Our Doctrinal Statement
This is the doctrinal statement that was used for the last church that we planted. It is the same as the doctrine for the Hedgemaker Baptist Ministries. Since the Lord admonishes believers and churches to conduct the Lord's work in decency and in order (1 Cor 14:40), and since it is necessary that every organized body should have certain governing rules to administer its affairs, the Heritage Baptist Church adopts the following statement of faith and practice. All members, preachers, teachers, missionaries, evangelists, and Christian workers will be expected to agree with this doctrinal statement and correlate their teaching with it.
I. BIBLIOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of the Bible
A. The Inspiration of Scriptures - We Believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and practice, inerrant, infallible and preserved in the present languages (Matt 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21). Inspiration is the doctrine that the very words of the text (hence, verbal inspiration) have been communicated to holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the very words of God. This inspiration extends equally to every part of Scripture (hence, plenary inspiration).
B. The Preservation of Scripture - We further believe that every word of the inspired Scriptures has been preserved by God (Psa 12:6-7). We believe that this has been done in the Old Testament Masoretic Text and the New Testament Received Greek Text. It is of keen interest that all pastors, speakers, teachers, missionaries, and evangelists use the King James Version of the Bible, or a Bible translated from the same line as the Received Text. We believe that God has preserved his inspired, inerrant, and infallible text in the MT/TR/KJV line of text.
C. The Interpretation of Scripture - We believe that the Scriptures must be interpreted from a dispensational viewpoint in order to properly divide the Word of Truth (Col 1:25-27; Heb 1:1; 2 Tim 2:15).
This is the doctrinal statement that was used for the last church that we planted. It is the same as the doctrine for the Hedgemaker Baptist Ministries.
II. THEOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of God
A. The Godhead - We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deu 6:4; 2 Cor 13:14).
B. Creation - We believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively; that the six days of creation in Genesis chapter one were solar, that is, twenty-four hour days; that all animals and vegetable life was made "after their kind"; that man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life (Gen 1:1 - 2:25; Heb 11:3; Jn 1:3; Col 1:16-17).
III. CHRISTOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of Christ
A. The Person of Christ - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (Jn 1:1-2; 14; Lk 1:35).
B. The Work of Christ - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a voluntary substitute; and that our justification is made sure by His literal bodily resurrection from the dead (Rom 3:24-25; 1 Pet 2:24; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:3-5).
C. The Ministry of Christ - 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 Intercessor and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1-2).
IV. PNEUMATOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
A. The Person of the Holy Spirit - We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, just as much God as God, the Father, and God, the Son, are God.
B. The Work of the Holy Spirit - We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration (Jn 6:8-11; 1 Cor 12:12-13; Rom 8:9).
C. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
1. The baptism of the Spirit is the phenomenal experience occurring at Pentecost and thereafter, whereby the Spirit gave special revelatory gifts and the local church was founded (Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33; Ac 1:5; 2:1-13; 8:14-17; 10:44-46; 19:1-7).
2. The indwelling of the Spirit is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the life of every New Testament believer to be a helper in his Christian life (Jn 14:16-17,26; 15:26-27; 16:7-14).
3. The filling of the Spirit is the control of the believer by the Holy Spirit, of which is the privilege and duty of all the saved (Eph 5:18).
4. The gifts of the Spirit are sovereignly bestowed by God upon whom He wills; the ministry gifts and the gifted men (evangelists, pastors, and teachers) are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed (Rom 12:6-8; Eph 4:11-14; 1 Cor 12:4-11; 13:8-12).
5. The anointing of the Spirit is the ministry of the Spirit whereby every believer knows what is the completed Word of God (1 Jn 2:20, 27) and begins to undertand its truths (1 Cor 2:9-16).
V. ANGELOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of Angels
A. Angels - We believe that angels are ministering spirits (Heb 1:14), but that some have fallen into perdition as the servants of Satan (Mat 25:41; 2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6; Rev 12:9).
B. The Personality of Satan - We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin, the cause of the fall, and a fallen angel; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa 14:12-17; Mat 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev 20:10).
VI. HAMARTIOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of Sin
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that man is totally depraved, and of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen 1:26-27; Rom 3:10-23; 5:12; Eph 2:1-3, 12). In order for salvation to take place there must be the exercise of faith toward God and the action of repentance from sin and dead works (Heb 6:1; Luke 13:3; Acts 16:31).
VII. SOTERIOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of Salvation
A. Salvation - We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary's cross for the forgiveness of our sins (Eph 2:8-19; Jn 1:12; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:18-19).
B. Eternal Security - We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (Jn 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Cor 1:4-8; 1 Pet 1:5).
C. Assurance of Salvation - We believe that it is the privilege and duty 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 (Rom 13:13-14; Gal 5:13; Tit 2:11-15).
D. The Two Natures of the Believer - We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural (Rom 6:13; Gal 5:16-25).
E. Sanctification - We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord; and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (2 Tim 3:1-5; Rom 12:1-2; 16:17; 1 Jn 2:15-17; 2 Jn 9-11; 2 Cor 6:14 - 7:1; 2 Thess 3:6, 14-15).
VIII. MISSIOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of Missions
A. Soulwinning - We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mat 28:18-10; Mk 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor 5:19-20).
B. Missions - We believe that the end result of soulwinning in any place is the building of the New Testament local church; and that all missionary activity ought to be that of church planting (Acts 13:1-4; 14:21-23; 20:17-35; 1 Tim 3:15).
IX. ECCLESIOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of the Church
A. The Doctrine of the Local Church - We believe that the term ecclesia usually refers to the local New Testament assembly; and that a church is defined as a local body of baptized believers, who hold to scriptural offices and practice the Biblical ordinances; and that a church ought to be organized for the purposes of worship, prayer, praise, teaching, evangelism, fellowship and maintaining the ordinances. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament (Acts 2:41-47; 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-11).
B. Membership in the Local Church - We believe that there are two Biblical conditions for local church membership, namely regeneration and immersion, or Spirit baptism and water baptism, respectively. In addition this congregation asks that all candidates for membership adhere to the church covenant and statement of faith.
C. The Officers of the Local Church - We believe that the officers of the local church shall be pastors and deacons; and that the pastor is also called a bishop or elder (1 Tim 3:1-13; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Pet 5:1-5). Although believing and practicing a congregational style of church government, leadership responsibility and authority shall be invested by the church in these offices. Each and every auxiliary group or organization, such as, but not limited to, a ladies' or men's fellowship, youth group, Sunday school, Christian academy, Bible Institute, etc., shall be totally integrated with the ministry of the local church.
Section One - Pastor
a. Qualifications for the Office of Pastor:
1) He shall give evidence of conversion to Christ.
2) He shall give testimony of a call to preach.
3) He shall have and maintain a blameless testimony.
4) He shall be the husband of one wife, not a divorcee, married to a divorcee, nor an adulterer.
5) He shall be energetic, and yet self-controlled and of good behavior.
6) He shall be given to hospitality.
7) He shall be an able teacher of God's Word, so that he may exhort and convince the wayward and unruly.
8) He shall be patient and just in all dealings.
9) He shall keep his wife and children in proper subjection.
10) He shall be a mature servant of the Lord (1Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
b. Procedure for Calling a Pastor: Upon locating a man who meets the above qualifications for the office of pastor and who is desirous of pastoral office in this local church, the membership shall extend to him a call to the office. This procedure shall be employed for all pastors. Additional pastors shall serve as assistants to the pastor.
c. Duties of the Pastor:
1) He shall have the spiritual watch care over the church.
2) He shall administrate the affairs of the church.
3) He shall lead the church in its affairs.
4) He shall moderate at all meetings.
5) He shall administrate the ordinances.
6) He shall appoint Christian leaders for service.
7) He shall oversee the work of all assistants.
8) He shall give himself to prayer and the ministry of the Word. NOTE: He may delegate these responsibilities to the assistant pastor(s) and deacons.
d. Dismissal of the Pastor: The pastor(s) shall serve indefinitely or until such time as the Lord may lead him elsewhere. When it becomes evident that he is no longer qualified for the office or is not performing the duties of the office, his dismissal shall be petitioned by the membership and he shall be dismissed by vote of the church.
Section Two - Deacons
a. Qualifications for the Office of Deacon:
1) He shall be a loyal believer and church member.
2) He shall be a man of honor.
3) He shall be honest, not greedy for money.
4) He shall be a man of settled convictions.
5) He shall have a wife (if married) who is honorable, self-controlled, faithful and not slanderous.
6) He shall keep his wife and children in proper submission.
7) He shall have and maintain a blameless testimony.
8) He shall be the husband of one wife, not a divorcee, married to a divorcee, nor an adulterer.
9) He shall be one filled with the Spirit of God and wisdom.
10) He shall be a faithful servant (1Tim 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-4).
b. Procedure for Election of a Deacon: When the need arises in the local church for a layman to serve in the capacity of a deacon, and when such a man who meets the qualifications for the office of deacon is found and is willing to serve in such a capacity, he shall be examined by the church concerning his testimony, doctrine and practice, and upon approval shall be chosen to serve as a deacon.
c. Duties of the Deacons:
1) They shall assist the pastor in carrying forth his duties under the direction and leadership of the pastor.
2) They shall serve as stewards of the properties and ministries of the church.
3) They shall serve as the directors of Christian education, including Sunday school, Christian academy, Bible institute, etc.
4) They shall serve as the directors for every program and ministry of the local church.
5) They shall oversee the financial affairs of the church.
6) They shall serve as a pulpit committee in the absence of a pastor.
d. Dismissal of Deacons: The deacons shall serve indefinitely or until he may resign. When it becomes evident that he is no longer qualified for the office or is not performing the duties of the office, his dismissal may be suggested by the pastor or petitioned by the membership and he shall be dismissed by vote of the church.
Section Three - Christian Workers
a. Qualifications for Christian Workers and Leaders:
1) He must be a regenerated, baptized church member.
2) He must live a good testimony, and be a faithful, loyal servant of Christ and the church.
3) He must dress according to Christian character when in service for the church. a) Men shall have no long hair (i.e., off the ears and collar, 1Cor 11:14) and shall dress neatly and modestly in men's garments; he shall not wear ear rings, necklaces, or bracelets, except of a medical nature. b) Ladies shall dress modestly (i.e., no short dresses, low necklines, or tight fitting clothing, 1Tim 2:9-10), adorn themselves humbly (i.e., no gaudy make-up or excessive jewelry, 1Pet 3:3), wear below-the-knee-length (Isa 47:2) dresses or culottes as becometh women (no pants), and wear long hair (no boyish hair styles, 1Cor 11:15).
b. Procedure for Appointment of Workers: All workers shall be appointed by the pastor or such officer (assistant pastor or deacon) as he may delegate for the appointment of workers.
c. Duties of Christian Workers shall be in accordance with the task to which they are assigned and responsibility for the performance of the task shall rest with the one giving the assignment.
d. Dismissal of Christian Workers from the position to which they are assigned shall be in accordance with the performance of the task and shall be at the discretion of the one assigning the job. All Christian workers are ultimately responsible to the pastor.
D. The Ordinances of the Local Church - We believe that the observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's table are commanded in Scripture of the local church and that these only are authorized by the Lord Jesus (Mat 28:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-28).
1. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer whereby he testifies of his identity with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection and his willingness to obey Him.
2. The Lord's table is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be observed with the elements of bread and cup, and to be observed by His church until He returns. It is in no sense a sacrifice or a means of having sins cleansed, but designed to commemorate His death.
E. The Separation of the Local Church
1. Separation of Churches - We believe the local congregation shall be independent, fundamental, separated and Baptist. There should be no alignment with denominations. Fellowship with other Bible-believing Baptist churches which are fundamental in doctrine and separated in practice is acceptable. Under no circumstances shall there be any endorsement (by association or otherwise) with the following movements:
a. Pentecostalism - those who teach the eradication of the sin nature or total sanctification.
b. Charismatism - those who use the sign gifts in the present age, namely, tongues, sign healings, interpretation of tongues, prophecy and revelation.
c. Arminianism - those who teach a salvation by good works.
d. Calvinism - those who teach salvation as all of God, i.e, man has no part in his salvation (normally referred to as 5-point or hyper Calvinism).
e. Protestantism - those who historically protested the church of Rome including reformed or covenant theologians.
f. Neo-Evangelicalism - those who try to bridge the gap between liberal and conservative theology.
g. Liberalism - those who deny the faith once delivered to the saints.
h. Catholicism - those who adhere to the false doctrines of the church of Rome.
2. Separation of church and state - We believe in the separation of church and state. The state and the local church are two sovereign entities instituted by God. The state was established in Genesis 9 and reaffirmed in Romans 13 for the purpose of protecting the good and punishing the evil; and the local church was established in Acts 2 with the purpose of preaching and proclaiming the truth. It is impossible under God's authority for the state to license, limit, tax, certify or otherwise control the ministries and affairs of the local church save in the areas of safety and protection. At the same time the church cannot exercise control over the affairs of the state; there cannot be a state-church which is Biblical. This is not to say that the church cannot preach against the ills of society or political matters. We believe that the local church ought to be involved in changing the world for the better through evangelism and discipleship and the preaching and teaching of God's Word in order to maintain the political freedom of worship.
F. Finances of the Local Church - The church and its auxiliary groups shall be supported solely by the tithes and offerings of God's people and gifts given to the ministry of the church; there shall be no commercial means of raising money. The deacons shall be authorized to pay all bills. The deacons shall determine the amount of financial support for the pastor, assistants, and other staff in their annual budget proposal.
X. ESCHATOLOGY ~ the Doctrine of Last Things
A. The Rapture - We believe in the "blessed hope," that is, the personal, imminent, pre-tribulational rapture of the body of Christ (Tit 2:13; 1 Thess 4:13-18).
B. The Tribulation - We believe in the scriptural seven years of great tribulation that shall come upon this earth after the catching away of the church saints (Dan 9:24-27; Rev 6-18; 2 Thess 2:1-10).
C. The Second Coming of Christ - Following the tribulation and reign of the antichrist, we believe in the subsequent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth, with His saints, to establish His millennial kingdom (Zec 14:4-11; Rev 19:11-16; 20:1-6; 1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10).
D. The Kingdom of God - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign upon the earth in person for a period of one thousand years during which time Satan shall be bound, and after which time he shall be loosed for a little season to lead many into rebellion and the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:6-10).
E. The Eternal State
1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Mat 25:46; Jn 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev 20:5, 6, 12, 13).
2. 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, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Lk 23:43; Rev 20:4-6; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess 4:16-17).
3. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Lk 16:19-26; Mat 25:41-46; 2 Thess 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mk 9:43-48; Rev 20:11-15).