FAQS

Here are answers to some of the most “Frequently Asked Questions” about Horizon Christian Fellowship Harrisonburg. These are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather provide a basic understanding of our position on these important issues. If you need further explanation, please contact us and we will be glad to discuss these things with you in greater detail.

What about the Word of God?
We hold the Word of God in high esteem, both in theology and practice. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible Word of God in its original writing. We believe that the Bible we have today is an accurate account of the writings of the men who were inspired by the Spirit of God. We believe that everything we need to know about God, salvation, and life are fully and accurately given to us in the Bible. Therefore, we encourage every believer to have individual, daily Bible study so they can be instructed from the Word of God.

We corporately study the Bible verse-by-verse, and chapter-by-chapter. It is our goal, not only to teach from the Bible, but to actually teach the Bible itself. We recognize that topical Bible study affords a certain benefit and we will, from time to time, study various topics of the Bible. However, our commitment is to study the entire Bible, trusting that God will thoroughly teach us and help us through every issue we face in life. Therefore, our services are structured in such a way as to give ample time for the study of the Word of God and the application it has to our lives.

What about Worship?
A time of corporate praise and worship takes place during every service at Horizon Christian Fellowship. We enter into worship by singing choruses led by a small team of musicians and singers. We do not emphasize the musician’s style or abilities but rather encourage all to join in the exalting of God in sincere, heart-felt worship. During this time, we encourage all believers to be sensitive to those worshipping around them and to do nothing that would take the focus off of God and put it on themselves.

In each of our services we give considerable uninterrupted time to the worship of God. We believe that God is worthy of worship and should therefore be exalted in the congregation. We also believe that this time of worship begins the dialogue between the worshipper and God and serves as an invaluable time of preparation for what God will say to us in the study of His word.

What about Fellowship?
Fellowship is a vital part of Horizon Christian Fellowship. It is encouraged both in organized church functions as well as in more personal settings. We are encouraged, challenged and blessed as we develop relationships with others of like faith. It is our hope that each time the doors are open at Horizon Christian Fellowship we would interact spiritually with our brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition to Sunday Service, we have small group prayer and Bible studies, potlucks, home fellowships, and retreats that provide the setting for establishing friendships, exercising our spiritual gifts, ministering to each other, and bringing edification (Ephesians 4:8, 12).

What about Communion?
We believe that communion is a Christian ordinance that Jesus established at the Last Supper and is to be carried out by all believers until His return. We believe that the elements are symbols of what Jesus Christ did for us in His sacrificial death and atonement. We do not believe that the elements of communion hold any spiritual value other than the powerful reminder of how Jesus allowed His body to be broken and His blood spilled for our cleansing. Communion is open to all believers and we encourage everyone to join us on the first Sunday morning of each month when we share together at the Lord’s Table.

What about Water Baptism?
We believe in full water immersion for those who have put their trust and faith in the Lord. We do not believe that baptism is a prerequisite for salvation; rather, it is an act of obedience for those who are already saved. We believe that it is through faith in the Lord Jesus that the grace of God is appropriated to cleanse a person from their sins and bring them into a right relationship with God. This does not diminish, however, the importance of obedience to the instruction of Scripture that all believers should make this public profession and identification with Jesus through Baptism. We encourage all believers who have yet to be baptized to obey the Lord at our next baptismal service. These are held in public places where we can testify publicly of our faith in Christ.

What about children?
The Children’s Ministry is an exciting part of what God is doing here at Horizon! With Bible-based curriculum, hands-on activities and crafts, the kids at Horizon are having a great time being taught the Scriptures!

Reaching a child for Jesus is a blessed opportunity. We believe we have an important part in aiding parents as they train up their child in the ways of the Lord. (Proverbs 22:6) With this in mind we have prayerfully built a ministry designed to reach children for Christ in a format that they can enjoy. Their classes take place after worship at the same time the parents are going through the Bible in the sanctuary. We encourage you to discuss with your children what they learned in Children’s Church. We hope to help bring your family together. Enjoying church as a child is a vital part in a person’s decision to follow Christ as an adult.

We encourage everyone with children to take advantage of this dynamic ministry. We also realize that some children may need some time to adjust to the new surroundings and may benefit from having a parent stay with them for a couple of weeks, until the child is comfortable.

What about the Holy Spirit?
We believe the Holy Spirit is the Third person in the Holy Trinity and is fully God. We believe that the Holy Spirit is active both in salvation and the life of the believer. We rely on the Holy Spirit to help us and teach us as we walk with the Lord. We believe that the Holy Spirit resides in the heart of every believer and that Jesus baptizes His followers with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16). This baptism can be either at conversion or subsequent to salvation. The primary purpose for this work, as explained in Acts 1:8, is to receive power to be witnesses. It is not a matter of salvation but is for the purpose of equipping. This baptism is not to be confused with the Holy Spirit’s baptism into the Body of Christ that happens at salvation. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). We encourage every believer to receive this gift of the Spirit that equips us for ministry and service in God’s Kingdom.

What about spiritual gifts?
We believe the Bible clearly teaches that spiritual gifts are for the edification of the body of Christ and that they are to be exercised in love. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts and that without love all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless.

Unfortunately, that which was meant to unite and edify the body of Christ, has become a matter for much division in the Church. We believe that all of the gifts that were given to the Church in the first century for its edification and growth are still active today. We also believe that when properly exercised, they will afford the same benefits as were experienced in the early Church.

The apostle Paul said, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40). This balance of ‘all things’ and ‘order’ is rarely seen in the Church at large today but is a guideline we continue to observe. During our services, we focus on a personal relationship with God through worship, prayer, and the teaching of the Word of God. We do not practice speaking in tongues during worship or while a Bible study is in progress because we do not believe that the Holy Spirit would interrupt Himself. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). These gifts are encouraged in more intimate settings such as afterglow services and small groups. It is in these small groups that the gifts’ purpose of edifying the Body of Christ can take place (1 Corinthians 14:12).

What about Money?
We believe all we have is from the Lord and that the Bible teaches believers to participate in the worship of God and support of the local Church with their finances. We have chosen to take a low-key approach to the giving of our finances in order to avoid the overemphasis that often has been placed upon money within the Church. We believe this act of worship should come from a joyful heart and that God is worthy of such acknowledgment (II Corinthians 9:7). We encourage everyone who attends Horizon Christian Fellowship to be led of the Lord and obedient to the scriptures regarding their tithes and offerings. We teach on giving when it comes up in Scripture and do not seek to make this a matter of weekly discussion.

What about Calvinism and Arminianism?
We are neither Five-Point Calvinists, nor are we Arminianists. We adhere firmly to the Biblical teaching of both God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. We avoid any theological systems of belief that go beyond the written Word and thereby divide the body of Christ.

What about membership?
We do not have a formal membership process. We believe that when a person has truly accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are automatically made a member of the body of Christ and are, therefore, welcome to fellowship with us (1Corinthians 12:12-14). We have adopted an informal membership that is best summed up by the following statement: “If you are a believer who desires to make Horizon Christian Fellowship your home church and you desire to grow, worship, fellowship, and serve, we accept you into our midst.” Furthermore, we encourage everyone to pray about how God wants to gift them in order to bring edification to the body of believers that gathers for worship.