Ranking Changes

You may notice a few changes in how we list San Diego Churches as well as future rankings. Rather than the old 0-5 Star system, we’ve changed the ranking to the recommendation level system. We believe this should more clearly communicate to people reading the site. Our suggestion is people only attend Highly Recommended to Average churches. To be an average church, the minimum requirement is an Evangelical belief (The Bible is true, Jesus is the only way to salvation, etc.).

The second change involves the ranking.

Church Review
Scriptural View:

These rankings will now be changed to the following:

Church Review
Scriptural View: What a Church believes, teaches and lives. Do they teach the whole counsel of the Bible? Do they preach exegetically (ie. From the Bible verse by verse, book by book) or topical messages. How do they interpret doctrine.
Missional View: How this church reaches out to the lost. Are they a church that embraces their calling to bear the good news of Jesus Christ? Do they focus on a local and international mission of spreading the Kingdom of God?
Community: Does the church foster community? Do they have elders in place to lead/serve the congregation? How do they counsel people in matters of life, marriage and sin? Is the community called to live what they believe?

We hope these changes assist you as you look for a church to attend. We believe these three criteria are central to a church fulfilling it’s calling as described in the Bible. As always, we appreciate your comments, suggestions and participation in the conversation. (Coming soon… Church Reviews Nationwide at churchreviews.org)

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9 Marks of a Healthy Church

What exactly is a healthy church? How do we discern what church to attend. I ran across a great ministry that helps “local churches pursue, develop, and maintain nine of the most important marks of any healthy church. In identifying and promoting these nine, we are not intending to lay down an exhaustive or authoritative list. There are other significant marks of healthy churches, like prayer and fellowship. We want to pursue those ourselves as well, and we want you to pursue them with us. But these nine are the ones we think are most neglected in most local churches today, with the most damaging ramifications. So we think it is wise for us to concentrate on these nine and let other parts of the Body universal promote other important marks of a healthy local church.

Here’s a brief summary of what we mean by each of the nine marks.

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Creeds We Agree with

The Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21; Matt 5:18; John 16:12,13).

We also agree with the following creeds:

Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.


The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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Doctrine Statment

THE BIBLE: We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the word of God and the only rule to govern the lives of people and affairs of the Church.

GOD: We believe the scriptures reveal there is only one true God who is sovereign, eternal, holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, and creator of all things. He is loving, gracious, merciful and long-suffering toward His people and is also righteous in his judgment of the ungodly.

TRINITY: We believe God is revealed in the scriptures as three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three, while being distinct persons, are one God and equal in power, majesty, and glory.

HUMANITY: We believe people are born sinful and completely alienated from God and under His judgment. People, in their nature, are unwilling and unable to believe God and serve Him. Only a supernatural, sovereign work of God can regenerate the heart and enable people to recognize their sinfulness and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

SALVATION: We believe the only salvation for sinful people is faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This faith is a gift of God’s grace given to people according to the will and pleasure of God.

THE CHURCH: We believe the Church to be God’s people (past, present, and future) worshiping, loving, and serving God with Christ as the Head of the Church. We believe that God has called His people to devote themselves to a local church by becoming members, taking vows to the Church, and accepting the authority and rule of church officers (elders and deacons) who minister and discipline with love.

THE SACRAMENTS: We believe that God has instituted two sacraments: the Lord’s Supper and baptism as signs and seals of His grace to strengthen the church and edify its members.

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE: We believe that God calls His people to live for and serve Him joyfully using their gifts and talents to His glory, for the building up of the church, and as a witness to the unbelieving world. As a community of believers we are expected to rejoice with, suffer with, and bear the burdens of one another in the Body of Christ. We are to pray earnestly for one another, encourage and admonish one another in love as we grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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How we Rank Churches

San Diego Church Reviews and Guide is a website that provides assistance to people who are seeking a church. Often it can be difficult to find a church home, whether you’ve just become a Christian or are moving into the area. Our prayer is that this site will be a tool you can use to find your next church home.

How we Rank: Our primary concern is determining what a Church believes. Do they hold scripture as true? Do they preach from God’s word so that they are providing the counsel of God’s word and applying it to the believers life? This is the primary concern. Next is examining their interpretation of Scripture. Are they trying to make scripture say what they want it to and interpreting it by their feelings or do they recognize we need to change when we contradict what God has commanded.

5-Star Churches: These are the best churches and are the ones we recommend people attend.
4-Star Churches: These are good churches that are recommended, there may be a lack of knowledge to be convinced of the highest ranking or small concerns that are not foundational.
3-Star Churches: These churches are good but are missing key beliefs, interpretations or theological convictions that impact the life of the believer.
2-Star Churches: These churches are Christian but either teach things contradictory to scripture or it is unknown what they believe.
1-Star Churches: Churches that claim to be Christian, use the Bible but have serious errors in their belief to the point of rejecting Jesus’ teachings.
0-Star Churches: Cults that use the word Church.

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What San Diego Churches Believes

The short answer is that we are first Christians, second Evangelicals, third Missional, and fourth Reformed. The more lengthy answer is included below and intentionally omits some finer points of doctrine and secondary issues as we allow local churches to operate according to their convictions on these matters.

First, we are Christians which distinguishes us from other world religions and cults. Therefore, we adhere to both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds.

Second, we are Evangelicals and in agreement with the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals:

* We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
* We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
* We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
* We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
* We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
* We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
* We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Third, we are Missional:

* We believe that local churches must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3).
* We believe that local churches must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which they minister (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
* We believe that mission is to bring people into church so that they can be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.

Fourth, we are Reformed:

* We believe that God created the heavens, the earth. We believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as His image bearers on the earth.
* We believe that our first parents sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring human image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (e.g. reasoning, desires, and emotions).
* We believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishments of hell. We also believe that God in His unparalleled love and mercy has chosen to elect some people for salvation.
* We believe that the salvation of the elect was predestined by God in eternity past.
* We believe that the salvation of the elect was accomplished by the sinless life, substitutionary atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins.
* We believe that the salvation of the elect by God’s grace alone shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.
* We believe that God’s saving grace is ultimately irresistible and that God does soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to His will.
* We believe that the gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people so that all who believe may be saved through the preaching of God’s Word by the power of God’s Spirit.
* We believe that true Christians born again of God’s Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church, and love of lost neighbors in the culture.
* We believe that God is Lord over all of life and that there is nothing in life that is to be separated from God.
* We believe that the worship of God is the end for which people were created and that abiding joy is only to be found by delighting in God through all of life, including hardship and death which is gain.

What does Church Reviews not believe:

To help clarify our beliefs we believe it may also be helpful to declare what we do notbelieve. In stating what we are not, we do not seek to attack those who disagree with us, but rather distinguish ourselves so that people may be aware of our bias, who we are, as well as who we are not.

* We are not liberals who embrace culture without discernment and compromise the distinctives of the gospel, but rather Christians who believe the truths of the Bible are eternal and therefore fitting for every time, place, and people.
* We are not fundamentalists who retreat from cultural involvement and transformation, but rather missionaries faithful both to the content of Scripture and context of ministry.
* We are not isolationists and seek to partner with like-minded Christians from various churches, denominations and organizations in planting church-planting churches.
* We are not hyper-Calvinists who get mired down in secondary matters, but rather pray, evangelize, and do good works because we believe that the sovereign plan of God is accomplished through us, His people.
* We are not eschatological Theonomists or Classic Dispensationalists (e.g. Scofield) and believe that divisive and dogmatic certainty surrounding particular details of Jesus Second Coming are unprofitable speculation, because the timing and exact details of His return are unclear to us.
* We are not egalitarians and do believe that men should head their homes and male elders should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ.
* We are not Open Theists and believe in the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God in all things.
* We are not religious relativists and do believe that there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
* We are not nationalists seeking to simply improve one nation but instead ambassadors of the King of Kings commissioned to proclaim and demonstrate the coming of His kingdom to all nations of the earth.
* We are not moralists seeking to help people live good lives, but instead evangelists laboring that people would become new creations in Christ.
* We are not relativists and do gladly embrace Scripture as our highest authority above such things as culture, experience, philosophy, and other forms of revelation.
* We are not Universalists and do believe that many people will spend eternity in the torments of hell as the Bible teaches.
* We are not naturalists and do believe that Satan and demons are real enemies at work in this world and subject to God.
* We are not rationalists and do believe that not everything can be known but that God calls us to live by faith with mystery and partial knowledge regarding many things.
* We are not evangelical feminists and do believe that God reveals Himself as a Father and is to be honored by the names He reveals to us without apology.
* We are not embarrassed by the bloody death of Jesus Christ and do believe He died as a substitute for the sins of His people in selfless love.
* We are not ashamed and do proclaim a loving gospel of grace which sounds like foolishness and offensiveness to the unrepentant while also saving multitudes with ears to hear good news.
* We are not polemicists who believe that it is our task to combat every false teaching but are passionate about preserving the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What authors do our reviewers tend to appreciate? :

* One way to better understand our beliefs is to also consider some of the authors which many of our reviewers appreciate. Among the older authors are such men as Augustine, John Calvin, Martin Luther, the Puritans, Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards. Contemporary authors include such men as John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Tim Keller, Lesslie Newbigin, Rick Mckinley, Mark Driscoll, and David Bosch.

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