The Ecumenical Movement

The Ecumenical Movement is an organized attempt to bring about the cooperation and unity of all religions, regardless of differing doctrines, creeds, or beliefs.  We believe that Satan has orchestrated the Ecumenical Movement to undermine the truth by uniting it with error.  This movement has the same character as the future, Satanic, one-world church of the Tribulation (Rev 17:1-6).  We stand in opposition to any attempt to attack Scripture by stressing unity at the cost of doctrinal purity, whether the motivation for such superficial unity is for religious, evangelistic, political or social purposes.  Since we do not have the option to compromise God’s commands, we believe that unity should not be sought at the expense of biblical truth.  We believe that biblical unity only comes through mutual agreement about the truth of God’s Word (Amos 3:3).  Therefore, Falls Berean Bible Church will not make any alliance with any unbiblical religious system, and, as necessary, we will expose such alliances as sin (Jude 3).

New Evangelicalism

Beginning in the 1940’s, New Evangelicalism is a movement that desires to keep the same doctrinal statement as Bible-believers, yet they have subtly rejected the biblical doctrines of ecclesiastical separation from error and personal separation from worldliness.  Historically, New Evangelicalism uses worldly methods, such as Christian rock music to evangelize the lost and associates in worship and service with those who do not accept the fundamental doctrines of the faith.  Since New Evangelicalism’s cry is that “the end justifies the means,” they are willing to cooperate with unbelieving churches rather than separating from them.  For example, having a desire to win souls, they would assist in an evangelistic campaign, even if that meant joining with liberal churches united with the National or World Councils of Churches.We believe that the philosophy and practices of New Evangelicalism are a compromise of biblical truth.  While we recognize that evangelistic fervor is behind many of the practices of New Evangelicalism, we reject the pragmatism of the movement, which seeks to accomplish evangelism at the expense of the truth.  As one has said, “It’s never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.”

We believe that cooperation with and tolerance of error dishonors God and disobeys His Word (1 Sam 15:22; 2 Cor 6:14-7:1).  We believe that the result of New Evangelicalism, through its rejection of ecclesiastical and personal separation, has promoted the Ecumenical Movement by cooperating with men and movements that are the enemies of the Gospel; has compromised the purity of the church by the adoption of worldly means; and has led to a distortion of the very gospel it claims to preach.In a short time, New Evangelicalism has permeated many areas of Christianity that exists today; religious educational institutions of all academic levels, missions boards, churches, Christian media ministries, Christian music, Christian bookstores, and Christian publishing houses.  Therefore, Falls Berean Bible Church will not fellowship or cooperate with any church, organization or individual that is New Evangelical in belief, attitude, or practice (1 Cor 6:11-13; 2 Thess 3:6-15).

Women in the local church

We believe that godly women are invaluable to the local church.  We reject extreme and unbiblical positions, which either ordain women preachers or refuse women the right to speak at all.  We believe that Scripture forbids two activities for women in the church:  teaching men in scriptural matters and exercising authority over men in the context of the church (1 Tim 2:11-15).  We will therefore have no women pastors or deacons, nor will we allow women to teach or have authority over men in scriptural and church matters, including board and congregational meetings (1 Tim 3:1-2,11; Tit 1:5-6, 9).We do, however, encourage women to actively participate in every other aspect of our ministry, including prayer and testimonies, special music, leading ladies’ Bible studies, teaching children and numerous other areas of service (1 Cor 11:5; Rom 16:1-2; Phil 4:3).

Morality

We believe that morality is based on the unchanging standard of God’s Word, not the norms of society or public opinion.  Therefore, we will not take into or retain in membership, leadership, or staff anyone who is involved in immoral practices forbidden by Scripture, including but not limited to abortion (Lev 18:20-22), homosexuality, and extramarital heterosexuality.  Those already in membership who are involved in such immoral practices will be subject to church discipline as outlined in Scripture and explained in our constitution (1 Cor 5:1-2; Matt 18:15-17; 2 Thess 3:14-15).

Biblical Marriage

Due to the confused, twisted, and low view of what our society believes constitutes a marriage and the high percentage of divorce, it is incumbent upon Bible-believing Christians to affirm what is biblically meant by the term, “marriage.”  We believe that God’s plan for marriage is a life-long commitment between one man and one woman in which each partner has exclusive rights over each other – sexually, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.  The goal of a biblical marriage is a total commitment and a total sharing of the total person with one another until death (Gen. 2:24; Matt 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; Eph 5:31).  We believe therefore that marriage 1) can only take place between one man and one woman, 2) that God desires for Christians to only marry other Christians (1 Cor 7:39; 2 Cor 6:14), 3) is the only legitimate sphere of sexual relations (1 Cor 7:1-5), 4) has the goal of total unity between the husband and the wife (Gen 2:24), 5) is not something that is to be entered lightly or quickly (Prov 19:2; 20:25; 21:5), and 6) is to be a lifelong relationship, God specifically stating that He hates divorce (Mal 2:16).

Christian Entertainment (Music, videos, television, internet, etc.)

Falls Berean Bible Church believes that in everything we do, we should be careful not to be conformed to the sinful patterns of the world, but rather love what pleases God (Rom 12:1-2; 1 Cor 13:31; Gal 1:10; 1 Jn 2:15-17).  We do not believe that entertainment is free from the realm of morality.  We believe that God has a desire for what kind of entertainment is to be in the life of the believer and the church – that which is in keeping with the holy character of God and the holy calling we have received as His children (1 Pet 1:14-16).Therefore, Falls Berean Bible Church rejects listening to ungodly, sensual styles of music, watching videos or movies that promote immoral thoughts, viewing ungodly television shows that call that which God hates “good,” and being involved with sinful internet sites.  Furthermore, we reject the movement known as Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) which unbiblically tries to wed Christian words with the music styles of the world (Rom 12:1-2).

Christian Modesty in Attitude and Appearance

Falls Berean Bible Church seeks to promote a “pure conscience” in matters of the Christian life, and therefore encourages its members to practice modesty and godliness in both their attitude and appearance.  In pursuit of a life that is separate from the world, ladies and girls are asked to refrain from clothing that is too tight or revealing.  They should “adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly” (1 Tim 2:9), rather than with a style of dress that would identify them with rebellious society or invite improper thoughts from others.  Christian femininity that is consistent with a good testimony before the world and conscience before God is the goal.  Dress should be appropriate for the occasion or service for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31).Men and boys as well should avoid clothing that is immodest or effeminate.  Length of hair and style of dress should mark us as “not conformed to this world…but transformed” (Rom 12:2).  Even our attire should mark us as belonging to Jesus Christ.  Such a pursuit requires avoiding certain styles that might identify us with the immorality of this age.  Without such extreme dress that would alienate us from the unbeliever, we should embrace standards that promote a conduct befitting a Christian gentleman who has “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14).God’s purpose for believers is not that they merely conform to a code of dress and conduct, but to advance an inner purity and to “walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk” (Eph 4: 17).  One motivation for our standard of dress is love for others – that we do not provide a stumbling-block to believers or unbelievers (1 Cor 8:9).  Conduct and dress standards cannot exist apart from a conviction to inner purity and heart obedience to Christ.  As individuals become increasingly sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, they can and will develop standards well pleasing to the Lord.  Therefore our goal is ever, “So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10).

Abstaining from Intoxicating Beverages, Tobacco Products and other Controlling Substances

In a day when societal activities that God calls sinful and dangerous, such as alcoholic intoxication, smoking, and drug use are considered acceptable forms of recreation, we believe God’s Word is still plain on these issues: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).  Scripture consistently condemns the use of strong drink as unwise, and believers in Christ are encouraged to be controlled by God’s Word through the Holy Spirit, rather than by controlling substances (Ephesians 5:18).  Scripture warns that the use of intoxicating substances impairs one from making biblical judgments and literally destroys lives (Proverbs 23:32-35; Isaiah 28:7-8).  Ultimately, God’s Word warns that drunkenness leads a person away from God to hell (1 Cor 6:11).  Furthermore, God commands us to not even associate with our former ungodly lifestyle of drinking parties (1 Peter 4:3).We believe that God is concerned about what we do to our bodies, which are described by God as the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Believers must therefore always seek to act in the cautious spirit of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  Intoxicating substances, as well as tobacco products destroy the bodies that God has created and calls the temple of His Holy Spirit.  Therefore for the sake of pleasing Christ and in order to maintain a godly Christian testimony for the Lord, we the members of Falls Berean Bible Church will abstain from the use of intoxicating beverages, tobacco products, and illegal, recreational drugs.