01 | PREAMBLE AND ALLEGORY OF ALLEGIANCE

1:1 Preamble

The Hope Center presents this summary of our major positions in order to: record our stance on doctrinal matters, guard our thoughts from theological error, protect our decisions from cultural sway, and guide our actions on matters of faith.

We look to the Word of God and the God of the Word as our highest authority. Therefore, we affirm the following statements of faith in our mission to spread authentic Christianity around the world. To this end, The Hope Center seeks to share these truths by being both practical and relevant to a world in need of truth.

We believe that to support governing authorities is right ... unless their demands conflict with God’s Truth as revealed in the Bible. If such conflict arises between God and government, we will submit to God, who is supreme. The Hope Center stands with the scriptural standard: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29).

1:2 Allegory of Allegiance

02 | DOCTRINAL BELIEFS

The Bible

  • We believe the Holy Bible is the infallible Word of God—entirely without error based on the original handwritten documents.      

    “Every word of God is flawless” (Proverbs 30:5).

  • We believe God divinely inspired human beings to write all the words in the Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, to express His authoritative revelation to the world.      

    “Prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

  • We believe the Bible provides the principles for our faith and practice, revealing how to live our lives.      

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17).

God

  • We believe there is only one living and true God, the all-powerful Creator, Supreme Ruler, and Sustainer of the Universe. (See Deuteronomy 4:39; Psalm 90:2.)      

    “You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you” (Nehemiah 9:6).

  • We believe the eternally existing God is revealed in three persons as the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each equally and fully deity and each equally possessing all the attributes and characteristics of personality—mind, will, and emotion.      

    “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

  • We believe no God exists apart from the eternal God of the Bible. He alone possesses natural attributes unique to the nature of God (e.g., God is always omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent). At the same time, He possesses moral attributes revealing the character of God (e.g., God is always wise, loving, and faithful). (See Jeremiah 9:24; 1 John 4:8).      

    “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ … What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do” (Isaiah 46:9-11).

Jesus Christ

  • We believe Jesus Christ is God the Son and Savior of the World. He became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He is, therefore, perfect deity and perfect humanity, which are fully united and exhibited in one person. (See Matthew 1:18; Luke 2:11; John 1:1-3, 14; 4:42.)      

    “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God … has made him known” (John 1:18).

  • We believe He lived a sinless life and voluntarily paid the penalty for the sins of all people by His sacrificial death on the cross as our substitute.

    “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

  • We believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension into heaven, His present ministry as High Priest and Mediator, and His future role as Judge of all humanity. (See Mark 16:6; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 4:15.)      

    “The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).

The Holy Spirit

  • We believe the Holy Spirit is God, whose present ministry in the world is to reveal and glorify Christ and to convict and draw sinners to Christ. (See John 16:14; Acts 5:3-4.)      

    “When he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).

  • We believe His present ministry within Christians is to regenerate, baptize, and seal them into the body of Christ and impart spiritual gifts to each of them. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-11; Titus 3:5.)      

    “You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

  • We believe His permanent, indwelling presence within Christians empowers them to live godly lives. (See Galatians 5:16.)      

    “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Creation

  • We believe God created all things by His almighty power.      

    "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

  • We believe the Genesis account of creation is to be understood historically and literally, not allegorically or figuratively. (See Genesis chapters 1 and 2.)
  • We believe all three members of the triune God participated in the Creation. (See Genesis 1:1-2; Revelation 4:11.)      

    “In him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).

Humanity

  • We believe all people everywhere are created in the image of God.      

    “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

  • We believe Adam, the first man, sinned and as a result, all people inherited a natural bent to sin and thus are spiritually dead. (See Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23.)      

    “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

  • We believe God offers salvation and the gift of eternal life to all people through the Lord Jesus Christ, and He desires that no one should perish. (See 2 Peter 3:9.)      

    “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Salvation

  • We believe God saves people from the penalty of sin when they entrust their lives to Jesus Christ alone, receiving Him as their personal Lord and Savior. This salvation is a result not of good works, but of God’s grace—a gift no one deserves—when they put their faith in Jesus Christ. (See Romans 10:9; Acts 4:12.)      

    “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

  • We believe God saves people from the power of sin by giving them a new heart, a new spirit, and a new way of behaving. (See Ezekiel 36:26-27; Romans 7:21-25.)      

    “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).

  • We believe God saves people from the presence of sin, where in heaven Christians will be like Christ and where He will keep them eternally secure. (See John 10:28; Hebrews 9:26.)      

    What we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2).

The Christian Walk

  • We believe Christians sin and are, therefore, called to confess their sins to God—not for salvation, since they are already saved, but to regain a clear conscience before God and to not give Satan a foothold in their lives. (See Psalm 32:3-5.)      

    “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

  • We believe God calls all Christians to live holy lives through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:7.)

    “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

  • We believe Christians are called to love one another as Christ loves them so that everyone will know they are His disciples. (See John 13:34-35.)      

    “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).

The Church

  • We believe the church, “the body of Christ,” is composed of all those who have put their faith in Christ. (See Colossians 1:18.)      

    “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

  • We believe baptism is a symbol of identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (See Acts 10:47-48; 1 Corinthians 1:17.)      

    “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:3-5).

  • We believe all Christians should assemble regularly in local churches for worship, for observing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, for mutual encouragement and discipline, and for carrying out God’s purpose in this world. (See Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24.)

    “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The Future

  • We believe in the imminent, personal, visible return of Christ to inaugurate His kingdom in which He will reign in power and glory for 1,000 years.      

    “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).

  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, resulting in the everlasting, conscious, blessed state of the saved and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the unsaved. (See Matthew 25:31-32, 34, 41, 46; Revelation 20:12-13, 15.)      

    “I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Revelation 20:12).

  • We believe in the second coming of Christ, the rapture of believers—both the living and the dead—and the establishment of a new order within a new heaven and new earth. (See Isaiah 65:17; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.)      

    “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’” (Revelation 21:1-4).

03 | SANCTITY OF LIFE

3:1 Preamble

  • We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of the Holy Bible (the “Bible” and the “Scriptures”), which is our infallible guide. Since the Bible speaks directly to creation and human life, it is imperative that we correctly understand and articulate what the Bible teaches on these matters.      

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

  • We believe that God created humankind in His image, though currently flawed by sin, and designed humanity to be stewards of all creation. God, in His infinite sovereignty, uniquely formed human beings and gave them a special dignity, personal freedom, and individual accountability above all the works of creation.      

    “God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’” (Genesis 1:26).

  • We believe that human life begins at conception and human beings have been made to be in relationship with God, who created each person’s inmost being, knit together in the mother’s womb. As God’s individual, personal creation, each person is awesomely and wonderfully made. God has planned and ordained all the days of every person’s life—even before a single day began.      

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. … Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13-14, 16).

3:2 Religious Beliefs Based on Biblical Statements

Based on the truths recorded in the Bible that have been embraced and taught throughout the centuries, we believe in the following core truths:

  • Human life begins at conception.      

    From the moment of conception until natural death, every human life is sacred because every human life has been created by God.      

    "This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself” (Isaiah 44:24).

  • Human life before conception is designed by God for a specific purpose.      

    From the moment of conception, every human life must be recognized, respected, and protected as having the rights of a person and the irrevocable right to life.

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

  • Human life is created in the image of God.      

    The right to life of every unborn human being is inherent by virtue of being created in the image of God.

    "God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

  • Human life is precious and deserves to be saved.      

    All life is precious. Therefore, deliberately terminating human life after conception is a sin against God for which individuals are held accountable. Extremely rare situations exist where saving the life of the mother can result in losing the life of the baby. However, this is a matter of trying to save one life or two lives, as opposed to causing the death of one or both.

    "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives" (Proverbs 11:30).

  • Human life must be protected and defended from conception to natural death.      

    We are ethically bound to defend all human life from destruction, whether by surgical abortion or use of drugs, devices, or procedures with the intent of terminating human life.

    “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” (Proverbs 24:11-12).

  • Human life must be publicly and peacefully proclaimed as sacred.      

    Those who make up the Christian church, including and led by Christian ministers and ministries, should be public witnesses regarding the intrinsic and irrevocable dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death.

    “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

  • Human life at conception defies that a fetus is just a “mass of tissue.”      

    According to the Bible, a fetus is not merely a mass of tissue. God’s Word does not distinguish between a “potential baby” and a “newborn baby.” In the Bible, the same Greek word brephos, which means “babe,” is used to describe both a fetus and a newborn baby.

    Fetus: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41).

    Babies: “People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them” (Luke 18:15).

  • Human life at conception negates that females have the right to choose abortion by asserting, “It’s her body!”      

    A woman should have rights over her own body, but in pregnancy there are at least two different bodies, two different heartbeats, two different brain wave patterns, two different genetic codes (DNA), and often two different genders and blood types. Every woman has choices within her own life, but not the freedom to destroy the life of a developing human being within her.

    “Is this the way you repay the LORD, you foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?” (Deuteronomy 32:6).

  • Human life is unique from all other forms of life.      

    A human being is defined as a member of the species Homo sapiens. All human beings have their own genetic codes (DNA), singularly unique and established at conception. The DNA of a human fetus is distinct not only from animals, fowls, and fish, but also from the mother’s DNA.

    “Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another” (1 Corinthians 15:39).

3:3 Early Church Fathers Statements

3:4 Multinational Proclamations-Global Impact

3:5 Official Church Statements

Application

All of the members of the Board of Directors, employees, and volunteers must affirm and adhere to this Statement of Faith on the Sanctity of Life to qualify for active involvement with The Hope Center. This adherence is necessary to accomplish our religious mission, goals, and purpose. Therefore, any contrary behavior or counter-witnessing will hurt our integrity and harm our religious mission. We believe that God’s grace can wipe clean the slate of guilt and sin, even though the consequences may still be incurred.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7 NKJV).

Authority

The Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, acting as the source of authority over every area of our lives—including morality, Christian beliefs, conduct, and lifestyle. The Designated Authority—a group of three (3): Board Chair, President, and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee—is charged with the ministerial responsibility of biblical interpretation and establishing religious policy. The Designated Authority will determine life application of the Bible as well as final matters relating to organizational theology, Christian practice, philosophy, faith, morality, divine truth, and doctrinal resolutions. (See Psalm 19:8-11; 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; James 1:22.) 
The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

04 | MARRIAGE & HUMAN SEXUALITY

4:1 Preamble

  • We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of the Holy Bible (the “Bible” and the “Scriptures”), which is our infallible guide. Since the Bible does speak to the nature of human beings and their sexuality, it is imperative that the members of the Board of Directors, employees, and volunteers (the “Representatives”) of our ministry correctly understand and articulate what the Bible teaches on these matters.      

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

  • We believe that God has ordained and created marriage to exist between one man and one woman, with absolute marital fidelity. We are committed to the home and family as set forth in the Scriptures. We believe the Bible sets forth specific home and family values, which include the distinct roles of husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, as well as children. It is our firm conviction that we uphold the dignity of each individual as we embrace the unchanging and longstanding principles of scriptural truth. The Bible says of God…      

    You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed” (Psalm 119:4).

4:2 Religious Beliefs Based on Biblical Positions

Based on the Bible and the traditional moral teaching of the universal Christian Church throughout the centuries, our ministry believes in the following core truths:

  • Marriage—We believe God designed marriage to be the permanent, exclusive, complete, and conjugal “one flesh” union of one man and one woman. In this marriage union, the two are joined together with the unique potential of creating a biological family, which binds father, mother, and child together for the moral, spiritual, and public good. (See Genesis 2:18, 24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6.)

    “‘Haven’t you read,’ he [Jesus] replied ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?”’” (Matthew 19:4-5).

  • Sexual Identity—We believe that God created humanity in His image: male (man) and female (woman)—collectively called “gender”—sexually different but with equal personal dignity. Consequently, our Representatives must affirm their own biological gender from birth and refrain from any and all attempts to physically alter or conflict with their predominant, biological sexual identity as naturally born—including, but not limited to, elective sex reassignment, transvestite or transgender acts, or non-binary (asexual or gender fluid) conduct. (See Genesis 1:26-28; Romans 1:26-32.)

    God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NLT).

  • Sexual Orientation—We believe that the Bible describes appropriate sexual orientation as sexual attraction and conduct only toward someone of the opposite gender. Therefore, our Representatives are to refrain from any and all same-sex sexual acts. (See Genesis 19:4-7; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Judges 19:22-23; Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.)

    “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. ... Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. ... Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:21, 24, 26-27).

  • Sexual Redemption—We believe that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and should seek redemption through confession, repentance, faith in Jesus Christ, and obedience to the principles of the Bible. Consequently, our Representatives should treat with respect, compassion, and sensitivity all who confess sexually immoral acts, including same-sex acts, and who are also refraining from sexual immorality and conforming their behavior to this Statement of Faith. (See Romans 3:23-24; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 2:1-5; 2:8-10; Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16; James 1:25; 5:19-20.)

    “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men ... And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 11).

  • Celibacy—We believe that the Bible grants only two options for human sexual behavior: (1) the conjugal “one flesh” marital union of one man and one woman, and (2) celibacy. Either is a gift from God, given as He wills for His glory and the good of those who receive and rejoice in His gift to them. Therefore, celibacy and faithful singleness is to be celebrated and affirmed. (See Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 7:1, 27, 32-35; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7.)

    “Now to the unmarried and the widows I [the apostle Paul] say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. ... I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:8, 35).

Application

All of the members of the Board of Directors, employees, and volunteers must affirm and adhere to our Statements of Faith to qualify for active involvement with our ministry. This is necessary to accomplish our religious purpose: our mission and our vision. Therefore, any contrary behavior or counter-witnessing will hurt our integrity and harm our mission. However, we believe that God’s grace can wipe the slate of guilt clean, even though consequences may still be incurred.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7 NKJV).

Authority

The Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, acting as the source of authority over every area of our lives—including morality, Christian beliefs, conduct, and lifestyle. The Designated Authority—a group of three (3): Board Chair, President, and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee—is charged with the ministerial responsibility of biblical interpretation and establishing religious policy. The Designated Authority will determine life application of the Bible as well as final matters relating to organizational theology, Christian practice, philosophy, faith, morality, divine truth, and doctrinal resolutions. (See Psalm 19:8-11; 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:22.)

“The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

05 | PROSPERITY THEOLOGY

5:1 Preamble

  • We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of the Holy Bible (the “Bible” and the “Scriptures”), which is our infallible guide. Because we believe in the whole counsel of God as expressed throughout the Bible, our ministry cautions against taking any one verse out of the context of the whole Bible. Therefore, biblical principles expressed in the Scriptures should be confirmed with other Scriptures to ensure an accurate understanding. The Bible states…

    “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

  • We do not support any concept of “Prosperity Theology.” Prosperity Theology teaches that: (1) every Christian should always be happy, healthy, and wealthy—never in a state of need and (2) that a lack in these areas is due to lack of faith, failure to “sow financially,” outright sin, “negative confession” (e.g., stating, “I am sick”), or lack of “positive confession” (e.g., not stating “I am healthy”). Our ministry does not believe that God’s blessing and favor or a person’s spiritual status can be determined or measured by material wealth, affluence, success, and/or physical health or comfort. Proverbs, the biblical book on wisdom, states…

    “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8).

  • We affirm that the Almighty, all-powerful God of the Bible can and will perform any miracle of His choosing—including physical healing—at any time and in any way. However, prosperity theology directly contradicts God’s actions in the lives of both godly believers who lived in biblical times as well as followers of Jesus Christ in today’s world. Scripture repeatedly describes how God uses difficulties, physical challenges, financial dilemmas, and other life challenges to accomplish His will in the lives of His followers. For example, Job—whom God called “blameless” (Job 1:8)—experienced the loss of his children, livestock, livelihood, and even his own health. Notice…

    “His [Job’s] wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’” (Job 2:9-10).

  • We also hold that God’s blessing on behalf of His followers is not determined by the “amount” of their faith, but rather by the object of their faith, Jesus Christ, and His will. We fully refute the belief that people may simply “name and claim” what they desire regarding physical healing, possessions, or people and then expect to receive from God what they have already claimed from Him. For example, the Bible presents physical affliction—the normal “wasting away” of the human body here on earth—as natural yet temporal, for that all changes in eternity.

    We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, emphasis added).

5:2 Religious Beliefs Based on Biblical Positions

Affliction

  • Prosperity Theology: It is never God’s will for Christians to be afflicted.
  • Biblical Truth: God uses affliction for our greater good.
    • From the book of Psalms (emphasis added):

      “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67).
      “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71).
      “I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75).

Answered Prayer

  • Prosperity Theology: It is God’s will for Christians to “name and claim” whatever they desire from Him and, if they have enough faith, they are guaranteed to receive it.
  • Biblical Truth: God can deny the prayer requests of godly people—people not lacking in faith—if those requests are not “according to God’s will.”
    • From the apostle John (revealing when a prayer request is guaranteed to be granted):

      “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15, emphasis added).

    • From the Lord Jesus Christ (revealing His will that His prayer request be in submission to and contingent upon the Father’s will):

      Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me: yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42, emphasis added). [“This cup” refers to the cup of suffering inherent in His crucifixion.]

    • From the apostle Paul (revealing when and why his prayer request for physical healing is denied):

      “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my fleshThree times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he [the Lord] said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, emphasis added).

Suffering/Persecution

  • Prosperity Theology: It is never God’s will for Christians to suffer.
  • Biblical Truth: God “calls” Christians to suffer and endure persecution.
    • From the apostle Peter:

      “It is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. … But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:19-21, emphasis added).

    • From the book of Romans:

      “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:3-5, emphasis added).

    • From the book of 2 Timothy:

      “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted(2 Timothy 3:12, emphasis added).

Trials/Troubles

  • Prosperity Theology: It is never God’s will for Christians to experience trials or troubles.
  • Biblical Truth: God uses trials and troubles to develop Christlike character in Christians.
    • From the book of James—trials produce perseverance and spiritual maturity:

      “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4, emphasis added).

    • From the book of 1 Peter—trials prove and refine our faith:

      “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7, emphasis added).

    • From the apostle Paul—trials produce comfort and compassion toward others:

      Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, emphasis added).

Wealth

  • Prosperity Theology: It is God’s will that Christians be rich.
  • Biblical Truth: God prioritizes the pursuit of contentment over the pursuit of riches.
    • From the book of Proverbs—be content with the basics (“daily bread”):

      Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8, emphasis added).

    • From the book of 1 Timothy—be content with the basics (“food and clothing”):

      “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:6-10, emphasis added).

    • From the book of Philippians—be content in every circumstance (“in plenty or in want”):

      “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13, emphasis added).

Positive Confessions

  • Prosperity Theology: It is God’s will for Christians to make “positive confessions” with the absolute faith that speaking positive words will release the power for desires to come true. With enough faith, whatever is spoken will be received or will come to pass. Example: “I will receive the promotion … the new car … the healing—in the name of Jesus."
  • Biblical Truth: Our faith must be in the person of Christ alone—not faith in our faith—so that our words reflect His heart’s desire, not our own desires.
    • From the book of Philippians:
    • I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier … Indeed he was ill, and almost died” (Philippians 2:25, 27, emphasis added).

    • From the Gospel of Matthew:

      “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Matthew 6:33 NLT, emphasis added). [Notice the wording states “everything you need” not “everything you want.”]

    • From the Gospel of John:

      “Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it’” (John 11:4, emphasis added).

Negative Confessions

  • Prosperity Theology: Christians must never make “negative confessions”—never speak negative words or think negative thoughts because any negative words produce negative consequences. Example: If you say, “I feel sick. … I feel troubled” you have caused your negative thoughts and words to become your reality.
  • Biblical Truth: God recorded in His Word many of the negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences of godly men, prophets, kings, apostles, and even Jesus Himself.
    • Job, the godly man whom God called “blameless”:

      “I loathe my very life … Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me. If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!” (Job 10:1, 18-19, emphasis added).

    • Paul, the godly apostle spoke about his illness and his many trials:

      I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, emphasis added).

    • Jesus Christ, the Son of God:

      “Now my soul is troubled ... In this world you will have trouble” (John 12:27; 16:33, emphasis added).

Application

Our members of the Board of Directors, employees, and volunteers must affirm that they do not believe in, promote, or teach prosperity theology, and will not propagate such a view in any manner. Whatever trials or hardships arise, the Bible states “we are more than conquerers” through Christ, when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior and give Him control of our lives.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37).

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The Hope Center Statement of Faith

1.  The Oxford English Dictionary, eds. James A. H. Murray, Henry Bradley, W. A. Craigie, and C. T. Onions, vol. 1, A-B (London: Oxford University Press, 1970), 28. 

2. Professor Jerome Lejeune and Edward C. Freiling, The Position of Modern Science on the Beginning of Human Life (Faxton, VA: Sun Life, 1983), 18, quoted in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, When Does Life Begin? And 39 Other Tough Questions About Abortion (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1989), 10.

3. Lejeune, Jerome, “‘21 Thoughts’ by Dr. Jerome Lejeune,” from Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA website, quote 16, https://lejeuneusa.org/advocacy/21-thoughts-dr-jérôme-lejeune.

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