Bible in the Boro may be different than other churches you have attended. Currently we exist in the home bible study phase of a church plant, as we grow, we desire to fulfill the following distinctives.
The Practical Distinctives: (Not necessarily doctrinal, but likely noticeable first)
The style of worship is a choice, but the bible is clear in it’s command to Christians to worship God. ( Psalm 100 ) We choose contemporary music for it’s upbeat style, use of varied instruments and thus servants, but we have a healthy love for classic hymns and they too may be used at times.
2. Casual Dress
- Matt 8:20 describes how poor our Lord was stating, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Jesus wasn’t dressed up, and in fact warned against an overemphasize on external ritual religion has opposed to a heart felt relationship with God. (Matt 23:27) We do not wish to emphasize dress, but instead focus on God, expecting only reasonably modest casual clothes.
3. Contemporary bible translation
- Paul informs Timothy that every word of God is “God-breathed” (From the Greek in 2 Timothy 3:16 )the original words of God were Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. We have a healthy respect for the 1611 KJV but we do not hold that it was inspired above the originals, and for day to day use prefer the New American Standard Bible (NASB) for accuracy to the Greek and ease of communicating in modern language. We continue to refer to the KJV and NKJV to assist us in understanding God’s Word accurately.
4. We have chosen not to “pass the plate”
In our current home bible study phase, we do take any tithes or offerings in any form.Giving to the Lord is still an important part of obedience to God, if you are a Christian, and specifically to the church you attend regularly. As we grow, we will use an Agape (love) box in the back where regular service attendees can place their tithes and offerings to the Lord following the example set in the Bible. (Luke 21:1-4 , II Chronicles 24 , Matthew 6:1-15)
Doctrinal distinctives: While you will certainly notice the above distinctives, the following too can be observed and are central to the methods we use to fulfill our purpose and operate as a body
1. Exegetical Chapter by Chapter, verse by verse teaching.
- This style is adopted so that the bible is taught in full and in context. When Satan tempted Jesus he used verses from the bible, (Luke 4:1-14 ) but out of context! context is vital! Jesus knew the whole face of scripture and was able to give succinct responses to accurately reflect God’s word. This style of teaching will help us be fully versed in scripture, including areas that are controversial or less popular to preach, because the lessons will not be determined topically. All who attend will be able to know what is upcoming, perhaps adding them in knowing when best to invite a friend.
- We do recognize that special events (like holidays) or when guests are presents are times when topical sermons may best address the needs of the people and in those situations they will be used to do so.
2. Intelligent and orderly service.
- When scripture gives us a peek into Heaven (Isaiah 6:3 , Revelation 4:8 ) it is an orderly place. We know that God is “not the author of confusion” (see 1 Corinthians 14:22-32 ) so while we recognize that God has given his body spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) they must be used in a fashion that is orderly and glorifies God. We do not encourage any action in a service that would distract from God or draw attention to one individual but instead seek to worship God with all our hearts, mind and strength (Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 6:5)
3. Leadership structure.
- While in our home bible study phase this aspect is less important, as their is only one teacher and one set structure, no tithes, and no building. This matter will be of more importance as we grow.
- Currently I (Sam, the founding teacher/pastor) lead while giving information too and receiving counsel from numerous pastors including those at Calvary Chapel of the Tri-State. As we grow the desire is for individuals among the body to assist the Pastor in prayerfully lead leadership by forming a board or supporting (but not ruling) Elders, asst. Pastors and teachers. The governance of the church will be conducted by the Pastor,this group, and in times of need outside Pastors in according to scripture such as Moses being assisted by the 70 , Paul appointing Pastors, and the dangers expressed in the bible of a purely congregational lead church (Exodus 16:2 ,Numbers 14:3 , Numbers 14:27, 1 Samuel 8 (Selection of a wicked king), II Timothy 4:3)
- Unity of Spirit between a group of strong mature Christians is essential for leadership, the desire for a group of Godly servants will ensure the focus remains on Christ as the head of the church and keep one another accountable. (Galatians 2:11-13)
4.Ties to Calvary Chapel:
- We desire to officially align ourselves with the Calvary Chapel movement, which is a fellowship of like minded churches. This body would not have top down control over the church, but instead the Pastor (myself, Sam) would participate in it as they provide pastoral conferences and other support and being affiliated with would allow those who move around the country from us or to us to quickly identify like minded bodies of believers.
- The strength of the independence involved in the Calvary Chapel model allows us our freedom while connecting to a broader group of believers. We recognize that like any group of church fellowships or denominations, not all members are exact replicas of one another. It may be a simple style difference, or a function of where the church plant is (average age, building usage.) Some may have encountered someone using the Calvary Chapel name we were not serving God correctly in all areas while I have not personally seen that, We do ask that anyone who has to realize that others thoughts and actions don’t necessarily reflect ours.
- At the time of association the issue of formerly renaming the body to Calvary Chapel in the Boro, Bible in the Boro (A Calvary Chapel) or some other name to be explored.
The above listed supportive verses, are by no means exhaustive.
if you have any further questions as always please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org