Maple Grove Covenant is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church, a denominational body that traces its roots to the Lutheran Church in Sweden and the 19th Century renewal movement that gave birth to two other denominations: Converge and Evangelical Free Church. That means that there are many beliefs we share with other Christian denominations.
- We are an apostolic church--We confess faith in Jesus Christ and the faith of the apostles passed down to us through the Bible.
- We are a catholic church--Catholic simply means "complete" or "universal," and we see ourselves as part of the larger community of believers in Christ, including those in other traditions besides our own .
- We are a reformation church--We believe what the 16th Century Protestant reformers taught: that we are saved by God's grace alone, through faith alone, and not by anything we do.
- We are an evangelical church--We believe in the authority of Scripture, the necessity of personal faith in Jesus for salvation, and embrace Christ's command to take the gospel to the whole world.
Our own unique identity, however, is grounded in six specific affirmations as well as some specific views on various aspects of life and ministry. You will find all of them in different ways among other Christian groups, but not always in this combination. Our particular "Covenant Affirmations" include the following:
- The centrality of the Word of God as the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct.
- The necessity of New Birth, meaning salvation only comes to those who personally choose to follow Jesus themselves.
- The Church as a fellowship of believers, meaning that membership in the church is open only to followers of Christ.
- A commitment to the whole mission of the Church, including evangelism, compassion, mercy and justice.
- A conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. Everything God does in and through us is by His Spirit, not our strength.
- The reality of Freedom in Christ, meaning that only in Christ are we free from sin and able to be everything God has created us to be.
Additionally, we have found it both appropriate and necessary, at times, to take specific positions on issues which, sadly, have often divided churches. Our desire is to respect the fact that sincere Christians will often disagree on some of these, but to also be clear in our belief and practice, and in our submission to the Word of God:
- We practice both infant and believer baptism, seeking to respect the convictions of parents, families, and individuals.
- We affirm the place of women in all areas of ministry, including pastoral ministry.
- We affirm the historic, orthodox view of marriage and sexuality - that the biblical sexual ethic is celibacy in singleness, and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage.