Bible open in someone's hand.

A different kind of Baptist...

ESIC Church is part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. While we value and cherish our Baptist heritage and practices, you'll find that we differ from some Baptists in the following ways:

 

On social issues, ESIC does not issue position statements. Our motto is unity on essential Christian doctrine, diversity on non-essentials, and in all things, charity (love). We practice believer baptism, but welcome and embrace those who were baptized in other traditions and different ways, and women may be ordained as ministers or deacons and serve as pastors of churches. In all church matters, we seek to be faithful to God's revealed word and truth.

 

We also strive to be Christ-like, innovative, authentic and reaching out. We are a small church with big dreams about how we can faithfully live out God's calling in Edwardsville. Some things that set us apart:

Soul freedom - an individual's ability to relate directly to God,

Bible freedom - the Holy Spirit's power to help individuals interpret Scripture.

Church freedom - the local church's autonomy and ability to choose its leaders and direct its affairs.

Religious freedom - the autonomy of the local church from governmental oversight.

Some Core Beliefs

I. God is Triune. God is one being in three persons, alternatively known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

II. God is Father/Creator. God deliberately created the universe out of love, and God continues to seek community with creation. Creation and all within it belong to God.

III. God is Son/Redeemer. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is both a historical and divine figure. While on earth, Jesus was fully divine and fully human. He suffered, was crucified until dead and buried. Jesus was resurrected three days later and, after completing his work on earth, ascended to return to God.

IV. God is Holy Spirit/Sustainer. The Holy Spirit is the continuing presence of God on earth and empowers Christians to know Christ, understand God's Word, and share Christ with the world.

V. The Bible reveals God. The Bible contains the specific revelation of God, making clear God's hope for restoration through the work of his Son and God's Spirit, and is the absolute authority as to how we are to live.

Photo of stained glass in the sanctuary

 

VI. Creation is broken, but God seeks to redeem it. God created a perfect creation that humanity made imperfect. At creation, God instructed humanity to be stewards of His creation. As a result of humanity's degradation, creation is also broken and not as God intended it to be.

VII. Humanity sinned and is fallen. Although created in the image of God, humanity fell from fellowship with God through sin: the continuing choice of all men and women to disregard God's will in favor of their own desires. Because of their choice, men and women are incomplete in every aspect of personhood.

 

VIII. Sin can be forgiven and, consistent with God's intention, creation can return to fellowship with God. Through sending Jesus Christ and as a result of Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection, God has provided the means for sin to be forgiven and for creation to be redeemed to eternal fellowship with God through simple faith and trust in the redemptive work on the cross. Despite humanity's corruption of God's perfect creation, God maintains a longing to restore creation and all of humanity to a perfect relationship that will continue in perpetuity

 

IX. The church, as fellowship, is the community of the new creation. The church is the continuation of the body of Christ on Earth and is ordained by God to further the kingdom of God on Earth.

Some Core Values

God's love for all without condition. Because "God is love" (I John 4:16), we are compelled to love God and His creation boldly. The empowering of all for service to Christ (i.e., the priesthood of all believers). 

The autonomy of each individual to come to practice their faith and relate directly to God without coercion.   

We believe in the freedom to practice our faith in obedience to God and apply His Word as our primary lens to go about living.

We join with others in the unity of the Body of Christ while pursuing diversity and working against the evils of racism, sexism, violence, and hatred.  

The understanding that God has created our world for us to take care of and be responsible stewards.  

To seek joy and celebrate the freedom found in obedience to Christ.