Section 1 – Membership
Anyone desiring to become a member of this Church may do so freely by requesting such from the pastor(s) or board. See Article VIII for details.
Section 2 – Personal Separation
This Church believes that true born-again children of God are to separate themselves from sin as the Lord illuminates the heart through His Word. This is clearly commanded in such passages of Scripture as Rom. 6:11-22; Eph. 5:3-14; Col. 3:5-10 and I John 2:1, 2. One sin removes us from fellowship with Christ, but that sin does not remove us from relationship. Confession of and forsaking of that sin restores us to fellowship (Prov. 28:13; I John 1:9).
Section 3 – Ecclesiastical Separation
This Church believes that in order to be obedient to the Lord, this Church must separate itself from any form of apostasy in worship or service. Therefore, this Church will remain apart from all churches, organizations, movements, and agencies that are connected with the World Council of Churches (WCC), National Council of Churches (NCC), the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), or any other similar organizations, agencies or movements. This Church will not cooperate with any form of New Evangelicalism, Pseudo-Fundamentalism, false cult, or religion (Rom. 16:17-18; II Cor. 6:14 – 7:1; I Tim. 6:3-5; II Thess. 3:14-15).
Beginning in 1948, a subtle movement called New Evangelicalism entered the church and began to undermine Biblical Fundamentalism. New Evangelicalism destroys the purity of the Word of God, the church, and evangelism by perverting the biblical doctrine of separation. New Evangelicalism uses worldly methods to evangelize the lost, and by this philosophy, it creates compromise in the worship of God and service to God. As a result of New Evangelicalism’s influence, major doctrines of the Word have been called into question or adulterated. The father of New Evangelicalism was Reverend Harold J. Ockenga. One of the major twenty-first century spokesmen for the philosophy is Dr. Billy Graham, and the publication that has promoted and continues to promote the philosophy is Christianity Today. This Church believes New Evangelicalism’s philosophy currently displays many pragmatic overtones, including the view that the end justifies the means. The goal is the salvation of souls, but the method of winning those souls involves practices that are contrary to biblical principles. Among the principles compromised is a Biblically based, high view of God’s holiness. For example, New Evangelicals have assisted in evangelistic campaigns that feature leaders and people from churches united with the WCC, NCC, and NAE. Furthermore, beginning in the l960’s, New Evangelicals began using music not glorifying to God in an attempt to communicate God’s message for evangelistic purposes. Often, to advance their evangelistic cause, New Evangelicals have associated themselves with well-known public figures who have professed to accept Christ but do not follow the biblical doctrines of ecclesiastical and/or personal separation. The result of these New Evangelical methods is that many new believers will not be “complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:17). The New Evangelical movement has permeated every area of Christian service, including mission boards, mass-media ministries, music, bookstores, publishing houses, and religious educational institutions.
In the 1970’s, Pseudo-fundamentalism emerged as a movement even more subtle than New Evangelicalism, because its proponents desired to be recognized within the framework of Biblical Fundamentalism. In reality, however, Pseudo-Fundamentalists endorse the same philosophy as that of New Evangelicals. Because of this error, this Church will not support, cooperate, or otherwise associate with this movement (II Cor. 6:14 – 7:1; II Thess. 3:6-15).
Section 4 – Women in the Local Church
Views regarding the position of women are extreme and range from those that permit women to serve as preachers to those that hold that women should never speak in church. This Church believes both extremes are in error.
This Church believes that Scripture teaches that women are never to teach men regarding scriptural matters, nor are they to usurp authority over men during official church services, Bible studies, social events, or business gatherings, including leadership meetings and congregational meetings. In I Timothy 2:11-15, the word silence refers to learning, teaching and authority. This Church also believes women should not serve as pastors, elders or deacons in this Church’s leadership (I Tim. 2:11-15; 3:1, 2, 11; Titus 1:5, 6, 9).
Section 5 – Homosexuality and Its Lifestyle
Homosexuality exists because humanity has turned its back upon God; consequently, God has turned homosexuals over to the results of their choices (Rom. 1:21-28). The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality as sin whether it is practiced by men or by women.
God declared that the homosexual lifestyle of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah was a very grievous sin (Gen. 18:20). The actions of the men of that city, both old and young, who were involved in this sin are described clearly in Genesis 19.
Their intent was to have a homosexual relationship with the two angels who had appeared there as men (v.5). Lot referred to their desire as a wicked act (v.7). Ultimately, the Lord judged their sin with blindness and with the subsequent destruction of their cities (vv. 11, 24, 25).
God calls homosexuality an abomination: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22). Furthermore, God demonstrated His view of homosexuality by establishing godly kings of the Old Testament to judge it. For example, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Josiah judged this sin (I Kings 15:22; 22:46; II Kings 23:7).
God’s Word clearly states that homosexuality has no societal or age barriers (Gen. 19:4). Those who practice this sin as a lifestyle cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9; I John 3:9). God also clearly establishes that He loves all of mankind (John 3;16). If a homosexual repents and receives Jesus, He will forgive him (Luke 13:3; Eph. 1:7). In addition, God will give him the power to live a life in harmony with His will (II Pet. 1:3, 4).
God has given this Church clear instruction concerning His view of homosexuality. As a result, this Church will not tolerate same-sex relationships, the adoption of children by homosexuals, or in vitro fertilization of lesbians in any part of this Church’s organization, including its leadership, membership, staff, and students, any of whom will be subject to church discipline, expulsion, or termination if found to be involved in these practices. This Church will not allow a professing and/or practicing homosexual to become a member of this Church or retain church membership.
Section 6 – Translation Controversy
This Church affirms that the 66 canonical books of the Bible are verbally inspired as found in their original autographs (II Tim. 3:16). Good Bible translations faithfully reflect the autographs by consistently rendering the original languages literally, unless an accurate understanding of the meaning of a text demands otherwise. This Church will always require that the translation it uses in all of its ministries meets these requirements. Bible translations that accurately reflect the originals derive their authority from their autographs, so that a good translation of the Bible can confidently be called the Word of God. This Church rejects all translations that reflect theological liberalism, paraphrasing of the text, or political agendas (for example, gender neutrality).
While this Church values the King James Version as a good translation, this Church would not subscribe to or permit the propagation of the “King James Only” view (whether in reference to the English translations or manuscripts from which they have been derived).
Section 7 – Marriage and Divorce
This Church recognizes that the God-ordained institution of marriage is between one man and one woman. The following are some examples of scriptural support for this belief:
The beginning of the institution of marriage between one man and one woman is presented in Genesis 2:18-25; and
The duration of the marriage relationship is until death (Rom. 7:2).
The purpose of the marriage institution is manifold in nature:
To reflect the relationship between Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:22-23);
To enjoy companionship (Mal. 2:14);
To enjoy the fulfillment of a love relationship between a husband (man) and a wife (woman) (Prov. 5:18, 19; I Cor. 7:1-9; Heb. 13:4);
To be the means of procreation for the human race (Gen. 1:27-28);
To reject the practice of fornication, for example, premarital sex (I Cor. 7:1-9; I Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4), incest (I Cor. 5:2-23), same-sex relationships (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:21), or any other unbiblical perversion of sex (Lev. 18); and
To rear children with a proper biblical foundation, with the goal of their salvation, discipleship, church membership, and service, and with the goal that they in turn would be able to build on this foundation for their own future marriages and families (Deut. 6:6,7; Eph. 6:4; II Tim. 3:13-17).
This Church stands opposed unequivocally to couples living together, to same-sex relationships, to common-law relationships, and to any other perversions (as determined by the Board according to Scripture) of the biblical institution of marriage. Therefore, this Church will not allow those involved in such relationships to join or retain membership (see Article VIII). We believe that marriage is set forth as a permanent, binding covenant between two believers and God. In light of this, God hates divorce and desires that the marriage bond He created be preserved (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:16). However, that is not to say that God never permits divorce (Matt. 19:8). This Church believes that two circumstances exist in which God permits divorce: the abandonment of a saved spouse by an unsaved spouse (I Cor. 7:15), and fornication (Matt. 19:9).
This Church also holds that, while not specifically addressed in Scripture, remarriage is not expressly forbidden in cases involving biblically qualified believers (the “innocent” parties in the above two cases). Yet, because remarriage in such circumstances would necessitate public disclosure of sensitive, personal information to ascertain qualification, no pastor from this Church will remarry divorcees. In addition, because both the Old and New Testaments hold high standards for spiritual leaders, this Church will not permit divorcees or those married to divorcees in roles as deacons, elders, or pastors. Church leaders are to be “blameless” (I Tim. 3:1).
Section 8 – Proper Biblical Interpretive Methods
Recognizing that evangelical Christianity is divided severely because of improper man-made biblical interpretive methods, this Church, through all of its instructional ministries, will hold to a consistent practice of the following methods of interpretation of God’s Holy Word:
Literal interpretation means all Scripture shall be interpreted literally unless the context indicates the presence of symbolism (for example, Rev. 12) or allegory (for example, Gal. 4:21-31).
Grammatical interpretation means that the Bible must be interpreted in light of the meaning of the original biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Consideration must be given to meanings of words, their grammatical use and syntax, and their use within a particular context of Scripture.
Historical/cultural interpretation means the original historical/cultural setting must be considered to discern the meaning of Scripture as intended for the original recipients of revelation.
Dispensational interpretation means that God chose to divide Time into segments, during which He gives His people divine revelation that they are to obey and keep as stewards or managers. If they disobey such revelation, as did the Jews when they rejected the stewardship of law by rejecting their Messiah, the Lord ends the dispensation with some form of judgment and begins another stewardship. As a result, this Church perceives a distinction between Israel and the church. This Church recognizes that God’s revelation to men has been progressive within the context of dispensational change. This Church rejects the non-dispensational viewpoint of Scripture as well as ultra-dispensationalism – a view which rejects the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Table.
Consistent Interpretation means that, regardless of the passage of Scripture, all biblical interpretation in all instructional areas within this Church’s ministries shall be undertaken in accordance with this tenet.
Section 9 – Music
This Church believes that the ultimate goal of a true believer in Jesus Christ is to glorify God; all musicians shall desire this goal for their own lives and music ministry (I Cor. 10:31, 32).
This Church believes that music is the result or natural outflow of a Holy Spirit-controlled life (Eph. 5:18, 19) and of a proper understanding of the Word of God and its application to life (Col. 3:15); all Church musicians should demonstrate by their attitudes and manner of life that they are spirit-controlled people who understand and love the Word of God.
This Church believes that a satanic system exists and is known as the “world” in which the believer lives, and that this system is made up of Satan, demons and unregenerate men (John 3:16; II Cor. 4:3-4; I John 2:15-17), and since this Church believes that such a system has generated and is generating music not in keeping with the governing principles of this tenet, this Church will not use the style of music generated by the world system where that style violates the principles of this tenet.
This Church believes that God-honoring music is comprised of harmony, melody, and rhythm, all in proper proportions. This Church will use a governing principle of balance in combination with the principles of this tenet when selecting music for worship.
While this Church recognizes common grace in man’s ability to compose beautiful and orderly music, this Church believes that the music used to worship God must bring glory, praise and honor to God and be used to edify God’s people. Hence, this Church rejects the world’s music objectives (for example, the objective of entertainment).
This Church believes that many contemporary composers and musicians either are ignorant of or are disobedient to these governing principles. This Church will not use worldly music of any age, will not allow such musicians to minister here in person in its facilities, and will not permit their recordings to be used in this Church nor offer them for sale within this Church.
For a definition of this Church’s music committee, see Article IX, Section 3.