What We Believe

 

Document 1

Statement of Faith and Practice


Christian Doctrine

We affirm the Nicene Creed in its Eastern or Western form. We affirm it as both true and factual in every point.

The creed says,

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father (and the Son); who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Scripture

We believe that the whole Bible is inspired for us by the Holy Spirit, who also continuously lives and acts in it, and who does not err. His gifts to us are perfect for us. We believe it was inspired and written for the revelation and glory of God, and for the edification of his people throughout time. We affirm the Bible entirely and submit ourselves to it.

Since the Spirit inspires the whole Bible and lives and acts in it, it is properly known as the Word of God and has a special relationship to Jesus Christ, the Word by whom all things were made. The Bible, the Word of God, always reveals Jesus, the Word, and represents him. Christ has the words of life, and the Spirit who reveals and glorifies him resides in the Bible, as in believers.

Christian Practice

We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify Christians in the image of Christ. All discussion of Christian behavior begins with a recognition that it is the Spirit who works in Christians to apply the Word of God to our lives. The Spirit convicts and guides in the Word and in the community of faith.

The lives of Christians must therefore be characterized by active submission to the Holy Spirit.

We believe that the Spirit’s work of sanctification is sure for every Christian. No matter how sinful or mistaken a Christian is at any given moment, the Spirit will, in the end, complete every Christian’s sanctification.

The lives of Christians must therefore be characterized by trusting the Spirit to sanctify them, rejecting despair.

We believe that we cannot separate Christian behavior—the pursuit of holiness—from prayer (the practice of our relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) or from community (the practice of our relationship with Christ’s body, the Church).

The lives of Christians must therefore be characterized by faithful prayer and Christian fellowship.

We believe that the practical foundation of Christian holiness is reading the Scriptures and praying, both individually and in community.

The lives of Christians must therefore be characterized by a devotion to exploring and discussing the Scriptures, with an active submission to their injunctions for life.

These three–doctrine, Scripture, and a Spirit-guided, Church-grounded Christian life–are the essential indicators by which Wheatstone Ministries identifies Christians.

 

Document 2

Staff Behavior


So that you may more particularly understand and expect the Christian commitment of Wheatstone staff members, the following employment behavioral guidelines are available for your view. For more information, or with questions, please write to info@wheatstoneministries.com.

Wheatstone Ministries is not a church, and its staff and students come from many Christian backgrounds. It is a mere Christian organization. We do not pretend to have spiritual authority over the lives of our staff, mentors, or students. Rather, we strive to act in unity with the churches that our staff and students attend, fostering in them Christian submission to their God-given authorities. Affirming the statements above as essential or foundational to Christian faith and practice, we do not take organizational stances on other points of doctrine or practice, instead encouraging our staff and students to faithfully participate in their individual Christian traditions. We never proselytize fellow Christians.

We do, however, have a number of particular applications and interpretations of Scripture-based Christian teaching that inform our hiring practices and professional development. These ensure a pure, safe, and rich environment in which our students—many of whom are legal minors—may pursue Christian adulthood. Below they are divided into the following five categories: staff behavior as it relates to our souls, to our bodies, to our families, to our churches, and to our societies.

Our Souls

We expect staff members to care for the life of their souls by regularly, frequently reading and studying the Word of God. We acknowledge that not all staff will come to the same conclusions about every interpretation of scriptures, but we expect an undeniable posture of humility and obedience to the Word of God rather than a posture of correction, condescension, mastery, or dismissal. Staff should be ongoingly changed by the Word, and never trying to change it.

We further expect staff members to care for theirs souls by regularly praying and worshipping (both individually and communally) and pursuing other spiritual disciplines as a part of their church communities. Recent and long-term spiritual growth is actively considered as a part of our hiring process.

Active, ongoing failures of faithfulness to prayer and spiritual growth, to Scriptural learning, or to a church community are are cause for the end of a contract or immediate dismissal from Wheatstone Ministries.

Our Bodies

Our bodies are public in a way that our souls are not. Therefore, two biblical principles shape our expectations for how staff members and mentors act with respect them. First, we strive above all for holiness, obeying the commands of Scriptures as to what we do or don’t do. Second, by our example, we strive to foster holiness in the lives of our students and community members. Achieving these two principles sometimes means limiting our own freedom in Christ for the welfare of our communities and students, following the model of Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14.

In light of these principles, the following three items are non-negotiable for Wheatstone staff members, both for we hiring and developing our staff members and for continued employment at Wheatstone Ministries.

1. Wheatstone staff members may not practice drunkenness.

The Scriptures make it clear that being given to drunkenness is both sinful and unwise. We do not assert that the Scriptures forbid the consumption of alcohol (or tobacco or other addictive substances), but we respect those who do believe that Scripture does forbid them.

Because it is a sensitive topic, staff members must use special caution in talking about drunkenness or addictive substances with students.

Drunkenness and other patterns of addiction are cause for the end of a contract or immediate dismissal from Wheatstone Ministries.

2. Wheatstone staff members may not practice sexual immorality.

Sex is an appropriate topic for Christian moral focus. Its pleasure, its power over humans, and its potential for great harm or great good, clearly identify it within the domain of morality. In every way, therefore, Wheatstone staff members are to exercise care and restraint in respect to it, showing ample deference to God.

Scripture makes it clear that sexual intimacy is reserved for the marriage relationship, and that marriages are made by God’s Spirit, not by humans. We do not set the terms for them, nor manage their definitions. We do not construct or create them. Rather, God’s Spirit defines, empowers, and effects every marriage. Wheatstone staff members may not, therefore, engage in any sexual intimacy outside a Christian marriage. For hiring purposes at Wheatstone, a Christian marriage is a marriage that has been blessed and confirmed, not merely by a church that identifies as Christian, but by a church that affirms everything in “Christian Doctrine”, “Scripture”, and “Christian Practice” above.

Because this is a sensitive topic, because many students are minors, and because it is impolitic and indiscreet, staff members may never discuss sex with students.

Sexual intimacy outside of the context of a Christian marriage, as defined above, is cause for the end of a contract or immediate dismissal from Wheatstone Ministries.

3. Wheatstone staff members may not practice violence.

The Scriptures clearly forbid violent behavior in the personal life of Christians. We are to pursue peace both with fellow Christians and with non-Christians. Hatred, discord, rage, and factious behavior, therefore, have no part in our personal lives. Further, remembering that violence can be other than physical, we affirm the difference between discussion and discord.

These statements are not contradictory with participation in the military or support of the military.

Abuse of any kind or violent behavior is cause for the end of a contract or immediate dismissal from Wheatstone Ministries.

Finally, not only inappropriate behavior, but also inappropriate discussions with students of controversial topics related to the body can be a cause for the end of a contract or immediate dismissal from Wheatstone Ministries.

Our Families

We expect staff members to model respect and love for their families and to encourage students to respect and love their families, because family is given by God. He even names himself by family titles—“Father” and “Son”—making family a location for divine revelation.

This in no way contradicts some individuals’ need to be saved from abusive family members, and Wheatstone staff members must support efforts to protect victims of abuse.

Our Churches

Wheatstone is not a church. Our staff members, mentors, students, and community members are a part of every major Christian denomination. Staff must not attempt to persuade any of our students or community members of the rightness of particular theological commitments that are not mentioned in “Christian Doctrine,” “Scripture,” and “Christian Practice.”

We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, and that the local church is the primary community of Christians. We require that all our staff members be active members in good standing of a local church body, or to be actively seeking such a membership.

Other People

Wheatstone staff are expected to pursue love in every human interaction, and especially toward those who are marginalized, disempowered, poor, or lonely. They are expected to take extra care to pursue love toward those with whom they disagree or whom they regard as an enemy.

Specifically, in their public discourse and behavior, they are to refrain from hateful behaviors, from vitriol, from casting their opponents uncharitably, or any other unloving behavior. While working for the spread of truth, goodness, and beauty, they are to reserve final judgments for God, not despairing for any other humans.

Our Societies

God does not only regard individuals as recipients of his judgment and love, he also regards societies. He has placed each of us in our societies, and commanded us to love our neighbors. Though Wheatstone is apolitical, and does not try to advance a particular political affiliation or ideology, we expect our staff to be civically-minded. Staff members are expected to work for the good of their societies, to creatively contribute to their societies, to pursue justice, to pray for their leaders, and to model good Christian citizenship.

We believe that it is the responsibility of all Christians to explore the intersection of their faith with education, the arts, politics, aid and development, literature, philosophy, science, and every other area of our lives. Wheatstone staff are expected to promote, and not impede, this exploration in students.

 

Conclusion


Wheatstone employees must first fear the Lord and obey his Word, seeking good and shunning evil. His lordship must be over every sphere of their lives. They must set a pure and submissive example to the students who participate in Wheatstone’s programs, recognizing the public nature of their Christian practice. Their lives must be characterized by love and respect for others, and especially for their families, the Church, and for their local church body. They must affirm Wheatstone’s Statement of Faith and Practice. These things, and the others mentioned above, are preconditions for their employment with Wheatstone Ministries.