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WE ARE PROTESTANT IN OUR WITNESS
The great Protestant Reformation of the 17th Century brought the
Church of Jesus Christ back to the teachings of the Bible. Luther's
desire was for people to have the Bible and to read it - Scripture
alone, grace alone, faith alone! They turned to God's Word and
that is our witness in the Twenty-first Century.
WE ARE REFORMED IN DOCTRINE
Chapter one of the Westminster Confession of Faith, produced by
the Westminster Assembly in London, 1643-47, is devoted to the
subject of the Bible: "All which are given by inspiration
of God, to be the rule of faith and life."
Reformed doctrine is historic Christianity, emphasizing the sovereignty
of God and the complete trustworthiness of the Scriptures. This
is the faith held by Calvin, by Knox and the great American Presbyterian
pioneer, Francis Makemie. The Westminster Confession of Faith,
and Larger and Shorter Catechisms are what we call our "subordinate
standards," that is, the systematized statement of the teachings
of the Bible.
WE ARE EVANGELISTIC AND MISSIONARY IN PRACTICE
The Bible Presbyterian Church preaches the gospel without
addition or subtraction. It is the good news that Christ died
to save sinners.
Believing that all are lost and under the wrath of God, we are
with the Apostle Paul, "Ambassadors for Christ," (II
Corinthians 5:20), seeking to preach the whole "counsel of
God." (Acts 20:27)
Evangelism and missionary work are always practiced within a Biblical
context. Our methods and our message arise from the Bible. We
believe evangelism must issue into discipleship and church planting.
It was modernism on the foreign mission fields in the Presbyterian
Board of Foreign Missions that became the point of issue in 1933.
Men, such as Dr. J. Gresham Machen, exposed the teaching of unbelief
on the missions fields, but when nothing was done about it, these
faithful men preferred to lose all and be true to Christ. This
church, therefore takes seriously the command of Christ to preach
the true gospel at home and abroad.
WE ARE PRESBYTERIAN IN CHURCH GOV'T
"And they ordained them elders in every church
Believing that the Scriptures give is a pattern for orderly church
government, the Bible Presbyterian Church has a representative
form of government. There are "ruling elders" (officers
who make up the church session, along with the pastor), and there
are "teaching elders" (another name for the church pastor).
The ruling elders are representatives of the congregation and
each has an equal vote with the pastor on all matters to come
before the session. Elected by the congregation, the session has
the responsibility of maintaining the purity and peace of the
church. This was the practice in the time of Moses and in the
time of the Book of Acts.
Each congregation calls is pastor without interference from outside,
and each church owns its property without ties to the denomination.
This means we are a free church; these safeguards are written
into our FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
We have regular meetings of out presbyteries (made up of several
churches) and an annual general synod, to which there is representation
from all presbyteries, by ministers and elders from each church.
MAY WE SUM UP THIS WAY?
The Bible Presbyterian Church carries on the witness of Biblical
Presbyterianism in the United States. We extend our hand of fellowship
and co-operation to other separated groups. We are part of the
American Council of Christian Churches, founded in 1941, as a
Biblical alternative to the National Council of Churches. We oppose
the inclusivist ecumenical movement and those who compromise with
We are a confessional church, standing in the line of historic
Christianity. With Paul, we preach "Jesus Christ and him
crucified," (I Corinthians 2:2), labor to "perfect (or
equip') the saints,' (Ephesians 4:12), and are "set for the
defense of the gospel" (Philippians 1:17).