Our Beliefs

The basis for our faith is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior of the world and God’s written Word, the Bible.

We believe that embracing what God said allows us to live in freedom, joy, and purpose.

Statement of Faith, Holy Scripture

Our Mission

Camp Thurman’s mission is to share God’s love and help people pursue their identity in Christ.

VIEW MISSION STATEMENT

Camp Thurman’s mission is to share God’s love and help people pursue their identity in Christ.

 

Calling

We are called, by Holy Scripture and the Holy Spirit, to challenge all people to be fully devoted followers of Christ. Our calling includes both introduction to and encouragement to remain in a life of full devotion to Jesus Christ. (Colossians 3:17) We are charged with encouraging, equipping, serving and sustaining Christians. We do this by directly instilling our Christian philosophies, values, missions and goals in members and those whom our ministry serves.1 Overt liturgical religious purpose (preaching, worship, Bible instruction, communion, baptism) as well as related non-liturgical religious purpose (social service activities, weddings, teaching, ministry, or events) all serve as methods that Camp Thurman utilizes to instill our religious values and beliefs, both expressly and by example.2 Guided by Holy Scripture and the Holy Spirit, non-liturgical ministries are grounded in the teachings, doctrines, bylaws employee handbooks, procedures and policies, Standards of Morals and Conduct, discipline, Statements of Faith, religious beliefs, Purpose Statement, Mission Statement, and internal dispute resolution policy (the “Written Statements of Faith”), of Camp Thurman – and are therefore subject to all of its ministerial, membership, discipline, and excision policies.

Community

We believe that our religious activity and religious ministry derives meaning in large measure from participation in a larger religious community. For this reason, individual members of our body play a large role in furthering our mission and viewpoint as an organization.3 We exist to foster a Christ-like environment of persons subscribing to our religious beliefs and faith.4 Camp Thurman is dedicated to serving and providing for its community, not simply engaging in organized worship.5 (Galatians 6:10)

Associating with like-minded Christians reinforces Camp Thurman’s Christian purpose and is vital to our faith’s perpetuation.6 (2 Corinthians 6:14; 2 John 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:33) We are committed to being and making disciples who understand what it means to follow Jesus Christ into a life of worship, fellowship, sacrifice, service and being led by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; John 15:16; Mark 16:15) Therefore, we are also called to enable and equip the uncommitted and opposed to be fully devoted followers of Christ. (Colossians 4:5-6; Psalm 96:3) Our mission as the body of Christ is to participate, share, and encourage each other toward spiritual growth. (I Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:23-25; Colossians 3:16.) Involvement in our organization requires a tangible commitment to our beliefs, purposes, and mission as outlined in Camp Thurman’s Written Statements of Faith – and are therefore subject to all of its ministerial, membership, discipline, and excision policies, which are incorporated herein by reference, as if fully set forth herein.

Expression of Faith

Camp Thurman intends to transmit our system of religious beliefs, tradition, Christian morals, reverence, and values.7 We do so by engaging in the community and individuals’ lives, acts of worship, and through all activities in which we participate.8 Likewise, we believe that all behavior of members and representatives of the organization is communicative in nature, exemplifying and expressing our faith, both publicly and privately.9 (1 Peter 2:12) Any member or representative who propounds a point of view contrary to our beliefs as stated in our Written Statements of Faith, which are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth herein, will impair Camp Thurman’s integrity and ability to disseminate its religious views and message.10 (James 4:4; 1 Corinthians 5:11-12)

Outreach of Ministries

We take very seriously the Biblical charge to be a Christian presence in a secular world.11 (Matthew 5:14-16) Therefore, all activities that Camp Thurman engages in are intended to further its religious purpose, as stated in our Purpose Statement. As such, all of our ministries are considered an outgrowth of the mission of Camp Thurman to preach, teach, evangelize and instill the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.12

 

1 See Circle Sch. v. Pappert, 381 F.3d 172, 182 (3d Cir. 2004).
2 See Boy Scouts of Am. v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640, 655-656 (2000).
3 See Corporation of Presiding Bishop of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327, 342 (1987) (Brennan, J., concurring in judgment); Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 622 (1984).
4 See Boy Scouts of Am., 530 U.S. at 654.
5 See Amos, 483 U.S. at 344 (Brennan, J., concurring).
6 See HEB Ministries, Inc. v. Tex. Higher Educ. Coordinating Bd., 235 S.W.3d 627, 659-660, (Tex. 2007).
7 See Boy Scouts of Am., 530 U.S. at 655-56 (quoting Roberts, 468 U.S. at 636).
8 See id.
9 See id. at 648; Spencer v. World Vision, Inc., 633 F.3d 723, 734 (9th Cir. 2011); Univ. of Great Falls v. NLRB, 278 F.3d 1335, 1343 (D.C. Cir. 2002); Universidad Cent. de Bayamon v. NLRB, 793 F.2d 383, 399-400 (1st Cir. 1985).
10 See Boy Scouts of Am., 530 U.S. at 643 (quoting Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, 515 U.S. 557, 576-577 (1995)).
11 See Little v. Wuerl, 929 F.2d 944, 945-46 (3d Cir. 1991).
12 See Hall v. Baptist Mem'l Health Care Corp., 215 F.3d 618, 622 (6th Cir. 2000); Cline v. Catholic Diocese, 206 F.3d 651, 655-56 (6th Cir. 1999).

Our Purpose

We are motivated in all facets by our faith in Jesus Christ, attempting to serve as a reflection of God’s unconditional love for all people.

VIEW PURPOSE STATEMENT

Purpose Statement

We are motivated in all facets by our faith in Jesus Christ, attempting to serve as a reflection of God’s unconditional love for all people.1 We seek to honor the Lord in all that we do by operating Camp Thurman in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.2 Every activity and speech that Camp Thurman or its employees, representatives, volunteers, or members engage in shall be consistent with, and in furtherance of, Camp Thurman’s religious purposes, both publicly and privately.3

All activities in which Camp Thurman engages are for the religious purpose of furthering its Christian mission, message, and viewpoint. Whether the activity has an overt liturgical religious purpose (preaching, worship, Bible instruction, communion, baptism) or a related non-liturgical religious purpose (social service activities, weddings, teaching, ministry, or events), all activities of Camp Thurman are intended to glorify God. (Colossians 3:17) Camp Thurman conducts all activities in a holistic manner in order to foster, repeat, advertise or express its Christian mission, message and viewpoint.4 In this way, every organizational activity itself is infused with a religious purpose, as an act of faith, intending to further Camp Thurman’s religious beliefs and commitment to the faith as outlined in our employee handbooks, employment policies, Standards of Morals and Conduct, discipline, Statements of Faith, religious beliefs, Purpose Statement, Mission Statement, policy, and internal dispute resolution policy, which are incorporated herein by reference, as if fully set forth herein.5

Conveying Camp Thurman’s Christian message is at the heart of all that we do, in life, deed, word and expression.6 Camp Thurman is dedicated to serving and providing for its community, not simply engaging in organized worship.7 Provision of charity and community services, including but not limited to care for children, widows, and those in need, as well as evangelism, strengthening Christian leadership, discipleship and Biblical education are means of fulfilling Christian duty and providing an example of the Christ- like way of life that Camp Thurman seeks to foster.8 (James 1:27; Mark 16:15; Titus 1:7- 9; Matthew 28:19-20) Therefore, all behavior of members, representatives, and volunteers of the organization is communicative in nature, exemplifying the faith. Associating with like-minded Christians reinforces Camp Thurman’s Christian purpose and is vital to the faith’s perpetuation.9 (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Finally, the primary, exclusive, and only purposes for which Camp Thurman is organized are religious in nature, including but not limited to conducting missions and services. Likewise, Camp Thurman intends to disseminate, teach, and preach the Gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ, to encourage and aid the growth, nurture and spread of Christianity and to render Christian service.10 The recital of these purposes is intended to be exclusive of any and all other purposes, this Camp Thurman being formed for religious and charitable purposes only.11

 

1Spencer v. World Vision, Inc., 633 F.3d 723, 735 (9th Cir. 2011).
2 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2751, 2766 (2014).
3 See World Vision, 633 F.3d at 434; Univ. of Great Falls v. NLRB, 278 F.3d 1335, 1343 (D.C. Cir. 2002) ; Universidad Cent. de Bayamon v. NLRB, 793 F.2d 383, 399-400, 403 (1st Cir. 1985) (en banc) (Breyer, J.).
4 See Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, 515 U.S. 557, 581 (1995)
5 See Corp. of Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327, 344 (1987) (Brennan, J.,)
6 See World Vision, 633 F.3d at 434.
7 See Amos, 483 U.S. at 344 (Brennan, J., concurring)
8 See id.; See Hobby Lobby, 134 S. Ct. at 2794-2796.
9 See HEB Ministries, Inc. v. Tex. Higher Educ. Coordinating Bd., 235 S.W.3d 627, 659-660, (Tex. 2007)
10 See World Vision, 633 F.3d at 736.
11 See id. at 726.; Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 628 (1971).

[Christ] returned to heaven to the right hand of the Father, where He is preparing a perfect place for those who receive His gift of salvation and is interceding on their behalf.

Statement of Faith, The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

Statement of Faith

Camp Thurman is not associated with any one church body or denomination. However, there are core beliefs that are important for our staff to agree with in order for our ministry to be most effective. Here are the foundational beliefs of Camp Thurman:

Holy Scripture

The basis for our faith is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior of the world and God’s written Word, the Bible. We believe that embracing what God said allows us to live in freedom, joy, and purpose.

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, unfailing, steadfast Word of God. Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God gave the words of the Bible through human personalities. The essential beliefs of the Christian faith and eternal truth have been recorded and preserved in His Word. The Bible reveals the character of God and His will for the behavior of men and women today and throughout the history of the world (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Triune Godhead

We believe there is only one God, one in being, essence, and nature (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existing in three distinct co-equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

Man’s Sin

Though God created mankind upright and perfect (Genesis 2:25), because of the fall of Adam (Genesis 3:22-24), man’s nature is inclined towards and guilty of the sin of Adam and Eve our first-parents (Romans 5:12).

We believe that this original corruption of man’s nature, coupled with each individual’s willful sin, makes all of mankind guilty before God (Romans 3:23) apart from the mercy and forgiveness of the Father (Ephesians 1:7) offered by the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-10). Man is unable to save himself or choose to follow God without the work of the Holy Spirit (John 6:44, 65). Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can the human race be reconciled to God (John 16:8).

Christ’s Return

We believe that one day, at a time appointed by the Father (Galatians 4:2), Christ will return to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31; Matthew 25:31-32). Those who have placed their faith and repentance in Him for the remission of sins will be physically resurrected into a perfect, sinless state to enjoy in God’s goodness and everlasting reign forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Romans 8:17).

Human Sexuality

We believe that God has established in His Word a sexual ethic that is unchanging as reflective of God’s perfect character (Hebrews 13:8; Psalm 102:25-27). This includes marriage as defined by God in the revelation of His Word as being between one man and one woman (Mark 10:6; Genesis 2:24). We believe that any other sexual activity outside this covenant of marriage is sinful and explicitly forbidden (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Colossians 3:5).

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

We believe God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to be born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18, 25), to grow to manhood while teaching and healing His fellow humans, suffer and give up His life on the cross (Hebrews 9:15-22), to be buried and then literally and physically rise from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). He returned to heaven to the right hand of the Father, where He is preparing a perfect place for those who receive His gift of salvation and is interceding on their behalf (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1).

We believe that the person of Jesus Christ is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, sharing in one nature and being with the Godhead (John 8:58). Upon Christ’s incarnation, He took upon Himself the nature of man and all that nature entails (Hebrews 2:7), including the ability to be tempted and to suffer just as man is tempted and suffers—yet was without sin.

Salvation

We believe because of His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), death for the sins of mankind, and His glorious resurrection, Jesus has made the way for men and women to experience forgiveness of sins (John 3:16; John 5:24; Titus 3:3-7) and live eternally with Him through repentance and receiving by faith the free gift of God found only in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:27-28).

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” (John 14:6)