By the authority of our King, Jesus Christ, and the degrees of His Law/Word, we his servants, do form this local body (church) of the Kingdom of Heaven. Our right to exist comes from God and His Law/Word. Union Christian Church is an embassy of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not of this world (John 8:36) and is subject to the Laws of God’s Kingdom and the Law/Word of God. Jesus Christ has commissioned (by word and example) his followers to form local assemblies (churches) for the establishment and furtherance of the Gospel of His Kingdom. We set forth this document as a general overview of the rules and laws of our church government set forth in our Constitution, the Law/Word of God. We, hereby, declare that Union Christian Church is such said entity and do testify the following:
I. General Doctrines we preach, teach, and practice
1. We believe there is but one God. Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; Exodus 6:3
2. We believe the Bible, as revealed in the texts the King James , New American Standard, etc., are translated from, to be the inspired Word of God and is our final authority in faith and practice. II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21
3. We believe that the personal name of the God of the Bible is Yahweh or Jehovah and the true name of the manifested Messiah, as He was known upon this earth, is Jesus. LORD, in all capitals, as found in the King James Version of the Old Testament, is substituted for the personal name of God, YHWH, transliterated as Yahweh or Jehovah into English. This was done by the Scribes because of a false doctrine that arose around 300 B.C. The Messiah who was to come in the name of Yahweh was known as Jesus, meaning “Yahweh or Jehovah saves.” We do not hold this as a dividing point nor do we hold in lower esteem those who use Yahshua or Yeshua for the name of the Messiah (Exodus 6:3).
4. We believe that Yahweh manifested Himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ, being born of a virgin, to redeem Israel from their sins and their enemies. I Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:20-25; Luke 1:68-79
5. We believe in the Genesis Chapter One and Two account of Creation (kind after kind).
6. We believe that Adam was the father of the white kind of man. Among this race of people Yahweh chose the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be a special people unto Himself. This people, called Israel, were given the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the law, the service of Yahweh, the promises, and of whom Messiah came. Deuteronomy 7:6; Amos 3:2; Psalms 105:6; Isaiah 41:8; Genesis 17:21; Romans 9:4-5
7. We believe that the New Covenant was made with the children of Israel just as the older Covenant was. Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:8-10
8. We believe, by many Biblical and historical proofs, that the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, and kindred peoples are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
9. We believe that sin is the transgression of Yahweh's Law. I John 3:4; Romans 7:7
10. We believe that we are to obey, teach, and establish Yahweh's Law. Romans 3:31; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Matthew 5:17-19
11. We believe in the resurrection of the dead both of the just and the unjust, to stand judgment before Almighty Yahweh, to be rewarded eternal life or eternal damnation. Job 19:25-27; Hosea 13:13-14; John 5:29; Acts 24:14-15; I Corinthians 15:53-54
12. We believe that only Yahweh hath immortality, man, being mortal, must seek for immortality by faith in Jesus Christ. I Timothy 6:16; I Corinthians 15:53-54; Romans 6:12; Romans 8:11; II Corinthians 4:11; Philippians 3:8-11
13. We believe that individual salvation is by Yahweh's grace, through faith (believing, repenting, immersion, and continuance) in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16; II Corinthians 7:9-11; Acts 17:30; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; Acts 18:8; Acts 22:16; Colossians 1:21-23
II. Guidelines As to the Order and Structure of the Church as decreed in the Bible, the Law/Word (Constitution) of Yahweh.
1. That, the Lord of Union Christian Church is none other than King Jesus. He is the head of this local body and to whom we swear allegiance (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20;28; Ephesians 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18 & 24).
2. That, Jesus is the God of Israel manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16; John 1:1; John 14:7-9) to be the Savior and King of His people Israel (Luke 1:68; Acts 5:31; John 12:13). Any reference to Jesus, Yahweh, God, in this document is referring to the One, True, and Living Deity of Israel.
3. That, our authority for faith and practice lies solely upon the Bible, as revealed in the texts the King James Version, New American Standard Version, etc., are translated from, to be the inspired Law/Word of God (II Timothy 3;16; II Peter 1:20-21). The whole Bible is the constitution and Law-book of Yahweh’s church (I Timothy 3:16-17).
4. That God has commissioned his called out body of believers, those who are born again in Christ’s blood through faith, repentance, and baptism (immersion) for the remission of sins, to organize local bodies (churches) of His Kingdom (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:47).
5. That such local churches are independent of other local churches. No other church has jurisdiction over another. Jesus alone has jurisdiction over any individual church. Any said church however, may call upon another church to help assist them in any governing matter if deemed appropriate by the eldership. Such church still retains it’s independence from the jurisdiction of any other church.
6. The governing structure of the local church is a theocracy, which means ruled by God. The church is not a democracy, republic or any other form of government other than the theocracy as issued by the Law/Word of God. Christ is the only head of the church.
7. Jesus Christ rules by His Law/Word administered by His elders (I Timothy 5:17).
8. Elders, bishops, pastors, and presbyters are synonymous terms in relation to those who are appointed as overseers of the Lord’s church (Acts 20:17-28; Ephesians 4:11; Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:1-4).
9. An elder is appointed for life, unless he resigns, relocates, or is removed through church discipline just as any other church member.
10. Though there is no congregational voting, the elders may, and should, consult with the members of the church for discussion, ideas, advice, etc.
11. The elders (pastors, bishops) of the church duties include: (a.) teaching, explaining, expounding, and preaching of the Law/Word of God (I Timothy 3:1-7; Nehemiah 8::8); (b.) judgment in church discipline (Acts 15:2; Deuteronomy 17:1-9; Ezekiel 44:24); (c.) church finances (Genesis 14:18-20; Numbers 18:8-19, 21; Nehemiah 10:37;Hebrews 7:5;I Corinthians 9:1-18;); (d.) the care, maintenance, and enhancement of church property (I Timothy 3:1-7; Exodus 27:21; Leviticus 24:3-8; Numbers 3:38; Numbers 18:5).
12. Though the elders role is to make judgments and define doctrine according to the Law/Word of God, he does not have the authority to issue new laws but to codify, explain, render and enforce judgments according to the Law given to Israel by their God (James 4:12).
13. All matters of administration concerning the church are carried out by the elders.
14. The elders may appoint any additional elders or the appointment of deacons (Titus 1:5; Acts 6:1-6) to carry out the care of the church’s physical needs. Determination of such appointments will be based on the growth, needs of the church, and qualifications of membership.
15. An elder must be a male head of household who meets all the qualifications of membership. He must also follow the general beliefs that are to be taught and those which are heresy shun. To teach otherwise is grounds for a hearing before the eldership to determine his standing. He must also meet the qualifications of an elder which are as follows:
a. Blameless as the steward of Yahweh
b. Husband of one wife
e. Of good behavior
f. Given to hospitality
g. Apt to teach
h. Not given to wine
i. No striker
j. Not greedy of filthy lucre
l. Not a brawler
m. Not covetous
n. Ruleth well his own house
o. Children in subjection with all gravity
p. Not a novice
q. Good report of them which are without
r. Feed the flock
s. Hold position not by restraint but willingly
t. Ensamples not lords
u. Not self-willed
v. Lover of good men
z. Holding fast the faithful word to be able by sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers
(I Timothy 3:1-7; I Peter 5:1-3; Titus 1:6-9)
16. A deacon must be a male head of household who meets all the requirements of membership and also the specific qualifications of deacon as follows: (a) grave. (b) not double-tongued. (c) not given to much wine. (d) not greedy of filthy lucre. (e) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (f) First proved. (g) Blameless. (h) Having wives who are also grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. (i) Husbands of one wife. (j) Ruling their children and houses well (I Timothy 3:8-13).
17. The congregation of the church are it’s members (I Corinthians 12). They are accepted into membership or given the right hand of fellowship by the approval of the elders (Galatians 2:9) and taking an oath of dedication. The church is not a club but a fellowship of Christian Israelite believers of the Kingdom of Jesus.
18. The essential doctrines and practices for membership and remaining in membership are as follows: (a) Belief in the inspiration of the Scriptures and the final authority of the Bible for doctrine and rule of life (Isaiah 8:20; Ephesians 2:20; Matthew 28:20; John 1:1-14; I Timothy 6:3-5). (b) Belief in one God (John 1:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Kings 19:18; Galatians 4:8; Deuteronomy 7:4; Deuteronomy 13:6-10). (c) That Jesus was God manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16; John 14:1-11; II John 1:9-11). (d) That obedient faith is by believing and publicly confessing that Jesus is the one God manifested in the flesh, repentance of the transgression of Yahweh's Law, baptism (immersion) in water for the remission of sins, and continuance in fellowship and the word (Galatians 1:6-8). (e) Walking in obedience to the Law/Word of Yahweh in the light presently given and repentant of any transgression of the Law as becoming knowledgeable of such (1 Corinthians 16:22; John 14:15; II Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6).
19. Those who are not members or qualify as members but seek truth and attend our worship services, or any other function open to the public, for the purpose of learning and seeking truth are welcome.
20. Those who are not members or do not qualify as members who are neither there for the purpose of learning or seeking truth but desire to cause division, strife, or to spy out our liberty are not welcome and will be asked not to return.
21. In the event of personal conflicts or unBiblical charges being brought against a member or officer of the church the following procedure must be adhered to. The accuser must first go to the accused, privately, to resolve the matter (Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3-4; James 5:19-20). If the accused will not hear then the accuser is to take two or three witness in attempt to resolve the matter (Matthew 18:16; Deuteronomy 19:15; Luke 17:3-4; James 5:19-20). If the accused will still not hear then the matter is to be brought before the church to be judged by the elders (Acts 15:2-6; Acts 16:4; Hebrews 13:17). If the guilty party will not heed the judgment then he is to be dis-fellowshipped (Matthew 18:17). Members may be dis-fellowshipped because of unrepentant heresy and transgression of the Law of God. There must be at least two witnesses to the alleged offense.
22. In matters dealing with doctrinal controversies or doctrinal proposals, the party with the conflict/proposal may request a council before the elders of the church. These requests for a church council can only brought by members of Union Christian Church. The petitioner must submit a brief to the elders, which contains the issue, facts, and reasons why it would edify the body. Upon approval, copies of the brief will be given to every member who will then have two weeks to decide if they want to present an opposing argument. A hearing date will be set, in which members are encouraged to attend, at which time the petitioner must submit a written argument with multiple copies. Photo copies of any supporting documents and references must be included as exhibits. The petitioner and any opponents will orally present their cases and submit their evidence and may be asked questions by the council. Each side will be allowed to ask their opposition five questions which must be concise and to the point. After the hearing, a date will be set for the council to render their decision. On that date the council, all parties involved, and all members who wish to attend will reconvene and the council will issue its decision. The decision by the council must be unanimous. In such case, that a unanimous decision could not be reached by the ruling date, the case must be continued and a new ruling date scheduled until the matter is resolved and a decision is reached. Members of the council are not to discuss the specific case with anyone outside the council until the decision is officially declared. Official decisions are final and can only be appealed if new evidence is introduced. Church members are to be given copies of the decisions and decisions are to be kept on file in church records indefinitely. All proceedings will be taped.
III. Doctrines we believe to be offensive to the Word and to be opposed by the Church. (Not a complete list)
IV. Statement Concerning the Holy Scripture
(Adopted from the Westminster Confession of Faith)
1. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing: which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.
2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: Of the Old Testament:
The Song of Songs
Of the New Testament:
The Acts of the Apostles
All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.
3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.
5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.
7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.
9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.
10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.
V. Code of Conduct for Public Ministry
Because of the increased focus on public ministry we feel that it is necessary to lay down a list of guidelines for the public conduct of those who want to represent Union Christian Church in public ministry. This guideline applies to all aspects of our public witness whether it is in the context of operating a booth/literature table at public events, protests, rallies, or in any manner dealing with the public. It is imperative that we maintain a high standard so that our enemies will have no truthful evil to say of us.
1. Courtesy and civility should be maintained at all times.
2. Absolutely no profane, vile, obscene or "curse" words will be tolerated. This includes words that are assumed by the general public by to be words unbecoming to a Christian.
3. Do not use racial slang.
4. Do not use phrases or even joke about things we do not represent or believe in. Example: No "Hail Hitlers," nazi salutes, or anything of like manner even in a joking way
5. When someone is looking for an argument remember that this is taking time away from the possibility of talking to someone else who is more responsive. If the discussion is leading toward becoming an intense argument it is better to just walk away and wait for someone you can civilly talk to. Do not allow yourself to be baited. Do not get in their face or get in a screaming match. If you can not keep your cool do not engage in the discussion. Every circumstance will be evaluated on an individual basis. Just remember we are not going to fight wolves but to reach lost sheep. Fighting off the wolves is to be conducted in other venues if possible.
6. Keep your discussion with the public centered on our objectives. Do not promote things that we do not proclaim as a church. Remember you are representing the church, our local body of Christ, and not your own personal thoughts or beliefs on any specific matter. If you want to promote something we do not hold to as a church do your own evangelizing under you own name.
7. Everything you do, say, or any image you present is being scrutinized by everyone, even those who privately agree or sympathize with us.
8. Do not engage in discussion that you can not hold your own in. Either hold your tongue and wait for another day or get someone to help you out. Be careful how you present any issue and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. It is best not to hurry into any discussion but to be slow and precise. It is better to say too little under control then to say too much out of control. Once you say it you can not take it back.
9. It is better to refrain then to attempt to continue the discussion if you become too emotionally involved. Passion is important but if you are too excited it is difficult to control your words.
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." - Edward Everett Hale
Amended: October 31, 2003
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