First Baptist Church of Oxford, MI Article III: Articles of Faith
Section 14. Positions of FBCO Concerning Various Contemporary Issues
A. Questionable Practices, Entertainment Choices, and Substance Abuse Every believer should refrain from any practice that would dishonor the Lord, undermine his/her spiritual growth, create a stumbling block for other believers, damage his/her reputation before unbelievers, or hinder his/her witness to unbelievers.
References: See Rom 14-15; 1 Cor 6:12; 8:9; 10:23; Phil 2:14-15; Col 4:5-6; 1 Thes 4:10; 1 Tim 3:7; Titus 2:9-10
A believer must carefully guard his/her heart and mind by making wise, principled decisions regarding entertainment choices. That includes the use of music, reading material, television or movies, in whatever location or format.
References: See 1 Cor 6:19-20; Eph 4:1; 5:10; Phil 4:8-9; Col 1:9-14.
A believer should also refrain from partaking of any substance (naturally occurring, modified, or synthetically produced) that would be injurious to the mind or body, or in any way inhibit or alter one’s conscious ethical response to circumstances and relationships in life, except under the explicit oversight of a physician. That would include the use of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, and the misuse of prescription medication.
References: See Rom 12:1-2; 13:12-14; 1 Cor 6:19-20; Eph 5:11, 18; Phil 4:8-9; cf. also 1 Cor 5:9-11; 6:10; Gal 5:19-21.
B. Christian Giving. New Testament teaching is very clear on the principles of giving. This stewardship responsibility and worship opportunity should be generous, sacrificial, voluntary, cheerful, and systematic. Funds received by the church are to be used for (1) ministry to believers in need; (2) support for the elders of the church; (3) sustaining the various ministries of the church; and (4) supporting others who minister elsewhere on behalf of the church.
References: See Mk. 12:41-44; 26:7; Luke 6:38; 21:1-4; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-37; 11:19-30; 1 Cor 16:1-4; II Cor 8:1-6; 9:6-7; Gal 6:6-10; Phil 4:10-20; 2 Thes 3:6-9; 1 Tim 5:9-16, 17-18; Heb 13:16-17.
C. Women’s Role in Church Leadership. Men and women are created equal in the image of God, but maintain complementary differences in role and function. In the church, some roles are to be held only by men (e.g. elder/bishop/pastor and deacon). This is because of the exercise of authority in the teaching role and/or decision making responsibility. The Bible teaches that women should minister in a way that does not undermine the principle of spiritual leadership by men in the home and church. Women all have valuable spiritual gifts which they are to exercise in the worship and ministry of the local church.
References: See 1 Cor 11:1-6; 14:33-36; Eph 5:23; 1 Tim 2:12; cf. 1 Tim 3:2, 4-5, 11-12 ; Titus 1:6.
D. Bible Translations. We hold that inspiration is a direct miracle of God by which human authors and human languages were employed by God to give human beings His revelation in written form. We believe that God has providentially preserved His word in the many manuscripts, fragments, versions, translations, and copies of the Scriptures that are available, and that by diligent study, comparison, and correlation, the original text (words) can be ascertained. Any translation that is faithful to the inspired original autographs can be held up as the Word of God. We acknowledge the right of all Christians to study the manuscript evidence regarding the text of Scripture, as well as the merits of various approaches to translation theory, and to come to a preference for a text type or translation. We hold that the Word of God is not to be found exclusively in one English translation or any one translation in any other language.
References: See 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21.
We believe that the King James Version, first translated in 1611, and revised several times over the years, is God’s Word. It is the Bible translation used in our church for public preaching and teaching. It has been used widely by believers for hundreds of years with great spiritual profit, and has had a profound influence upon culture and literature across the English-speaking world. Though acknowledging the many changes to word meaning and literary style since the time of its writing, the King James Version of the Bible should be treated with spiritual reverence and literary respect.