Relationships over Religion
At Open Arms, our philosophy is to agree on the essentials, but to give members the freedom to lovingly disagree in other areas.
Everyone is welcome here. It doesn't matter if you hold different beliefs when it comes to Baptism, freewill, or other grey areas. The only people who are not welcome are rock throwers or people who try to tear others down.
We don't care if you are Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, black or white, or anything else. . . You are welcome here!
We like to use the analogy of Arkansas football because there are tons of Arkansas fans around here! There are Republican Arkansas fans and there are Democrat Arkansas fans. There are rich fans and there are poor fans. There are gay fans and there are straight fans. There are old fans, young fans, Methodist fans, Catholic fans, Pentecostal fans, and Presbyterian fans. There are fans that come from everywhere, BUT for three or four hours on Saturday afternoon they all come together for one common purpose, for one goal, and to hopefully have one celebration.
So if we can do that for college football, then why the heck can't we do that for Jesus? In the same way, at Open Arms, we get together on Sundays, put our differences aside, and unite under one common mission. . . To spread the gospel of Jesus to all of Little Rock! We all want what Jesus wanted when he said to Zacchaeus, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:9-10, NIV) We strive to be the vessel that Jesus uses to seek and to save what was lost!
So we put our differences aside, just like we do in the stadium, and come together for that common goal. . . . . .It really is that simple!
But there are some things that we call essential. These are the basics of Christianity that are timeless. We believe that these things are beyond debate. So what are the essentials? Well, if you want to get a little theological, Here are the seven, long held, and orthodox Christian beliefs that we believe are essential to our faith.
1. We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise forever!
2. Jesus Christ, the living Word, become flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven.
3. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service.
4. Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation.
5. The Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ.
6. Jesus Christ will come again to the earth-personally, visibly, and bodily-to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20)
7. The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations.
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