Doctrinal Statement

DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

The following Doctrinal Statement expresses the Biblical beliefs and positions of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brogue PA. It is necessary that all fellowshipping members be in agreement with this statement. All preachers, teachers, and Christian workers associated with Mt. Zion Baptist Church will be expected to correlate their teaching with this statement.

The Trinity

We believe that God eternally exists in three persons and that these three are one God having the exact same nature, attributes, and perfections, but with different offices and functions. (Matt 28:18-19; 2 Cor 13:14; Deut 6:4)

God the Father: We believe that God the Father is the First Person of the Godhead, eternal, Self-existent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. (Psa 139:1-10)

God the Son: We believe that God the Son, Jesus Christ, is the Second Person of the Godhead, only begotten of the Father, and the Saviour of all who by faith accept Him. He is perfect God and perfect man, never changing. God the Son came into this world through the Virgin birth that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the redeemer of sinners through His death and resurrection. He pre-existed, was active in the creation of the world, left Heaven to receive a human body, lived a sinless life, performed miracles in His 3 1/2 year ministry, died an unjust death on the Cross in man’s place for man’s sin, and arose the third day according to the Bible. (Rev 3:21-22; Col 1:16-19; Heb 4:15; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:18; John 3:16; Isa 7:14) He then ascended to the right hand of the Father where He lives to make intercession to the Father as our High Priest until He returns for us. (Heb 7:25)

God the Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead eternally proceeding from the Father and Son and dwelling within every believer. He never departs from the feeblest of all Saints. His work to the believer consists of regeneration, indwelling, baptizing, teaching, discernment, filling, sealing, etc. (John 14:16, 26; 16:7-11; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:30; 5:18)

The Scriptures

Inspiration: We believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, the very words of the text being communicated to holy men of old by the Holy Spirit. (I Cor 2:13; John 10:34-36). Inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of Scripture. The Spirit guided in the choice of every word used in the original writings. (Psa 110:1; Mark 12:36-37) Those original inspired writings were absolutely free from error. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21)

Preservation: We further believe that every word of the inspired Scriptures has been preserved by God (Psa 12:6-7) for the English speaking people in the Authorized (King James) Version which we believe to be the infallible, or inerrant Word of God. We reject all of the modern English versions.

Interpretation: We believe that the premillennial, dispensational interpretation of Scripture must be followed at all times in interpreting of Scripture. Further, the plain, literal sense of the Scripture should be sought unless the context or related passages of Scripture clearly indicate otherwise.

Salvation

We believe that redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of Christ and that nothing on the part of man can avail for salvation. Every man needs to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour because all are dead in sin. Christ’s blood is sufficient for the salvation of the whole world. Through repentance and believing, the sinner receives the new birth, and having experienced the new birth, is saved for all eternity. (John 3:1-21; 1 Pet 1:18-20; Rom 5:6-11; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 2:1-10)

Justification: We believe that justification is the act of God whereby He declares as righteous the sinner who believes. The justification is through the blood of Christ, appropriated by faith, and results in the believer having peace with God. (Rom 5:1; 4:24) We do not accept the modern day substitution of “the death of Christ” for “the blood of Christ” either in modern Bible versions or in teaching. Rather, we believe the Bible when it says that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Heb 9:22)

Sanctification: We believe that sanctification is positional, progressive, and ultimate. Positional sanctification is a complete setting apart to God by our position in Christ. (Heb 10:10) Progressive sanctification is our growing in grace as a child of God. (2 Pet 3:18) Ultimate sanctification is when we shall be like Him. (1 John 3:1-3) We do not accept (as some holiness groups do) that sanctification is a “second work of grace” making believers sinlessly perfect.

Preservation of the Saints: We believe that a Christian can never be lost again based upon the eternal purpose of God, His gift of eternal life, His unchangeableness, and the abiding work of the Holy Spirit in us. (John 5:24; Jude 1:24; Rom 8:29, 35-39; 1 Cor 6:19; Psa 37:23-24; Heb 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 2 Tim 1:12; Eph 4:30) We reject all Arminianism as well as all five points of Calvinism. We believe the Bible, not the theological structures of mere men such as Arminius or Calvin.

Heaven and Hell: Heaven will be the eternal abode of all believers where they will forever rejoice in the presence of the Lord. Hell is the eternal abode of all unbelievers where they will be eternally separated from God and consciously punished and tormented in the Lake of Fire. (Luke 16:19-31; Rev 20)

Things to Come

We believe that the next event in God’s timetable is the appearing of Christ in the air to receive His Church. All saints who have died prior to the Lord’s appearance will be bodily resurrected. Then all living believers will be called bodily to join them and Christ in the air. This we call the Rapture of the Church. (1 Thess 4:13-18)

Those left behind on earth will have to endure a seven year period known as the Great Tribulation immediately following the Rapture of the Church. During that seven years, judgment will be poured out upon all nations and the Jews will recognize Christ as their Messiah. Simultaneously in Heaven, believers will face the Judgment Seat of Christ where their works will be judged. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb also occurs during this seven year period.

Upon completion of the Great Tribulation, Christ will return to this earth in bodily form with His saints to fight the Battle of Armageddon and to set-up His 1,000 year Kingdom, during which Satan will be bound. After Satan is briefly loosed and then cast into the Lake of fire, the dead who rejected Christ, will face God’s Great White Throne Judgment and will be cast into the Lake of Fire, too. Then, the New Heavens and the New Earth will appear and we will live with the Lord for all eternity. (Revelation, Daniel, Matt 24; Luke 16:19-27; 2 Thess 2)

Man

We believe God created man in His own image and likeness and that man fell through sin in the Garden. As a result, man lost his spiritual life becoming dead in trespasses and sins. We also believe that this depravity of man has been transmitted to the entire human race making every child of Adam born into the world with a nature which is essentially sinful apart from divine grace. The depravity of man simply means that man is unable to save himself by his any means including good works. It does NOT mean that man is totally unable to respond to God’s offer of salvation as Calvinists teach. (Rom 5:12; 3:10-20; 6:23; 8:6-7; Eph 2:1-3, 8-9; Gen 3:8-19; 1:26; John 3:8) We reject both false theories of evolution and theistic evolution. God created man.

The Church

We believe that all who are united to Christ by the new birth are members of the true church which is the body and bride of Christ. (Eph 1:20-23; 5:25 , 31-32) The church will be complete at the first resurrection when it will be called up to be with the Lord. The use of Church in the Bible is restricted to the Local Church. Therefore, we reject theories of “The Universal Church” or “The Worldwide Invisible Church.”

Church Officers

Pastor: We believe that God’s dealings are through His Local Church under the leadership of the Pastor who is the husband of one wife. (Heb 13:7, 17, 24; Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 3:1-7)

The licensed minister is one who is generally examined in doctrine, moral purity, faithfulness, and training by the Pastor, deacons, and congregation and approved to be a minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church . This license must be renewed annually. By it, a minister may preach, be an associate or assistant pastor, lead, serve in the church, perform weddings and funerals, administer communion, etc.

The ordained minister is one who is specifically examined in detail in doctrine, moral purity, faithfulness, and training by the Pastor, deacons, and congregation and approved to be a minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church or anywhere. This license is for life or until that minister changes in doctrine or moral purity. By it, a minister may preach, lead, serve in any capacity in the church including as Senior Pastor, perform weddings and funerals, administer communion, etc. or be sent out to other churches to pastor.

Deacons: The only other office of the church is the deacon which exists to “free” the Pastor for prayer and the ministry of the Word. The deacons are spiritual men who provide service to the church and counsel to the Pastor. They are given no authority in Scripture. (Acts 6:1-7 ; 1 Tim 3:8-13; Phil 1:1)

Church Ordinances

The Lord’s Supper: We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by our Lord as a memorial of His death and is to be observed only by believers. This ordinance should be practiced until He comes for us. (1 Cor 11:23-32; Matt 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20) We believe that the unfermented grape juice and the unleavened bread are symbols of Christ’s blood and body. We reject the teaching that the symbols actually become His blood and body as we partake (a heresy called Transubstantiation).

Water Baptism: We believe that baptism is an outward testimony of an inward work already accomplished by God. Water Baptism is not necessary for salvation (a heresy called Baptismal Regeneration). However, it should, by an act of obedience, be observed by every believer as soon after conversion as possible. We reject Infant Baptism since the candidate for baptism must already be a professed believer in Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly teaches baptism by immersion as the only mode that maintains the symbolism of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We reject baptism by pouring or sprinkling. (Acts 8:36; 10:47-48; Rom 6:3-5; Matt 3:13-17; Eph 4:5)

Lucifer and the Angels

We believe that God created a company of sinless spirit-beings called angels. The greatest of all the angels was Lucifer who sinned through pride, and was followed by a great company (1/3) of the angels in his fall. (Rev 12:4, 9; 1:20) These fallen angels then became demons some of which are active today in the execution of Satan’s unholy purposes on earth while others are reserved in chains under darkness. (Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:11-19; Jude 1:6; 2 Pet 2:4; 1 Pet 5:8)

Separation

We believe in separation from the world on two levels:

Ecclesiastical: We refuse to lend credibility and endorsement and to cooperate or agree in joint-ventures with other organizations and men who are lost, from erring brethren, and from those who do not takes similar stands of separation. We further intend to expose error in an attempt to contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3) We see these cooperations as steps to ecumenism and the one world church. (Matt. 12:34; 18:15-17; 23:23-27; John 2:13-16; Acts 2:42; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 6-7,11; 2 Cor. 6:11-18; 7:1; Gal. 2:11-14; Eph. 4:14; 5:11; 2 Th. 3:6, 14-15;1 Tim 1:18-20; 2:15-18; 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 4:10, 14-18; Titus 1:13; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:1, 7-11; 3 John 1:9; Rev. 2:2, 14-15) Groups that we would avoid cooperating with would be the liberals, neo-orthodox, new evangelicals, the World Council of churches (WCC), the NCC, the National Association of Evangelicals, Charismatic and Pentecostal groups, etc.

Personal:
We also believe that how we appear, what we listen to, what we say, what we do, where we go, and who we choose as companions is important. We believe that biblical principles of modesty and identification (as either a male or a female) are important in consideration of appearance. (Deut 22:5; 1 Tim 2:9-10) Additionally, the Bible teaches that it is a shame for a man to have long hair but it is proper for a woman to have long hair. (1 Cor 11:14-15) We also believe that all music in every church ought to be conservative and God-honoring in music, words, and presentation. No rock or contemporary Christian music is acceptable in our services. (Psa 40:3) Finally, we believe that believers ought to abstain from drinking intoxicating beverages, smoking or chewing tobacco, using illegal drugs, looking at pornography, gambling, and participating in any activity, saying any words, and going any place where we might damage the testimony of Christ or that might lead us into carnal living and thinking.

Moral Living: We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of adultery, bestiality, bisexuality, fornication, homosexuality, incest, lesbianism, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s plan for marriage. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)

We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)