Old Doxoblogy

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Church In Covenant

This is our Church Covenant at West Broadway Baptist Church. Whenever we have new members join, after taking the Lord's Supper, or on a night like tonight, after a study of the Covenant, our church family reads the covenant together as a reminder of how we have promised each other we will live our Christian lives.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, to the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.
A Covenant, along with a Statement of Faith, are the basic building blocks of a Baptist fellowship. The Covenant states how we believe the Bible teaches us to live together in community, and the Statement of Faith states what we believe the Bible teaches doctrinally.


Ken Fields said...

How could this be your church covenant, it's our church covenant word for word...and we're a GARBC church??!!!

T A Blankenship said...

This is similar to ours with the exception of "abstaining from the use of illegal drugs, and shunning pornography" in the line about "abstaining from the sale and use of intoxicating beverages..."

Jeremy Weaver said...

Ken and T. A.,
What are your opinions on the 'abstaining' clause?

D.J. Cimino said...

Can I weigh in on the "abstaining" line? I talked with Steve (Weaver) Saturday night about this. I told him my position before he told me his, so that there he didn't feel awkward about telling me what he thought. The Biblical standard is not to be drunk. The whole "wine in the Bible is grape juice" argument is very weak, to say the least. So... I have never touched alcohol, and never will, but I can't say that I would look down on anyone who will occasionaly (sp?) have a glass of wine, or one beer.

This is something that goes against what I have been taught me whole life (!!!), but You have to look at what the Bible says. When there is a Psalm (cant recall the reference off hand... but its there) that states "The LORD makes the wine that makes the heart merry" you have to think twice about blanketly condemning anyone that may have a glass. (mind you, being drunk is never, never acceptable!)When you have drink offerings in the OT of fermented wine (look up the Hebrew word for wine in those verses) you have to re-think your position.

The Biblical evidence can not be refuted. Those are just two quick examples. There is something, i think, regarding the amount of alcohol in wine/beer today than in biblical times (meaning there is more today...). Even still, I know a man who is Italian and has one or two beers a night (and has for the past 50 years) and it doesn't phase him one bit. How can I point him to a scripture that condems that? If I can, someone please inform me.

Ken Fields said...

Concerning the 'abstaining' clause ... everytime I take a drink of cough syrup, I beg the Lord's forgiveness.

When I shared this with one of our deacons, here's what he said. "There is an understood exception clause to the abstinence clause." Hmm...an understood exception?

My question is...why do we single out alcohol, when murder, or rape, or premarital sex aren't specifically mentioned. Are these any less harmful to the community of Christ than taking an occasional swig from the cough syrup bottle ... not to get a buzz, but to get some sleep!!!

J. Wendell said...

Hi Jeremy!

I think the abstaining clause should include wearing make-up too. If only the deacons would stop wearing make-up, I wouldn't feel like I had to have a stiff drink before the service. :)

Oh ... come on! You know I'm kidding!

kec said...

regarding abstaining from drink ...

I think you can make a very strong case that the chief aim of man is to glorify God (that part is easy to justify) AND that this aim requires you to be at your emotional and mental best (that's the harder, but I think still doable, part).

So, I think that, taken to the logical conclusion, this says that there is no excuse for drinking even enough to cloud your thinking (and thus your witness). But I think it also places a responsibility on us to get enough sleep. To eat well. Take care of ourselves physically. Not just because our bodies are temples, but because we need to fulfill our duty (joy) to share the glory of God with everyone we come into contact with.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I think you're probably right, KEC.
Thanks for the comment and for browsing the archives.