What We Believe?
EIC subscribes to the confessional statement of The Gospel Coalition found here: The Gospel Coalition’s Confessional Statement
Along with the above-mentioned statement, we at EIC want to make certain affirmations and denials keeping in mind the Indian context specifically.
- Transcendence and Immanence: We hold on to the transcendence of the creator God as we understand in the scriptures but we also embrace the immanence of God as seen in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The God of the Bible is not so far away that he is not knowable. We can know God truly because he has revealed himself in and through his son Jesus Christ. Even though God became man in Christ Jesus and he was fully human like us, he never sinned like us. The distance between the creation and the creator has been closed in, in the incarnation but the distinction between the creation and the divine creator yet remains. We affirm Jesus’ humanity and divinity at the same time.
- Only one incarnation: When talking about the incarnation, we believe that God became man once for all in the whole history of mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. There are no multiple entries of God in this world to sort out human issues. It is done, once for all. The perfect and sufficient work of Jesus excludes the need for God to have to fix any potential problems among mankind.
- The uniqueness of Christ: We affirm that there is only one way, there is only one truth and there is only one life – The Lord Jesus Christ.
- Salvation not by works: We believe that salvation is a gift of God that we receive by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore we reject any efforts by works of religion or good deeds for salvation.
- Equality of all human beings: We affirm that God created all human beings in the image of God regardless of caste, colour and creed. We vehemently denounce any divisions in the church on the basis of caste, tribe, region, language or community.
- One life, one death, one judgement: We affirm the teachings of scriptures that God has ordained for man to die once and be judged after that. Therefore we reject any teaching that espouses reincarnation. There is no room for rebirth in Christian theology.
- Sinfulness of humanity: We deny any teaching that attempts to downplay the doctrine of the total depravity of mankind. We understand that none is righteous, no one who seeks God and everyone has turned away from God. It is not only, not wrong to talk about the sin of mankind but it is necessary to talk about the sinfulness of humanity.
- False prosperity: We vehemently reject every shade of prosperity gospel (health, wealth and prosperity). We reject Word of faith movement, positive thinking movement and denounce blanket promises of physical healing to anyone following Christ. God is kind and can and often blesses his children with physical and material blessings – health and success. But this is not guaranteed and nor are we promised these things in the New Covenant. On the contrary following Jesus can cost us our health, wealth, success and sometimes even life only to gain eternal life that can never be lost.
- Sufficiency of scriptures: We affirm the sufficiency of scriptures which means that we deny fresh authoritative and binding revelations found outside scriptures. We deny any visions that add anything to the scriptures that we already have. Any teaching that undermines scripture must be rejected.
- Offices in the local church: We believe that the Prophets and Apostles laid the foundation of the church and it is misleading and unhelpful for church leaders to lay claim to such titles for themselves. The main offices in the New Testament today are one of elders (pastor/elder/presbyter/bishop – all these words denote the same office) that are in the leadership and another of the deacons (servants) that are to serve the church in practical ways.
- Priesthood of all believers: While we affirm that elders/pastors are a gift to the church from God but we also renounce any unhealthy distinction between clergy and laity. Elders/pastors are not mediators between God and man but simply teachers of the Word, and the undershepherd of the flock.
- Gender roles: We believe that God created man in his image, he created them as Male and Female. We embrace the complementarian position on gender roles and reject egalitarianism and renounce male chauvinism. We believe that the Bible teaches that men should lead in love and humility at homes and at church.
- Non-Biblical Missiology: We denounce any underhanded means to lure people to follow Christ. While thoughtful contextualization in line with scripture is welcome, we outrightly reject any form of insider movements that are deceptive in nature and do not trust in the sovereignty of God in the work of salvation.