What We Affirm – Church Stance
The following declarations describe where Desert Bible Church stands on questions and controversies facing the church.
Clear about the sufficiency of Scripture
Because we believe God has tied His power to His Word, we affirm the Bible to be totally sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness, and as such, we use it as our sole guide in ministry, including our preaching, evangelism, and counseling.
Awed by the Sovereignty of God
Because both Old and New Testaments affirm the absolute free will of God over His creation and the complete inability of man to save himself, we affirm the sovereign grace of God in salvation to rescue sinners — a decision He made in eternity past, brought to fruition in time, and because it cannot be undone, it will remain for eternity.
Balanced in our view of authority
Because the New Testament declares two offices for the church, Elders (open to men only) and Deacons (open to men and women), we strive to empower leaders and servants in Christ’s church whose character, convictions, and commitment provide the church leadership in its doctrine, direction, and discipline.
Engaged out of our view of membership
Because the New Testament commands and models dedication to a local church that gathers for teaching, fellowship, worship, prayer, and celebration of the ordinances, we affirm the priority of membership to the local church but define it in terms of “partnership.” We believe the word “member” refers to our identity in the body of Christ (something that happened at salvation), but partnership is the tangible commitment to the local church evidenced by participation with our time, talents, and treasures.
Satisfied with our understanding of spiritual gifts
Because God is a supernatural God, we affirm His right to act any way He chooses in His church for His glory, including those supernatural manifestations of His Spirit that happened in the early church, but we do not expect those manifestations of His power as the normal Christian experience today through an individual such as a prophet, healer, etc., We teach that the purpose of those pieces of evidence was to authenticate the giving of His Word, which we believe is sufficient and complete. We encourage unity with those whose views differ, but ask those who hold a “charismatic” view of the gifts to abstain from its exercise in the public assembly and small groups.
Unwavering in our view of marriage
Because God is the Creator, we affirm His right to declare what we gladly uphold: His biological design for marriage as only being between one man and one woman for one lifetime. Further, because God made man and woman in His image as equal in importance and honor but different in role and function, we affirm the husband’s headship and the wife’s submission as a living demonstration of Christ in His relationship to the church.
Unashamed in our convictions about life
Because God alone is the Giver and Sustainer of life, and because of His special love and sovereign ownership of children who bear His image, we affirm God’s exclusive right over life and therefore declare that abortion of any form and at any stage is murder. We also, therefore, affirm the Christian’s responsibility to take whatever means are acceptable to God and available to us to deliver children from this evil practice.
Urgent about our commitment to baptism
Because the New Testament teaches that baptism is an outward expression of a person’s inward commitment to follow Christ as Lord and not a means of grace, we view post-conversion baptism by immersion in water as a matter of personal obedience to Jesus and a prerequisite to partnership.
Restorative in our handling of church discipline
Because God is holy and Jesus commands us to care for one another in His church, especially in matters of personal holiness, we commit to lovingly, impartially, and diligently seek, confront, and restore anyone within our church who has walked away from his or her profession of faith in Christ or commitment to personal holiness — who persists in unrepentant sin.