Article 01 | Mission
The Mission God has given the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the world and be a blessing to all nations.
Article 02 | Alternative Polis
The way of life Jesus lived and taught is for all people but it begins with those who are his disciples. Careful consideration needs to be given when considering attempts to legislate the way of life Jesus intended would come from the inside – out. His teachings consistently emphasize that the way of life he taught his disciples would come from a transformed character made possible by God’s grace and our actions with His grace. People engaged in this process form an “alternative polis” because it is a distinct way of life.
Article 03 | Language
God’s people and his story have a distinct language that communicates matters of importance accurately. In the case of the Church, theological words such as salvation, redemption, atonement, discipleship and trinity have their own specific and important meaning within the Christian story. Learning and using these unique words helps us to live and interact with God, one another and our neighbors in spirit and in truth.
Article 04 | Interpretation
We encourage daily reading of the bible as one of the disciplines God has made available for our transformation into the character of Jesus. The Word of God has a tangible power that transforms our minds unlike anything else. It helps us to see the world as it really is and is an essential tool that leads us on the path to a restored soul.
Article 05 | Translation
We recommend literal translation bibles as a great resource for a life of discipleship. We preach and teach from the NRSV, but also enjoy and recommend the ESV, NIV, and NKJV translations. We also enjoy various paraphrased translations when trying to provide a fresh perspective in conjunction with literal texts.
Article 06 | Evangelism
We understand evangelism as mission. Our mission is to know that in all of our social relationships we are to work with God’s grace to develop a transformed character and share it with others. Over time, genuine acts of generosity, kindness, forgiveness, hope and a gentle but firm refusal to cooperate with evil provides many opportunities to tell people about the kingdom of God and invite them to enter it through faith in Jesus Christ.
Article 07 | Idolatry
Idolatry is self-worship. Will we seek to become limitless beings, whose allegiance is primarily to ourselves, our never ending wants, and our desire to consume and know all? Or will we die to ourselves by our cooperative effort with God’s grace so that we may truly live?
Article 08 | Icon
Jesus, his life and teachings are the image, or “Icon” we structure our community life upon. As a people our foremost identity is as a covenanted community, rather than as isolated individuals. Discipleship is the process where we are transformed by the grace of God and through our efforts intentionally following Jesus.
Article 09 | Resident Aliens
Following Jesus and living his way is many things, including a statement about reality. From Noah, Abraham, the New Testament and up through today, God has called people and transformed them to live the way we were created to live; living life with God and at peace with one another and ourselves. This requires our transformation by God’s grace and our choices. As this process unfolds, we gradually become joyful aliens living in a foreign land sharing the blessings of God with our neighbors.
Article 10 | God’s Locus of Activity
Historically, God has chosen to work in the world primarily through the Israel and the Church, rather than through governmental structures. God works through the Church by calling people out of the world, making them into disciples and forming them into communities known as churches. Since God’s life, forgiveness, love, teachings and community are transforming this body of people, we have a responsibility to share what we know lovingly and honestly with our neighbors. Never forcing, but always ready to ask if we can help and following through with gentleness, love and wisdom.
Article 11 | Church Government
Icon’s leadership structure consists of three main groups – Pastors, Deacons, and Saints. The chief responsibility of each group is to work with God’s grace to help facilitate their own transformation into the character of Jesus. By doing so, God is better able to shepherd others through them in the process of discipleship.
Article 12 | Resurrection
The great hope of Christianity is that what God began at Easter with Jesus Christ is His plan for all of Creation. Disciples of Jesus are promised a bodily resurrection with the future return of Christ. If we die prior to this fulfillment, we are promised to immediately be in the presence of Jesus in paradise, where we will receive his rest and comfort as we await God’s final redemption. God’s plan is to redeem creation by merging heaven and earth together to form the New Jerusalem where God will once again dwell with mankind. God is not going to do away with his creation and permanently rescue only human beings to heaven for a purely spiritual or non-bodily existence.
Article 13 | Financial Transparency
Icon is financially transparent as all tithing and giving is first and foremost worship of God from what he has given us. Information regarding offerings, budgets, and salaries is open to all members as we are a covenanted community striving to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Article 14 | The Trinity
The Trinity is a theological reality to be affirmed and it’s also a model of community for how our life in the church is to be organized, nurtured and grown. As Christians, our primary identity is our community, followed by our individual status. This is an inversion of the order lived by in society apart from the Church. As such, it takes God’s grace, intentional effort and long-term commitment to make it a reality.
Article 15 | Election
The premise of election is that God has chosen a group of people out of the world and given them good work to do in helping him. God has done this as part of his overall plan for redeeming his creation. A person can know they are called, when they see the magnificence of Jesus and know they are unmistakably drawn to worship, love and work with him in developing his character inside themselves.
Article 16 | Christian Non-Violence
As disciples of Jesus, we are commanded to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. The ability and even the desire to follow this commandment is a sure sign of the supernatural work of God.
Article 17 | Jubilee
Throughout the biblical story, God shares his vision of what his kingdom looks like. Beginning with the Old Testament and continuing all the way through the New Testament, the Bible consistently provides images of a society where each person is cared for, enemies become friends, weapons are turned into food producing tools, and there is a well being of all people – neither rich, nor poor among them. By working together with God to achieve this, we experience his Jubilee blessings through each other and share them with our neighbors.
Article 18 | The Arts
The arts are a mysterious, wonderful and vitally important creation of God. Used in their proper sense they not only provide the ability to reflect beauty within a given culture, they have the ability to break through oppressive structures and create space for dialogue, understanding, and transformation. In addition, the arts are able to visually demonstrate the invisible reality that makes up much of God’s Creation.