Calvary Baptist Church

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A Few Distinctives of Calvary

God’s Word commands us to be holy, for He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). We are exhorted to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48), and to perfect holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1). While we recognize that our earthly frame prevents us from achieving the standard God’s Word establishes (1 John 1:8), neither are we free to alter or abandon that standard. The spiritual temperature of the assembly must be kept high.

We recognize that honest believers differ and that all of us are at differing levels of spiritual maturity both in terms of doctrinal understanding and practice. None of us have arrived (Philippians 3:13). For this reason, we must seek to apply Biblical principles in our relationships one to another in the church family: we must guard our attitude and not develop a judgmental, critical spirit (Romans 14:3,4); we must guard our actions because we will each give an account to the Lord (Romans 14:7-14); and we must guard our affections and exhibit love toward those who would disagree in matters of preference (Romans 14:15). As we seek the oneness in the congregation for which Christ prayed in John 17, we are to receive one another in love without strife, while we contend for the Faith without being contentious with the faithful (Romans 14:1).

It is in this spirit that the following are set forth as some of the distinctives of this local church.

1. Sanctity of Human Life

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well–being of the mother are acceptable While we view government programs in conflict with these standards as sinful, we also believe that the example of our Lord in Matthew 12:18–19 instructs that we as believers should not take these convictions “to the streets.” We do, however, recognize the God–ordained privilege and authority of government to use capital punishment where Biblically appropriate (Genesis 9:6; Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14–16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15–18; Luke 1:44; Romans 13:4).

2. Authority and Jurisdiction

God operates in this world through authorities and jurisdictions through which He has chosen to delegate His all–encompassing authority. The Lord Jesus Christ said to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. We believe our decisions and actions in every life situation should be governed by first determining the appropriate jurisdiction and authority, and then ordering our behavior according to the Scriptural requirements for each jurisdiction and authority. We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the Church; and 3) the state, and by extension of these, employment. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. We further believe it is the duty of believers to respect, pray for, and serve those whom God has set in authority over them (Matthew 22:21; Matthew 28:18; Luke 7:6–9; Romans 13:1–7; Ephesians 5:22–24; 1 Timothy 2:1–4; Titus 3:1–2; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13–14).

3. Divorce

We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery. Remarriage would be permitted only after the death of the spouse. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may be forgiven and may hold positions of service in the Church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor, elder, or deacon. In addition, based on the statement of our Lord in Matthew 19:7–9, this church will not perform a remarriage of a person who has a living spouse (Malachi 2:14–17; Matthew 19:3–12; Romans 7:1–3; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).

4. Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God established the tithe as a basis for giving but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9–10; Acts 4:34–37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6–7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5:17–18; 1 John 3:17).

5. Immorality

We stand against immorality as defined by the Word of God, including but not limited to the actions specified in the Ten Commandments, as well as any form of sexual immorality, drunkenness, and substance abuse. (Genesis 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8–9; Exodus 20:1–17; Leviticus 18:1–30; Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29–35; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:10; Romans 1:26–29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8; 22:15).

6. Indebtedness

We believe that, as stated by missionary statesman Hudson Taylor, “Depend on it. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.” We therefore reject financial indebtedness in carrying out the work of God and of His Church and believe God is able to protect and direct His Church and glorify Himself through His provision (Proverbs 22:7; Romans 13: 8; Philippians 4:19).

7. Lawsuits Between Believers

We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that Christians retain the privilege of defending themselves in legal actions brought against them (1 Corinthians 6:1–8; Ephesians 4:31–32).

8. Music

We believe that God’s Word establishes clear standards with regard to music totally apart from personal tastes. We believe that Godly, triumphant, melodious, traditional music alone meets those Biblical standards and that only such music is acceptable for the worship and service of God. These standards exclude what is commonly known as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), sensual techniques of performance, and any form of the rock beat (Ephesians 5:9–10, 18–19; Colossians 3:16–17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21–22).