Articles of Faith Question

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by jshurley04, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    As a new pastor of a church that has been through some very rough waters the last 5 to 10 years or so (Same pastor the whole time), we are looking at our Constitution and By-Laws to make sure that they are fitting to the needs of the church. Since our Articles of Faith are a part of that document they are part of the review. The one that we use seems to be fairly standard across a broad spectrum of IFB churches, however, I have a problem with them. Maybe one of you elder statesmen can educate this young pup and give me some Godly counsel about the problem that I seem to be unable to let go of.

    Simply put, in most of the Articles of Faith or Statement of Faith in most churches the sections seem to go as follows:

    I. The Scriptures
    II. God the Father
    III. God the Holy Spirit
    IV. Satan or The Devil

    My problem lies in the fact that we as a group seem to skip right over our belief system concerning Jesus Christ. Why to we preach Him with such passion to a lost and dying world, yet ignore Him in our statement of held beliefs. I understand that this does not mean that we hold Him in lessor esteem or see Him as unimportant. But why do we not include a statement of Faith about Jesus Christ?
     
  2. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I have never seen this. Obviously, this needs to be corrected.
    I applaud you for taking doctrine seriously enough to examine the statement of faith for your church. It often gets ignored.
    However, don't ignore the other areas in your C and BL, too. I've been part of at least three major revisions and other minor ones. I've also helped other churches with this. If I can offer any counsel, I'll be glad to.
     
  3. BCF Jeff

    BCF Jeff
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    I have been in your shoes. I will share the experience but this is more testimony than advice.

    The deacons and I made a list of doctrines that were central to our faith and the unity of our congregation. We then attempted to organize them in a somewhat logical order. Build each doctrine on the back of those preceding it.

    Our Outline became:
    1. The Bible (source of authority)
    2. God
    a. The Father
    b. The Son
    c. The Spirit
    3. Man
    a. Origin of (creation)
    b. Fall (sin and sin nature)
    c. Redemption (the need for)
    4. Salvation
    a. Grace and Faith
    b. Justification
    c. sanctification
    d. Glorification
    6. The Church
    a. Mission (purpose)
    b. Ordinances
    7. The Family
    8. Religious Liberty

    After we developed the list and order we studied each one by one for 8 weeks and wrote the articles as we studied those doctrines.

    We are an SBC church and our outline follows roughly the same order as the BF&M. However, rather than just adopt someone else's articles we studied each one and followed the scriptures. This took quite a while and work but the result was fantastic. Our deacons grew in unity and we then took turns teaching one these doctrines and the church grew spiritually together.
     
  4. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    We are working with the Christian Law Association and several other churches that I am personally familiar with to use as a guide. We want to spell out what we believe first and formost. Next we want to protect the church from those of this age that would attack us through our own documents. Finally we want to establish some governing rules for the call of a pastor and the transition of the leadership as well as outline how things should generally work.

    We had a situation in which the last pastor conducted the pastor search for the church without the church's knowledge and then presented me as candidate in view of a call. This took over a year and he finally resigned in mid Nov. but did not move out of the church parsonage until after the first of Feb. and calling me wanting more time. On Feb. 1 I was out of a home to live and renting a truck to put our stuff in to move. Yet there was nothing in our current C & BL to remedy this situation. We have a long way to go.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
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    Can I just wholeheartedly applaud what you did? That's awesome - and got your deacons all on the same page - and gave them quite the education. My DH and the other pastors at our church did something somewhat similar to this for the ordination of 5 of them (there were 4 who were ordained already) and the only difference is that each one needed to be prepared to teach each section to the rest of the pastors. DH said it was one of the best studies he had ever done.
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    This appears to be an oversight that should be corrected. Most articles of faith with which I'm familiar do include one on Jesus Christ, and certainly any of them should.

    Let me also express a few ideas concerning articles of faith. IMO, the first beginning should emphasize two foundational truths on which all of our other beliefs rest -- a general article on God (later articles can go into the Trinity, etc.) and an article on the Scriptures. We must first believe that God is, and then that He has revealed himself and His will to us in His Word. All of our other beliefs are founded on these two. I also like to see a concluding article on "love". Love is evidence that we are His disciples and without it all our theology is a clanging noise (sounding brass and tinkling cymbals).

    Just my ideas, for whatever they're worth.
     

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