This is a brief list of what I look for in a church. Many of these are mandatory, others have room for negotiation. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a start. If you know a congregation in the area that meets all these criteria, let me know.
- Cannot be Calvinist. It must reject the false teaching of inherited total depravity and the sinful nature, and teach the Scriptural view that people are born morally innocent and spiritually alive.
- Must teach holiness. Perfection in love and consistent obedience are to be taught as the normal Christian experience. There is no room for the “sinning Christian” idea.
- Additionally, there should be no mention of a second work of grace, which is absent from the Scriptures.
- Must take a hard stance against sin and sinners in the congregation. Must be willing to engage in church discipline up to and including the point of expelling a sinning member from the congregation.
- Divorce is not tolerated. It must recognize that God hates divorce and considers remarriage after divorce to be the same as adultery. Thus, it does not recognize second (or third, or so on) marriages.
- Teaches a Scriptural perspective on offerings. Teachings such as storehouse tithing are rejected as false.
- Favors expository sermons over topical.
- The congregation is not segregated and families stay together.