Archive for the 'Resolutions' Category

Resolved

Resolution on Creation and Evolution

WHEREAS, the Bible says that in “six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exod 20:11); and

WHEREAS, the theory of evolution holds that the universe including the earth with all its life evolved over billions of years; and

WHEREAS, science is “systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature of principles of what is being studied” (Webster’s New World Dictionary); and

WHEREAS, the theory of evolution is not properly science but a philosophy bordering on religion that requires faith, since it is impossible to observe it happening over billions of years and no complete experimentation can be carried out on it during that time; and

WHEREAS, the theory of evolution undermines the doctrine of sin and salvation, since evolution requires death for the survival of the fittest before man ever existed, whereas the Bible states that death did not exist until man sinned (Rom 5:12); and

WHEREAS, certain ungodly philosophies are based upon evolution such as Communism, Nazism, certain forms of racism, and is a foundation for many forms of immorality;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we the delegates and members of the Ohio Bible Fellowship at its 2010 Fall Conference in Bellevue and Willard, Ohio, identify the theory of evolution as one of the great errors and heresies of our age that has led to all manner of sins; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we believe that the Lord created the universe out of nothing in six standard earth days, not more than ten thousand years ago in keeping with a literal biblical chronology; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we will stand against the theory of evolution and its resulting errors in our teaching and preaching and teach young earth creation according to a literal reading of the Bible.

Resolution on Biblical Separation and Evangelicals

WHEREAS biblical separatism is based on the holiness of God (2 Cor 6:14–7:1; 1 Pet 1:14–16); and

WHEREAS “ecclesiastical separation is grounded in the character of God Himself,” being an “expression of His eternal holiness” (Rolland McCune, Promise Unfulfilled, p. 138); and

WHEREAS ecclesiastical separation involves having no fellowship in spiritual endeavors with either apostates (Rom 16:17–19; 2 Cor 6:14–7:1; 2 John 7–11), or disobedient brethren (2 Thess 3:6, 14–15); and

WHEREAS there is a legitimate corruption by association that we must fear (1 Cor 15:33; cf. Prov 22:24–25); and

WHEREAS one promotes those with whom he associates (2 Chron 19:2; Gal 2:12–14; 1 Tim 5:22), thereby potentially identifying oneself and one’s ministry with those who do not believe and obey the Word of God in either doctrine or practice (1 Cor 5:6; 2 Thess 3:14); and

WHEREAS there have always been evangelicals who have done good work for the Lord but have either been inconsistent, apathetic, or denied the doctrine and practice of separation from either apostates or disobedient brethren; and

WHEREAS we are alarmed by the growing trend among many separatists, who, basing their separation on something other than God’s holiness, engage in spiritual endeavor with such evangelicals;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship meeting in our Fall Conference on October 8–9, 2010 at Faith Bible Church, Bellevue, Ohio, and Calvary Baptist Church, Willard, Ohio, make every effort to consistently practice biblical separation, thereby obeying our God and expressing His holiness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we encourage our separatist brethren and ministries to base their separation on the holiness of God, recognizing that associations affect their testimony, the ministries they represent, and their influence on other separatists; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we encourage our evangelical brethren to believe and consistently practice the doctrine of separation from both apostates and disobedient brethren, thereby glorifying God by expressing His holiness.

The following resolution recently passed by the American Council of Christian Churches is included as it is consistent with and adds helpful detail to the above resolution passed by the Ohio Bible Fellowship at its recent fall meeting.

Resolution on Together for the Gospel

The theological and ecclesiastical confusion that has its roots in the middle of the 20th century and that has been flourishing in the first decade of the 21st century springs from the willingness to forsake the Biblical doctrine of separation. The “new” evangelicalism of dialogue and cooperation with those who deny the Gospel departed decades ago from the old evangelicalism, also known as Fundamentalism, which stressed the need for the people of God to maintain separation from those who depart from Biblical truth (Eph 5:11).

Early in the 21st century, another movement has begun as an effort to counter the dilution of Gospel doctrine by the marketing schemes concocted to make church growth easier to generate and consolidate. Part of those schemes emphasized the need to avoid any heavy emphasis on doctrine, particularly doctrine that could make seekers uncomfortable. A certain group in evangelicalism sounded the alarm that some churches, at least, had opted for the road of less resistance and had weakened the Gospel message to such an extent that it was practically devoid of any direction to show people how to be saved or even that they needed to be saved.

In the middle of the century’s first decade, four men agreed to establish a movement that they called Together for the Gospel. Initially, its main purpose was to organize conferences every two years, beginning in the spring of 2006, which they hoped would attract those who had become alarmed at the weakening of the evangelical message. Since then, it has developed into the desire for a loose affiliation of individuals and churches that have been involved in the conferences. The founders of the movement were J. Ligon Duncan III, who until this past June was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA); Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capital Hill Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.; C. J. Mahaney, who served for 27 years as pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD and who now leads Sovereign Grace Ministries; and Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Those men drafted a constitutional document for their movement that they called Affirmations and Denials in which they sought to clarify the purposes they were trying to achieve. They began by saying, “We are brothers in Christ united in one great cause – to stand together for the Gospel. We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many churches and among many who claim the name of Christ. Compromise of the Gospel has led to the preaching of false gospels, the seduction of many minds and movements, and the weakening of the church’s Gospel witness.” They added, “We are concerned about the tendency of so many churches to substitute technique for truth, therapy for theology, and management for ministry.”

These statements along with many other parts of the document express sentiments for which Fundamentalists have been contending for years. The doctrinal affirmations and denials of Together for the Gospel reflect sound orthodoxy. For examples, Article VII maintains, “We affirm that salvation is all of grace, and that the Gospel is revealed to us in doctrines that most faithfully exalt God’s sovereign purpose to save sinners and in His determination to save his redeemed people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to His glory alone.”

However, there is one vital element of Biblical truth that is missing from the document. There is no call to adhere to the Biblical doctrine of separation. Instead, Article XV states, “We affirm that evangelical congregations are to work together in humble and voluntary cooperation and that the spiritual fellowship of Gospel congregations bears witness to the unity of the Church and the glory of God.”  However, what constitutes an evangelical congregation is not readily apparent. It is even less apparent when considering that two of the signers of that document, Albert Mohler and J. Ligon Duncan III, are also signers of the Manhattan Declaration that pointedly affirms that Roman Catholics and adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy are fellow Christians.

The appeal of Together for the Gospel is undeniable. The 2010 conference attracted an attendance that numbered in the thousands. The potential for harm, however, is just as real. The idea that cooperation can be a function of agreeing on the Gospel without referencing the historic lines of Biblical separation sounds eerily like the philosophy of the “new” evangelicalism from the late 1940s and onward. The inclusion of so-called Reformed Charismatics as speakers in the conferences, notably C. J. Mahaney, has been justified by describing them as continuationists as opposed to other speakers who are called cessationists. This assumption that there is a place for charismatics in the evangelical tent is not a new error, but the use of the affirmations and denials makes the argument for that place more attractive to those already inclined against Biblical separation.

This new movement, then, follows previous error in neglecting the Biblical doctrine of separation that has always marked Fundamentalism. Sadly, some fundamentalist institutions have begun to welcome as co-laborers some conservative evangelicals associated with efforts like Together for the Gospel. If such trends continue, what has been known as historic Fundamentalism, with its emphasis on Biblical separation, personally and ecclesiastically, will be seriously eroded if not rendered irrelevant.

Therefore, the delegates to the 69th annual convention of the American Council of Christian Churches, meeting October 19–21, 2010 in Hope Baptist Church, Hanover, PA resolve to remind God’s people that Biblical separatism is a watershed doctrine that has its source in the attribute of God’s holiness and determines what kind of legacy we will leave to the generations that follow our own. Undermining separatism for the purposes of cooperation with those who either define the doctrine more loosely or do not hold it at all has proven costly in the past, and it will do so again. Faithfulness from generation to generation requires that we do not surrender the ground that has been defended by those who have gone before us lest those who come after us have no ground left to defend.

December 2010

The OBF at Forty

The Ohio Bible Fellowship recently passed its fortieth anniversary. At our spring meeting, we recognized that milestone by looking back at where we came from and looking ahead toward the coming years.

As part of the “look back,” we were privileged to listen to four men who were among the thirteen founders of the OBF in January, 1968. These men— Graydon Cox, Roger Bixler, George Bailey, and John Ashbrook —shared memories of the OBF’s founding, testimonies of their appreciation of the fellowship, and challenges to those of us who follow them. Here are their testimonies as transcribed from audio recordings.

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The Ohio Bible Fellowship and Resolutions

feature-article.gifDuring the business sessions of the Ohio Bible Fellowship’s quarterly meetings resolutions are read, considered, and acted upon by the Fellowship’s members and delegates. These resolutions are published in the Visitor, and depending on the particular subject matter, sometimes they are also read and addressed during church services. You may have wondered what exactly is a resolution, why the OBF considers and adopts them, or how they are composed and considered.
A resolution is simply a formal motion in written form. Through these formal, written motions, the OBF sets forth and conveys its opinion and position regarding important and significant issues. Resolutions are also written to influence others with regard to the particular subject being addressed. The basis by which the particular subject of a resolution is evaluated is the OBF’s constitution and commitment to militant, separatist fundamentalism.

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Conference Resolutions

The following resolutions were passed during the 2005 Winter Conference of the Ohio Bible Fellowship. They are published here to affirm our stand on the issues presented and to encourage our readers to stand with us.

A RESOLUTION ON PROMISE UNFULFILLED

WHEREAS the theological position known as new evangelicalism has been on the religious scene for approximately sixty-five years; and

WHEREAS this position arose out of fundamentalism and has made great inroads into the numerical base of fundamentalism; and

WHEREAS this position differs from historic fundamentalism in rejecting the doctrine of biblical separation, espousing a social agenda, and agreeing to dialogue with liberalism; and

WHEREAS there has been a need for a history of the movement which would trace the theological aberrations which have occurred through the unscriptural nature of these founding principles; and

WHEREAS Dr. Rolland D. McCune has recently met this need with a book-length effort titled: Promise Unfulfilled: The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism; and

WHEREAS this volume promises to become the definitive history and theological exposure of new evangelicalism from a fundamentalist point of view;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our Winter Conference on January 14–15, 2005, at Westerville Bible Church, Westerville, Ohio, commend Dr. McCune for the Herculean task he has accomplished for fundamentalism in the assembling and critical theological evaluation of this material; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commend the reading of this volume to fundamentalist pastors and people; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we commend this book to our Christian colleges and Bible schools as an appropriate text for courses on fundamentalism and new evangelicalism; and

BE IT NOTED, for the convenience of our readers, that the book may be obtained from Inter-City Christian Bookstore, 4635 Allen Road, Allen Park, Michigan 4810l, (313) 383-6110, www.icbooks.com, for the cost of $24.99.

RESOLUTION ON UNBIBLICAL COOPERATION

WHEREAS on November 14, 2004 many evangelicals, including Ravi Zacharias and Richard Mouw, participated in “An Evening of Friendship” with Mormons in the Mormon Tabernacle; and

WHEREAS the purpose of this meeting was to preach the gospel, strengthen a working relationship with Mormons, and continue the process of dialogue; and

WHEREAS Mormons summarize their beliefs in the statement, “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be,” thereby rejecting the Christian doctrines of the Bible, God, man, sin, Jesus Christ, and salvation; and

WHEREAS Scripture teaches that Christians should not enter into working relationships in spiritual matters with unbelievers or those who compromise with them (2 Cor 6:14–7:1; 2 Thess 3:6, 14) but be separate from them; and

WHEREAS these evangelicals have repudiated the doctrine of separation and made experience, not sound doctrine, the basis of fellowship;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our Winter Conference on January 14–15, 2005 at Westerville Bible Church, Westerville, Ohio, remind ourselves of and renew our commitment to separation from entangling alliances that would compromise our testimony and endanger our churches (2 Cor 6:14–7:1); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in our local churches we teach and practice biblical evangelism, separation, and apologetics rather than ecumenical evangelism and the practice of dialogue; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we expose unbiblical beliefs and practices such as those propagated by Mormonism (Eph 5:11), preach the gospel to all men (Col 1:28), and teach the fundamental doctrines of Christianity for maturity in Christ and protection from error (Eph 4:11–16); and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we make sound doctrine the basis for Christian fellowship and cooperation rather than pleasing experiences at the expense of such doctrine (Eph 4:4–6).

RESOLUTION ON THE UNGUARDED USE OF NEW EVANGELICAL AUTHORS
BEFORE OUR CONGREGATIONS

WHEREAS the most dangerous deviation is the one closest to our own position; and

WHEREAS the conservative voice of new evangelicalism is the fundamentalist’s greatest peril; and

WHEREAS there is a predominance of religious works written by new evangelicals; and

WHEREAS these writers demonstrate an effectiveness in communicating their thoughts and in displaying a winsomeness of personality which readily reaches the mind and heart of the average layman; and

WHEREAS those same authors who are banned from our pulpits gain the ear of our people through their writings; and

WHEREAS Scripture warns against developing friendships with those whose influence can harm us (Prov 22:24–25; 1 Cor 15:33); and

WHEREAS such influence can steadily erode our militancy and develop in us an admiration and even acceptance of individuals clearly identified with the new evangelical movement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our Winter Conference on January 14–15, 2005 at Westerville Bible Church, Westerville, Ohio, renew our commitment to refuse to give new evangelicalism a foothold in our churches through the unguarded usage or inappropriate promotion of their writings before our people; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we identify these writers and warn our people against their subtle influence; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we encourage one another in maintaining our watchfulness as we “seek to protect the flock of God” (Acts 20:28–31).

RESOLUTION ON EVANGELISM

WHEREAS Jesus Christ, before returning to heaven, entrusted the Church with the responsibility of evangelism, making it clear that the gospel was to go into all the world (Mark 16:17; Matt 28:18–20: Acts 1:8); and

WHEREAS each Christian is Christ’s ambassador, to whom God has committed the ministry and message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18–20); and

WHEREAS the truth of God’s Word is the basis of saving faith (Rom 10:17; 2 Tim 3:15) and any message that departs from God’s revelation is a false gospel, accursed by God (Gal 1:6–9); and

WHEREAS evangelism is not peddling a particular moral, religious, or political viewpoint (2 Cor 2:17), meeting felt needs, persuading someone to give mental assent to certain facts, or emotionally overpowering a person;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our Winter Conference on January 14–15, at Westerville Bible Church, Westerville, Ohio, rededicate ourselves to biblical evangelism, faithfully proclaiming the gospel message (1 Cor 1:18, 21; 15:1–4; Rom 10:13–17), God’s divinely ordained means by which he will save those whom he has sovereignly chosen from every tribe, language, and people group (Rev 5:9); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we consistently teach our people their personal responsibility to take the gospel to the world, boldly proclaiming the reality of God, the nature of sin, the person and work of Christ, and the necessity of faith and repentance as revealed in the Bible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we maintain the purity of the gospel message, carefully guarding the truth as revealed in the Bible (Jude 3; 2 Tim 1:13–14) and avoiding associations that would tarnish the gospel (2 Cor 6:14–18; 2 John 10–11; 1 Cor 15:33); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we as God’s representatives confront sinners, commanding them to repent based on who God is (Acts 17:30–31), bearing in mind that the gospel creates opposition and difficulty as the demands of discipleship are clearly delineated (Matt 10:34–39; John 6:60–69); and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we implement these biblical principles in our churches, supporting global missions, reaching out to surrounding communities, clearly presenting the gospel in our preaching and teaching, and making biblically accurate gospel materials available to our people.

January 2005

Fall Conference Resolutions

In each of our quarterly Conferences we pass a series of resolutions in order to make practical application of some of our principles and convictions to current issues. The following resolutions were passed in our Fall Conference of 2004.

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OBF Fall Conference Resolutions

It is important to know where we stand on religious issues. It is important for pastors and their congregations alike. The following resolutions are statements of positions declared in the 2003 Fall Conference of the Ohio Bible Fellowship.

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Winter Conference Resolutions

In each of our Ohio Bible Fellowship Conferences we try to declare some resolutions on issues which concern us. We trust that they inform and encourage our Fellowship constituency and other readers of the Ohio Bible Fellowship Visitor. The following resolutions were passed in the Winter Conference.

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OBF Visitor Website

The OBF Visitor is the official publication of the Ohio Bible Fellowship. Feature articles from past issues of the Visitor are made available here for your use. You may read, distribute, and use this material as long as you do so in its entirety and without modification. All articles © The Ohio Bible Fellowship.

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