Pastor Young Answers your Questions…
When people are checking out a church, they deserve straight answers to important questions. I’ve tried to anticipate what a number of your questions may be in offering brief comments on important subject areas related to the church. Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at: (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your feedback or additional questions.
Why do newcomers make Atonement their church home?
Based on their feedback, it is clear that newcomers experience Church of the Atonement as a safe place to be. Preaching and teaching are Biblical and balanced, staff members are not overbearing but committed to serve, children are well cared for, and everyone feels the openness and warmth of a caring Christian congregation. In addition newcomers quickly experience the encouragement of being part of a Christian community. Christ is present in our fellowship with each other. Most newcomers find that friends are easily made. Small group opportunities are constantly being generated. Many of us live alone or far from relatives, or come from difficult family backgrounds, so Atonement serves for many as a healthy Christian family.
How is a person made right with God?
By repenting of his or her sins and receiving, though faith, Jesus Christ, as the Lord and Savior.
What is your position on the authority of Scripture?
The Scriptures that comprise the Old and New Testaments were written by prophets and apostles, are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and are God’s Word. They are infallible and as originally given, without error.
Do you believe Genesis 1-11 is history or myth?
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven?
What is your position on the Lordship Salvation issue, i.e., Can a person take Jesus as Savior without taking him as Lord?
No, Jesus is both Savior and Lord. To receive Him is to receive Him as Savior and Lord or to not receive Him at all.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin?
Yes, and in all the other miracles recorded in the Bible.
Do you believe in the bodily return of Jesus Christ?
Do you believe in a literal Hell?
Do you have a doctrinal statement that you take seriously?
Yes, the Westminster Confession of Faith, which you can download off the web.
What is your position on the ordination of women for positions of church leadership?
Gifted women of character must be able to exercise leadership and use their gifts for the Lord in the church. Given the two ordained church offices of deacon and elder, we ordain both men and women as deacons. We do not ordain women to the office of elder (or pastor) because we understand from Scripture that men are to assume these positions of spiritual authority when that authority is to be exercised over men.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Piper, F.F. Bruce, John Stott, Jonathan Edwards, James Boice, J. I. Packer, Iain Murray.
What are your views regarding divorce and remarriage?
We believe the Bible allows for divorce and remarriage in the cases of adultery or physical abandonment of the marriage by an unbelieving spouse.
What is your position on the charismatic movement?
Church of the Atonement is a Presbyterian Church and not regarded as part of the charismatic movement though many of our members come from this background.
How would the church handle a case of scandal or immorality by a member?
We have produced very clear “Guidelines for Church Discipline” which are distributed as part of membership orientation. These assure both that people’s reputations are protected from false accusation and that scandalous conduct or heresy is not permitted to go on in the church.
How big is your church?
Our church has 350 active members plus a number of children. We are a multigenerational church. About 65% of our visitors come by themselves; that is, either single or unaccompanied by a spouse. Over 20 nations of origin are represented in rich ethnic diversity.
How old is your church?
Church of the Atonement was planted in 1947 on the same piece of land it has continued to occupy ever since. It was farm property then; now, it is part of a thriving urban environment that includes a chapel, education building, sanctuary, parking, and landscaping.
Who are you affiliated with?
Church of the Atonement was originally part of the United Presbyterian Church but left the denomination in 1980 in order to find a new denominational home with a high regard for the Bible. Since that time, we have been a member congregation of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Where do you stand on social issues?
Atonement upholds the sanctity of human life and marriage as the union of a man and a woman. We are deeply involved in efforts that provide women with alternatives to abortion, and part of a national network of churches devoted to strengthening marriages.
How would you describe your worship?
Our worship represents a vibrant blend of hymns and worship songs. Depending on the selection, we use a variety of instruments. These include the pipe organ, brass, drums, guitars, piano and synthesizer. We have a fine adult choir, a bell choir, youth choir, children’s choir, and musical ensembles. A significant portion of the music we sing comes from our life of worship together, composed by members of the church. We take the Lord’s Supper together every week.
How would you describe your preaching?
Preaching is grounded in a thorough study of the Scripture, delivered in a style that is both serious and upbeat, and focused on applying truth to life. With multiple teenagers in my own home, I understand the importance of communicating openly, honestly, humbly, clearly. I typically preach through a book of the Bible. Sermons last 30-35 minutes. Sermon manuscripts, tapes, and CD’s are available at the church or on the web site.