WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Gathering Church exists to bring glory to God
through lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).
We believe Jesus Christ is true God and true man (Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 2:14-18; 17 Acts 1:8 Col. 2:9 18; Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:16-25). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary who was a virgin (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35 19 Matt. 8:16-17; James 5:13-16). Having lived a sinless life, He died upon the cross, the Just for the unjust, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. He arose from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-5; 1 John 2:2; 20 Eph. 3:6-12; 1:22-23; Acts 13:39 21 Acts 2:41-47; Heb. 10:25). He is now at the right hand of the Majesty on high as our great High Priest (Heb. 4:14-15; 9:24-28 Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). He will come again to establish His Kingdom of righteousness and peace (Matt. 25:31-34; Acts 1:11 11:19-30; 15).
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, sent to indwell, (John 14:16-17 22 1 Cor. 15:20-23), guide, teach and empower the believer, and to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (John 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 2:10-12 23 2 Thess. 1:7-10), and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14).We believe it is the will of God that in union with Christ each believer should be sanctified thoroughly thereby being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to God, receiving power for holy living and sacrificial and effective service toward the completion of Christ's commission. While we believe that the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, they indicate that use of the gifts vary according to the need that each gift meets. We do not accentuate the “sign gifts” but seek to emphasize the more excellent way of love as well as zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 12:11-13, 12:19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
We believe that the Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of people. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice. We believe the sixty-six books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s revelation and therefore contain everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting Him fully, and for obeying Him perfectly; they carry God’s authority for the total well-being of mankind (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16).
We believe that humankind, originally created in the image and likeness of God fell through disobedience, incurring thereby both physical and spiritual death. Consequently, all people are born with a sinful nature, are separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. All people are totally depraved and need a Savior. The destiny of the impenitent and unbelieving is existence forever in conscious torment, but that of the believer is everlasting joy and bliss. (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, Romans 1:32; Romans 5:1-2).
We believe that eternal salvation has been provided only through Jesus Christ. Those who repent of their sins and believe in Him, trusting in His death and resurrection by faith, are united with Christ through the Holy Spirit and are thereby regenerated (born again), justified, sanctified and granted the secure gift of eternal life as adopted children of God. (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We believe in the resurrection of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26). We believe there will be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life (1 Cor. 15:20-23); for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment (2 Thess. 1:7-10). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
THE SECOND COMING:
We believe the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal and visible (1 Thess. 4:13-17). As the believer's blessed hope, this vital truth is an incentive for holy living and sacrificial service toward the completion of Christ's commission (1 Cor. 1:7; Titus 2:11-14; Matt. 24:14; 28:18-20).
We believe in the existence of Satan as the originator of sin and the arch-enemy of God. As a spirit being, he leads his demonic forces in continual attack upon the people and purposes of God. (1 Peter 5:8)
We believe the universal Church, of which Christ is the Head, consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and commissioned by Christ to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the Gospel to all nations (Eph. 3:6-12; 1:22-23).The local church, the visible expression of the universal Church, is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together to worship God, to observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper, to pray, to be edified through the Word of God, to fellowship, and to testify in word and deed to the good news of salvation both locally and globally. (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church – under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church’s members are to work together in love and unity and in obedience to the Word of God, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
We believe that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship; therefore we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE
We affirm that the institution of marriage is the public covenanting together (the example of the wedding at Cana in John 2) of a man and a woman in a loving, enduring and exclusive relationship through which our society may be enriched (Ephesians 5:22-33). Marriage bridges and celebrates sexual difference and is the primary relationship within which children are begotten and nurtured.
The institution of marriage ensures children their birthright to know and be nurtured by a mother and a father in the most stable type of relationship (Ephesians 6:1-4). As Supreme Court Justice La Forest wrote as part of the majority decision in Egan v. Canada: the definition of marriage is “firmly anchored in the biological and social realities that heterosexual couples have the unique ability to procreate, that most children are the product of these relationships, and that they are generally cared for and nurtured by those who live in that relationship. In this sense, marriage is by nature heterosexual.”
Marriage as a life-long covenant between a man and a woman is older than our oldest democratic and parliamentary arrangements, older than our court systems, and is more universally accepted than any code of law ever promulgated (Genesis 2:18-25). Marriage is society’s real and symbolic affirmation of and commitment to a child’s right to know and experience a mother and a father, as recognized in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Canada. Though not every marriage brings new children into the world, it is the context in which most children are born. Thus it is the state in which a woman and a man become responsible co-parents together, embodying the differences and complementarity of the sexes, and labouring in love to entrust the best that they are and have to their offspring.
As a social institution, marriage is primarily concerned with the common good and not individual rights. The marriage of a woman and a man therefore merits deferential government protection and social recognition. The interest of the state in the institution of marriage has always been, and should continue to be, the union of one man and one woman, for the good of society. The recognition of this distinctive relationship in law and public policy is vitally important for the stability and security of our country and its children. As the recent report commissioned by France’s National Assembly has acknowledged: “The best interests of the child must prevail over adults’ exercise of their liberty.”
Changing the definition of marriage involves a repudiation of millennia of history and experience. Redefining marriage as being “between two persons” eclipses the essence and full purpose of marriage; the inner connection between marriage, the complementarity of the sexes, procreation and the raising of children is lost. When severed from its nature and purpose, marriage becomes simply a euphemism for a committed relationship between two consenting adults. Such an understanding diminishes both the sacred and civil dimensions of marriage and fails to promote the common good of society.
Definition of Marriage: We resolve that as a matter of belief, doctrine and religious practice, our congregation reserves the term “marriage” for the covenant relationship between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others (Matthew 19:4-6).
Staff Participation in the Solemnization and Celebration of Marriage: We resolve that members of our leadership, staff or clergy will be allowed to arrange for, officiate at or take part in the solemnization or celebration of a marriage only when it conforms to our congregational statement on marriage.
Use of Facilities: The Gathering (Windsor) and The Gathering Windsor Incorporated reserve the right to rent or allow use of these premises only by individuals or groups not incompatible with our goals, values and statements and for purposes which are not incompatible with our goals, values and statements.
Approved by the Directors
June 29, 2015
STATEMENT ON Bill C-4
Bill C-4 on “conversion therapy” recently received Royal Assent and came into force on January 7th, 2022. The following statement, prepared by the Canadian Religious Freedom Summit (freedomsummit.ca) is a statement intended to be read publicly by like-minded churches in Canada on January 9th, 2022, as a response to the passing of this Bill. The Gathering Church made this announcement in two services, Saturday, January 8th, and Sunday, January 9th. The contents of this statement reflects the conviction of The Gathering Church on this issue as agreed to by its elders.
"This past week marked a monumental change in Canadian law and society with the enactment of federal Bill C-4, which amends the Criminal Code.
The law’s stated purpose is to outlaw “conversion therapy”. We strongly oppose the coercive and unscientific therapeutic practices the Bill was introduced to address. We appreciate and affirm the desire of parliamentarians to protect the vulnerable. However, we should be deeply concerned that the effective reach of the legislation could be extended far beyond its stated purpose. Because its definition of “conversion therapy” is vague, many are concerned that it could capture parents, pastors and counsellors who teach a biblical understanding of sexuality in a variety of situations. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees our freedoms of religion, conscience, thought, belief, expression and association. It is our prayer that the law will be applied – and clarified as needed – in such a way as to honour these Charter protections.
We recognize that the greatest danger facing the Canadian church is not that we might face criminal prosecution, but rather that we might compromise in our teaching of the Word of God or fall silent in our proclamation of the gospel. Along with several church leaders of like conviction across Canada, the elders of our church pledge that we are committed to obeying God above all others (Acts 5:29). With the Lord’s help, we will continue to proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) without fear or favour. This includes God’s life-giving design for human beings, made in His image, male and female (Genesis 1:27), with sexual intimacy reserved for the covenantal union of a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). We will continue to issue the call to repent of all kinds of sin and to believe the gospel, knowing that we all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that salvation through Jesus is the one true hope for the world (Acts 4:12). We will continue to love and serve all people in our community, without distinction, in Jesus’ name. As we press on in the work of ministry, we will trust our Heavenly Father to guard us and keep us, and to work out His greater purposes for our good and His glory.
We continue to pray for our government, and to plead with the Lord to have mercy on our needy land."
Approved by the Elders
January 5, 2022