Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
1. THE BIBLE AS OUR SOLE AUTHORITY:
"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” II Timothy 3:16
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. THE AUTONOMY OF EACH LOCAL CHURCH:
"And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:18
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe the church should be self-governing and independent from any denomination.
3. THE PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER:
"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." Revelation 1:5-6
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belong to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." I Peter 2:9
"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:3-8
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 tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord." Leviticus 27:30
"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." II Corinthians 9:7
At the Church at Tuscaloosa, we practice tithing 10% of our income as a place to start in supporting Christ's Body, the church, as God commands. In the Old Testament, in addition to the tithe were various compulsory and free-will offerings. Further, the Lord made special provisions to provide for the needs of the poor and needy. In the New Testament, we are taught to give in proportion to the material blessing one has received with special attention and commendation for sacrificial giving. We recognize that we should tithe as a minimum and then give over and above the tithe as the Lord prospers and/or directs us.
5. BAPTISM BY IMMERSION:
"Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead." Colossians 2:12
We practice baptism by immersion under water- the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
6. SPIRIT-LED LIVING:
(Jesus said)"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
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. (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18)
7. TELLING OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST:
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." I Peter 3:15
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 inviting friends and family to church.