The core beliefs are the beliefs that we feel are fundamental to the life of a Christian. All other things we can disagree with, but these beliefs are held sacred and will be the bedrock of all ETM’s articles and discussions.
God exists as three individual Persons and as the one God-head, known as the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and the God the Holy Spirit are individuals that make up the One God. (Gen 1:26, Mat 3:16-17, John 1:1-2).
The Deity of Christ
We believe that Jesus is God and has always existed as God with the Father even before creation. Jesus came to earth as a man, born of a virgin. His birth and life fulfilled all messianic biblical prophecies and He lived a perfect and blameless life of complete submission to the will of God, all of which are evidence that He is God. (2 Cor 5:21, Luke 24:6-7, 1 Cor 15:3-4, Acts 4:10, John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit that convicts us of our sin, leads us to repentance and confirms that we are recipients of God’s grace and mercy, empowering and encouraging us to keep a lifestyle free of sin. (John 16:8)
Jesus was crucified to pay for the sins of man, and after three days He was raised from the dead in physical bodily form. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Depravity of Man
Every person since the fall of man has been born into sin, making them a slave of their sin nature. The penalty of sin is eternal death in Hell and eternal separation from God. (Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12-14, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, Psalms 14) It is through God’s law that we know what sin is, which reveals to us just how sinful and lost we are. (Galatians 3:24)
Salvation by Grace
Salvation comes solely through faith in Jesus Christ by God’s grace when we repent of our sins and put their faith in Him. Salvation is not by our own works and efforts, is not something that mankind can earn through any effort of our own. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9, Acts 3:19, John 3:16, John 14:6)
The Inerrancy of Scripture
We believe that the original text of the Bible is inerrant. Meaning that it can be trusted and that the Bible does not have any errors of fact or any statements that contradict. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We believe that Scripture is sufficient for all teaching, correcting, rebuking, exhortation, and encouragement so that we do not need to look to anyone or anything else for such authority.
We believe it is authoritative, in that it is the very Word of God. We do not consider man to have any authority over God’s Word. We do not hold any thought, person, vision, dream, revelation, or worldly reasoning above Scripture.
The Christian Life
Being a Christian does not require any works, but will produce them. Faith in Jesus Christ will create in us a desire to follow God’s law, submit to God’s authority, and resist sin. This, in turn, will stimulate spiritual growth and maturity. That same maturity, working by the power of the Holy Spirit, will produce thoughts and actions in our daily lives that produce good works according to God’s will and primarily for His glory and His alone. (James 2:14-26)
Choosing to live a lifestyle of sin means you are not following Jesus. It is the responsibility of the church to gently and lovingly hold accountable those who call themselves Christians when they are sinning. If the person continues to live in sin even after several confrontations, they may be asked to step away from fellowship with believers until that person comes to repentance as per the instruction shown us scripturally in 2 Timothy 2:19.
Additional Important Beliefs
While we believe the above beliefs are the foundation for Christianity and having a true relationship with God, there are additional beliefs that are serious, and we cannot allow such teachings through this ministry.
Avoiding False Teachings & Prophets
We believe that unity does not mean uniformity. Not all believers have to believe the same things about every issue. However, false teachers are a real threat that we are told to avoid. We believe that false teachers can be identified by seeing if the teachings from the church, teacher, or movement are backed up by Scripture. Are they an example of what was done in the New Testament church, or is it anti-Biblical, or extra-Biblical? Does the church, teacher, or movement put a focus on authority in anything above God’s revealed Word?
We believe that God does not change his will for all creation, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” (Numbers 23:19) and that His Word is eternal (Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:23, Matt 5:18, Luke 16:17) Therefore any revelation of the Holy Spirit will always be both supported by, and never contradict, God’s Word in scripture.
Scripture tells us that many will “turn away from the true faith” and will “follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons” (1 Timothy 4:1 NLT) and that people “will not endure sound teaching” and will pursue teachers that “suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 3:3-4), or that people will be “lovers of pleasure rather than God” and will “act religious” (2 Timothy 3:2-5). Matthew 24:24 says “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
We consider this a work of the enemy to divide and deceive the faithful in order to inhibit the growth of the Kingdom upon the earth. Therefore, though we allow discussion of such ideas, teachers, and movements, we will oppose any perceived preaching or influencing of others in these false teachings once they have been identified as anti-Biblical, or extra-Biblical.
We believe in a literal seven-year tribulation where God pours His wrath on this unbelieving world. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus will return and will establish the Millennial Kingdom where we will reign with Him for 1,000 years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
Homosexuality / Transgender
There are things that the Bible clearly defines as sin, that we cannot accept as right or okay, no matter how much the world wants us to. Those struggling with such sins need to be shown love from the church, and not anger or attacked.
Publications from ETM will never endorse or justify the things that the Bible is clear is wrong, but will also not attack or belittle those that need to be shown God’s love. Sin will be called sin, but we strive to always share such sensitive subjects with love, not candy coating or shying away from them.
We believe in the traditional marriage between man and woman as outlined in Matthew 19:5, Leviticus 18 and 20, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:8-10.
Our goal is to build Disciples of Jesus, not convince people of political ideologies. Strictly political topics will not be covered as the main idea of an article (though they can be mentioned, if relevant). All articles on ETM need to come from a Biblical perspective and mindset, no matter the topic.