Leanna is deeply committed to the cultivation and celebration of all expressions of Christian faith.
Her work in North India is a shining example, with Baptists, Inter-Denominationals, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Catholics, Methodists and others all playing a part in the great work of bringing Jesus’ love to others. She and her team have proven that it is possible for believers to collaborate together for greater impact.
THE KEY TO COLLABORATION:
Hold fast THE CORE on which we all agree, while in regard to THE REST do not argue, but HONOR each other’s position and celebrate the wonderful DIVERSITY in Christ’s Body.
(SEE BELOW for “The Core” and “The Rest”)
“By this everyone will know you’re My disciples; if you love each other” Jn. 13:35
“It is better not to… do anything to cause your brother to stumble.”Ro. 14:21
“…As You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”Jn. 17:21
These are essential principles of the Gospel on which there is little flexibility.
- The Bible, as it is contained in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is divinely inspired and constitutes the only infallible and authoritative word of God. 2Tim.3:16; 2Pe.1:20-21; Mt.5:18.
- There is one God, Creator and Lord of the universe, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each distinguishable but indivisible. Deut.6:4; Is. 44:6-8; Mt. 28:19.
- Jesus Christ is God, the Son, incarnate, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and truly man. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross of Calvary as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all humankind. He was buried, physically arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where he is now the interceding High Priest at the right hand of the Father. Jn.1:14; Lk.1:34-35; Jn.3:16; He. 4:15; Ph. 2:5-8; 1Co. 15:3-5
- Humans were created in the image of God. All people sinned and were consequently separated from God. All are sinners, both by birth and by choice. As a result, we are by nature depraved, under condemnation and unable to attain to divine righteousness. Ge.1:26; Eze.18:4; Ro.3:10-12;5:12-18.
- Sinners are saved by grace through repentance and faith in the perfect and complete work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The blood of Jesus Christ is the only basis for the remission of sins. Eph.2:8-9; Heb.9:12,22; Ro.5:12;Ac.4:12. Though essentially spiritual in nature, the benefits of salvation embrace the needs of the total person-spirit, soul, and body. 1Pe.2:24; 3Jn.2; Jas.5:15; 1Th.5:23.
- The Holy Spirit is instrumental in:
- Regeneration – the new birth of every person who repents of sin and receives Christ as Savior and Lord. Jn.3:3-8; Ro.10:9-10, 2Pe.3:9.
- Sanctification – a life of separation from the pursuit of worldly lusts to live in holiness, producing the Fruit of the Spirit. Col.3:1-8; Ga.5:22-23.
- Empowerment – equipping the believer with the Gifts of the Spirit and with power to be Christ’s witnesses. Ac.1:8, 1 Cor. 12:7-10, Eph 4:11.
- Satan is an angelic being who rebelled against God. He is the head of a hierarchy of evil spirit beings who influence humankind and seek their ruin. These are subject to believers, and will all eventually be cast into eternal judgment. Lk.4:1-13; 10:17-20; Eph.6:12; Mt.25:41.
- The Church is the redeemed community of God’s people throughout all ages. All believers are priests under Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church. Re.1:6; Eph.1:22,23.
- The essential functions of the Church are:
- To worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. Jn.4:23-24.
- To disciple believers and help them to grow into the likeness of Christ. Eph.4:11-16.
- To actively engage in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ among all nations. Ac.1:8; Mt.28:18-20.
- All believers are to be baptized in water as a public testimony of their being buried with Christ and raised to new life in Him. Mt.28:19; Ac.2:36-38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:1-15.
- Believers are to participate in Communion, known as the Lord’s Supper, the juice/wine and wafer/broken bread representing the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Mt.26:26-29; 1Co.11:23-26.
- All believers are to give of their substance to the Lord’s work. 1Chr.16: 28; Mal.3:10; 1Co.16:2.
- The dead will be resurrected, believers to eternal life with God, and unbelievers to eternal judgment. 1Co.15: 50-54; 1Th.4: 16-17; 2Th.1:8-9.
- Jesus Christ will return to this earth personally, visible and bodily in power and glory to establish His Kingdom. Jn.14: 3; 1Th.4: 16-17; Ac.1: 11.
Believers should not argue about these but should honor each other’s different viewpoints:
- Fullness of the Spirit: God desires that people be filled with His Spirit (Eph 5:18). The Scriptures show us that believers experience His fullness in many and various ways (Ex, 31:3, Joel 2:28-29, Lk. 1:15, 41, 4:1, Ac. 2:4, Ac 4:31). Let us celebrate the life of the Spirit in each other and walk in harmony.
- Gifts of the Spirit: God imparts spiritual gifts to His people. The Scriptures declare we should not forbid or quench the Spirit (1 Co. 14:39, 1 Th. 5:19). All gifts of the Spirit must be used to glorify Jesus Christ. They must not be used to manipulate (2 Cor. 2:17, 4:2) nor expressed in a disorderly fashion (1 Co. 14:33, 40) nor used to draw attention to one’s self (Jn 5:44, 16:14, 1 Co. 3:4, 1 Th. 2:6).
- Eschatology: Some believe that the rapture will occur before the tribulation, others after, others not at all. Let us not argue about these things but focus on preparing people to meet the coming King. Nobody knows when it will occur (Mt. 24:36) but Jesus is coming back (Jn.14: 3; 1Th.4: 16-17; Ac.1: 11). Our task on the Earth is to lead as many people as possible to salvation through faith on Jesus Christ.
- Church Government: Counting only those word occurrences which refer to Christian conduct or leadership, “rule,” “govern,” “lead” and related words occur 25 times in the New Testament while “serve,” “slave” and related words occur 136 times. This, along with the final act of our Lord before going to the Cross being that of washing His disciples’ feet (Jn. 13:1-38), should provide us ample basis for how we are to function when it comes to hierarchy, titles and offices of authority.
- Titles are not bad but useful. However a title must only label a proven function. All true leadership occurs out of a humble heart and a desire to empower rather than to control (Mk. 10:42-45, Philippians 2:3-5).
- If a particular title is offensive to a certain group of people, we should not use that title in our communication with them so as to honor their beliefs. (Ro 14:21, 1 Co 8:13).
- Worship styles: The Scriptures provide examples of various types of worship (Exodus 15:20 – 21, 1Samuel 6:12 – 14, 2 Chr. 5:13, Psalm 100:1 – 2, Col. 3:16, Jas. 5:13). What matters to God isn’t whether we dance or kneel or play a steel guitar or an organ. What matters to God is the attitude of the hearts of the worshipers ( John 4:23-24, Rom 12:1).
- Methods of Baptism: Large segments of Christians stand on either side of this issue. Each is entitled to his or her decision as to how to interpret the Scriptures. Let us not allow this to divide us, but let us serve together in unity on the basis of all the other things on which we do agree. ( Lev. 11:32, II Kgs 5:14, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 10:47,48 etc.)
- God’s Kingdom: Some believe that God’s Kingdom on earth will only significantly change the physical realm of human society when Jesus returns. This “pietist” view holds that a Christian should focus on keeping himself or herself pure and that society will only significantly change after the end-time trials (Mt. 24, Lk. 21, Tim. 3:1-5). “Activists” view passages such as “Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth…” (Mt. 6:10) and “Make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:18-19) as indications that Christians can and must be intentional about influencing communities toward God’s will. I suggest that a balance between the two is the needful: Let us keep the saving and transforming message of salvation through Jesus Christ first and foremost, while not neglecting to “seek the welfare of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) or neighborhood or nation, through active involvement in the community.
- Women in Leadership: Leanna’s understanding of the Scriptures is that “the silencing passages” (1 Cor. 14:34 and 1 Tim. 2:12) were intended for disruptive and spiritually immature women, and were never meant to apply to mature women of God speaking God’s Word (Ex. 15, Jdg. 4-5, Jn. 4:29, 39, 20:17, 18, Ac. 18:18-26, 21:9, Ro. 15:12, 16:1, 3, 7, 1 Cor. 11:5, 16:16, Php 4:2, Col. 4:15). For those who believe otherwise, she respects and honors your position. She will not argue with you nor mention the subject when with your group. Since we agree on 99%, including the core of the Gospel, why should we allow 1% to separate us? Leanna is happy to serve your congregation by ministering for your women’s programs in alignment with your traditions and beliefs. Let us in love and in unity celebrate Jesus through the 99% of the Bible on which we agree. 🙂