WHAT WE BELIEVE
Mount Zion's Core Statements are based on two key Scripture passages:
The Great Commandment:
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
--Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
The Great Commission:
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
--Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
To "love God with all your heart" is to WORSHIP
To "love your neighbors as yourself" is MINISTRY
To "go...make disciples" is EVANGELISM
To "baptize" is to incorporate into FELLOWSHIP
To "teach them...all things" is DISCIPLESHIP
The Trinity: God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three are equal and are one God.
Christ: Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is equal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. After three days, He arose from the dead to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and someday will return again to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under his control daily.
Scripture: The Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth, guidance, and authority for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
Human Beings: People are the supreme object of God's creation. God made us in His own image, to be like Him in character and to enjoy a relationship with Him. He gave human beings the authority to use what He created and the responsibility to care for it. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude that separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Sin: All people have a natural tendency to choose our way over God's way. God gives us freedom to choose to obey or rebel against Him. This attitude of self-rule is sin. It separates us from God and causes great pain and difficulty. Satan is a real, evil, spiritual being who tempts people to sin and attempts to keep us separated from God.
Salvation: Salvation is God's free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
The Church: The Church consists of all those who repent of their sin and trust Christ for salvation. Local congregations exist wherever Christians gather, God's Word is truly preached, and the sacraments of baptism and communion are administered. The purpose of the church is to reach out in evangelism, to engage those who accept God's gift of salvation in discipleship, to promote fellowship, and to serve the needs of others through ministry.
Eternity: People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
WHAT WE PRACTICE
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly that the following seven practices should characterize our members:
1. The Bible as our sole authority
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right.
-2 Timothy 3:15 (NLT)
Since God's Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is "What does the Bible say?" We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
2. Jesus Christ is the head of the church.
Christ is the head of the body, the church. He is the source of the body's life...-Colossians 1:18 (GNB)
Christ is the recognized head of the church, not any person, group, or religious organization.
3. Priesthood of all believers
Christ loves us, and by his death He has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God....-Revelation 1:6 (GNB)
You are...the King's priests...God's own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.-1 Peter 2:9 (GNB)
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to "full-time" Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Bible reading.
A tenth of the produce of the land...belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy.-Leviticus 27:30 (NLT)
We finance this church by our members giving 10 percent of what they earn to the church. We recognize that giving a tithe of our income is the biblical standard of giving.
...Having been buried with (Christ) in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead.-Colossians 2:12 (NIV)
Baptism is the public sign of a new life in Christ.
6. Spirit-led Living
Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.-John 15:5 (NLT)
Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.-Ephesians 5:18 (NLT)
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God's power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God's Spirit to enable us to do what is right.
7. Telling others about Christ
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.-1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those God brings us into contact with. We practice personal sharing about Christ and invite friends to church.
8. Honoring God with Our Sexuality
But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.-Mark 10:6-8 (NIV)
Gender distinction and sexual expression within marriage are part of God’s plan for creation. Sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman is contrary to God’s will and destructive.
As a United Methodist Church, Mount Zion is connected to these three groups:
- The Capital District-a group of about 100 churches in the area encompassing Raleigh, Goldsboro, and Wilson.
- The North Carolina Conference-a group of over 850 churches in the Eastern half of North Carolina.
- The United Methodist Church-a worldwide denomination of about 13 million members united in doctrine, discipline, and purpose.