Declarations of Positions and Practices

These declarations are not officially a separate part of our Articles of Organization, but are listed in Section 12 of our Statement of Faith. They are entitled “Current Moral, Spiritual Issues.” The statements in this section enable Berean Baptist Church to declare what we believe, practice, and encourage in regard to issues or applications of biblical truth which are especially relevant in our present world and climate of Christianity. While officially a part of our Statement of Faith, the nature of these statements requires us to view these a bit differently than the other sections of doctrine.

  1. Statements in this section alert prospective members to positions on issues or applications of truth which we believe the Bible teaches and are important for us a church to declare. (We desire people to wholeheartedly covenant with us in church membership and have no intention of hiding our beliefs or positions in order to gain members.)
  2. These positions, stands, or applications will be unapologetically taught and encouraged. They will serve as a teaching tool to instruct believers in their relationship to the world and application of the truths of holiness.

Disagreements with statements in this section.

  • When a member's disagreement with something in this section becomes known or “becomes an issue” it will be met with loving admonition, sound biblical teaching, and a call to unity of mind.
  • Disagreements or failure to follow the statements will not become a matter of church discipline unless necessary as indicated below. We further recognize that conformity to these statements are a matter of spiritual growth and maturity.
  • Disagreements with items in this section will not prevent someone from church membership, but they will be required to deal with their disagreements in a manner consistent with the rest of our church documents.
  • Those involved in teaching ministries in our church must not knowingly teach contrary to these statements.
  • Disagreements over matters in this section which lead to contention, the sowing of discord, or failure to uphold the Covenant will be considered a matter for admonition, instruction, and if necessary church discipline.

Current Moral, Spiritual Issues

Separation

We believe that separation is a doctrine as well as a practice and that the separation principle runs through the entire Bible. We believe that true spiritual fellowship is the result of common faith and practice. We believe there are several aspects of Biblical separation.

Separation of areas of authority includes the separation of the authorities and responsibilities of the family, the church, and the state, as noted above (Art. II, Sect. 11).

Personal separation is the separation of the believer from the world and sin in order to serve God. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. Personal separation involves a departure and distancing from acts of sin, from the world system, from heretics, and from false teachers (Josh. 24:14-15; Rom. 12:1-2; 16:17-19; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 5:15-18; Titus 2:11-15; 3:8-11; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:1; 2 John 10-11).

Ecclesiastical separation is the separation of the church from apostasy and from those who tolerate apostasy. While recognizing the unity of all true believers, it is also evident that unbelief and error in many organized fellowships has developed to the point where recognized apostasy exists. We believe we are to reprove apostates rather than recognize them, to rebuke rather than to reason with them, to reject rather than to receive or unite with them. We believe that loyalty to Christ also demands separation from those groups and individuals content to walk with, allow, or tolerate religious unbelief (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 5:1-15; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; 2 John 10-11).

Familial separation is the separation of the believer from an erring brother, when doctrinal or ethical compromise creeps into his life or ministry. We believe that we must separate from those brethren who continue in disobedience to the Word of God. This separation is not to be entered into lightly, nor with rejoicing over the occasion of the need for separation, but soberly and with due diligence to maintain the unity of the Spirit whenever and wherever possible (Matt. 18:15-22; Rom. 16:17-19; 1 Cor. 5; 2 Thes. 3:6-15).

Women in the Church

We believe that Scripture teaches that women are never to teach men regarding scriptural matters, nor are they to usurp authority over men in church services, Bible studies, church business matters and meetings, and so on. In 1 Tim. 2:11-15, the silence refers to learning, teaching, and authority.

We further believe that women are not included in the biblical qualifications for the office of pastors or deacons in the New Testament (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). Women have many opportunities to worship and serve in this church through prayer, sharing the Word through personal testimonies, in the ministries of music, in leading women’s and children’s Bible studies, and in other areas as determined by the church leadership (Rom. 16:1-3, 6; Phil. 4:3).

Human Sexuality

We believe that God has ordained and commanded that the intimate sexual relationship between one man and one woman be completely and only within the relationship of marriage, which is to be a life long commitment. We believe that any sexual activities outside of biblical marriage in any form, be it homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography, and such like, are perversions of God’s gift of sexuality to mankind (Gen. 2:24-25; 26:8-11; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; Eph. 5:1-8; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).

Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that mankind was created in the image of God and is under obligation to God to protect and preserve human life. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. We believe that the many-pronged attack upon these truths by modern society is a rejection of God’s revealed will. We believe that capital punishment is necessary in the protection of the sanctity of human life; that abortion is the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life; and that any medical or scientific process which destroys or endangers a living human embryo is wrong (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:4-6; Psalm 51:5; 139:13-16; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:44; Rom. 13:1-4).

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

We believe that marriage is a divine institution and that God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. We believe that divorce is a distortion of God’s intention for marriage and a disruption of the picture that He intends for marriage to portray. The Scriptures record that God hates divorce and desires the marriage bond that He created be preserved. The Scriptures further record that God did at times allow divorce. Those instances are severely limited and are never commended nor encouraged (Gen. 2:23-25; Mal. 2:14-17; Eph. 5:22-33; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3).

In such cases the question of remarriage arises. Because remarriage in such circumstances would necessitate the public disclosure of sensitive, personal information from the past marriage relationship(s), no one from Berean Baptist Church will officiate in or conduct weddings where one or both participants have been divorced, unless the former spouse(s) has died. The church facilities will also not be used for such weddings.

Church members who have been divorced and/or remarried may hold positions of service in the local church and can be greatly used of God for Christian service. The only restriction of service will be that they may not be considered for the offices of Pastor and Deacon (1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).

Bible Translations

We affirm that the 66 canonical books of the Bible are verbally inspired as found in their original autographs (2 Tim. 3:16). Modern language Bibles that accurately reflect the originals derive their authority from those autographs, so that a good translation of the Bible can be confidently called the Word of God. We reject all translations that reflect theological liberalism, paraphrasing of the text, or political agendas (such as gender neutrality, etc.).

The King James translation, being a careful translation, will be the English text used by Berean Baptist Church throughout its ministry in the public proclamation and memorization of God’s Word. While we value the King James Version, we do not subscribe to nor permit the propagation of the King James Only view.

The Use of Music in Ministry

We believe that the ultimate goal of a believer in Jesus Christ is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31, 32), and that the believer’s music should be the result of a Holy Spirit controlled life and the result of a proper understanding of the Word of God (Eph. 5:18-21; Col. 3:15-17). We believe that the world is under satanic dominion and generates all manner of influences which are not in keeping with these principles (Gen. 4:16-24; Ezek. 28:11-13; Eph. 2:2; 6:10-12; 1 John 2:15-17). We believe that the music used in the believer’s life should have musical elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm that are in keeping with the principles of God’s Word. We reject the popular musical philosophy (CCM-contemporary Christian music philosophy) that the words or message are the only important element and that the music is neutral.