Statement of Faith
Love God and Love One Another
In the Phoenix International Christian Church we believe first and foremost we must obey the greatest commandment which is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.‘” (Matt 22:37) The second greatest command we are to obey “…is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself‘” (Matt 22:39) In loving our neighbor, God clarifies that He “…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth“ (1 Tim 2:4) and that every disciple of Jesus is to heed the command to “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:18-20) We are called to love each other as much as Christ love us and by this all men will know that we are Jesus’ disciples…if we love one another! (John 13:34-35)
Jesus’ Vision – Evangelize the Nations In This Generation
Like the disciples in the 1st century who had this vision placed on them by Christ in their generation, we too hold to the vision to evangelize the nations in our generation. In the 1st century, during the early 60’s AD, the apostle Paul writes in the book of Colossians that “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Col 1:6) and also “This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” (Col 1:23) These statements clarify that the first century disciples had reached the known world in their generation just a little over 30 years after the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth (Acts 2, ~29 AD). The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem is another key marker for the completion of evangelizing the nations in their generation and is mentioned by Jesus Christ in the Olivet discourse recorded in the Synoptic gospels. (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
(Matt 24:14) “The end” Jesus is speaking of here is in response to his disciples asking Jesus “when will this happen” in light of his prediction “…not one stone here will be left on another, every one will be thrown down.” (Matt 24:2) Jesus further alludes to the evangelization of the nations in their generation by saying to his disciples in this discourse, “all nations will hate you because of me.” (Matt 24:9). The temple was destroyed in 70AD by Titus and thus correlated with the two prophecies by Jesus in Matthew 24 (“all nations will hate you because of me” and “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations and then the end will come”) about it’s destruction along with the two testimonies of our brother Paul in Colossians 1 (“all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit” and “this gospel…has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven”) clarified they had carried out the visionary commands Jesus gave them in Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:18-20 in their generation. This 1st century example inspires us to hold fast to the vision of evangelizing the nations in our generation – the 21st century!
The “Elementary Teachings” or “First Principles”
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.”
In this passage, the scriptures explain maturity as the ability to be able to teach as well as which teachings are considered “elementary teachings.” In other translations, the words “elementary teachings” are translated as “first principles” (e.g. Heb 6:1 ASV) Our ministry utilizes a bible study series called “The First Principles” which covers these “elementary teachings” in detail. It is our goal that every disciple master these convictions and be able to competently teach them as they strive to help others become disciples of Jesus.
- Seeking God. At the core of everything, there will always be the need to love God with all that we are. The first and foremost conviction anyone must have is to seek God with all their heart. It’s the key to true happiness (“blessedness” – Pslam 119:1-2) and according to Jeremiah 29:13 we’ll not find God otherwise. (“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”)
- The Word of God. We believe that the Word of God is to be the standard of our lives. That we are to be silent where the bible speaks and speak where the bible is silent. In other words, if the word of God says it, we need be silent and obey it! However, if the word of God is silent on the matter, being without precedence or a command directly against something, we are free to be creative and implement whatever we choose inasmuch as it does not conflict or go against the scriptures. We believe the bible is to be used in our lives (2 Tim 3:16-17) and is the sole authority in God’s church. If we are to call ourselves his disciples, we are to put it in to practice daily (John 8:31-32.)
- Discipleship. Following Jesus (“being his disciple”) means being like him, a fisher of men. (cf Mark 1:16-18 and Luke 19:10) It means deny ourselves daily and having a heart to suffer, to pick up the cross, daily for Jesus. (cf Luke 9:23-25) We call one another to this standard because it is Christ’s standard and part of the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:18-20 is “teaching them to obey everything [Jesus] commanded.” We believe that the practice of discipleship is not an optional matter, and that every member needs to practice discipleship. The bible teaches that a disciple and a christian are the same thing in Acts 17:11. Therefore, anyone who is going to call themselves a “Christian” must also ensure they are a disciple according to the scriptures.
- The Kingdom of God. This is God’s church, his people. Those that have repented (living as disciples) and been baptized are a part of God’s Kingdom (John 3:1-7 born again of water and spirit). The Kingdom began in Acts 2 (~29AD) with the outpouring of the promised power of the Holy Spirit (Mark 9:1, Acts 1:3-8) couple with the key preaching of Peter (who was given the keys by Jesus in Matthew 16:15-19). The 3,000 who responded to the gospel message repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41). Thus began the church, the Kingdom of God on earth!
- Light and Darkness. The scriptures teach that everyone starts off in the darkness, not having mercy, not being a people of God. (cf 1 Peter 2:9-10) The Word of God says in Isaiah 59:1-2 that sin separates us from God. It is like a wall, a partition, between us and God. When someone repents of all their sins, making that pledge of a good conscience before God (cf 1 Peter 3:19b-21) and is baptized for the forgiveness of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ, they are forgiven of their sins and that wall (the partition of sin) is destroyed, and they are saved, in the light. Of course, they must make their good confession of “Jesus is Lord” and believe that God rose him from the dead in their heart (Romans 10:9-10) – as it is by our faith that we are saved (Colossians 2:12) and raised to a new life in Christ.
- The Cross. It is critical that everyone who wants to follow Jesus Christ understand their personal responsibility in his death on the cross. Romans 3:23 clarifies this – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The prophetic messianic verses in Isaiah 53:3-5 that “he was pierced for our transgression” and “the punishment that brought us peace was upon him” as well as “it is by his wounds we are healed” all point to Jesus paying the “wages of [our] sin” via his death on the cross (Romans 6:23). Getting in touch with our sins and realizing how much we have been forgiven for deepens our love for Christ. Luke 7:47 “He who has been forgiven little, loves little.” Understanding that he did this because of his love for us should give us motivation for a lifetime.
- The Church. Everyone who is a repentant, baptized, disciple of Jesus Christ is a part of the church universal. It does not matter what congregation or denomination they are a part of. Every person who is a disciple according to the scriptures is saved and part of the church universal. The church is built on the foundation of Apostles (NT) and Prophets (OT) with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. (cf Eph 2:19-22) The church must use the whole bible, not just the NT, as exemplified by 2 Tim 3:15 where Timothy is reminded that “from infancy” he’s know the Scriptures which are able to make him wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Timothy was an infant during the mid 30’s when none of the New Testament had been written yet, therefore this reference is to the Old Testament Scriptures! It is our aspiration, our goal, to be the “Visible Church” in every city we are present. The “Visible Church”, like the church in the first century, was comprised of only baptized disciples who were fully committed (aka “Soldout!”) to the Kingdom and to each other and this was crystal clear in their example! (cf Acts 2:42-47)
- Count The Cost. Jesus taught that anyone who wanted to follow him needed to sit down and first estimate the cost beforehand. This was because should they stop following Jesus, everyone would ridicule them. Jesus calls us to have the heart to go anywhere, do anything, and give up everything for him! (cf Luke 14:25-33)
Helping the Poor/Serving the Community
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matt 25:40)
Jesus laid forth the clear expectation that his disciples were to have a heart to help the poor and the needy around them. We are very grateful to have a strong partnership with MERCYWorldwide and our members are all representatives of the local Phoenix branch. MERCY has built additional partnerships with the Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa as well as with the American Red Cross. Each group working with our membership to serve orphans and meet needs in our community. We are always looking for more ways to serve the cities the Holy Spirit puts us in. As each ministry grows, our ability to give more back to the cities we live in will also grow.
The Soldout Movement of Churches & The Crown of Thorns Project
In the first century, it is clear they collaborated to build a cohesive and cooperative family of churches with a central leadership. (cf Acts 15:2-ff) This central leadership had a central leader (James, Acts 15:13 “Brother’s, listen to me…it is my judgment…etc”). From this central leader and central council of leaders commands/edicts were issued (Acts 15:23-30) and then carried by leaders from “…town to town” who then “delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.” The results of the churches obedience to the central leadership are remarkable, “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.” (cf Acts 16:4-5). There are examples of churches imitating churches (1 Thess 2:14, “For you became imitators of God’s churches in Judea”) and overseeing evangelists (traditionally called “Bishops”) sending in leaders to “straighten out what was left unfinished” and directing these leaders to appoint and train leadership over numerous churches in various towns (cf Titus 1:5). There are examples of leaders directing churches and entire regions of churches on matters of raising finances for distribution to varying needs throughout the churches (Paul addressing the church in Corinth: “Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.” 1 Cor 16:1) and these finances going to the central leadership for distribution. (“…send them with your gift to Jerusalem.” 1 Cor 16:3) All of these scriptures (and numerous others, e.g. 1 Cor 4:17 “everywhere in every church”, Philippians 3:17, Philippians 4:9, 1 Thess 1:6-8, and so on) paint a picture of a collaborating movement of churches with a central leadership and a central leader. In our effort to imitate this, we are a part of a movement of churches with a central leadership based in LA (our “Jerusalem”) with a central leadership we call the “Crown of Thorns Council” which is comprised of the “World Sector Leaders” and our movement’s “Shepherding Couples” and central leaders in Kip and Elena McKean (see kipmckean.com). Our first collaborative initiative is the “Crown of Thorns Project” – which is a plan to place pillar churches in leading cities several nations throughout all 6 inhabited continents. (see “The Crown of Thorns Project“)
The next step in “The Crown of Thorns Project” is for each of the world sectors to initiate their own “Crown of Thorns” projects in their specific geographical area of the world. (For more information about each world sector, please check out the article “Meet Your New World Sector Leaders” here!)
Being a part of the “Soldout Movement” family of churches means we collaboratively sacrifice alongside our family of churches when called to do so by our central leadership and thus are not an autonomous ministry. We recognize the need for a central leadership and work with that central leadership to plant new churches, train ministry leadership, and fiscally support newer church plantings and their associated missionaries. It is amazing to see what our God can do through determined, unified and faithfully sacrificial disciples of Jesus in a short time. In just the past 7 years, God has moved to begin almost 50 churches on all 6 inhabited continents, in a dozen different nations. It is to his glory we are a part of this family and have been able to see this much come to pass. Who know’s what the Lord has in store for his people in the near future!
The Five Foundational Soldout Movement Convictions
Kip McKean’s Official Website
Upsidedown21.org – The Soldout Movement’s News Aggregation Site
The City of Angels International Christian Church website