A Welcoming Christian Church for all people!
We believe that God’s love is inclusive and welcoming to all. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ cuts across all barriers which fragment and divide us. We are called to love, affirm and welcome all regardless of race, gender and/or affectional orientation, class, or life situation. As Christ-centered Christians, we are to be known for our inclusiveness, reconciliation, and liberation for all who are oppressed. The church has too often allowed particular aspects of a person to place them out of the faith. Therefore, we emphasize the “whosoever” in John 3:16. We are also called to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves” (Mark 12:29-31), and “love our enemies” Luke 6:27.
Furthermore, as followers of Christ, we embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ as our moral and ethical gauge. Jesus makes no mention in any of the 4 gospel accounts about the immorality or spiritual depravity of women, gays, lesbians, transgendered individuals or any marginalized group. We actually see a Jesus who disregards an Old Testament law that prohibits anyone from touching a woman menstruating. We see Jesus expressing amazing acceptance, ignoring the law, by touching and healing the woman with the issue of blood. In essence, He could have made himself unclean by touching what the law said was unclean. The question is posed, if Jesus ignores the Leviticus law and becomes unclean himself; can the modern day Church use Leviticus to marginalize the least of these? Obviously not. We believe we are not disciples of Leviticus, but Disciples of Christ, expressing the same Christ through our acceptance of those whom even the law condemns.
The condemnation of Leviticus on menstruating women can be debated but only through a narrow theological lens. If we are to legitimize Leviticus through a literal read, then we must do so with the rest of the Bible. We must refrain from pork, mixed fabrics, women must not preach, slavery should remain a legitimate institutional for the Bible condones these social taboos. However, we live in a society that chooses what it will condone and also choose its biases. The greatest model for Christianity and who is to be accepted is Jesus Christ. Christ turned no one away, but created an environment for all, especially those on the margins to experience the loving and gentle grace bestowed upon us by a sovereign and compassionate God.
The need for Authentic Christianity rooted in LOVE
To be intentionally diverse and radically inclusive, is to be intentional welcoming and accepting of all persons; especially those who have traditionally lived at the margins of society, such as people suffering from substance abuse; people living with HIV/AIDS; same-gender loving people; the recently incarcerated; single mothers; and those with disabilities.
At the core of our vision is to follow the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ who we believe exemplified the acceptance and ministry to all people. We are called to challenge fundamental, deep-seated Christian belief systems, doctrines and theologies which characterize people on the edge as enemies of God. We also deliberately challenge any theology or teaching that consistently mistreats, oppresses and excludes people from the community of faith. We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ beckons us to provide a safe place and a place of refuge for all persons who have been wounded by oppression. God is sending out a mandate for the community of faith to provide a place that restores nurtures and empowers all people to fulfill their divine purpose in God through the teachings of a loving and inclusive Christ.
With this enormous need for an inclusive ministry that reaches and meets the needs of diverse communities, The Vision Church has accepted its call to reach the world with the genuine love of Jesus Christ. We have found that the world has few Churches that are truly inclusive in its teachings, attitudes and practice. Therefore, God has risen up a vision poised to live out the true teachings of Christ. We attribute our quick growth not just to our effective educational programs and quality worship, but to our intentionality around diversity and strong ministry.
As society becomes more globally linked, the need for and notion of race, ethnic, class or orientation specific Churches is quickly dying. A new generation is emerging, where the color of an individual’s skin or the unique background of a person becomes less important. We are in a time where exposure to other races, ethnicities, gender and orientation are the norm. When there is an environment created with the intention to be diverse, our experience suggests that more people are inclined to join and be apart.
Because of this passionate belief in the inclusive teachings of Christ, we choose to be a Christian Church that is inclusive and welcoming to all people. We are called to base root our theology on Christ-centered principles which do not discriminate against anyone because of their race, class, gender or orientation. We are a diverse Christian Church welcoming all people to be empowered, nurtured and strengthened by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our chief goal is to transform people, families and communities by an embracing message of love, hope and peace for anyone.