Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches Articles of Faith (1950)
Articles of Faith
We believe that all Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is the only inerrant inspired Word of God, written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). It reveals the will of God to man (1 Corinthians 2:9-12). It is the truth (John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:15). The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:15), and all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is the guide to eternal bliss (Titus 3:4–7; Galatians 4:7). God We believe in only one living and true God as the infinite, perfect, and eternal Spirit, in whom all things have their source, support, and end (Isaiah 45:21; Ephesians 4:6; Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:28; Hebrews 11:3; Luke 24:39; Colossians 1:15; Psalms 90:2; 1 Timothy 6:16).
We believe in God as omniscient (Hebrews 4:13; Acts 15:18); omnipresent (Psalms 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24; Amos 9:2-3); omnipotent (Jeremiah 10:12-13; Genesis 1:1, 26, Genesis 35:11); Creator (Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1-3); Sustainer (Colossians 1:15-17; Psalms 75:6-7; 104:27-30; Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 10:29-30; Genesis 39:21; Genesis 50:20; Daniel 1:9); immutable in His being, holiness, justice, love, and truth (Malachai 3:6; Isaiah 6:3; 1 John 4:8; James 1:17); eternal (Psalms 90:2; Psalms 102:24-27; Hebrews 1:12).
Though God is a Spirit (John 4:24), yet Scripture very definitely teaches God as a personality (Exodus 3:14; Genesis 22:13-14; Psalms 23:1; John 17; Acts 14:15; Job 1:12; Genesis 3:8-9, 11, 13, 14; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Psalms 94:9-10; Genesis 6:6; John 3:16; Revelation 3:19 f; Genesis 1:1,26) Jesus Christ We believe in Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God. The Son is from eternity the only begotten of the Father. Being conceived of the Holy Spirit He was born man of the virgin Mary (John 3:16; Hebrews 1:5-10; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18-25), in order to fulfill the purpose of God from the foundation of the world to redeem us from eternal curse and bring about our eternal salvation by making full atonement for our sins through His vicarious suffering and death on the cross of Calvary (John 1:14, 29; Mark 10:45; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 Peter 1:18-29; Isaiah 53: 4-6). He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh (Hebrews 2:14), thus being true God and also perfect man (1 John 3:5; 1 Timothy 2:5), being made in all things like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
He rose triumphantly from the grave the third day and ascended into heaven, and is now at the right hand of God interceding in our behalf; from whence He shall come again in visible form to judge the living and the dead and to establish His rule as Lord of lords and King of kings (John 20-21; Acts 1:9-11; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:15; John 5:22-29; Matthew 25:31 ff). The Holy Spirit We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead and proceedeth from the Father through the Son (John 15:26). He took part in the creation of the universe (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Psalms 33:6). He directed God’s servants in revealing the will of God to mankind (1 Peter 1:10-11). He is the author of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 2-3). At Pentecost He was poured out upon all man (Acts 2:17-18). In this age of grace He reproves the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11). He restrains the progress of evil until God's purposes are accomplished (2 Thessalonians 2:7). He regenerates the penitent soul (John 3:3, 5), lives in the body of the believer, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19), gives the believer the assurance of salvation (Romans 8:16), comforts, (John 14:16-17), teaches, and brings to his remembrance the proper Scripture verses in witnessing (John 14:26); and guides the believer into all truth (John 16:13). He will sanctify the believer (2 Thessalonians 2:13), and empower him for life and service (Ephesians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4), and will quicken his mortal body (Romans 8:11). Trinity We believe, though inscrutable yet not self-contradictory, in the unity of the Godhead, commonly known as the Trinity. This Trinity is made up of three distinct persons; namely, God the Father (Romans 1:7); God the Son (Hebrews 1:18); God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). These three, though one in essence, i.e. equal in their divine perfection, yet individual in personality, perform different but harmonious offices in the great plan of redemption (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; John 10:30; John 15:26; John 16:14)
God, who is one with respect to His essence, is three with respect to the modes or distinctions of His being.
"The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead invisible (John 1:18); the Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested (John 1:14-18); the Spirit is all the fullness of the Godhead acting immediately upon the creature" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10) (Broadman) Satan We believe that Satan is a real supernatural personality, a fallen angel of great power, cunning, and wicked, the enemy of God and of all good, seeking the destruction of Christ and the eternal ruin of every soul (Mark 1:13; John 13:2; Matthew 13:19, 39); but is limited in the scope of his power by God (Job 1:12; Job 2:1-6; Luke 22:31f; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Satan introduced sin into this world, when he by his subtlety brought about the transgression and fall of our first parents (Genesis 3:1–15). Since then he and the host of fallen angels and evil spirits under his control dominate the present world system deceiving mankind, obstructing the course of the Gospel, blinding the minds of the unbelieving (Ephesians 6:11-12; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19 R.V.).
Scripture describes his work and character by names such as: “a murderer from the beginning”, “a liar and the father of lies”, “the accuser of our brethren,” “the devil,” “the adversary,” “the evil one,” “the prince of the power of the air,” “the god of this world.”
His present abode is “in the air,” “in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 R.V.); yet the earth is the special field of his awful activity, where he works disguised as an angel of light or roams about as a roaring lion (2 Corinthians 11:14f; 1 Peter 5:8).
Christ by His death on the cross defeated and judged Satan and stripped him of his power over death (Col. 2:15; John 12:31; 16:11; Heb. 2:14; I Cor. 15:54–56) and secured victory for the believer over all the wiles of the devil (1 John 4:4; Ephesians 6:11-13; 1 John 5:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:57; James 4:7).
He is doomed first to be cast from his present abode, then at Christ’s second coming to be bound a thousand years, and finally to be cast into the lake of fire where he and his angels shall be tormented forever and ever (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10). Angels We believe in the existence of a higher order of created, yet spiritual beings between God and man frequently known as ministering spirits, or messengers of God, but more frequently known as angels. These are superior to man but inferior to God (Matthew 13:41; 18:10; Mark 13:32; 1 Peter 3:22; Hebrews 12:22; Colossians 1:16; Psalms 104:4; John 5:4; 1 Corinthians 4:9).
Though “spirits,” yet they have appeared in visible form as ministers through whom God’s power was manifested (Judges 6:11-22; Luke 1:26; John 20:12; Isaiah 37:36; Revelation 20:2-10; Genesis 19:1-26; Hebrews 1:14).
Angels announced the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:28-35); an angel appeared to the shepherds (Luke 2:9-13); legions of angels were ready to help Jesus (Matthew 26:53); angels ministered to Jesus after His temptation (Matthew 4:11); an angel strengthened Him after the agony in Gethsemane (Luke 22:43); angels were associated with His resurrection (Matthew 28:2-7); attended His ascension (Acts 1:10-11); and will also be associated with His return (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7).
Angels assist God in executing judgments upon the earth (Isaiah 37:36; 2 Samuel 24:16-17; Genesis 19:13-15; Revelation 9:1-5; Revelation 19:17).
They are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14); they guard, defend, and deliver God's people (2 Kings 6:17; Psalms 34:7; Acts 5:19; Acts 12:7-11); cheer and strengthen them (Acts 5:19,20); guide the worker to the sinner (Acts 10:3); guard the children, beholding the face of the Father for them (Matthew 18:10); they are eyewitnesses of the church and the believer (1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Corinthians 4:9); and receive the departing saints (Luke 16:22). Anthropology - Man His Creation We believe that by an immediate act of God, man was created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27); possessing righteousness, holiness, and wisdom (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), for the purpose that man should be the object of His love, to praise and glorify Him (Ephesians 1:4-6), to replenish the earth with God-fearing people, and to subdue and have dominion over the earth and all animate creatures upon it (Genesis 1:26- 28; Genesis 9:1, 2). His Fall We believe that man was subjected to trial in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15-17), and voluntarily and consciously transgressed God’s command (Genesis 3:1-3,6), and so fell from his holy estate (Genesis 3:16-19; Genesis 2:16, 17). Thus man became alienated from God (Genesis 3:7-13; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21), and became physically, morally, and spiritually depraved (Romans 1:19-32). As a result of the fall sin was imputed upon the entire human race (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 2:14). Man’s heart, being desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9-10), leads to acts of sin in his life and finally to just condemnation (Romans 5:18). His Redemption We believe that God as the Sovereign Ruler must punish sin (Romans 6:23). Christ, the Son of God, voluntarily (John 10:17-18) offered Himself on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for sin, the just suffering for the unjust, bearing sin’s curse, and tasting death for every man (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:11-12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13). Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own stubborn will, his voluntary rejection of Jesus Christ as substitute for penalty (John 3:14-16; John 3:36; Acts 16:31). His Resurrection Every person will be raised up. The saved unto life everlasting; the unsaved to eternal condemnation (John 5:28, 29). Soteriology - Salvation Repentance We believe that repentance is a prerequisite to regeneration (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9). It manifests itself in the godly sorrow for sin, i.e., in the forsaking of sin and in turning to God (Isaiah 55:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:9). It is wrought by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. An illustration of pure repentance is found in the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24). True repentance, coupled with faith, will result in forgiveness of sins (Acts 3:19). Faith Faith is fundamental to salvation and Christian conduct (Gen. 15:6). “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Only faith in Jesus Christ and his work of atonement on the cross saves from eternal condemnation (John 1:12; John 3:16). Faith, being both the gift of God and act of man (Ephesians 2:8), is based on the Word of God (John 20:30-31), giving assent to the truth, embracing and appropriating Christ as his Lord and Saviour (John 20:25-29), and then worshiping Him (John 4:20-24). Regeneration Regeneration is the impartation of a new and divine life, a new creation; not the old nature altered or re-invigorated, but a new birth from above (John 3:3-8; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). A new governing power comes into the regenerated man's life, by which he is enabled to become holy in character and conduct: "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:11-12, 20). Justification As regeneration has to do with the change of the believer’s nature, so justification has to do with the change from guilt and condemnation to acquittal and acceptance. We have become justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24), and by the faith of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16; Romans 5:1). Therefore, being justified by faith, forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 1:7) is imparted to the believer, and he is fully restored to God’s favor and receives access to all of God’s graces (Romans 5:1-2). Adoption Regeneration begins a new life in the soul; justification deals with the new relationship of that soul to God; and adoption admits that soul into the family of God with filial joy. Adoption deals with the position the soul holds as a child of God. It is the present position of the believer (1 John 3:2; Galatians 3:26). The complete revelation of our position as a child of God is future (1 John 3:1-3; Colossians 3:3-4). Sanctification Sanctification has to do with our character and conduct in our Christian life. Justification is what God does for us, while sanctification is what God does in us. Sanctification exhibits the fruit of our relationship to God and manifests itself in a cordial love to the brethren and fellowmen (Galatians 5:22-23). Sanctification may be viewed as instantaneous, progressive, and complete. The believer is sanctified at the time of regeneration; that is, he is set aside for the service of God (1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10,14). The believer will mortify the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:1-9) and “put on the new man which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (Colossians 3:10-17; Ephesians 4:22-24), and God will sanctify him wholly unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23,24). Prayer Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath. It is the pouring out of the heart to God (Psalms 42:4; Psalms 62:8). It is God’s appointed method for man to obtain what He has to bestow (Matthew 7:7-11). It is but the natural way of a child to commune with his father. The possibility to communicate with God, our heavenly Father, was brought about through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22), and with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26) prayer is the means of appropriating the promises of the Bible. Ecclesiology - the Church The Church as an organism includes all regenerate believers gathered out of the world between the first and second advents of Christ, while as an organization it includes believers united for the service of Christ in any given assembly. The local visible church is an institution of divine appointment and is composed of professed, baptized believers in Christ; voluntarily joined together and meeting at stated times to worship, to fellowship, to observe ordinances, and when necessary to administer and accept discipline. Eschatology - the Last Things Second Coming of Christ We believe in the personal, visible, imminent, premillenial return of Christ (Acts 1:11; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 20:4-6). As the first coming covers a period of events, so also His second coming covers a period of events, such as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52), the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), the revelation of Christ at the end of the great tribulation period (Matthew 24:29-31), the Millennium Age (Revelation 20:1-9), and The Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:10-15). The day nor the hour of the beginning of Christ’s second coming no one knows (Matthew 24:36-42), but we can know when it is near at hand (1 Timothy 4:1:1–3; 2 Timothy 3:1–5; James 5:1:1–9; Matthew 24:24; 24:32:1-34). This hope of the Second Coming of Christ to receive His own (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) is a purifying element in the life of the believer (1 John 3:3), and a warning to the unbeliever (Matthew 24:42; 2 Peter 3:10).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust (John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:22) to receive the things done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12). The believer’s body shall be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Philippians 3:21), but there is no description of the body of the unbeliever.
Recompense of the Just and the Unjust
The believer's works will be judged according to his deeds here upon earth (1 Corinthians. 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12). He will receive rewards or crowns for his service (1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 3:11; 4:4). The unbeliever's wage for sin is death (Romans 6:23), and in the end will be judged according to his works (Revelation 20:11-15).
The Final State
a. The wicked after death will be in torment (Luke 16:23) until the final judgment at the Great White Throne when he will be eternally separated from God and cast into the lake of fire or more commonly known as everlasting hell (Matthew 25:41; John 3:36; Revelation 20:14-15). b. The final state of the believer is far better than this present life in the body (Philippians 1:23; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 14:13); his final and eternal home is in heaven, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22:5).
O That Will Be Glory
When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on the beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.- C. H. Gabriel
Ordinances and Practices
Ordinances Definition An ordinance is a symbolic observance which by the specific command of Christ is to be ministered in the church, thereby setting forth the central truths of the Christian faith. It is of a universal and perpetual obligation. Baptism Water baptism expresses the experience of regeneration and union with Christ (Acts 8:36-39); it is a public testimony of the inner experience preceding church membership (Acts 2:38, 41, 47; Mark 16:16); it is to be administered to believers only (Acts 8:37; 16:30-34; 18:8). Water baptism has no saving or cleansing merits, but is rather an act of obedience demonstrating the new relationship with Christ. Infant baptism cannot be recognized as valid according to Scripture (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12; 18:8). While the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches practice the immersion mode of baptism, other modes are recognized as valid providing salvation preceded baptism. Lord's Supper The Lord's Supper is an ordinance, instituted by Christ in the night of betrayal, to be observed frequently (in our Fellowship at least four times a year) by believers until he returns. The consecrated emblems consist of bread symbolizing Christ's broken body, and the fruit of the vine as a symbol of His shed blood (1 Corinthians 11:23-29). The observance of this ordinance is to be preceded by honest self-examination. There is no salvation element in this ordinance; it rather serves as a reminder of Christ's vicarious atonement (I Peter 3:18), and our continued dependence upon Him. The communion table is open to all believers who practice consistent Christian living. Practices Home and Family The Christian home is recognized as essential for the nation in upholding the social, political and spiritual integrity of the country. The Christian family should observe closely the Biblical teaching regarding the home. Grace at every table, daily family altar, hospitality to friends and strangers, profitable leisure time and reasonable working hours, and regular church attendance should be the unfluctuating standard of every Christian home. Marriage We believe that marriage is a sacred institution, ordained of God, and is a lifelong union of one husband and one wife to be entered into with an attitude of godly reverence and wisdom, love and purity (Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 24; Proverbs 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6). We believe that it is unscriptural for a believer to unite with an unbeliever in the bond of matrimony (Deuteronomy 7:2-4; Nehemiah 13:25–27). Consequently, social friendships with unbelievers inclined to lead toward courtship and marriage should be discouraged. Ministers are forbidden to officiate at the marriage of a believer with an unbeliever, and cautioned against officiating at marriages of questionable social, moral or mixed relationships. Weddings, and all activities connected therewith, shall be planned and conducted with simplicity and dignity in keeping with a Christian testimony. Divorce and Remarriage Historically our Fellowship has held the view that the marital relationship is an indissoluble union of husband and wife. Therefore, to that end, divorce should not be as much as anticipated among believers (Genesis 2:1-8, 21-23; Matthew 19:3-9), and neither divorced party should marry another as long as both live (Mark 10:11-12; 5:32; 1 Corinthians 6:16). However, Evangelical Christianity, including some of our Fellowship churches and pastors, is not united on the question of divorce and remarriage. There are those who would grant a divorce on the ground of fornication (Matthew 5:31:1–21; 19:9), or desertion by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15), and not stand in the way of remarriage while both divorcees live. Because of these differences of interpretation, the Pastor will be asked to follow the constitution of the local church of which he serves in regards to divorce and remarriage. Separation without divorce is recognized but deprecated in Scriptures (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). Remarriage after death of either husband or wife has biblical sanction (1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2-3). The Lord's Day We believe that Christ’s resurrection on the first day of the week makes Sunday the logical day for corporate worship, as it was practiced in the early church (Acts 20:7). However, we recognize that no single day of the week has been consecrated by God (Romans 14:5-6; Colossians 2:16), and that corporate worship can rightly be practiced on any day. The central exhortation of the New Testament is that believers do regularly assemble together (Hebrews 10:24–25) for worship and encouragement and one day in the divine cycle of seven be devoted for this purpose. Christian Walk We believe that man is created in the image and similitude of God (James 3:9; Ephesians 2:24; Genesis 1:26). A Christian, therefore, should be willing to walk in all simplicity and humility, love and unity, honesty and purity. Discretion should be used in regards to appearance and dress. Believers should glorify God in all things (Romans 12:1–2; 1 Timothy 2:8–10; 4:12; 1 Peter 3:1–16; Colossians 3:1–14; Ephesians 4:1–7; Romans 12:9:1–12; 1 Corinthians 11:1–16; Deuteronomy 22:5). Christian Stewardship We believe and teach that God is the possessor and Sustainer of everything (Haggai 2:8; Psalms 24:1; Colossians 1:16:1–17). The Bible clearly teaches systematic and proportionate giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:7–8). To give the tithe and beyond the tithe has the promise of God’s blessing (Malachai 3:10; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6, 10). The Christian is also steward over that which he retains as well as his time and talents (Matthew 35:14-30; Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). Dedication of Parents and Children We believe that it is scriptural to dedicate children to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:28; Matthew 19:13-16; Luke 18:15–17) by the setting apart and prayer at a public meeting where parents make voluntary declaration of their willingness to submit their children to the Lord for whatever ministry He would choose for them. Divine Healing We believe that divine healing of the body can be realized by God’s children on conditions as set forth in Scripture (James 5:13-16). The Believer is admonished to preserve life and health (Exodus 20:13; Philippians 4:5, 11; 1 Corinthians 9:27; 10:31; 1 John 4:1-6; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). In light of these passages we caution against the obvious abuse of the spectacular in the modern day phenomena of mass “faith healing.” Tongues We believe the New Testament use of “tongues” was an Apostolic sign gift to proclaim the “mighty works of God to Jews out of every nation under heaven” in their own language (1 Corinthians14:20–22; Acts 2:5–21; Joel 2:26-32). The Holy Spirit’s purpose in causing tongues was to authenticate those specially appointed representatives of Christ, that is, the Apostles. Tongues speaking was a sign of His presence and ministry for the purpose of validating the Apostolic message before it was inscripturated. The purpose of Biblical tongues limits them to the Apostolic age. In light of historical and grammatical interpretation of Scripture, we believe the gift of tongues as emphasized by the present day charismatic movement is not a valid gift for the church today and should not be tolerated in the church (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Ephesians 2:19-20). Civil Government We believe that civil government is ordained of God for the punishment of evil doers, for the protection of the good, and to justly direct the interaction of society (Romans 13:1-7; Exodus 18:21-23). We, therefore, consider it our duty to pray for our rulers and magistrates (1 Timothy 2:1-3), and to be submissive and obedient to their authority except in things which militate against the supreme law and will of our Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 3:13-14; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Matthew 23:10; Revelation 19:16; Romans 14:9-13). Education We believe our children and youth are a God-given heritage and the Bible teaches parental responsibility for their education. Whether children attend public, private or home schools, parents must be discerning about the teaching their children receive. The quality of these schools rests largely upon the parents and teachers. Educational convictions should be guided by scriptural principles. We should seek to protect quality education which respects Christian conscience and conviction. Oaths and Profanity We believe that the Scriptures clearly indicate that believers are to be honest, trustworthy people, whose “yes” is “yes” and whose “no” is “no” (Matthew 5:37; James 5:12). Therefore, any oath in a court of law should be unnecessary in order to affirm our words, yet the taking of such an oath is not an act of sin. However, the scriptures do teach that it is a sin to use the name of the Lord irreverently (Exodus 21:7). Secret Societies We believe that all secret orders are contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures. There is nothing belonging to Christianity of which the followers of Christ need to be ashamed or want to conceal to men. Therefore, under no circumstances should members be allowed to hold membership in any secret organization. (John 3:18-20; Ephesians 5:11-12; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18), neither shall any such person be received into church membership. Going to Law The Scriptures teach to “Follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14), to be inoffensive (Ephesians 4:3; Romans 12:8), not to seek revenge or recompense evil for evil of those who do us evil (Romans 12:17-21), and particularly forbids going to law with a believer before unbelievers (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Matthew 5:25). Response to Conflict We believe that God has called us to live peaceably with all men, to overcome evil with good, and to walk worthy of our vocation (2 Corinthians 10:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 2:21- 23; John 15:12; Galatians 5:3-15; 1 Peter 3:8-9; 1 John 3:15, 23). The historic position of the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches has been to oppose the bearing of arms in warfare and the development of strife between nations, classes, groups, or individuals. Our churches, however, respect the right of individual conviction and recognize that various positions will be taken on war and military service. We support our youth who because of faith and conscience accept exemptions or alternatives to combat service. We also support youth in military service by encouraging them to exert a positive testimony for Christ. We believe that the proper expression of Christian love and discipleship is by a daily manifestation of a meek spirit. We believe that it is necessary in daily living to return evil with good and not evil for evil. The position of non-resistance is as important in daily contacts with people as it is in any national or international crisis. We also believe that the taking of a non-resistant position, and the registering of the same with our government, shall be a matter of personal conscience and conviction.
Context of the Statement
The "Articles of Faith" date from about 1950 when an earlier version was slightly revised and approved by the delegate body at Dallas, Oregon. The "Ordinances and Practices" has a later date.
The poem "O That Will Be Glory" included between the "Articles" and the "Ordinances" is the first verse of the hymn by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932) written in 1906.