Closed hand/open hand approach.
When it comes to issues of doctrine, traditions, lifestyles, politics, behavior culture, etc., Catalyst takes a closed hand/open hand approach. The closed hand holds tightly to the non-negotiables of the Christian faith: We are all sinful and broken, faith in Jesus brings forgiveness and a new life, the Bible is true and worth following, and everyone spends eternity somewhere.
The open hand, however, allows room for differences when it comes to secondary matters. We liberally allow freedom of conscience and wisdom to guide the individual where the Bible is silent. This approach fosters unity within the diversity found in the Catalyst community. Democrats and Republicans, computer geeks and surfers, carnivores and vegans, soccer moms and corporate executives. Our goal as a Christian community must always be to honor God, to follow the way of Jesus, and to love and serve all.
In this way, we seek to make the gospel relevant to those that find it irrelevant (1 Corinthians 9:22, Matthew 28:19-20), to have a solid Biblical foundation (1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 1:9, 2:1), to love one another (John 13:34), and to avoid unnecessary divisions
(1 Corinthians 1:10, 12:25; Titus 3:10).
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heavens glory and will return again to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as Gods offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sins penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every believer from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience subsequent to salvation and a distinct aspect of the Christian experience.
When people choose to follow Jesus, God plants inside of them all that is needed to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers how to love God. As people go on the mission with Jesus, churches emerge and God changes the world heart-first.
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God, through forgiveness and salvation. When you die, you will either spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. Eternal separation from God happens in Hell. Eternal union with God occurs in Heaven.
Man is made in the image of God. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although God designed man to have fellowship with him, man became alienated from God through disobedience. As a result, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and choose to sin against God. Man is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through his own efforts. Genesis 1:27, Psalm 8:3-6, Isaiah 53:6a, Romans 3:23, Colossians 1:21, Isaiah 59:1-2
The Bible is Gods Word to all men. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.