Keystone Church Positions
[Not addressed in Doctrinal Statement]

We expect those who serve in a Keystone Church ministry to respect and support our stated doctrinal convictions as well as the following positions—even if not in full agreement with each detail.  Positions listed are in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of importance.

1. Abortion
Believing life begins at conception (Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 1:5), we oppose abortion, condemning it as the murder of a child—even in the tragic cases of rape or incest. However, because by grace Christ offers full and freeing forgiveness to all who repent of this or any other sin, we extend the hand of fellowship to all whom Christ has forgiven.

2. Baptism
While we do not require baptism for church membership, we encourage believers to be baptized by immersion as soon as possible after conversion. We believe immersion is how the early church baptized and best displays our co-death, co-burial, and co-resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:3-4). Nevertheless we also regard a baptism done by pouring or sprinkling as valid as long as it was done after conversion. We encourage believers who were baptized as infants to be rebaptized since Jesus says baptism is only for those who can choose to become His disciples (Matthew 28:19). No baby can.

3. Counseling
We believe people are integrated beings who cannot so easily be divided into physical, emotional, and spiritual parts. Since we are first and foremost spiritual beings, we believe our spirits are always involved when we suffer. Consequently our pastors try to help people view their problems through God’s eyes. Not just, “How can I get rid of this problem?” but “What is God up to in my life?” While the Bible is our primary tool, our staff uses books, personal inventories, and other means to aid sufferers. (This is only how Keystone’s pastors approach counseling, not a blanket statement about the use of other professionals or other treatments.)

4. Divorce
Like God, we love marriage and hate divorce (Genesis 2:18-24; Malachi 2:16). But if a spouse commits serious sexual sin against his/her mate (Matthew 19:8-9), or if an unsaved spouse deserts his/her Christian spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15), we believe God permits divorce and remarriage. However, because divorce so deeply hurts spouses, children, the church and its testimony—and even the culture, our counsel is nearly always “repent, forgive and be reconciled”. We view divorce as a last resort.

When a person has sinned by divorcing without biblical grounds, we urge repentance and any necessary restitution. Like other sins, this is forgivable. So no divorced person will be automatically excluded from Keystone membership or ministry (even eldership). However, related factors such as the person’s guilt/innocence in the divorce, repentance if guilty, growth in Christ, time elapsed since divorce, etc. will all be considered before ministry placement.

5. Healing
Believing that God STILL DOES heal, we pray accordingly when someone has physical illness or a disease. The elders are sometimes summoned to a bedside to anoint with oil (James 5:14-16). However we do not believe that God included any promise of healing to believers in Christ’s atonement, or that we can demand that God heal (2 Corinthians 12:1-9).

6. Homosexuality
We denounce as unloving the all-too-common practice of ridiculing those struggling with same-sex attractions. Yes, homosexual acts are sinful (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but the person saying “no” to his homosexual desires is no different from the person saying “no” to his sinful heterosexual desires. Temptation is only the enticement to sin, not sin. Consequently a Christian victoriously struggling with homosexual desires is just as welcome to become a member or serve in ministry at Keystone as someone struggling with wrong heterosexual desires. However homosexual tendencies will be properly considered in deciding who the individual can and can’t minister to.

7. Male authority in the Home and Church (we highly recommend John Piper’s What’s the Difference? on this topic)
We teach that males are to lovingly lead/shepherd both their homes (1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-24) and their churches. Only men may serve as elders since elders are given the biblical responsibility to maintain church doctrine and church discipline (1 Timothy 2:12). Because only men are to teach men (1 Timothy 2:12), classes for those sr. high and older in which the Scriptures are taught, are taught by men or married couples (Acts 18:26). Women may teach male students through jr. high. Because some church roles commonly labeled “leadership” do not actually carry authority over doctrine or discipline, many positions of ministry team leadership in the church are open to qualified women.

Husbands who abuse their wives or are harsh with them, sin (Colossians 3:19; Ephesians 4:2). We do believe that God calls wives to voluntarily submit to their husbands. But the husband has no right to demand it—or mistreat his wife in any way (1 Peter 3:7).

8. Membership
We teach that every believer should become a member of a local church. First, because the church is a family and family members should commit to each other, second, because even the early church had some sort of membership (Acts 2:41, 4:4) , third, because church government requires it (so church leaders know to whom they are shepherds to and to whom they aren’t), and fourth, church discipline can only be maintained if the elders know who is part of the church (1 Corinthians 5:1-2).

9. Politics
As citizens of a representative democracy, we should be involved in the political process to the degree that we choose to be. However, having accepted the government’s offer of a tax exemption, by law and by conviction Keystone will not officially endorse candidates. On moral issues we retain the right and responsibility to declare what is biblically right or wrong (Acts 5:29)

10. Security of the believer
Because salvation is first and foremost a supernatural work of God rather than a work of man (John 6:65; Ephesians 2:1-9), we teach that a genuine Christian can never be lost (Romans 8:28-39). Even after conversion believers still sin because the cross crucifies the power of sin but not the presence of sin. But her bad works can no more remove her from relationship with God than any of her good works gained it for her; it is the work of Christ to sustain the believer’s faith (Romans 14:4, John 10:28).

We dislike the “Once saved, always saved” cliché which seems to let a supposed believer live wickedly and in rebellion to Christ without having his profession of faith called into question. In fact, the person who shows little or no fight against indwelling sin is most likely lost—never having been genuinely converted in the first place (1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 13:5).

11. Sign Gifts (Note: KC has an extended policy on this with further information)
We do not accept the cessationist position that 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 means certain gifts like prophecy, miracles or tongues necessarily ended once the New Testament was finished. Perhaps they did—or are given sparingly, but we don’t believe the Bible declares that. We are not anti-charismatic, but neither are we charismatic or Pentecostal. For the sake of order and unity anyone who speaks in tongues or prophesies is to do so in private and not in the public services. Anyone receiving a word from God for another person should humbly admit he/she may be mistaken. Perhaps, “I think God is saying…” would be best. No one may teach/promote that a certain sign gift is necessary for everyone to have.

12. Unity/Division
We believe that unity is one of a church’s greatest blessings just as division is one of the devil’s meanest curses. Consequently, while we encourage lively debate and disagreement, we insist that it be done in a spirit of grace, kindness, and love. If the elders determine someone is dividing the church, he/she will be addressed quickly and the matter handled biblically (Titus 3:10-11).