Believing Correctly...Behaving Properly

Intimate, Mature, Distinct, Theologically Sound Body of Repentant and Regenerate Believers and Followers of Jesus Christ

A body of believers that forsake and put off worldliness and worldly affairs and pursuits. And pursue righteous living and separation from worldly influences.

“Sound doctrine and holy life…two hands” of the Christian.–Jean de Labadie

Doctrinally Sound…Not Doctrinally Bound

1. United and Committed to the essentials and fundamentals of the faith…See: To Die For and To Divide For in our confession of faith.

2. Tolerant and/or forgiving over non-essentials and debatable points of theology…See: To Debate For and To Live For in our confession of faith.

3. We desire not to be theologically boxed in, nor to have a church that is passionate over a particular doctrine and consequently become unbalanced and receive limited revelation of the whole of scripture.

As John Bunyan said:
“I will not let Water Baptism be the rule, the door, the bolt, the bar, the wall of division between the righteous and the righteous…The Lord deliver me from superstitious and idolatrous thoughts about any of the ordinances of Christ and God…Since you would know by what name I would be distinguished from others, I tell you I would be, and hope am-a Christian, and choose, if God should count me worthy, to be called a Christian, a believer, or other such name which is approved by the Holy Ghost.

George Muller stated:
“Nay, whatever parts of truth are made too much of, though they were even the most precious truths connected with our being risen in Christ or our heavenly calling, or prophecy, sooner or later, those who lay undue stress upon these parts of truth, and thus make them too prominent, will be losers in their own souls, and, if they be teachers, they will injure those whom they teach.”

Mature, Separate and Distinct
1. Mature: Putting on love, hope, faith and forsaking the childish things.

“But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” –1 Corinthians 13:10-11

“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” 
-1 Corinthians 14:20

As in certain spiritual gifts, Paul exhorts the brethren not to be children when it comes to doctrine and practice. We must have a sound understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven, the teachings of Jesus Christ and the “Apostles doctrine.”

“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” –Ephesians 4:14-15

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” –Hebrews 5:12-14

2. Separate and Distinct: There are many passages of scripture that call for followers of Christ to be separate and distinct from the world around them.

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” -1 John 2:15-17

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”–Matthew 6:24

“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”–James 4:4

“But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.” -1 Corinthians 5:11

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.” -2 Corinthians 6:14-17

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”-Romans 12:2

Also see: Colossians 3:1-8, Thessalonians 4:9-12, Titus 2:11-15

“Scripture is Lord over the conscience, not the culture!"
-Ligon Duncan

“We do not embrace the culture, but forsake it. We are not domesticated by society.”
-Don't Remember...Maybe Don Whitney

We are separate and distinct by being born-again and part of God’s kingdom. Then we are separate and distinct by not taking on worldly appearances, lifestyles, manners and customs. We abstain from and don’t get entangled with the affairs and pursuits of this present world. Instead, we focus on kingdom pursuits. We should seek to abstain from:
  • Worldly Education
  • Worldly Attire
  • Worldly Entertainment
  • Worldly Affairs
  • Worldly Ethics

Abstaining from and not embracing the culture, does not mean we do not engage the culture. We do! How is the world to know, what is righteous and unrighteous, if we do not demonstrate righteousness to them and bring the Word of God and the teachings of Christ to the culture? We are “in the world, but not of the world.”

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” -John 17:14-16

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” -1 Corinthians 6:12

We are not seeking to add traditions and commandments of men…but to simply encourage believers to follow the commandments, teachings and traditions of Christ and His Apostles. We have no interest in being pharisaical and adding man-made laws to God’s law. Example: Ephesians 4:29 exhorts us to: “Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth.” We, as a body ,don’t have list of what words are unwholesome. Or, another example would be the exhortation in 1 Timothy 2:9 for women to wear modest apparel. We, as a body, don’t prescribe a certain skirt length, nor prohibit the wearing of slacks. We don’t have a dress code, but will seek to lovingly admonish immodest and/or worldly attire and dress.