What if I don’t believe the way you do? Can I still be part of your community?

Absolutely! We understand there will always be times of disagreement, when we don’t believe the same way. That’s okay.

We understand belief to be a progressive reality that comes to an individual through inner revelation as he or she personally encounters God. We want to be a place where you can come to experience God and allow Him to guide you regarding the discovery of truth. We strive to be a safe place where questions are welcomed and different perspectives are heard and respected.

We are not ashamed of what we believe. In many ways, our beliefs define us. So, we don’t expect you to believe anything contrary to what God has revealed to you. We hope you can feel that you belong among us, even if you don’t believe as we do.

We want to be a place where the skeptic, the seeker, and the believer can come together in mutual respect in order to worship, discover, and examine God and the scriptures.

How do I become a member of Capital Church? Do I have to be one? Why would I?

We welcome you to attend our services and even get involved in ministry without requiring you to make any commitment of membership. But when you are ready to say, “I want to be part of what is going on around here,” then we are very excited to welcome you into “covenant membership.”

Covenant membership is a commitment one makes before God and with the other members of our church. As covenant members, one commits to 1) loving and supporting the other individuals in our congregation, 2) faithfully attend, serve, and financially support this congregation with tithes and offerings, and 3) partner with us to fulfill our vision of being a safe, loving, and accepting community of broken believers, striving to know, love, and serve God, dedicated to knowing, loving, and serving our neighbors.

If you are interested in church membership, you can approach Pastor David or contact the office.

How do I get involved in ministry?

It is our goal to give everyone the opportunity to serve within the church. We believe that one of the best, if not the best, ways to discover spiritual growth is through serving. It is in the sacrifice of giving our time and energy that we find ourselves close to the humility of Christ. It is in coming close to Him that we become more like Him. When our hearts align with His, His heart is formed in us.

Of course, being a regular attendee is a great start to getting involved. It is then that one can see and hear the different ministries and events for which we need help.

Some ministries, like children and youth ministries, have a fair amount of prerequisites and getting-to-know-you waiting periods. But other ministries, like ushering, office work, and building maintenance, offer immediate service opportunities.

To get started, complete our First Serve Ministry Interest Form. The right ministry leader will contact you to provide you with more information and a no-obligation opportunity to observe ministry in action.

What is baptism? When should I be baptized?

At Capital Church, we practice self-determined, full-immersion baptism.

We believe baptism is a public declaration of an individual’s personal decision to walk with God and put one’s faith in Jesus as savior. While we don’t exactly put a minimum age on being baptized (Jesus was very clear that we are not to hinder any child who desires to move toward God) we do ask that those being baptized are doing so out of a conscious desire to do so for themselves.

We also understand baptism to be a symbolic act. We don’t teach that the water washes away your sins or anything like that. Rather, understanding that it was Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection that saved us, we celebrate one’s faith in Christ through the representational baptism sacrament, Christ’s death and burial represented by fully going under the water and His resurrection represented by fully coming out of the water.

We hold baptism services approximately four times per year during our Sunday morning service. If you have never been baptized and would like to be, please contact the office.

What is tithing? Do I have to tithe? Why should I give?

Tithing is a practice that goes back to the Old Testament in which God’s people were commanded to give the first 10% of their earnings back to God. (The word “tithe” literally means “one-tenth.”)

The New Testament does not seem to make the same practice of tithing a requirement. Instead, the New Testament lays out the principle that God owns everything and all that you have is His. We see how the New Testament church put this into practice when we read of how they sold their possessions to give to the poor so that no one in their community was in need.

The church today still practices tithing (it was reinstated as a recognized practice of the church in the 8th century) with the understanding that behind the practice is a life-giving principle handed to us by God for our good.

Particularly in a capitalist society where we have learned to get all that we can and use or save all that we have for ourselves, we understand that money can easily become a dominating entity in our lives. Jesus recognized this when He said, “the love of money is the source of all kinds of evil.” He didn’t say that money was evil, but that when one becomes obsessed with it, it becomes the one in control, and being controlled by such an appetite will lead to all kinds of problems in your life.

Contrast that to the New Testament principle that all things belong to God and the Old Testament practice of giving 10% of your income to the church.

Anyone can see that when a person adopts the truths that God is the source of all good things, that He is the one who gives the ability to make money (see Deuteronomy 8:17-18), and that all we are and all we have is from Him, then a person’s perspective towards giving back to God will also change. It will just make more sense than hoarding it all for oneself.

Then add the practice of giving 10% of one’s income back to God as a sacrificial offering of gratitude. It’s a good start. For many of us, it’s a jump from 0% to 10%. And that can be a sacrifice. But in giving, particularly when it’s sacrificial, you undo the power that money has over you. By giving it away you are released from the fear it will be taken or lost.

So, giving of the tithe – the first tenth – up front before we pay our bills or go out to eat – is a good reminder of Who the true source is of everything that we have. There’s no such thing as what’s mine and what’s God, rather all is God’s. It is also spiritual discipline. It helps you to align your values with God’s eternal values and not temporal earthly values.

Logistically, when all the church’s congregants tithe, the church is able to do so much more. From bringing on more staff members to renovating its facilities to building new facilities to simply buying more resources, money equals opportunity to do more as a church.

But most importantly, when all the church’s congregants tithe, the church is able to better serve the community and the world. At Capital Church we are committed to give away the first 10% of all the money we receive from our congregants to mission and mercy organizations throughout our city and around the world. We are committed to do this, whether our bills are paid or not. (By the way, we’ve always paid our bills, because God takes care of you like that when you trust Him.) The more we receive, the more we can give.

So tithing is 10% of what you earn. We don’t teach that you will go to “hell” for not giving it… but for your spiritual growth, it’s a really good idea to get into the habit.

What is being “saved?” Is it anything more than joining the church and doing what it says?

Yes, it is more. In fact, it is different from that altogether. When we talk about being “saved” we are talking about the inner change that happens when a person first accepts that they are naturally self-destructive[1] and unable to live a completely right-before-God life on their own[2], and then accepts[3] that Jesus can (and only Jesus can) rescue him from that self-destruction[4] and instead of destruction, can give him hope[5] and empowerment for a better life[6] and an eternity with God[7].

To break it down:

Inner change :: We say that being “saved” is an inner change because we believe that when you desire to be “saved” and accept Jesus as your savior something happens inside of you. We believe that God’s spirit (whom Christians commonly referred to as “The Holy Spirit”) comes into and actually resides within you[8]. And that brings some changes to the inside.

First, as one who is now marked[9] by the presence of God’s Spirit, you instantly become right-before-God[10] as far as God is concerned. On top of that, the Spirit also begins to work on your heart[11]. That is to say, He begins to align your heart and mind with the heart and mind of God[12]. Those self-destructive things you can’t seem to stop doing and saying and thinking and loving…He begins to help you see them for what they are and you’ll begin to hate them just like God hates them. (You will hear those “self-destructive” things called “sin” when you attend most churches. It’s the same thing. They are the things that ultimately destroy you, that is why God hates them. You are His beloved child[13] and He hates whatever seeks to destroy you.)

By the way, you can certainly resist all inner change God tries to bring. When we speak of the Spirit living within you and transforming you, that it is all subject to your willingness and cooperation to let that happen. It is not a matter of spirit possession over which you have no control. It is God with you, for you, and always up to you.

We are naturally self-destructive and unable to live a completely right-before-God life :: The first part of “being saved” is recognizing that you need to be “saved.” That is what trips up most people on their journey toward Christ.

Many people believe they can be “good enough.” But the thing about God is that He is perfect, absolutely good. And He cannot tolerate any “sin.” Sin, therefore, is what separates us from God. The thing about humanity is that there is no one who is perfect. So no one, then, measures up. And everyone, before the intervention of Jesus, is separate from God.

All the good a person does cannot erase that, somewhere along the line, bad was done. (“Bad” can range from evil to simply selfish to merely not perfect.) It is only when we recognize that fact, only when we understand ourselves to be separated from God because of our imperfection, that we can ever open ourselves up to accepting Jesus as being our “savior.”

 Jesus can (and only Jesus can) rescue us from self-destruction :: Once a person recognizes that he needs to be saved, he can then come to know Jesus as his savior. The story goes that God was grieved because mankind collectively and individually rejected Him (see: all of history and your heart as well). He was grieved, not angry or vengeful (which is a common misnomer about God). And He loved the world so very much that He desired to reconcile (fix) the broken relationship between mankind and Himself that had been caused by “sin.” So He sent Jesus (His Son) to earth to pay for all of humanity’s sins for all time (past, present, and future). The only way to “pay for” or answer the penalty for self-destruction (sin) is the complete destruction (death) of perfection (the opposite of sin). So Jesus, the perfect Son of God, allowed Himself to be destroyed at the hands of mankind (the very ones He was rescuing with His death).

Jesus can give us hope and empowerment for a better life :: After the death of Jesus, His resurrection followed. We believe that anyone who has faith (or puts your trust) in Jesus as the son of God and Savior of the world is spiritually connected with Him in His death (freeing you from the penalty of your sin) and also connected with Him in His resurrection (giving you a new life, as found in the presence of God’s spirit: that “inner change” mentioned above).

Jesus can give us an eternity with God :: To be “saved” has eternal implications because it means being saved from the ultimate penalty of being separated from God (hell).

It also has here-and-now implications because it means being saved from the self-destructive behaviors, habits, and patterns that plague you in your everyday life.

Further, there are global implications because it also means being saved for the purpose of sharing this truth and hope with others. There is a reason for being “saved.” By being free from the penalty and plague of sin, infused with the presence of God, we are able (and commissioned) to bring the light and love of Jesus into the world around us and beyond us, making the presence of God seen and felt.

1 – Romans 3:10-18
2 – Romans 3:22-28
3 – Romans 10:9-13
4 – Ephesians 2:4-5; Titus 3:3-5
5 – Romans 5:5-8; Galatians 5:5
6 – Romans 6:22-23;
7 – Jude 1:21
8 – Romans 8:9-10; 1 Corinthians 3:16
9 – Ephesians 1:13-14
10 – Hebrews 10:10
11 – Colossians 3:5-10, Romans 12:2
12 – Philippians 4:6-8
13 – 1 John 3:1

Why does God let bad things happen to good people?

Oof. That’s a tough one. It is kind of like those questions about a literal 6-day creation theory in the face of opposing scientific theories, or questions about the unreached people groups in remote untouched areas of the world being sent to hell.

There are a number of questions like this: questions for which many people have come up with neatly packaged answers that are easy to memorize. Yet, these answers often do very little to satisfy a person who is in painfully asking these questions from a sincere heart; or frustratingly asking these questions from a searching heart.

At Capital Church, we are trying to keep ourselves from passing out easy answers to complex questions. We are trying to not pretend we have all the answers. Because we certainly don’t. So instead we’re trying to ask the right questions in the hope that they lead us closer to the most satisfying truth.

For example, instead of asking, “Why does God let bad things happen to good people,” maybe the question is, “who decides what’s a bad thing?” or perhaps, “who decides who’s a good person” or possibly “why do we assume God has anything to do with it?” or simply we should ask, “good question, why are you asking?” We believe that if we set out to ask the right questions, rather than to be the one with all the answers, then we will ultimately discover the Truth we are all truly seeking.

What political party do you support?

Ha ha. Thought you were going to get us to bite at that one? Nope. We do not support nor do we denounce any political party.

Jesus sets an example for believers to not involve themselves in politics, but at the same time to involve themselves in a quest for justice. So, as far as you, as an individual, have convictions regarding issues of justice, you should live according to them. But we, as a church community, do not entertain nor welcome any political bantering or grandstanding.

We are both democrat and republican friendly. We welcome the libertarians, the greens, the constitutionalists, et al. As an American, you should vote. As a Christian, you should love your neighbor. May God bless America. We need it.

How “loving, and accepting” are you?

As a “loving” community, every person is welcomed, treated with respect, cared for, challenged to become their best, and allowed to fail along the way. As a loving community, we celebrate grace, mercy, forgiveness, and restoration. Jesus said that a community who loves one another is recognizably His.

As an “accepting” community, all people can fellowship together, saints and “sinners” alike. Our church is made up of people who don’t think the same, who don’t look, smell, talk, act, or even vote the same way. We practice a policy of “belonging before believing” – all people are welcome in our community, even if they don’t believe what we believe.

After that, let me confess that we are still in the becoming stages of who God wants us to be. That is to say, try as we might, there will be times that we don’t act “loving and accepting.”

One of the most common questions we receive in regard to the phrase “loving and accepting” is, “Does that refer to… everyone?” So, playing dumb as to who “everyone” means to you, I’ll say this:

We want to be a place where everyone can feel loved, and accepted just as they are. We want to be a place where everyone can come to search for Truth as found in Jesus. We want to be a place where everyone can find a community by whom they will be treated with respect and dignity. We also want to be a place where scripture is our guide for living and the source of our standards.

That is to say, we are committed to the gospel. The gospel, of course, being the good news that Jesus came to save all the world, rejecting no one, loving and accepting “whosoever” to Himself, just as they are, for the purpose of rescuing them from self-destruction, creating in them a life that reflects His own, and commissioning them to spread the truth and love of God throughout the world.

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