After God saved me out of the Catholic Church, I had to begin the difficult task of finding a new church to attend. The number of churches in my area was overwhelming (well over one hundred within a 5-mile radius), so I decided to narrow down my search by comparing belief statements on church websites.
I was surprised to find that there were only minor differences between the belief statements⸺perhaps Protestants weren’t as fragmented as the Catholic Church had led me to believe. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that many churches don’t actually believe their own belief statements. For example, The Park Church website reads:
“We believe the Holy Scriptures, also known as the Bible, to be the inerrant and infallible word of God. It is the primary source of the revelation of God in history. It was written by people who were inspired by God both in terms of thought and word.”
With such a strong statement on Biblical inerrancy, I would assume that they teach that God created the universe in six literal 24-hour days just as it says in the very first chapter of Genesis. However, their pastor, Bishop Claude Alexander, sits on the advisory council of BioLogos, an organization that Answers in Genesis describes as “a think tank that advocates God-directed evolution.” In other words, The Park Church doesn’t believe their own belief statement.
Here’s another example from the Elevation Church website:
“The Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired by God, the Bible is truth without any mixture of error and is completely relevant to our daily lives.”
They also have a Code, made up of “the ten values that keep the vision of Elevation Church clear” and which “reflect our priority to reach people with the Gospel.” Their number one value reads: “Jesus is the center.”
- “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)
- “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)
- “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
So why does Elevation Church allow women to preach? Why does Steven Furtick preach about himself and teach people to read themselves into the Biblical texts rather than putting the focus on Jesus? Again, the answer is that Elevation Church doesn’t believe their own belief statement.
In contrast, the Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church website makes it very clear that they have absolutely zero respect for the Bible:
“God is a Being who is not a being at all, a Mystery to be discovered through worship, meditation, the study of Scripture, fellowship and the pursuit of justice and peace in the world…Jesus Christ is the human image of God: God who, paradoxically, dwells in the darkness of incomprehensibility…Scripture is the blending of myth, theology, spirituality, liturgy and fragments of history.”
It’s sad that pastor Scott McKenna is quite obviously not saved, but it’s refreshing that he would be so honest about the false doctrine he teaches. I wish that more churches would be honest about what they truly believe, because it would make it much easier for people to avoid bad churches.