Bland Christian Church is just that: a Christian church. We follow none other than Jesus Christ. We have no written authority but the Bible. Our belief system is defined by the teachings of Jesus, including the doctrine and form of the early church as revealed by Jesus and His Holy Spirit through His apostles and recorded in New Testament Scripture.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is God’s son, that He was born of a virgin, that he lived among us for some 30 years, teaching, showing compassion and performing attesting signs and wonders, that He allowed Himself to be put to death on a cross as the sacrificial lamb for our sins, and that he rose again during the third day following His death. He continued here on earth for a short while, appearing to many eyewitnesses, and then ascended to heaven in the presence of the apostles.
Our authority within the congregation lies in the elders, a group of men selected by the congregation from among themselves according to qualifications given in the Bible. Their function is to lead the church to accomplish the mission Jesus assigned us, oversee the congregation and shepherd the individuals within. Outside of our local congregation there is no authority except Jesus.
We believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. We believe it contains the history of God interacting with His creation, particularly with those created in His own image, humankind. We believe that it is the record of God creating man and placing him in the Garden of Eden, of man’s fall through sin, and of God’s plan to bring redemption and restoration to man through the sacrificial death of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus. We believe that the Bible is to be read, understood and believed literally, except those places where figures of speech are obvious and the genre of the literature is either poetic or symbolic. Even then, we believe that those places reveal and reinforce literal truth.
Bland Christian Church is a Restoration church, meaning that our goal is to teach and practice what was taught and practiced by the church Jesus established on the first Day of Pentecost following His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven. We follow the teachings and practice of the church in the Scriptures as are demonstrated in the book of Acts and the letters to churches and individuals that comprise most of the rest of the New Testament. Those teachings include all that the authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John said about Jesus, and all that was taught by Him.
We believe that all are sinners (Romans 3:23) and therefore all are liable for judgment (Hebrews 9:27). We believe that those redeemed through the sacrificial death of Jesus and who have entered into His covenant on His terms will be taken to be with Him for eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 14:13; 21:3-7; 22:1-14), and that those who ignore or reject the salvation He offers them will be condemned to an eternity in the fires of hell (Revelation 14:10-11; 20:12-15; 21:8; 22:15).
We believe that salvation has only been, is now, and will ever be available exclusively through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
We believe that the plan of salvation (the answer to the questions, “What must I do to be saved?”) is found in the book of Acts, and reinforced in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the Letters (Romans through Jude). It includes the following elements:
Hearing with understanding (Romans 10:17; cf. Acts 2:37), which contradicts doctrines requiring infants to be baptized, and thus saved. Jesus said that the kingdom of God belonged to such as children (Mark 10:14).
Belief in the Jesus of the Bible that causes you to entrust yourself to Him and follow Him (Matthew 16:16; cf. John 6:66-69, Acts 8:37, James 2:14-26).
Repentance (Godly sorrow, causing you to turn away from sinning and toward God) (Acts 2:38 and 3:19; Luke 24:46-47).
Immersion/Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38, 8:39, 16:33, 22:16; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:11-12; 1 Peter 3:20-21). In New Testament times the word now translated “baptism” always meant “immersion.” First century writings indicate that early Christian baptism was immersion, and was the baptism of adults, people capable of understanding sin and their need for repentance, people capable of making their own decisions. In the New Testament baptism is one of the requirements for salvation. It was not even debated until much later than the first century church.
When we are baptized, we are baptized “into Christ” (Romans 6:3), not into the church. Upon being baptized, the Lord then adds us to His church (Acts 2:47).
We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus at the time and place of baptism. Baptism is the when and where of salvation. In other words, God gives us the gift of salvation, which we could in no way earn or achieve on our own. We receive that salvation through the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5) and enter into the required covenant relationship at baptism.
Lifelong faithfulness to Jesus and the Christian disciplines are required to maintain our salvation. Those disciplines include regular, weekly church attendance (Hebrews 10:25) for the purpose of partaking of the Lord’s Supper, also known as communion (Acts 20:7,11), praying, studying the Bible, and doing the things necessary to maintain and advance the cause of Christ and His church (Acts 2:42).
The Bible says that it was the church that Jesus purchased with His death (Acts 20:28), and that those who become Christians are added to His church by God Himself (Acts 2:47), and that being a part of the church is not optional (Hebrews 10:25).
The Bible teaches that Jesus Himself will return, and that His return will be known by all (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and that He will then gather Christians to Himself for their eternal reward.