What is Calvary Chapel San Angelo? What do you guys beleive?
Well, first, we are a pretty laid back church. We tend to come to fellowship in everything from 3-piece suits, to flip-flops and beach shorts. Every service is a come as you are service. If you like to dress up, you’re welcome. If you love to dress down, you are too! Giving God our best is reflected in how we live for Him in-wardly. The outward is a matter of taste.
Since the Ekklesia or Gathering is truly meant for the believer to come and be filled, refreshed, and return to the battle, most want to know, what does Calvary believe?
Affiliates of Calvary Chapel believe in the fundamental doctrines of evangelical Christianity, which include the inerrancy of the Bible and the Trinity. Within evangelical Christianity, they say that they stand in the “middle ground between fundamentalism and Pentecostalism in modern Protestant theology”. While they share with fundamentalism a belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, unlike fundamentalists, they accept spiritual gifts. However, they feel that Pentecostalism values experience at the expense of the word of God.
Calvinism and Arminianism
Calvary Chapel strives to “strike a balance between extremes” when it comes to controversial theological issues such as Calvinism’s and Arminianism’s conflicting views on salvation. Calvary Chapels hold the following views on the five points of Calvinism (The stance toward both views shown in the short answers):
1 Regarding total depravity, Calvary Chapel affirms that “apart from God’s grace, no one can be saved,” and that “mankind is clearly fallen and lost in sin.”
2 Regarding unconditional election, Calvary Chapel affirms that God, “based on his foreknowledge, has predestined the believer,” and that “God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God’s invitation to salvation.”
3 Regarding limited atonement, Calvary Chapel affirms that Jesus died “for the whole world” and that the “atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ was clearly sufficient to save the entire human race.”
4 Regarding irresistible grace, Calvary Chapel affirms that “God’s grace can either be resisted or received by the exercise of human free will”.
5 Calvary Chapels “believe in the perseverance of the saints (true believers) but are deeply concerned about sinful lifestyles and rebellious hearts among those who call themselves ‘Christians’.”
Although Calvary Chapel believes in the continuing efficacy of the gift of tongues, it does not recognize uninterpreted tongues spoken in a congregational setting as necessarily inspired (or at least directed) by the Holy Spirit because of its understanding of 1 Corinthians 14. Calvary Chapel accepts that the Bible affirms interpreted tongues and modern prophecy. Practicing tongues in private occurs more commonly. Calvary Chapel does not teach that the outward manifestation of every Christian counts as speaking in tongues. Instead, the movement’s theologians regard speaking in tongues as one of the many gifts of the Spirit and see believers as blessed as the Spirit moves.
Similar to other Pentecostal or Charismatic movements, Calvary Chapel holds that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not take place during conversion, but is available as a second experience. It is their understanding that there are three distinct relationships with the Holy Spirit. The first is that which is experienced prior to conversion. In this relationship the Holy Spirit is convicting the person of his sin. In the second relationship the Holy Spirit indwells believers during conversion for the purpose of sanctification. The third relationship is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which Calvary Chapel believes is for the purpose of being a Christian witness.
Baptism and Communion
Calvary Chapels practice believer’s baptism by immersion. Calvary Chapel does not regard baptism as necessary for salvation, but instead sees it as an outward sign of an inward change. As a result, the Chapels do not baptize infants, although they may dedicate them to God. Calvary Chapel views Communion in a symbolic way, with reference to 1 Corinthians 11:23–26.
Calvary Chapels strongly espouse pretribulationist and premillennialist views in their eschatology (the study of the end times). They believe that the rapture of the Church will occur first, followed by a literal seven-year period of Great Tribulation, followed by the second coming of Jesus Christ, and then finally a literal thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth called the Millennial Kingdom. Calvary Chapel also rejects supersessionism and instead believes that the Jews remain God’s chosen people and that Israel will play an important part in the end times.
Calvary Chapel pastors tend to prefer expositional sermons rather than topical ones, and they will often give their sermons sequentially from the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. They believe that expository preaching allows the congregation to learn how all parts of the Bible address issues as opposed to topical sermons which they see as allowing preachers to emphasize certain issues more than others. Another advantage, they say, is that it makes difficult topics easier to address because members of the congregation won’t feel like they are being singled out. It sees expository teaching as providing consistent teaching that, over time, brings the “perfecting of the saints” which is part of their general philosophy for the Church. In teaching expositorily through scripture sequentially, Calvary Chapel believes God sets the agenda, not the pastor.
Calvary Chapels believe that most churches have a “dependent, highly organized, [and] structured” environment, but that most people want an “independent and casual way of life”. Calvary churches typically have a casual and laid-back atmosphere. As a practical implication of this philosophy, people may wear street clothes to church. Praise and worship usually consists of upbeat contemporary Christian music though many Calvarys also play hymns. The style of worship generally reflects the region and the specific make-up of the congregation.
Calvary Chapel does not have a formalized system of church membership. Calling a Calvary Chapel one’s church usually means regularly attending church services and becoming involved in fellowship with other “members” of the church.
This is just a little about Calvary, and prayerfully, will help you through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, make a decision about attending.
**Much of the above was taken from various Calvary resources compiled on Wikipedia. For more information about us please read Our Vision, What We Believe, and about us.