Christian Fundamentals (Mennonite Church, 1921)
In recent years conditions in the realm of Christian activity and doctrine are such that the Church must place a distinct emphasis on the principles of the Christian faith and Christian living. Particular doctrines of the Church have been attacked and there has been much compromising with the world on matters of Christian living.
Because of these conditions the Mennonite General Conference in session at Garden City, Missouri, August 24-26, 1921, gave expression to the faith of the Church in relation to these conditions in a statement of doctrine pertaining to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. This statement does not supersede the eighteen articles of the Dort Confession, which the Church still confesses and teaches. It is rather a restatement of that confession in the light of present religious contentions and teachings. It gives expression to some of the doctrines and practices of the early Church which at that time were not a matter of difference, but have since the time of the Dort Confession been questioned or denied by many church organizations. For the sake of preserving the faith and teaching the Gospel as given by Christ and His apostles the Church has confessed in this formal manner her faith in and practice of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
- 1 Article I. Of the Word of God.
- 2 Article II. Of the Existence and Nature of God.
- 3 Article III. Of the Creation.
- 4 Article IV. Of the Fall of Man.
- 5 Article V. Of Jesus Christ.
- 6 Article VI. Of Salvation.
- 7 Article VII. Of the Holy Spirit.
- 8 Article VIII. Of Assurance.
- 9 Article IX. Of the Church.
- 10 Article X. Of Separation.
- 11 Article XI. Of Discipline.
- 12 Article XII. Of Ordinances.
- 13 Article XIII. Of Restrictions.
- 14 Article XIV. Of Apostasy.
- 15 Article XV. Of the Resurrection.
- 16 Article XVI. Of the Coming of Christ.
- 17 Article XVII. Of the Intermediate State.
- 18 Article XVIII. Of the Final State.
- 19 Bibliography
Article I. Of the Word of God.
We believe in the plenary and verbal inspiration of the Bible as the Word of God; that it is authentic in its matter, authoritative in its counsels, inerrant in the original writings, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Exodus 4:12; 2 Samuel 23:2; Psalms 12:6; Psalms 119:160; Jeremiah 1:9; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.
Article II. Of the Existence and Nature of God.
We believe that there is but one God, eternal, infinite, perfect, and unchangeable. Who exists and reveals Himself in three persons -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Genesis 17:1; Psalm 147:5; Psalms 139:7-12;. Isaiah 40:28; Isaiah 57:15, Malachi 3:6; Genesis 1:2, 18; Hebrews 1:8
Article III. Of the Creation.
We believe that the Genesis account of the Creation is an historic fact and literally true. Genesis 1:1, 21, 27; Exodus 20:11; Mark 10:6-9; Hebrews 1:10; Hebrews 4:4; Hebrews 11:13.
Article IV. Of the Fall of Man.
We believe that man was created by an immediate act of God, in His own image and after His likeness; that by one act of disobedience he became sinful in his nature, spiritually dead, subject to physical death and to the power of the devil, from which fallen condition he was unable to save himself. Genesis 1:26, 27; Genesis 2:7, 16, 17; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12; John 6:44; Romans 5:6
Article V. Of Jesus Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin -- the perfect God-man; that He was without sin, the divinely appointed substitute and representative of sinful man, paying the penalty for man's sins by His death on the cross, making the only adequate atonement for sin by the shedding of His blood, thus reconciling man to God; that He was raised from the dead, ascended to glory, and "ever liveth to make intercession for us." John 1:1, 14, 18; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 13:8; Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:20-25; Isaiah 53:5,6; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 21; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:22, 24; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8-10; Matthew 28:6; Acts 3:24; Acts 10:39-41; Acts 17:31; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Acts 1:11; Ephesians 1:19, 20; Revelation 1:18,: Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 6:20; 1 John 2:1, 2; Hebrews 7:25.
Article VI. Of Salvation.
We believe that man is saved alone by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ; that he is justified from all things on the ground of his shed blood; that through the new birth he becomes a child of God, partaker of eternal life and blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:20-26; Acts 13:38, 39; John 1:12, 13; John 3:4, 8, 16; John 5:24; Ephesians 1:3.
Article VII. Of the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit; that He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He indwells and comforts the believer, guides him into all truth, empowers for service and enables him to live a life of righteousness. Acts 5:3 4; 2 Corinthians 3:3, 17; John 16:7, 8, 13; 1 Corinthians 3: 16; Galatians 4:6; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:1-4.
Article VIII. Of Assurance.
We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to know that they have passed from death unto life; that God is able to keep them from falling, but that the obedience of faith is essential to the maintenance of one's salvation and growth in grace. 1 John 3:14; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Jude 24, 25; Romans 16:25, 20; Romans 1:5; Galatians 3:11; John 8:31, 32; 2 Peter 1:5-11.
Article IX. Of the Church.
We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, composed of all those who through repentance toward God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, have been born again and were baptized by one Spirit into one body, and that it is her divinely appointed mission to preach the Gospel to every creature, teaching obedience to all His commandments. Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18; Acts 20:21; Luke 24:47; Acts 17:30; Acts 16:31; Galatians 3:26; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8.
Article X. Of Separation.
We believe that we are called with a holy calling to a life of separation from the world and its follies, sinful practices and methods; further that it is the duty of the Church to keep herself aloof from all movements which seek the reformation of society independent of the merits of the death of Christ and the experience of the new birth. 1 Peter 2:9; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Romans 12:1, 2; Ephesians 5:11; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:3, 6, 7.
Article XI. Of Discipline.
We believe that the Lord has vested the Church with authority in accordance with Scriptural teaching: (1) to choose officials, (2) to regulate the observance of ordinances, (3) to exercise wholesome discipline, and (4) to organize and conduct her work in a manner consistent with her high calling and essential to her highest efficiency. Acts 6:1-6; Acts 13:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5-9; Titus 2:15; Matthew 28:19, 20; Matthew 18:15-18; Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 14:21-23; Acts 2:15.
Article XII. Of Ordinances.
We believe that Christian baptism should be administered upon confession of faith; that the Lord's Supper should be observed as a memorial of His death by those of like precious faith who have peace with God; that feetwashing as an ordinance should be literally observed by all believers; that Christian women praying or prophesying should have their heads covered; that the salutation of the holy kiss should be duly and appropriately observed by all believers; that anointing with oil should be administered to the sick who call for it in faith; that marriage between one man and one woman is a divine institution dissoluble only by death, that on the part of a Christian it should be "only in the Lord" and that consistency requires that the marriage relation be entered only by those of like precious faith. Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11 :23-28; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8; John 13:1-7; 1 Corinthians 11 :2-16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; James 5:14-16; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Amos 3:3.
Article XIII. Of Restrictions.
We believe that all Christians should honor, pray for, pay tribute to, and obey in all things those who are in authority in state and nation provided however, that should instances arise in which such obedience would violate the higher law of God "we ought to obey God rather than man," that Church and State are separate, and while believers are to be subject to, they are not a part of the civil, administrative powers; that it is contrary to the teachings of Christ and the apostles to engage in carnal warfare; that Christians should "adorn themselves in modest apparel, not with broidered hair or gold or pearls or costly array;" that the swearing of oaths is forbidden in the New Testament Scriptures; that secret orders are antagonistic to the tenor and spirit of the Gospel; and that life insurance is inconsistent with filial trust in the providence and care of our heavenly Father. 1 Peter 2:13, 14, 17; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1, 2; Acts 5:29; Matthew 22:21; Mark 10:42-44; John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Timothy 2:9, 10; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Matthew 5:34-37; James 5:12; John 18:20; Ephesians 5:11, 12; 1 John 3:17; Galatians 6:10; Jeremiah 49:11 ; Ephesians 1 :22, 23.
Article XIV. Of Apostasy.
We believe that the latter days will be characterized by general lawlessness and departure from the faith; that on the part of the world "iniquity shall abound" and "evil men shall wax worse and worse"; that on the part of the Church there will be a falling away and "the love of many shall wax cold;" that false teachers shall abound, both deceiving and being deceived; and further, that present conditions indicate that we are now living in these perilous times. 1 Timothy 4:1, 2; Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13; 2 Peter 2:1, 2, 10; Matthew 24:11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
Article XV. Of the Resurrection.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and in the bodily resurrection of all men, both of the just and the unjust -- of the just to the resurrection of life, and of the unjust to the resurrection of condemnation. John 20:20, 24-29; Luke 24:30, 31; 1 Corinthians 15: 42-44; Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-23.
Article XVI. Of the Coming of Christ.
We believe in the personal, imminent coming of our Lord as the blessed hope of the believer, that we who are alive and remain, together with the dead in Christ who will be raised, shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and thus ever be with the Lord. John 14:2,3; Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:44; Hebrew 10:37; Titus 2:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Article XVII. Of the Intermediate State.
We believe that in the interval between death and resurrection, the righteous will be with Christ in a state of conscious bliss and comfort, but that the wicked will be in a place of torment, in a state of conscious suffering and despair. Luke 16:19-31; Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; 2 Peter 2:9 (R.V.).
Article XVIII. Of the Final State.
We believe that hell is the place of torment, prepared for the devil and his angels, where with them the wicked will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire forever and ever and that heaven is the final abode of the righteous, where they will dwell in the fullness of joy forever and ever. Matthew 25:41, 46; Jude 7; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 21:3-8; Revelation 22:1-5.
"Christian fundamentals," Mennonite Confession of Faith: containing the Confession of Faith adopted at Dortrecht, Holland, in 1632, with the reference texts printed in full [...] A statement of Christian fundamentals adopted by the Mennonite General Conference at Garden City, Missouri, in 1921, S.F. Coffman, editor Scottdale, Pa. : Mennonite Publishing House, 1930: 58-64.