- I believe that the entire Bible is absolutely true; that God (who invented words and who IS the Word) communicated to His servants so precisely what He wanted to communicate that there was no error whatsoever in what He said. I don’t believe that God is clumsy with His words, which would result in His people accidentally believing things that are not true about Him. I don’t believe that God is careless about His words or that there is even one single letter of any word in the Bible that He didn’t craft with perfect precision. The Bible (using the King James Version as an example, although we know that the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, with a little Aramaic thrown in) has 3 million English-alphabet letters (3,116,480 … to be exact).
But compare that to God’s creation of YOU! He invented our bodies with such precision that the DNA that makes you (the human genome) has 3.2 BILLION base pairs … and every single cell in your body holds two copies of that DNA sequence. You are EXPONENTIALLY more complex to “write” than the Bible. Compared to God’s instructions for creating you as an individual, with 6.4 BILLION letters in every single one of your cells, writing the Bible would be like a comic-book length … or a post-it note.
I also believe that the God who can do THAT would be mindful enough to handpick each individual He used to write down the Bible (Moses, Isaiah, Luke, etc.). Again, He works with such precision that in every case He chose the very best person that existed on planet Earth to write each particular book or epistle.
The Bible is absolutely trustworthy!
- I believe that the Missionary Church has beautifully summarized the great truths of our faith that are contained in the Bible, in the document that we call our Articles of Faith.
The best and brightest minds in the Missionary Church collaborated on our Articles of Faith, laboring for years … examining every single word and phrase … to give us a clear and complete understanding of the biblical basis of our faith.
It is clear. God-honoring. Reverent. And beautifully expressed.
- I believe that every Christian in the Missionary Church should read slowly and carefully our Articles of Faith—five pages within our Missionary Church Constitution that describe what we believe. If you are giving your life to this great organization called the Missionary Church (and you are, by the way—a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time as the limited years of your life roll by), then you owe it to yourself to think carefully about what we as a family of churches believe. Why wouldn’t you want to know that? Why wouldn’t you want to actually read it slowly enough and carefully enough that you really know, deep in your spirit, what our family of churches believes?
- I believe that Bethel University, our Missionary Church school, should clearly and intentionally teach our students what we believe, as found in the Articles of Faith of the Missionary Church Constitution. It is our understanding of the Bible, and it beautifully summarizes what we want every pastor to preach and every church leader to teach. We want our pastors and church leaders to know these truths deeply and to be able to express them clearly and eloquently. And we want our churches to be blessed by pastors and teachers who are trained at our university to be able to articulate what we believe as summarized in our Articles of Faith!
Why wouldn’t we want our children to attend our university for training in what we believe so that they are prepared to minister to their churches, their communities, and their workplaces … communicating the truths of the Bible in the power of the Spirit?
And parents? No matter what university you are considering for a Christian education for your child, look up the statement of beliefs posted on the school’s website and compare it to the Missionary Church Articles of Faith.
Is it contrary to what you and your church believe? Let that be a warning signal. The last thing you want is for your teenagers to come home more confused about their faith than when they left.
Is the school’s statement of faith vague, minimal, or inadequate? Then you can’t count on their professors to teach your son or daughter specific, thorough, and adequate doctrine to live by. In that case, don’t be afraid to ask specific, direct questions about what your child will be taught … and decide accordingly.
- I believe that every one of our churches should include a study of the Articles of Faith of the Missionary Church while preparing people to become members of the church. It would benefit every congregation to be filled with strong believers who know clearly what our common beliefs and understanding are. It would protect every congregation from doctrinal division to have its members know what we believe as a denomination and why.
- I believe that every pastor in the Missionary Church should carefully and thoughtfully read our Articles of Faith in order to very clearly understand our doctrines. I believe that every pastor has a responsibility to study those beliefs and to examine the 293 Scripture references that are included in the document as a way of knowing WHY we hold those beliefs!
Who would want a pastor who couldn’t be bothered to be an expert on the church’s beliefs or who didn’t approach the Bible with more intentionality than to write a sermon out of it once a week? Our churches deserve the best thinking by the best pastors that the Lord can give us, on the best understanding of our faith, as expressed by our best leaders who labored to create it.
We want our pastors to be both deep and wide in their understanding of the Bible. Is there a better place to take that deeper dive than to examine the core tenets of our faith as they are found in our Articles of Faith?
- I believe that this sort of serious intentionality is needed in our day, when the deep understanding of the Bible is being lost and people are spending more time on the internet in a day than they spend in the Bible in a month. Is it any wonder that our country is suffering from a lack of wisdom? Our country’s wisdom will never be stronger than our citizenry’s collective wisdom, and our citizens have only one source of undisputed and inerrant wisdom … the Word of God.
- Because I believe that you believe these things also, I would like to ask you to put them into effect. Pastor, study these Articles of Faith for yourself. Talk to your Sunday School teachers and small group leaders about spending a quarter teaching our doctrine. Talk to our university, encouraging them to make sure that they teach our future ministry leaders from our doctrinal statement. This sort of alignment will protect our churches, our people, our pastors, and our denominational university from doctrinal drift.
- I believe that you will want to begin today. For this reason, go to the Missionary Church website to download a copy of the Missionary Church Constitution. The Articles of Faith are right near the beginning. God bless you as you read!!