STATEMENT OF FAITH
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…" Acts 14:23
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 it.
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).