1. Eminence of Christ
Jesus Christ is the “head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:10). With Christ’s example of absolute righteousness as the standard for moral values, attitudes, behavior, and life choices, the rightness of an individual’s personal choices depends not on the convenience or benefit to himself, but on the agreement of those choices with the example of Jesus Christ provided in the Word of God (Colossians 1:15-23).
2. Moral Authority of Scripture
The moral standard revealed by God in the Bible is absolute. The two greatest commands are found in Matthew. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
3. Personal Accountability
Each person is responsible for their own actions. They will experience the consequences of those actions, both good and bad, in this life. Because of God’s common grace, they have a limited ability to choose to do good. The work of the Holy Spirit must be active in their lives, through God’s invitation and their submission, to effect true heart change. God is the ultimate agent of change at the personal and societal levels. At the end of this life, each person will give an account to Him for everything they have done (Romans 2:16).
4. Sanctity of Life
Each human life begins at the moment of conception, regardless of the circumstances. Every conceived child bears the image of God. He is the Creator and His creation should be protected and cherished. As is recorded in Psalm 139:13-16:
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
5. Healthy Sexuality
Healthy sexuality is the intimate involvement between a man and a woman within marriage. All other expressions of sexuality are contrary to God’s design for human beings (I Thessalonians 4:3-7, Leviticus 18:22).
6. Empowerment of Mothers
Mothers are empowered by the building of capital and opportunity. This includes their social connections, their tangible property, their employable skills, and their spiritual foundation. Restoration and transformation within a woman’s life must focus on developing this capital by: 1) building her social network by forming bonds with those in her social circle and bridging relationships with others outside her circle; 2) managing her finances to maximize sustainability; 3) gaining education and developing skills that have economic value in the labor force; and 4) laying a foundation of spiritual values, purposes, and motivations. This transformation and reconciliation empowers the individual and effects change throughout the community and greater society.
7. Poverty Alleviation
Poverty is a result of sin’s damaging effect on all of man’s relationships: relationship with God, with himself, with others, and with the rest of creation. Sin causes spiritual, economic, physical, emotional, cultural and political brokenness in communities and in the individual life. The goal in alleviating poverty is “working to reconcile the … foundational relationships so that people can fulfill their callings of glorifying God by working and supporting themselves and their families with the fruit of that work” (Corbett & Fikkert, 2012, p. 171). The reconciliation of these relationships is essential to empowerment towards a self-sustainable future, and this can only be accomplished by first realizing a reconciled relationship with God through the work of Jesus Christ.
8. Church Partnership
The role of the Christian church is twofold: to be a messenger of potential reconciliation to God in Christ and to live out God’s commands in relation to its neighbors. The church is the body of Christ (Romans 12). Each member has a role, functioning together as a whole in the advancement of His kingdom. Such advancement begins by living as God commands: administering justice, showing mercy and compassion and walking humbly with the Lord (Zechariah 7:9-10; Micah 6:8).This can be done by forming relationships with individuals and family in the community, learning what their needs are, and working towards poverty alleviation and their empowerment in a self-sustainable life.
9. Private Sponsorship
Expect Hope will neither solicit nor accept any government money. With a confidence placed in the belief that “unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain,” the program will rely on the Lord’s provision (Psalm 127:1). Some faith-based organizations have received government funding through the Charitable Choice Act. According to Clause B, however, Expect Hope would be ineligible to receive government funds under this act (“45 CFR 1050.3”). It stipulates that any ‘religious’ instruction, attendance, etc., must be a separate activity and voluntary. This would restrict Biblical counseling and undermine the core of the program, thus rendering it no more effective than any other secular agency doing good things.
10. Life of Worship
Our ministry and service are carried out in worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Worship is our key motivation as well as our weapon against discouragement, distraction, and discord. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. The things that confound us most do not have earthly explanations. Our adversary the Devil hates that we are protecting life. He hates God’s design for family, for thriving, and he will do everything in his power to distract, combat, and discourage. Praise God that there is power in the Name and Person of Jesus and that anything that stands against Him will fail! And so, we will not fear; and so, we will be faithful (I Peter 5:6-9, Ephesians 6:10-13).