What We Believe
There are core matters of faith that the Bible spells out clearly. We agree on these essential beliefs, teach them publicly, and do our best to live them out in our daily life. There are other issues on which the Bible is silent, issues on which Bible scholars and smart people have disagreed for centuries. In non-essential beliefs, we have the freedom to study, discuss, disagree, and shape our own opinions. In all our beliefs, we show love. How we disagree and discuss these matters should always be done with grace.
God is the creator and therefore is in charge of the universe. As the Bible teaches, there is one God who has eternally existed in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God wants to have a personal relationship with you, no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God extends love and forgiveness to everyone through the person and work of Jesus. Jesus’ perfect life, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead make God’s unconditional love and forgiveness available to us all. As a result, there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more and nothing you can do to make him love you any less.
The Holy Spirit who is sent to help us. The Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus and helps us grow in our relationship with him. The Holy Spirit helps us understand what the Bible teaches and guides us to do what is right. He also gives us special abilities (spiritual gifts) to use in serving others.
The Bible is God’s Word to Us
The Bible was inspired by God through people, and therefore speaks with the authority of God while reflecting the background, vocabulary and style of the various human authors. The words of the Bible are true, relevant, and life-changing. The Bible is the final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
Salvation is free, but we must accept it. No amount of self-improvement or good deeds can make up for the sin in our lives. The only way to be forgiven is to accept God’s offer of grace by placing our trust in Jesus. Though God does love everyone, only those who turn to Him and commit their lives to Jesus are in an authentic relationship with Him.
People were created to exist forever. We will exist eternally in one of two ways: either separated from God or eternally with God. The deciding factor will be whether or not we are in an authentic relationship with Jesus. In the Bible, spending eternity with God is called heaven.
God Created the Church for a Good Reason
A church is simply a group of believers gathering together. In authentic community, we worship God, help others work through tough questions of faith, serve the needy, and grow together in our love for God and each other. In authentic community, we accomplish together what could never be done alone. The church, therefore, should be a place of acceptance and grace.
What sets West Ridge apart from other churches? It’s our core values that make us Never Church as Usual.
1. Acceptance – “Come as You Are”
No matter who you are or what you’ve done. What color your skin is or isn’t. No matter how much money you have or don’t have. Or how much you give to the church or don’t. Everyone will be accepted here and everyone will be treated the same. At West Ridge, we seek to remove any kind of hierarchy that says no one is any better or worse than anyone else. We don’t have a Senior Pastor type of structure, because it’s our goal to remove any hint of ego or church politics. West Ridge also has no membership by design, as we never want to be a place that excludes anyone or creates any sense of Christian elitism.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
2. Authenticity – “Get Real”
Our greatest fear is that West Ridge becomes a church of nice people. West Ridge is different, it is a place that was no longer church as usual but rather, to start a church that would be authentic. We need to continue to strive to be a church that is real, cutting through the fake smiles and being honest. We are a church full of messed-up people, who stand together and encourage each other to make it to the end of the narrow path.
“Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1
3. Grace – “Get Over It”
We believe that we are not only saved by grace but that we walk by grace. Here at West Ridge, we believe the Bible is the authoritative word of God and it is the only truth that matters. Where the Bible is clear about an issue, it will always dictate the beliefs and doctrine of this church. You and I were created for community and we can’t do it alone. The church exists so that we can do life together. Community is HARD and easier if we give each other a little grace along the way.
“Accept the one whose faith is weaker, without quarreling over each other’s opinions.” Romans 14:1
4. Gratitude – “Get Grateful”
Spiritual growth is messy and a lot of work. The only thing that will move us into a strong sustainable relationship with God, is gratitude. When we can realize the darkness we were in and see where God has brought us. Then we can fully grasp how incredible is the love and Grace of God
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
West Ridge is a group of people who may not fit well into other mainstream churches, but we fit here. It’s a group of people who have lived messed up lives, but who now want more than anything else to just follow Jesus.