OUR "FACE" VALUES
There are many noble things for which GAAAP staunchly stands with a deep abiding commitment but there are four that stand as pillars in our fellowship. They are precious to us because it has cost us dearly to uphold and defend them against attack whether by assault or erosion. We call them our F.A.C.E. values. They define us and set us apart. Let's look at them together.
of unconditional love.
Unconditional love and inclusivity are mere buzz words among religious kingdoms of men but GAAAP has had to prove it means what it says about the agape love of God. It doesn't always say what the hearer wants to hear. Sometimes it has to be tough but at the end of the day when people have made mistakes and owned them, the love of God in us stands strong to take up the fallen one and embrace them until they are strong again. Love and submission are just religious concepts until they are tested and proven. Once they are and they have endured, it's true love. Love holds us when we're not at our best. True covenant relationships endure the test of time. A truly inclusive fellowship loves unconditionally no matter what the price. A lot of people talk about how much they love you these days until you are of no use to them or you don't endorse their agenda and their unconditional love transforms into total rejection. GAAAP strives for a spiritually, emotionally and mentally healthy environment for personal growth, that is harmonious, without pressuring people into conformity by clever manipulation. Biblical unconditional love and fellowship always does and says the right thing, providing a safe place to grow, make mistakes and be productive for the Kingdom of God. In the spirit of true fellowship, GAAAP builds bridges with all Bible believers who are genuinely submitted to the Lordship of Jesus. Most distinctively, GAAAP does not discriminate against anyone, for any reason outside Biblical parameters nor do we approve of using misapplied Scriptures lifted from their historical and cultural contexts, to reinforce popular prejudices. This is why we are known as an affirming fellowship.
Among some in our day and community, being Apostolic is is evidenced only by a statement of faith and a few buzz words tossed fervently in an emotional presentation from the pulpit. To others, it's a very legalistic standard of conduct and dress. To yet others, it's a popular catch phrase for what's new and sensational in Charismatic circles But it's got to be more than that if it's going to truly represent New Testament Christianity and our Savior. Just as important as the Gifts of the Spirit are the Fruit of the Spirit. Even more important than an outward presentation, is the inward transformation that sets Pentecostals apart from much of the nominal Christian world that finds itself on a religious treadmill going nowhere. We tenaciously embrace the truths long held by Oneness Pentecostals; that the one true God Jehovah is manifest in the flesh of Jesus Christ, that all believers should be baptized into the lovely Name of Jesus by immersion in water, that all New Testament believers are expected to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost with the initial physical evidence of speaking with other tongues, that a holy life is essential to meeting the Lord without condemnation and that He is soon to return to catch away His Bride. In addition, we are fiercely missions minded and believe strongly in the miraculous power of God to deliver and heal. We are devoted to our heritage but we are not bound by it. Apostolic people must keep pressing the limits of evangelism just as did our forefathers and mothers. We fellowship all Bible believing Christians who have submitted themselves to the Lordship of Christ. We are Biblically inclusive of all people without distinction or compromise, never discriminating against people for how God made them. In this day of New Age teaching eroding long held understandings of God's Word, new fangled, fadish teachings in some Charismatic/Pentecostal circles and today's "emergent churches," it's critical that Christians know how to lovingly and intelligently defend the faith once delivered unto the saints. It is our belief that this is what it means to be truly Apostolic.
True holiness produces character in individuals and organizations. Character will stand the tests that come with time to cultivate a reputation for godliness that brings glory to God and not attention to us. Character that comes from the Spirit's refining fire produces authenticity without facades, humility without self-promotion, righteousness without legalism, spiritual growth without religiosity truth without exaggeration, conformity to God's will without manipulation and quality without compromise. Today, it is tragic but hypocrisy is rampant, even in the pulpit. The same tongues used to declare God's Word in the pulpit assassinate the character of saints and other ministers. Unethical behavior, immorality, compromise and ulterior motives must be brought into subjection to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. No amount of emotional displays, gimmicky deception, slick promotion, churchy verbiage or religious titles and trappings can long pass as revival or mask our true character from God, and eventually, everyone else around us. God will have a church that will prevail against the gates of hell and will reflect His holy nature inside and out. Only time spent in God's Presence and Word can eradicate sin and prepare the way of the Lord in our hearts. Personality, hype and talent can never do what a holy people can do when they turn from their wicked ways and call upon the Name of the Lord. Our character will become our reputation and our reputation will become our legacy. May God's refining fire burn out the chaff and stamp upon our hearts the glorious image of Jesus Christ. GAAAP has made difficult choices in the past to pursue a righteous character. To do this, we had to choose what was best for the Body of Christ over entitlements and rights. If God's glory is our ultimate desire, discipline must be allowed to do it's work in us to bring about a holy character.
We've made the decision to set excellence as the goal in all things, individually, organizationally, spiritually, intellectually and physically. This is a choice each person must make for themself. The fruit of our choices will be evident to all as we choose divine order over man's ability to self-promote, servant leadership over titles and position, quality over numbers for numbers sake, authenticity over hypocricy, integrity over compromise and righteousness over revenge. As our passion for Christ and His Kingdom exceeds the will of our flesh, right choices are made that please God and earn the respect of fellow organizational leaders with whom we enjoy wonderful fellowship. Excellence through passion is not the easy road for anyone but it's the only way to look one's self in the mirror and know that we are truly on the "King's Highway" to those coveted words at the end of our journey, "Well done." We encourage each individual reading these words to join us on this journey to sanctification of the Spirit that takes us above playing church with self imposed titles, culturally and politically selective/exclusive churches and the drama prone people who are common in our community. We must raise the bar in the affirming Christian community and hold our leaders to a Biblical standard of ethics and holiness. If our motivation is anything other than the glory of Almighty God, our fruit will not remain and our works will be burned up in judgement. We must strive for excellence because that's the only right thing to do as servant leaders of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Without holiness, no man will see the Lord and without excellence, we will be the laughing stock of the world and the maintream church. The excellence for which we strive is broad and includes all aspects of our lives, spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, religiously, etc. Excellence is a high calling that requires leaving low living behind to join the band of few who dare walk alone in the midst of many who don't share our passion. .