BELIEFS ON CULTURAL ISSUES
A. Concerning the Sanctity of Human Life (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 16-18; 3:6; Exodus 23:7; Leviticus 19:32; Deuteronomy 32:39; I Kings 2:1-2; Job 3:16; 12:12; Psalm 51:5; 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 5:21; Luke 1:44; Romans 1:28-32; 5:12; I Timothy 5:1-2; Hebrews 9:27).
1. We believe that human beings are unique in that they were originally created in the image of God and received their breath of life directly from God; therefore, all human life, regardless of its quality, is sacred.
2. We believe that human life begins at the moment of conception, that an unborn child is a living human being, and that abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn life and is therefore murder in the eyes of God. Therefore, we reject any law or teaching advocating abortions of pregnancies at any point, by any means, and for any reason including, but not limited to, rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth control, population control, or the physical or mental wellbeing of the mother.
3. We believe that life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death; that the direct taking of an innocent human life by way of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, suicide, assisted suicide, and other similar acts are acts of murder, regardless of the intention, and are therefore moral evils that violate the will of God. Thus, we believe that an act of omission or commission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes murder which is contrary to the will of God
4. We believe that, due to the hereditary effect of Adam’s sin on all of mankind, physical death is inevitable. Thus, we believe that discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate
B. Concerning Human Sexuality (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-24; 19:4-7; Leviticus 18:1-30; Matthew 19:3-6; Romans 1:18-32; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 5:3-7; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15; 3:2, 12; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:7-8).
1. We believe that God created mankind male and female with the command and purpose to be fruitful, to multiply, and replenish the earth.
2. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate functions for men and women in the home and in the church; that the husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for ordination by the church.
3. We believe that God has provided for and limited intimate sexual relations exclusively between one man and one woman within the bond of marriage.
4. We believe that all sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage, including homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and others alluded to in the Scriptures are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex
5. We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female; that these two-distinct, complimentary genders together reflect the image and nature of God; and that the rejection of one’s biological gender is a rejection of the image of God within that person
6. We believe that acts such as gender modification, through medical procedures or by appearance, and participation in the sexual degradation of others through pornography defile God’s human creation, are attacks against the family unit, are against the will of God, and are therefore sinful.
C. Concerning Marriage and Family (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:23-24; 33:5; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 78:1-8; 127:3-5; 128:1-6; Proverbs 19:18; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 19:3-12; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7).
1. We believe that God ordained marriage exclusively as the joining of one man and one woman, and that by marriage they become one flesh in the eyes of God.
2. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundation of human society, that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, and that the wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as unto the Lord.
3. We believe that children are the natural fruit of God’s design for marriage; that children are a heritage of the Lord, to be taught spiritual and moral values by their parents, who are to lead them through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate loving discipline including Scriptural corporal correction; and that children are to honor their parents and obey them in the Lord
4. We believe that God strongly disapproves of divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies, and that divorce and remarriage is forbidden in the Scriptures except on grounds of fornication.
We believe that those who have been divorced or
divorced and remarried may hold positions of service in the church and be used
of God for Christian service, but should not be considered to fill the offices
of Pastor or Deacon.
D. Concerning Current Theological Trends (II Chronicles 19:2; Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; Luke 6:26; Acts 19:8-9; Romans 16:17-18; I Corinthians 12:7; 15:33; II Corinthians 6:14-18; 11:1-4; 12:7-10; Galatians 1:6-9; Philippians 1:26-30; Colossians 2:8; II Thessalonians 3:6-8, 14; I Timothy 1:18-20; II Timothy 2:15-18; 3:1-5, 16-17; 4:3; Titus 3:10-11; II Peter 2:1-3; 3:16-17; I John 4:1-6; II John 9-11; Revelation 2:2, 14-16; 22:18-19).
1. We believe that any theological trend that promotes the yoking of Believers and local churches with unbelievers for any reason, including those which are evangelistic and philanthropic, violates the Scriptural mandates for personal and ecclesiastical separation and contributes to the establishment of the prophesied apostate church referred to in the Holy Scriptures as “the great whore” which will exist during the coming seven-year period of tribulation.
2. We believe that any theological trend that discredits the final authority of the Holy Scriptures in the least, infringes on the autonomy of local churches, supplants the priority of evangelism, undermines the fundamental tenets of our faith, perverts the Gospel of Christ, requires doctrinal compromise for the sake of unity, or encourages worldly practices and carnal lifestyles should be avoided by Believers and churches.
3. We believe the following current theological trends should be avoided for the reasons given:
a. Denominationalism infringes on the autonomy of local churches and tends toward doctrinal compromise for the sake of unity.
b. Liberalism and Modernism attempt to incorporate modern thinking, cultural changes, and scientific developments into the Christian Faith and tends to emphasize reasoned ethics over biblical doctrines and personal experiences over Scriptural authority.
c. Neo Orthodoxy rejects the text and words of the Holy Scriptures as the inspired Word of God, views them as nothing more than an inspired witness, and stresses the subjective experiences of the individual over the propositional truths of the Scriptures.
d. Ecumenicalism and New Evangelicalism, seeking to unite all faiths into a world-wide church, sacrifices the standards of morality among Believers and in local churches, and helps lay the groundwork for the prophesied apostate one world church of the coming tribulation.
e. Charismaticism emphasizes human experiences over Scriptural doctrines, adds to the revelation of God by the exercise of misunderstood spiritual gifts, edifies individuals within the church instead of the entire church body, and promotes spiritual superiority and inferiority among Believers.
f. Prosperity Theology falsely emphasizes physical and material wellbeing as evidence of God’s favor and personal spirituality.
E. Concerning Lawsuits (Matthew 18:15-17; I Corinthians 6:1-8; 9:11-12; Ephesians 4:31-32).
1. We believe that Believers should seek to personally resolve their disputes with churches and other professing Believers outside of the secular legal system.
2. We believe that each local church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between their members and that their members should submit themselves to the judgment of their church.
3. We believe that if a member of a local church refuses to submit to the judgment of their church in settling a dispute with their church or another member of their church, that member may then be dealt with in the secular legal system.
4. We believe that Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ may seek just compensation from insurance companies, including those representing Believers and churches, if their claims are not pursued with malice, slander, or for excessive compensation.
5. We believe that Believers have the right to forfeit their rights for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and the furtherance of His Gospel.
F. Concerning Human Governments (Genesis 9:5-6; Acts 5:27-29; 16:22-24, 37-38; 22:24-29; 25:6-12; 28:19; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:12-15; 3:13-17).
1. We believe that the institution of human government is ordained by God
2. We believe that God ordained human governments to promote the general welfare of their constituents by praising those who do well and punishing those who do evil.
3. We believe that God has given human governments the right and responsibility to exercise capital punishment to protect their constituents from those who seek their harm.
4. We believe that Believers are to pray for their governments, support their governments, and submit to their governments except in cases where their governments require them to disobey their God.
5. We believe that Believers have the right to exercise the rights and privileges granted to them by their governments, but that they may also choose to forfeit those rights.
G. Concerning Love (Leviticus19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31-36; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10, 17-21; 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-14; II Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; I John 3:18).
1. We believe that Believers should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow Believers, but also toward those who are not Believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions.
2. We believe that as Believers, we are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly; that God forbids us to stir up strife, take revenge, or threaten the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflicts or obtaining personal justice.3. We believe that as Believers, we are commanded by God to abhor sinful actions, but also to love and pray for those engaged in sinful actions.
H. Concerning Missions (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 9:20-22; II Corinthians 5:20)1. We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.2. We believe that as ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means that do not violate the Holy Scripture to go to foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us.
1. We believe that every Believer, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church.2. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Believer should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of his local church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel of Christ.
3. We believe that a believer relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made to his local church.