General Beliefs, Covenant, & Care
We believe in only one true and living God. The father, Son and The Holy Spirit.
We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God and the only rule of faith and practice and we prefer the King James translation.
We believe that all the human race in hereditarily depraved and they are totally unable to extricate themselves from this condition of their own free will and ability.
We believe in the eternal unconditional election of all the saints unto glory.
We believe that the atonement and redemption of Jesus Christ are for the elect only and that they are justified in the sight of God by the imputed righteousness of The son alone.
We believe in the sovereign, irresistible, direct, immediate and ever effectual work of The Holy Spirit in calling, regenerating and sanctifying the elect of God at His own appointed way and time.
We believe that there are those of the elect in every nation, kindred tongue and people and family on earth.
We believe in the final preservation of all the children of God and they will all live with God in glory.
We believe in the resurrection of the dead; the just to eternal joy and happiness; the wicked to shame and everlasting contempt.
We believe that baptism by immersion and The Lord's Supper and washing of feet are ordinances in the church and true believers are the only fit subjects.
We believe that the children of God who are born again, are under law to Christ and it is obligatory upon them to obey this law, that in so doing they receive the blessings promised, but in disobedience they suffer the penalty while here in this world.
We believe that Christ set in the church everything necessary for its happiness and well being and all the modern day additions and auxiliaries are unscriptural and should not be tolerated.
We believe that no minister has a right to the administration of the ordinances, only such as are regularly called and come under the imposition of hands by the presbytery.
Forasmuch as Almighty God by his grace has been pleased to call us out of darkness into His marvelous light, and all of us having been regularly baptized upon a profession of our faith in Christ Jesus, and haven given up ourselves to the Lord, and to one another, in a gospel church way, to be governed and guided by a proper discipline agreeable to the word of God; We do therefore in the name of our Lord Jesus , and by His assistance, covenant and agree to keep up the discipline of the church of which we are members, in the most brotherly affection towards each other, while we endeavor particularly to observe the following rules;
In brotherly love to pray for each other, to watch over one another, and, if need be, in the most tender and affectionate manner, to reprove one another. That is, if we discover anything amiss in a brother, to go and tell him his fault, according to the direction given by our Lord in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, and not to be whispering and backbiting. We also agree, with Gods assistance, to pray in our families, attend our church meetings, observe The lords day and keep it holy, and not to absent ourselves from the Communion of The lords supper without a lawful excuse; to be ready to communicate to the defraying of the churches expenses, and for the support of the ministry; not irregularly depart from the fellowship of the church, nor remove to distant churches without a regular dismissal.
These things we do covenant and agree to observe and keep sacred in the name of and by the assistance of God, The father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen
The Obligation of Church Members
The privilege of membership in the church of Christ is a great one indeed. The church furnishes a safeguard against the temptations of the world when its privileges and obligations are assumed by those who become members of the church.
The church could be of no benefit to the members, nor to the world, if the members did not meet together, hence arises the obligation of attendance at the regular meetings of the church. Hebrews 10:25 should be observed by all of the members of the church—“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is.” Neglect of this duty is discouraging to the church and pastor. We should consider that it is a service we owe to God, and when we are “making” excuse for staying away we should think that before the excuse is a valid one, the Lord who knows the very thoughts and intents of the heart, would have to approve of it. This searching test, “Would the Lord excuse me?” ought to be ever before us.
We may be tempted to stay away because of what some one else has done or has not done. But are we justified in treating the service of God with contempt because of what any one in the world does? We are not serving men, but serving God and what we do should be done as unto Him and not as unto men. This is a matter of so much importance that the church is justified in requiring its members to attend the meetings, or have justifiable grounds for staying away; and if members have the right feeling about it, they will be willing to let the church pass on their reasons for missing the meetings.
Thoughtful Of Each Other
It is the duty of members to be thoughtful of one another. We should think more of the members of the church than we do of the people of the world, and we should show it in our actions. If one of the members is sick, other members should at once show their love and kindness by doing what may be needful to be done for the comfort of the sick. Jesus showed a sympathetic nature, and helped and comforted the sick. They were glad to see His face and hear His voice. His followers should walk in His steps. Let the sick see your face and hear your voice and feel the willingness of your hands to help them.
Care for the Poor
The members of the church should be careful to look after the poor. Though it is especially the duty of the deacons to relieve the immediate needs of the poor, it is the duty of every member of the church to be thoughtful in this direction, to keep the deacons supplied with funds when there is need, and then to give personal attention to the poor, that they may not feel to be neglected.
The Master was Himself very tender toward the poor, and we can not feel that He would at all approve our course if we neglect them.
To Be Loving and Kind
The members of a church should be very loving and kind toward each other. They are brethren, and they should treat each other as the members of one family. This will require that they be forbearing, for there are none perfect. Should we require perfection of others it would be more than we are able to give in return, which would be very unkind of us, for we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We should be forgiving, because we shall need to ask others to be forbearing and forgiving toward us. And especially has the Master laid this upon us, for He teaches His disciples to pray to be forgiven even as they forgive others.
Should Bear Personal Wrong
We should make a distinct difference between bad treatment of ourselves by the members, and conduct which shows disrespect for the church, and is hurtful to its interests. We can afford to carry a great deal ourselves, but we must not sit by and see others tear down the home which has been established for all the children. The Savior bore personal abuse silently, but when He went into the temple and saw it being profaned, He drove out those who showed no respect for His Father’s house. If we reverse this and give a great deal of concern to what others may do to us, and show but little interest to what the church must suffer, we shall not be following the Master.
The members of the church should be very careful to search out all who have a hope in Christ, and invite them to come into the church, if they receive the preaching of the cross gladly. Especially should this interest be shown toward their own children, the Lord having laid it on His people to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They should use every endeavor to keep their children from hurtful associations with such things as will prejudice them against the truth and the true church. While they can not regenerate their children, nor be the means of it; yet they should seek to do their whole duty by their children as regards the teaching of the word of God, and especially so when
there is evidence that they have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
Every member of the church should realize that there is expense connected with keeping up a church and its services, and be honorable with the other members in bearing such burdens. It is not more honorable in members to let others pay in the church what they should justly pay, then in a business way to fail to pay our just debts. All can not bear an equal amount, but we should not expect others, who are in no better circumstances than ourselves, to bear more than we do, and we should make it our business to know that we are bearing our share. It does not show a becoming interest in the church to be indifferent to this matter. The following questions should be asked by each member and he should not be satisfied until he is informed on each of them.
How much ought this church to expend for incidental expenses and toward helping the pastor? Is the church meeting it just obligations? Am I bearing as much of this, according to my circumstances, as other members of the church are, according to their circumstances?
Not to desire to share equally with other members, according to our ability and their ability, is to shirk the responsibility which we solemnly assume when we ask the church to let us become members. If we are not willing to bear the obligations of membership, we should hesitate to take the privileges and comforts of membership. It is so easy and pleasant when the members consult each other and all are willing to do what is right. We have no heavy salaries to meet, and our expenses should be met cheerfully.
The Church Home
A church home is what the members make it. If they are selfish, contrary, covetous and peevish, and do not bridle their tongues, it will become unpleasant and a burden, instead of being a joy. If they are loving, kind, forbearing, and like the Master, it will be a pleasant place, a glad retreat from the world, where the pure, sweet song of peace and love is sung, and the presence of God is enjoyed.
by Elder Walter Cash