The Statement of Faith is a very important document that should be examined when searching for a Church home to be a part of, and serve in, 'til Jesus comes in the Rapture. Due to the falling away from "the faith once delivered to the saints" by many professing believers, it cannot be taken for granted that every building with a steeple on it can be considered a group of born-again believers whose goal is becoming a church like the model established by Jesus in the first century. We have lived to see religious works cropping up daily that were not founded upon Jesus, (although they use his name) false preachers spreading a false Gospel from a false Bible for pride and filthy lucre, and people on pews whose only knowledge of God is what they have heard because they fail to read the true Bible for themselves. The following doctrinal statements serve as a representative of our commitment to "the faith" and endeavor to teach and pass that faith along to future generations, should Jesus tarry. We trust you will find it valuable, as the Truth, in exposing doctrinal error and false religious practice. This Scriptural foundation is extremely beneficial to us as we continue "Teaching the Word -Touching the World!"
Statement of Faith and Covenant
Friendship Baptist Church
A. The Holy Scriptures.
We believe that the Holy Bible, as originally written, is verbally inspired and the product of Sprit-filled men and has been divinely preserved to date in the Authorized Version 1611, and, therefore, is truth without any admixture of error for its matter. The Bible shall be interpreted according to its normal grammatical-historical meaning. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. We believe the Bible to have only one interpretation which may be revealed to any believer by the Holy Spirit.
By "Holy Bible", we mean that collection of sixty-six books, namely the Old and New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as written and preserved in the Authorized Version of 1611, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the Word of God. It is the complete and divine revelation of God to man.
By "Inspiration", we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a definite way that their writings were super-naturally and verbally inspired and preserved, free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be.
(II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21; John 17:17; Psalm 12:6-7)
Whereas there are a number of other versions of the Bible in circulation, all of which are not reliable due to their omission of words, their paraphrases, their fallible attempt to convey the thoughts of God, and their being translated from corrupt manuscripts, we consider it, therefore, a necessity and privilege to use only the King James Version, in our pulpit, our classrooms, and all other ministries. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19)
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or roles of life, which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations - the law, the church, and the kingdom - are subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture.
(Genesis 1:28; I Corinthians 9:17; II Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-15; Ephesians 1:10, 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24-25, 27; Revelation 20:2-6)
C. The Godhead.
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. This Divine God is inexpressively glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love. He, as a unified, Triune God, eternally existing in three distinct persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit - each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. Each Divine Person executes distinct, but, harmonious offices in the great work of the redemption of the unregenerated souls of spiritually lost mankind. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Genesis I-2; Isaiah 44:6, 57:15; Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 8:6; II Corinthians 13:14; John 10:14, 26)
D. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, He became completely man without ceasing to be completely God, having been miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary, in order that he might reveal God and redeem sinful men. He was subject to temptation, yet without any sin. He is the Messiah for Israel, the Savior of the world, the only way any man can come to God the Father for forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. He is to be worshiped and glorified as the Lord.(Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 1:31-35; John 1:1-2, 4:42; 14:6; 16:14; 20:28; II Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 4:15; I Peter 2:22)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by his literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; I Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24, 7:25; Romans 8:34; I John 2:1-2)
E. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who was active in Creation; convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. He leads, intercedes, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and comforts the believer. (John 1:12-13; 3:5-8; 5:30-32; 14:16-17, 26; 16:8-11; Romans 8:9, 14-16, 26-27; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)
We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; I John 2:20, 27)
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12)
F. The Total Depravity of Man.
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in a state of innocence as a free moral agent under the law of his Maker, God. By voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless, happy state, fully aware of a sinful nature, alienated from God. We believe that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
G. Christ’s Atonement.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him a body of flesh, yet without sin, honored the divine law by personal obedience and made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins by the shedding of his blood in his death, which reconciles the sinner to God. His atonement consisted not in providing us an example by his death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. Now, having risen bodily from the dead, He is seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.
We believe the atonement is not limited, but, effectual to any sinner accepting it by faith. Being eternal, the atonement covers all sin…past, present and future, of the redeemed, therefore, any individual under this atonement is eternally saved from eternal condemnation because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.(Ephesians 2:8-10; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-26; John 3:14-19; II Corinthians 5:18-20; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; I John 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 5:21; I Timothy 2:5; I John 2:2; Hebrews 9:14; John 5:24; Romans 5:8-11)
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace. We believe that the salvation of a soul requires a belief in God; repentance toward God, which involves genuine sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn from it, and faith toward Jesus Christ as ones’ personal Lord and Savior. Salvation is received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins, not requiring any merit on our part. We believe that this salvation is thereafter permanent and eternal to the believer, evidenced by the witness of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (John 1:12; John 3:15-19; Acts 20:21, 16:31; II Corinthians 2:9-10; Ephesians 1:7, 13; 2:8-10; 4:30; I Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 11:6; I Peter 1:18-19; I John 4:13; 5:10-13)
I. The New Birth.
We believe the new birth, "being born-again," is the regenerative act of the Holy Spirit upon a sinner when he repents of his sin and believes the Gospel according to the Scriptures, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. As a result of the new birth, the sinner is made a new creature in Christ Jesus, partaking of the divine nature and receiving eternal life as a free gift of God. Regeneration of the spirit, resulting in the "new man" and consequently partaking of the divine nature in the spirit, is brought about in a manner above comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth. (John 3:3; 6-8; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; John 1:12-13; I Corinthians 4:15; I Peter 1:23; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1, 15; 4:24; Colossians 2:13; Titus 3:5)
We believe that justification is the act of God whereby He declared the born-again believer to be just and righteous, though faith, in Christ Jesus; that this justification includes the pardon of sin and the imputation of God’s own righteousness. This righteousness is bestowed, not in consideration of any works we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. (Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 3:24-28; 5:1, 9; Ephesians 2:8-10)
We believe that sanctification is the "divine setting apart" of the believer, unto God, accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believers’ spirit, or "new man," in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the soul of a saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the inner man; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return, when the body, or "old man," will then be changed and transformed into a perfect, sinless body, in the image of Christ. (I Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10-14; I John 3:9; Ephesians 4:24; John 17:17; II Corinthians 3:18, 4:16; I Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:25-26; I Thessalonians 4:3-4, 5:23-24; Philippians 3:21; I Corinthians 15:51-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Romans 8:29; I John 3:2)
We believe that adoption is the gracious act whereby the Father, for the sake of Christ, places new believers into the honored position of mature sons, in contrast with regeneration…whereby the believer receives the nature of God and becomes the child of God. The full benefit of the position afforded by adoption, as the sons of God, awaits the glorification of the believer at the coming of the Lord and the redemption of the body. (Ephesians 1:5, 13-14; Galatians 4:1-7; I John 3:1-2; Romans 5:15, 23)
M. The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; I Peter 1:4-5; I John 5:10-13)We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
N. The Church.
We believe in the unity of all true believers in the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ. The Church was organized and established by Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry and was empowered by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. We believe that all believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this Church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the exact time they repent and trust Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. (I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 11:2; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, 2:38; Ephesians 1:22-23; Titus 2:11-15)
We believe that the Church is manifested through the local Church which is a group of born-again believers who have voluntarily joined themselves together to carry out the Great Commission. This congregation is associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the two Scriptural ordinances of Christ for the local Church in this age…believers’ baptism by immersion in water and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. The local Church is governed by laws in accordance with the Pauline revelations of the New Testament; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested to it by God’s Word. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local Churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Matthew 28:19-29; Acts 2:41-42; 14:27, 18:18; 20:17, 28-32; I Corinthians 11:23-26)
We believe that the local Church officers are pastors, also called elders, and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures.(I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11; Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:1-4)
We believe the ministry of the local Church is for edification, perfection, exhortation and comfort of its members in spiritual matters, thus facilitating the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have been divinely given opportunity. (Ephesians 4:11-16; James 1:21-27)
We believe in the autonomy of the local Church, the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference, authority or control of any hierarchy of individuals or organization, responsible only to our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local Church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline or benevolence, the will of the local Church is final. Thus, this local Church shall remain an independent Baptist Church and shall never join or obligate itself to any association, convention, World Council of Churches or National Council of Churches. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; Romans 16:1, 4; I Corinthians 3:9, 16; 5:4-13)
O. Believers Baptism.
We believe that baptism is the immersion of the born-again believer in water, administered under the authority of the local Church, to show forth in a figure or emblem, our submission to, and faith in, the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life. We believe that baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of local Church membership. (Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-6; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:41, 9:17-18; Matthew 28:19-20)
P. The Lord’s Supper.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of Jesus’ death until he comes in the Rapture, administered under the authority of the local Church, and, as practicing closed communion, to be faithfully observed by the membership of said local Church. As an opportunity of personal, spiritual discipline, solemnly remembering the reason for Jesus’ death… to set men free from the power and penalty of sin that once had dominion over us, the Lord’s Supper should always be preceded by serious self-examination; thus, surrendering the will to the Spirit that repentance be observed to acknowledge faith in the believers relationship with the Son, confession of known sin be made to God for forgiveness of sin and renewed fellowship with the Father, and retribution be made, when possible, to restore an effective, godly testimony. (Matthew 26:26-28; Romans 6:4-22; I Corinthians 11:23-32; I John 1:1-9; Matthew 5:23-25)
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, appearances, practices and associations, is commanded of God. (Romans 12:1-2; 14:13; II Corinthians 6:14-18, 7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Timothy 3: 8-10; Leviticus 19:28; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11)
R. The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in that "blessed hope", the personal, imminent return of the resurrected and ascended Christ, who will rapture His Church, all born-again believers, prior to the seven-year tribulation period, which will mark the end of the dispensation of the Church Age. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45: Zechariah 14:4-11; Matthew 28:67; Luke 24:2-6, 39; John 20:27; I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
S. The Eternal State.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, at the Rapture of the Church, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. All believers will then appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, where their works and motives for service will be tested by fire, with the promise of literal rewards and inheritance during the Millennial Reign of Christ. (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 14:10; II Corinthians 5:10; I Corinthians 3:9-15; 4:5; Colossians 3:23-24; II Timothy 2:10-12; Luke 19:11-26; Rev. 20:4-6)
We believe that the souls of unbelievers since Adam remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment. This judgment will only determine the extent of degree of their damnation. They shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment for their sin. (Matthew 23:14; 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 14:10-11; 20:5-6, 11-15; 21:8)
T. The Personality of Satan.
We believe that Satan was created perfect, as a cherub called Lucifer, and because of pride, rebelled against God and became the author of sin. As the openly declared enemy of God, he appeared as an angel of light to Eve in the Garden of Eden and tricked her to disobey God. Adam, her husband, who was with her, knowingly and willfully disobeyed God’s command, resulting in the fall of man. As the Devil, he appears on Earth as the god of this world working in judgment, killing, deceiving, hindering, tempting and accusing. During the Great Tribulation, he will indwell the Antichrist. After the Antichrist is destroyed, he will be chained in the bottomless pit during the 1000 year reign of Christ. At the end of that time, he shall be loosed for a season to assemble an army of sinners for his last attempt to overthrow God. He and his army will be defeated and he will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be eternally punished. (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-15; II Corinthians 11:14; Genesis 3;1-6; Romans 5:12; II Corinthians 4:3-4; Matthew 4:2-11; John 8:44; I Thessalonians 2:18; II Thessalonians 2:3-9; Revelation 19: 11-20; Matthew 24:41; Revelation 20:1-10)
U. Spiritual Gifts, Miracles, Signs and Wonders.
We believe the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12 are given, today, for the ministry to all parts of the body of Christ, with the exception of those gifts which are specifically called "signs". Those gifts which are called signs, wonders or miracles, were given by the Spirit during the beginning of the Church in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles for these purposes…1) to identify their divine calling as an "apostle", thus authenticating their ministry, 2) to get the Jew to listen to the Gospel message or believe a new revelation, 3) as a sign of judgment to the Jew, or 4) to confirm the Word or Scripture that was spoken by the Apostles, but not yet in written form as we have the Scriptures today. Since there are no Apostles present today and the Gospel ministry is almost totally to the Gentile and we have a complete Bible, we reject the temporary sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as "speaking in tongues" and "supernatural healing" as found in the apostolic ministry and any other "sign and wonder" as a heresy and "lying signs and wonders" produced by Satanic powers in these last days to deceive the world.
We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit as promoted by the charismatic movement. We believe the ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness and death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, although God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers, through faith and confession, in accordance to His Word and divine will, for physical healing. (I Corinthians 1:21-22; 12:1-11; 14:21-22; 13:8-11; Mark 16:17-18,20; Acts 2:4-5, 43; 3:7; 5:12; II Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4; Matthew 24:5, 11, 24; I Timothy 4:1-2; II Thessalonians 2:8-9; Ephesians 5:18; I Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:14-16)
We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, without any evolutionary process. We believe that God created the universe and all that was contained therein, in six literal, 24-hour periods. We believe man, created by a direct work of God and not from any previously existing forms of life, is made up of body, soul and spirit. All men are descending from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Hence, we reject the Theory of Evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, Theistic Evolution or any other secular or scientific, humanistic attempt to reason or discredit the Biblical account as unscriptural and false theories of origin. (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11)
W. Civil Government.
We believe that God has ordained and created three basic institutions of authority for the interests and good order of human society: 1) the home; 2) the Church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these three authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical 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 the respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14)
X. Human Sexuality.
We believe the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man to one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:3-6; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman, thus exemplifying the God-honoring value of virginity. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24; Deuteronomy 22:13-21; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Genesis 19:5, 13; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
We believe that man and woman are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the Church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be leaders (Pastors and Deacons) of the Church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the Church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
Y. Divorce and Remarriage.
We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses die. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used by God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of Pastor or Deacon. (Malachi 2:14-17; Romans 7:2; Matthew 19:3-12; Deuteronomy 22:13-19; Romans 7:1-3; I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, inexcusable 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. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16: Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must conscientiously use all available means to go to the lost in our area, the United States and throughout the foreign nations with the Gospel and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:20)
BB. 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 a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of the portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to faithfully support his local Church financially. We believe that God has 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 to spread the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17)