Q: Are you a Catholic or Protestant church?
A: We are not Catholic or Protestant, just Christian,… and we are not a “church,” just a “ministry.” Although we do many of the same things that a “church” does, we are not tied to a church building or a physical church location. We are an outreach ministry.
While we claim to be just “Christian,” we have certainly benefitted much from both Catholic and Protestant traditions. However, we prefer a non-denominational approach to ministry, free of any church authority, governance, or binding creeds.
Our allegiance is to God, only, through our love for one another,… not to any local, regional, or worldwide church authority or ecclesiastical hierarchy. We follow a perfect Savior, Jesus Christ, and that is good enough for us. We prefer nothing more.
Q: What Creeds or Doctrines do you follow?
A: We do not have any ecclesiastically binding creeds. That does not mean that we are opposed to the use of creeds, but only that we do not require conformity to the exact words of any one theological creed. One creed that we pray regularly as a “general” Statement of Faith is the historic Apostle’s Creed.
Q: Do you make the Sign of the Cross?
A: Yes we do,… we begin and end all our services (worship, weddings, funerals, prayers, blessings, etc.) with the Sign of the Cross,… but we do it a little differently. We don’t speed through the Sign of the Cross in 1 or 2 seconds like many people do nowadays.
Ours is a very slow, reverent, and deliberate reflective action with the following words:
- (forehead) In the name of God the Father,… who created us;
- (chest/breastplate) In the name of God the Son, Christ Jesus,… who saves us;
- (shoulders left to right) and in the name of God the Holy Spirit,… who guides and comforts us. Amen.
The “Sign of the Cross,” when done properly, with reverence, and in an appropriate setting is a wonderful reminder of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and serves as an outward sign of our interior faith.
Q: What do you believe about Mary?
A: We give Blessed Mary a very special place of honor because she is the Mother of God the Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have devoted an entire separate tab on our website to Mary and our Biblical position regarding her. Please visit “About Mary” on this website.
Q: Can I go to Communion if I have personal sin.
A: We offer an “inclusive” Communion, not an “exclusive” one. No one is ever denied Communion. We only ask that you be sincerely repentant (to the Lord) of any personal sin and make your best attempt at a firm purpose of amendment for your own sanctification.
Q: Do you believe in Purgatory?
A: While we believe that a purification or cleansing may ultimately be necessary before we can enter heaven, we leave all that up to God. We do not believe that after death a person must stay in a certain place (purgatory), for a specific amount of time,… suffering,… in order to make it into heaven someday. As such, we also do not believe in the notion that people here on earth can somehow pray or tithe you out of suffering in a place called purgatory. How would you ever know when someone actually made it out of purgatory? If we need any cleansing or purification after our life on earth has ended,… for ourselves or for those who are dear to us,… we trust in Jesus alone for that.
Q: Do you believe in the Saints?
A: The saints are very great and profound examples for us regarding our own faith and trust in God. Therefore, we find nothing wrong in honoring (remembering) the memory of their life of faith and sacrifice here on earth. That said, we do not attempt to communicate with them or invoke them in prayer, as intercessors, in the way that some people do. We are comforted in knowing that we can communicate with Jesus,… our only intercessor and mediator,… anytime we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. The saints are great examples for sure and we can certainly learn from them by a careful study of their lives. However, if our lips are moving in prayer, our petitions are directed to Jesus,… not to a saint. We are called to serve God with single heartedness.
Q: Do you believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved” and that you can’t lose your salvation?
A: The teaching of “Once Saved, Always Saved” is also known as “Eternal Security” or “Blessed Assurance.” Many churches hold to this belief. Several verses in the Bible seem to support the notion of “Once Saved, Always Saved,”… and that is cause for joyful celebration! However, several verses in the Bible also seem to concluded that you can lose your salvation, even after you have been saved,… and that is cause for great concern.
Since the Bible very clearly supports both a “yes” and “no” answer to this question, be cautious of anyone or any church denomination claiming to know the definitive answer. While we fully respect your personal (or organizational) interpretation of Scripture regarding this matter, we propose that only God knows the answer to this question. As such, we encourage you to do your very best,… with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,… to live a life that is pleasing to God.
Q. Are Faith and Works necessary for our salvation,… or just Faith alone?
A: The Bible is clear that “Faith” is necessary for our Salvation,… there should be no doubt about that. But the Bible is also clear that we will also be held accountable (judged) by what we do,… by our “works” or “deeds.”
Some claim that good works (deeds) is the measure or temperature of our faith and if we don’t have any good works,… then we probably don’t have (and never had) a saving faith either. This makes sense but it doesn’t minimize the necessity of good works as being essential for our salvation.
The Bible is replete with verses regarding the necessity of both faith and works. While we fully respect your personal (or organizational) interpretation of Scripture regarding this matter, we propose for consideration that both faith and works are necessary for Salvation,… on the words of Scripture alone.
Two questions to consider regarding faith and works:
1. Can you have FAITH without having any good works? It’s possible, but it certainly would NOT be a saving faith.
2. Now let’s reverse that,… can you have GOOD WORKS without having any faith? Yes, there is plenty of evidence for that. There are a lot of people who do good deeds but don’t have any faith or belief in God. According to Scripture, they will not get to heaven either.
The Bible seems to support that both FAITH and GOOD WORKS (deeds) are necessary for our salvation,… in that order.
Q. Is going to church necessary for salvation?
A: What we find in the Bible (in the 10 Commandments) that many people confuse with an absolute requirement to go to church is God’s commandment to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. As such, we propose for your consideration that you do not have to be inside the walls of a church building to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy,… although that may be the preferred place for many people (and certainly preferred by many pastors).
You could make a Biblical argument that worshipping in community and fellowshipping with others at a physical church location is a more appropriate way to worship God. However, you could also make a Biblical argument that the church is not defined by a structure or a building at a certain location,… or even an organization or religious denomination. Rather, the church is defined as the body of Christ, the community of believers, the people,… and people can Worship God and Keep the Sabbath Day Holy, anywhere. Worship of God is good and pleasing to our Lord wherever it takes place.
Q. Is Baptism necessary for salvation?
A: Nowhere in the words of the Bible is baptism restricted,… explicitly, implicitly, or conceptually,… to only adult believers. And nowhere in the Bible is baptism made an absolute requirement for infants. As such, we propose that based on the words and/or concepts within Scripture, Baptism should be available to anyone who wants it.
Our objection is not with Believers Baptism or Infant Baptism, rather it is with church/organizational authority that makes the sacrament/ordinance of Baptism an “exclusive” process or privilege of that specific church,… such as you must belong to that church (or denomination) in order to get baptized,… or it is delayed, withheld, or even denied.
Church organizations / denominations should stop playing politics (based on membership) with the sacrament/ordinance of Baptism. If a church (or denomination) holds to the doctrine that baptism is a commandment from our lord and/or is therefore necessary for salvation (and many church denominations profess it is), how could they possibly deny it to someone just because of denominational affiliation or membership? That is absolutely shameful and maybe even sinful.
It appears that Church leadership has forgotten (or chooses to ignore) how the seed of faith is planted in the baptismal process? Whether you consider it symbolic or regenerative, Baptism plants the seed of faith and brings all those involved closer to God.
We offer an “inclusive” approach to baptism, in the Trinitarian formula, to anyone who desires it with no restrictions. Just repent and be baptized!
- For adult believers, the preferred method of Baptism is full body water immersion. If full immersion is not desired or medically unsafe, we offer pouring or sprinkling.
- For parents wishing to have their child (infant) baptized, we offer pouring or sprinkling.
For both adult or child/infant baptism, please call for an appointment and a brief overview of this sacrament/ordinance.
Q. What kind of people attend a Worship Service celebrated by Island Aloha Christian Ministries?
A. Since we are a field chapel, people attending one of our Worship Services come from many different backgrounds. Some come from a liturgical Catholic, Lutheran, or Anglican/Episcopal background who, for various reasons, have left their Church. Others come from a Reformed, Evangelical, or Fundamental Protestant background. Still others have no denominational background at all.
- Some indicated they were being denied Communion and participation in other Sacraments.
- Others struggled with Church authority/teachings (Dogmas/Doctrines/Disciplines) in what they considered to be an intrusion into their personal life.
- Others felt that their church had become so liberal and modernized that they could no longer,… in good conscience,… participate.
Those who come from a Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopal, or Lutheran background will experience a traditional, structured Liturgy that should be somewhat familiar to them.
Those who come from a Reformed, Evangelical, or Fundamental Protestant background will experience a traditional Christian service that continues to emphasize that there is no way to the Father except through Christ Jesus,… our one and only mediator.
Regardless of religious backgrounds or denominational affiliations, people attend our services for no other reason than to fellowship and formally worship God,… and Island Aloha Christian Ministries provides that environment for them.
Q. I am a Roman Catholic. Can I attend your Service and if so, will it satisfy my Sunday obligation ?
A: Yes and No.
- Yes,… in that you are always welcome to Worship with us, wherever we worship/celebrate the liturgy.
- No,… in that doing so will likely not satisfy any obligations you have to your local Catholic diocese or parish.
Q. Do I have to go to Confession before I go to Communion ?
A. If you know that you have unconfessed sin,… then yes. We should never receive the Bread of Life, Jesus, in an unworthy manner (1 Cor 11:27). There are four (4) simple and effective ways to confess your sins and receive the Lord’s forgiveness,… either one will work just fine:
- Personally, with a repentant heart and a firm purpose of amendment, personally confess your sins directly to God wherever you are (sooner is always better than later). This is the preferred method.
- In Community (together with others), quietly confess your sins to God at the Worship Service during the General Confession Prayer, prior to Communion.
- Privately, confess your sins to one another as fellow believers.
- Confess your sins to the Minister, Pastor, or Chaplain (in a semi-private place) prior to the start of the Worship Service when Communion will be offered. Some people find this method helpful as it allows them to “hear“… from the Minister,… that God has forgiven their sins. People who need a little help in offering prayers of remorse, bringing out their sins, and then offering prayers of thanksgiving for God’s forgiveness appreciate this particular approach to confession. Important: While this traditional method of confession is always offered and available,… it is never demanded or required.
Whichever method of confession you prefer, it is important to remember that we believe it is God,… and only God,… who forgives you of any sin. The Minister is merely a sign of God’s merciful love and one of the instruments He uses to compassionately lead all people to healing and a greater love for each other. At no time does the Minister act “In Persona Christi” (in the person of Christ or as another Christ) as is done in some religious traditions.
DIVORCE, ANNULMENTS, and RE-MARRIAGE
Q. Can I re-marry in your Church ?
A. Yes,… we permit the remarriage of divorced persons after a brief period of counseling to ensure everyone understands what a marriage is in the eyes of the Lord.
Q. Is an annulment required before I can re-marry ?
A. No,… we do not require annulments. Occasionally we get asked by Catholics who are divorced if they can get married again, without their previous marriage having been annulled.
The answer is, Yes,… of course you can.
- For starters, we are not comfortable in saying that a marriage did or did not exist for a given sum of money (costs associated with the review, interview, and investigative phases of the annulment process).
- Secondly, the annulment process often creates more problems than it solves by opening up old wounds & painful memories during the interview/investigative phase. It often forces people to lie or be untruthful just to obtain a favorable outcome in the quickest amount of time. This is not good.
- Lastly, we believe in the words of Jesus that all sin is forgivable to the person with a repentant heart.
In light of this, we do not require annulments as a pre-condition to marriage. We want you to move forward with your life,… not get bogged down or stagnate in complicated/difficult Church rules, regulations, and requirements.
Q. My previous marriage ended in divorce and I have since remarried. Can I still attend your worship Service and receive Communion ?
A. Yes, you are always welcome and encouraged to Worship with us wherever we celebrate it and participate in Communion. Jesus,… the Bread of Life,…is given to ALL baptized Christians who come top the table in true faith.
A few words about divorce: Divorce is always a very unfortunate and often painful end to a marriage that usually results in a tremendous amount of emotional suffering and personal challenge. We believe that Jesus would want us to keep you close to Him during times of struggle,… not separate you from Him by denying you His loving presence at Communion.
The presence and comfort of our Lord is especially important following the difficulties of a divorce,… as well as during the many adjustments associated with remarriage. Stay close to the Lord,… call on Him frequently,… and come receive Communion, at every opportunity. Frequent reception is not only allowed but encouraged.
Whether you are divorced or remarried, Jesus loves you and wants to reside in your heart,… to commune with you,… and you with Him. As such, Communion will not be denied to anyone who is repentant of their sins and wants to draw closer to God in Communion. Come receive the Bread of Life.
Q. Can I take birth control pills and still participate in the sacraments ?
A. We believe that family planning is left to the conscience of the married couple. We do not believe that if you are using the birth control pill (Anovulan pill) for the purpose of “preventing” (not terminating) a pregnancy that you are committing serious sin (as some churches believe). That said, we reject any teaching that abortion is acceptable once pregnancy is confirmed.
Q. What Bible should I bring to the Worship Service ?
A. While it is not necessary for you to bring a Bible (we will provide one for the readings or show the Scripture verses on a large screen), you can bring any Bible you want. For the readings, we use either the NIV or NKJV Bible.
Q. How long does your Worship Service last ?
A. Our Worship Service lasts approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on individual circumstances and limitations, times can be adjusted to accommodate a shorter service.
Q. What should I wear to a Worship Service ?
A. At Island Aloha Christian Ministries, you will find a casual, friendly environment where everyone is welcomed in whatever they decide to wear. That said, individual clothing should not be so distracting or revealing that it offends others or takes the focus off of Christ and the purpose of worship.
We prefer that clothing with any political messages, sexually suggestive wording, alcohol or drug messages not be worn. You get the idea,… be comfortable but dress appropriate for the occasion.
For questions regarding Blessed Mary, please go to our “About Mary” tab.
Note: This section of our web-site is continually being added to and/or updated. Check back often.