small group studies, potlucks, banquets and retreats that provide the setting for establishing friendships and exercising our spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:8) to minister to each other and bring edification (Ephesians 4:12).
What about Communion:
We believe that communion is a Christian rite that Jesus established at the Last Supper and is to be carried out by all believers until His return. We believe that the elements are symbols of what Jesus Christ did for us in his sacrificial death and atonement. We do not believe that the elements of communion hold any spiritual value other than the powerful reminder of how Jesus allowed I lis body to be broken and His blood spilled for our cleansing. Communion is open to all believers and we encourage everyone to join us on the first Wednesday night of each month when we share together at the Lord’s Table.
What about Water Baptism:
We believe in full water immersion for those who have put their trust and faith in the Lord. We do not believe that Baptism is a prerequisite for salvation but rather an act of obedience for those who are already saved. We believe that it is through faith in the Lord Jesus that the grace of God is appropriated to cleanse a person from their sins and bring them into a right relationship with God. This does not diminish, however, the importance of obedience to the instruction of scripture that all believers should make this public profession and identification with Jesus through Baptism. We encourage all believers who have yet to be baptized to obey the Lord at our next Baptism. These are held in public places where we can testify publicly of our faith in Christ.
What about Kids:
The Children’s Ministry is an exciting part of what God is doing here at Calvary Chapel! With Bible-based curriculum, inspired worship and hands-on activities and crafts,, the kids at Calvary Chapel are having a great time being taught the scriptures! Reaching a child for Jesus is a blessed opportunity. We believe we have an important part in aiding parents as they train up their child in the ways of the Lord. (Proverbs 22:6) With this in mind we have prayerfully built a ministry designed to reach children for Christ in a format they can enjoy. Their classes lake place at the same time the parents are worshipping in the sanctuary. Enjoying church as a child is a vital part in a person’s decision to follow Christ as an adult. An added benefit is that the parents are able to enjoy the service without distraction while the children are not bored in a service designed for adults. We encourage everyone with children to take advantage of this dynamic ministry. We also realize that some children may need some time to adjust to the new surroundings and may benefit from having a parent stay with them for a couple of weeks, until the child is comfortable.
What about the Holy Spirit:
We believe the Holy Spirit is the Third person in the holy Trinity and is fully God. We believe that the Holy Spirit is active both in salvation and the life of the believer. We look to the Holy Spirit to help us and teach us as we walk with the Lord. We believe that the Holy Spirit resides in the heart of every believer and that Jesus baptizes His followers with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16). This baptism can be either at conversion or subsequent to salvation. The primary purpose for this work, as explained in Acts 1:8, is to receive power to be witnesses and is not a matter of salvation but rather equipping. The baptism is not to be confused with the baptism the Holy Spirit performs on a believer into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-14). We encourage every believer to receive this gift of the Spirit that equips us for ministry and service in God’s Kingdom.
What about Spiritual Gifts:
We believe the Bible clearly teaches that spiritual gifts are for the edification of the body of Christ and that they are to be exercised in love. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without love all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless. Unfortunately that which was meant to unite and edify the body of Christ has become a matter for much division in the Church. We believe that all the gifts that were given to the Church in the first century for its edification and growth are still active today and when properly exercised will afford the same benefits as were experienced in the early Church. As the apostle Paul said ‘let all things be done decently and in order’ (1 Cor. 14:40). This balance of ALL THINGS and ORDER is rarely seen in the Church today and is a guideline we continue to walk in. During our services, we focus on a personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. We do not practice speaking in tongues during worship or while a Bible study is in progress because we do not believe that the Holy Spirit would interrupt Himself. God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). These gifts are encouraged in more intimate settings, e.g. afterglow services and small groups where their benefit can accomplish the purpose for which they have been given – the edification of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:12).
What about Money:
We believe all we have is from the Lord and that the Bible teaches believers to participate in the worship of God and support of the local Church with their finances. We have chosen to take a low-key approach to the giving of our finances in order to avoid the overemphasis that has been placed upon money within the Church. We believe this act of worship should come from a joyful heart and that God is worthy of such acknowledgment (2 Cor. 9;7). We encourage everyone who attends Calvary Chapel Lynchburg to be led of the Lord and obedient to the scriptures regarding their tithes and offerings. We teach on giving when it comes up in scripture and do not seek to make this a weekly matter of discussion.
What about Calvinism and Arminianism:
We are neither Five-Point Calvinists, nor are we Armenianists. We adhere firmly to the Biblical teaching of both God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. We avoid any theological systems of belief that go beyond the written Word and thereby divide the body of Christ.
What about Membership:
We do not have a formal membership process. We believe that when a person has truly accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are automatically made a member of the body of Christ and are, therefore, welcome to fellowship with us (ICor 12:12-14). We have adopted an informal membership that is best summed up by the following statement; If you are a believer that desires to make Calvary Chapel Lynchburg your home church and you desire to grow, worship, fellowship and serve then we accept you into our midst. We encourage every member to pray about how God would wanL to gift them to bring edification to the body of believers that gather for worship.
In rare cases it may become necessary to administer church discipline within the Church. The first purpose of such discipline is the restoration of the believer and/or the purification of the Church. We have confidence in the Word of God, that by following His instructions, that He can restore the unrepentng individual to full fellowship with Himself and the fellowship of Calvary Chapel Lynchburg.(Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1; Romans 16:17; II John 9-11; I Corinthians 5; II Corinthians 2:6-8; I Timothy 5:20).