What We Believe
The Community Church of Issaquah is first and foremost a Christian church, declaring our faith in Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God, who helps us know God’s nature and who brings us forgiveness and reconciliation with God in God’s grace.
We are also proud to be an American Baptist Church, part of American Baptist Churches, USA. As such, we hold to the following American Baptist traditions (modified from the ABCUSA website at www.abc-usa.org):
1. American Baptist believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior: American Baptists celebrate the fact that belief in Jesus Christ assures salvation and eternal fellowship with a loving God. The events of the first Easter week are the cornerstones of our faith: the death of Christ, in which He took upon Himself the sin of the world, and the Resurrection, which gave proof of his triumph over sin and death.
2. American Baptist believes that the Bible is divinely inspired, and serves as final authority for living out the Christian faith. We learn from many sources: science, history, modern writers who are in touch with the Spirit of God, etc. But our final authority is the Bible, as we interpret Scripture through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. A traditional Baptist teaching is called “soul freedom”, which means that each individual Christian is free to interpret Scripture, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (not just according to individual whim or prejudice), on their own. The church does not tell us what to believe. Each individual Christian should let the Bible challenge them on how to live and what life changes they need to make.
3. For American Baptists, the local church is the fundamental unit of mission in denominational life. Traditionally, this has been called “local church autonomy”, and is a perspective we share with the UCC (Congregational) Church, the Disciples of Christ (Christian) church and a variety of other denominations. We have a national denomination headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and they are a valued resource in shared missions, both nationally, and through international missions. The International Ministries branch of the UBCUSA now serves more than 1700 short and long-term missionaries annually, bringing US and Puerto Rico churches together with respected partners in over 70 countries in cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human need (see www.internationalminitries.org) the national denomination also provides helpful resources for churches to use in carrying out their local mission. But the national denomination does not dictate what the individual church should do in ministry, what they should teach or who they should hire as pastoral staff.
4. American Baptists partake of two ordinances: believer’s baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Baptism, an act of full immersion following Christ’s example, is undertaken by those spiritually mature enough to understand its profound, symbolic significance: resurrection to new life in Christ (see Romans 6:1-4). While this is our tradition, however, we are respectful of other traditions, and those who come from infant baptizing traditions are accepted at The Community Church of Issaquah on the basis of their infant baptism. Through the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, the bread and the cup that symbolize the broken body and shed blood offered by Christ recall God’s great love for us – just as they did for the disciples on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion.
5. American Baptists believe that the committed individual Christian can and should approach God directly, and that individual gifts of ministry should be shared. Traditionally this has been called “the Priesthood of all believers”, and is a perspective which goes back to Martin Luther. American Baptists hold that all who truly seek God are both competent and called to approach him directly without the aid of a human go-between. American Baptist also celebrates the special gifts of all believers, testifying that God can use each of us in ministry (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-27).