Church Distinctives

The Family in Church

Because God has primarily endowed Christian parents with the responsibility of training their children in the faith, the church must encourage, equip, and empower parents and especially fathers to perform this God-given mandate. The church must not replace or displace the Christian parents in this task. The function of the church is not to segregate families, but to unify them, respecting the spiritual headship of the Christian father and then the Christian mother over their home.  We encourage children to remain with their parents during the worship services. A place for nursing (crying or sleeping) children will be provided during the services.

 

Christian Educational Training

We encourage and promote Biblical Christian education in the training of one’s children as opposed to educating one’s children in the worldviews of secular humanism and atheism which are prevalent in the government school system of our day.  The authority and responsibility for educating one’s children belong to the parents, not to the state (Deuteronomy 4:9-12; 6:6-9; 20-22; Proverbs 1:7-8; 6:20-21; Ephesians 6:4).

 

Local Church Accountability   

The universal Church is made up of all true born-again believers.  A local church is a visible body of professing believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who manifest the Scriptural evidences of being born again, who have been baptized, who are accountable to one another, who assemble together for worship, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, to pray together, to read the Scriptures together, and to be instructed together in the Word by the elders of the congregation.  They are also responsible to meet one another’s needs, to provoke one another to love and good works, and to go out into the world to make disciples of Christ through the message of the Gospel.  God’s only religious institution on earth is the church, and for this reason we strongly encourage all believers to be accountable to a local church and to faithfully serve Christ in that church.  It is unbiblical to refuse to be accountable to a Bible-believing local church.  It is also spiritually dangerous to reject the need of being shepherded by Biblically qualified elders (Matthew 18:15-18; 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8; 2:37-38, 41-42, 44-45; 8:1; 12:12; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32; 12:12-13; Ephesians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:13; 5:3, 17; Hebrews 13:17).

 

Biblical Eldership and Deaconate

We believe that the local churches in the New Testament Scriptures were always governed and shepherded by a plurality of elders (bishops or pastors) who must meet Biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).  Biblically qualified deacons were also set apart for service in the church (1 Timothy 3:8-13).  There is no indication in Scripture that such a practice was to be temporary. 

 

Works of Mercy

We encourage the adoption of orphans, the care of widows in our midst, and the assurance of Christian education of the children of widows in our midst.  The care of the needy is first and foremost the responsibility of the family and private individuals.  The church is also to provide when members are unable to be cared and provided for.  Such care is not the duty of the state (1 Timothy 5:1-10; James 1:27).

 

Christian Dress

Our standard for Christian dress is based upon the first and greatest commandment, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  In a day when immoral dress is tolerated in the society and in many professing churches, we maintain that Christians are to dress modestly and discreetly in public and in the gathered church meetings.  Because to reveal one’s nakedness is shameful according to Scripture, one’s nakedness is to be covered (Isaiah 47:2-3; Matthew 22:36-38; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4; Revelation 3:18).

 

Singing and Music

We sing some of the best hymns and spiritual songs written throughout Church history.  We also sing the Psalms because they are God-inspired songs recorded and preserved for us in the book of Psalms.  For about 2900 years (until 1900), Christian churches would sing the Psalms. We continue these Biblical traditions (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). 

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