Adopted September, 2009
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Chardon Baptist Church of Chardon, Ohio.
Article II – Purpose
The purpose of this church shall be:
- To promote the worship of God
- To preach and teach the word of God.
- To administer the ordinances of the New Testament local church.
- To increase the spiritual development of believers, making disciples.
- To seek the salvation of the lost through evangelism and missions at home and abroad.
- To bear witness of the entire Bible as the word of God.
Article III – Confession of Faith
The following details the Biblical standards and beliefs of the Chardon Baptist Church. This church adheres to the historical Baptist Distinctives.
- The accuracy and authority of the word of God.
- Soul liberty.
- Sovereignty of God.
- Holy Spirit regenerated, baptized church membership.
- Independent local church.
- Two offices – Pastor and Deacon.
- Two ordinances – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- The priesthood of the believer.
- Church polity independent of civil government.
Article IV – Associations
In adherence to God’s word, this church recognizes no ecclesiastical authority external to this local church. It is an Independent Baptist Church. It may, however, declare itself in fellowship with any other church or association whose doctrinal position concurs with ours.
ARTICLE V – ARTICLES OF FAITH
Section 1. SCRIPTURES – THE BIBLE
A) Accuracy and authority of the Word of God.
B) As originally written, the spoken mind of God.
C) Truth without error.
D) Center and basis of Christian fellowship.
E) Only standard and rule of conduct, creed and opinions.
F) Sixty-six (66) books complete the Bible. (II Timothy 3:16,17, II Peter 1:19-21)
Section 2. GOD
A) One, living, true, infinite, intelligent Spirit. (John 4:24, Exodus 20:2,3, Deut. 6:4)
B) Creator, sustainer and ruler of heaven and earth. (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, Revelation 4:11)
C) In unity of Godhead – three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
D) Trinity – One in Being, equal in perfection; each executes distinct but harmonious roles in the work of Redemption. (Matthew 3:16,17, I John 5:7)
Section 3. Jesus Christ
A) Absolute Deity. (John 1:1,2)
B) Both human and divine. (John 1:14)
C) Existed from eternity. (I John 5:20)
D) Equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (John 10:30)
E) Never ceased to be God. (Philippians 2:5-8)
F) Virgin born. (Matthew 1:20,21, Luke 1:26-28)
G) Lived a sinless life. (Hebrews 4:15)
H) Provided a substitutionary atonement for lost man. (II Corinthians 5:21)
I) Rose bodily from the grave. (I Corinthians15:4, Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24)
J) Ascended bodily into heaven. (Acts 1:11)
K) Currently making intercession for the saints.(Heb. 7:25)
L) Will return bodily. (Acts 1:11, John 14:1-4, Hebrews 9:28)
Section 4. Holy Spirit
A) A Divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son. (Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14)
B) Active in creation. (Genesis 1:1-3)
C) Restrains evil in the unbelieving world until God’s purpose is fulfilled. (II Thessalonians 2:7)
D) Convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. (John 16:8-11)
E) Agent in the new birth. (Hebrews 9:14, John 3:5, 6)
F) Indwells, seals, enjoins, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer. (John 14:16, 17, 26, Ephesians 1:13, 14, Acts 5:30, 32, Romans 8:14, 16, 26, 27, II Corinthians 6:16)
G) We believe in gifts of the Holy Spirit. However, the sign gifts are completed and not applicable today.
Section 5. Devil or Satan
A) Fallen, created and a distinct personality. (Matthew 4:1-3, Isaiah 14:12-17)
B) God of this world. (II Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2)
C) Author of all power of darkness and sin. (II Corinthians 4:4)
D) Destined to judgment in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:10)
Section 6. Creation
A) Accept and believe the literal Genesis account. (Genesis 1 and 2)
B) Man created instantaneously and directly by God, not by evolution. (Genesis 1:26, 27, Genesis 2:7, Colossians 1:16, 17)
C) Reject both naturalistic and theistic evolution. (John 1:2, 3, Hebrews 11:3)
Section 7. The Fall of Man
A) Man created in innocence, voluntarily fell into sin and death. (Genesis 3)
B) The entire human race is now sinful both by nature and by choice. (Romans 5:10-19)
C) Under condemnation without defense or excuse. (Romans 1:18, 20)
Section 8. Virgin Birth
A) Christ conceived by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner. (Matthew 1:18-25)
B) Born of Mary, a virgin. (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:35)
C) As no other has or will be born in this manner. (Matthew 1:18-25)
D) Christ is both the Son of God and God the Son. (John 1:14)
Section 9. Sin
A) Came upon the human race because of the disobedience of Adam. (Romans 5:12, Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3:6, 7)
B) Is the cause of disfellowship and disfavor of God. (Genesis 3:8-10, Romans 5:12)
C) Cause of both physical and spiritual death. (Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12)
D) No one is born exempt except the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:10, 23)
E) Must be atoned for, to obtain eternal life and entrance into Heaven. (John 3:3, 7, John 14:6)
F) Is the cause of eternal punishment. (Romans 6:23, John 3:36)
G) Is the basis and need for which Christ died. (II Corinthians 5:21, Luke 19:10)
H) Sin will continue in the believer which should result in repentance, not multiple salvation. (I John 1:9, 10)
Section 10. Atonement for Sin
A) Only way to escape the condemnation of sin is through atonement by Jesus Christ. (John 3:1-7)
B) This atonement is accomplished by Christ.
- The sinless one. (II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15)
- Took on a sinless human body and nature, voluntarily. (Philippians 2:7, 8)
- By His suffering death and resurrection. (I Corinthians 15:1-4, Isaiah 53:4-6, Hebrews 9:22)
C) Salvation is bestowed by grace through faith on all who trust in Him. (Ephesians 2:8, 9, Romans 6:23, Titus 3:7)
Section 11. Grace
A) Sinners must be born again. (John 3:3-7)
B) New birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus. (II Corinthians 5:17)
C) Instantaneous birth – not a process. (Ephesians 2:1, John 3:16, Acts 16:31)
D) One born again receives Divine Nature. (Romans 8:9)
E) One born again receives eternal life. (John 3:16)
F) That such new birth is undeserved and thereby is all of grace, apart from works or merit. (Ephesians 2:8)
Section 12. Justification
A) Includes pardon of sin and gift of eternal life, on basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ. (Romans 8:1, Isaiah 53:11)
B) Bestowed through faith in the shed blood of Christ; He gives His righteousness to us. (Romans 5:1, 9)
Section 13. Faith and Salvation
A) Faith in Christ is the only condition of salvation. (Acts 16:31)
B) Works cannot secure or make salvation secure. (Ephesians 2:9, Titus 3:5)
Section 14. Security of Believers
A) All who are truly regenerated (born again), being born of the Spirit, cannot fall away or perish. (Romans 8:35-39, John 3:16, Ecclesiastes 3:14)
B) Believers are kept by the power of God and are eternally secure in Christ. (Philippians 1:6, John 10:28-29)
Section 15. The Believer’s Walk
A) To confess Christ before men. (Rom.10:9,10, Matt. 5:16)
B) To walk circumspectly in the world. (Ephesians 5:15)
C) The believer is to “put off” the old man and “put on” the new man. (Ephesians 4:22, 23)
D) To give God absolute authority in his life. (Romans 12:1-2, Romans 8:12, 13, Matthew 6:33)
E) To be separate from the world. (II Cor. 6:17, 7:1, I John 2:15,16)
F) Not to be yoked together with unbelievers. (II Corinthians 6:14-17)
G) To maintain a personal and corporate life of worship, Bible study and prayer. (II Timothy 2:15, Psalm 1, Psalm 119:11, Hebrews 10:24-25)
Section 16. The Righteous and The Wicked
A) The righteous are those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and are sanctified by the Spirit of God. (Romans 6:17, 18, I John 5:19)
B) The wicked are those who continue in independence and unbelief and are under the curse of sin and Satan. (John 3:36, 8:21)
Section 17. The Local Church
A) A congregation of regenerated (born again) and immersed believers. (Acts 2:41, 42)
B) Associate on a common basis of confession of faith and fellowship in the Gospel. (Acts 2:1)
C) Observe the two ordinances of Christ; baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (I Corinthians 11:2)
D) Is governed on the basis of the Word of God. (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 1:22)
E) Has two offices – Pastor and Deacon, as qualified by the Word of God. (Ephesians 4:11, I Timothy 3:1-13, Acts 6)
F) The right of complete self government as directed by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 18:17, Acts 6:1-7, I Cor. 5)
G) Answers directly to Christ, through the Word of God. (Ephesians 1:22, 23)
Section 18. Church Ordinances (2)
- For believers (Section 15) only. (Acts 8:37, 18:8)
- The single immersion of the believer in water. (Acts 8:38, Matthew 3:16)
- Signifies and illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. (Romans 6: 3-5, Colossians 2:12)
B) The Lord’s Supper
- For believers (Section 15) only. (I Corinthians 11:23-28)
- A commemoration of the Lord’s death till He returns. (I Corinthians 11:23-28, Matthew 26:26-29)
- Must always be preceded by solemn self-examination. (I Corinthians 11:28)
Section 19. Missions And Evangelism
A) The work of the local church has as its charge, the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19, 20, Mark16:15, Acts 1:8, II Corinthians 5:19, 20)
Section 20. Civil Government
A) Church polity independent of civil government. (Matthew 22:21)
B) Civil Government is of Divine appointment for the good of human society. (Romans 13:1-7)
C) Church is to pray for, honor and obey government, except where it opposes the Word of God (Acts 4:19, Romans 13:1-7)
Section 21. Apostasy
A) The Word of God indicates such will arise, even in the name of Christ. (I John 4:1, II Timothy 4:3, Matthew 7:15-23)
B) Fellowship must be based on the Word of God. (I Jn.1:7)
C) Those in our church who do not adhere to the Word, the Bible exhorts and directs our action. (Romans 16:17, 18, II Thessalonians 3:6, 14, I Timothy 6:3-5)
D) No church fellowship is allowed with those who compromise beliefs or standards contrary to our Biblical standards of Faith. (II Thessalonians 2:15, Jude 17-23)
Section 22. The Order of Things to Come
Listing and order of events:
A) The bodily, personal, pre-tribulation, premillenial appearance of Christ, to rapture His church. (I Thessalonians 4:13-5:7
B) The Tribulation period on earth is simultaneous to the Judgment Seat and Marriage Supper in heaven. (Matthew 24, Revelation 3:19)
C) The Return of Christ – visibly and bodily with His Church to close the Tribulation period on earth. (Acts 1:11, Revelation 1:7, 19:11-16, 20:4, 6, Hebrews 9:28)
D) The Millennial reign of Christ and His church on earth, 1000 years. (Revelation 20:3)
E) Satan is loosed for a season at the close of the Millennium. (Revelation 20:3, 7-9)
F) Great White Throne Judgment. (Revelation 20:11-14)
G) Creation of a new heaven and earth. (II Peter 3:12, 13, Revelation 21: 22, 23)
H) Eternal Reign (Revelation 21:22, 23, I Cor.15:28)
Article VI – Membership
Section 1. Membership
All candidates for membership shall:
A) Be considered on the basis of their personal testimony of having been born again (time and place) through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and by showing evidence of a Christian life and a real interest in the work of this Church.
B) Meet with the Pastor and/or Deacons at a set meeting for reason of examination.
C) Give public testimony of salvation before the Church.
D) Have been Baptized by immersion after accepting Christ as their Savior (Acts 18:8) and prior to being eligible for congregational vote. (Acts 2:41)
E) Be in agreement with the tenants of the CBC Covenant and Constitution.
F) Be considered active members upon majority vote.
NOTE: Should a new member be a member of another church, the church clerk shall notify said church and advise them of our membership action.
Section 2. Members Classification
A) Active – in good standing in all of:
- Regularly attend the services of the church.
- Give evidence of a life leading to the Confession of Faith of this Church.
- Give evidence of demonstrated interest in the spiritual and material welfare of this church.
- Give evidence of prayer interest and sacrificial giving.
- Eligible to vote on all church business and hold church office.
- Only active members are permitted to hold a teaching position.
B) Inactive – Not in good standing in any of:
- Does not regularly attend services.
- By their conduct, do not give evidence of life adhering to the Confession of Faith of this Church.
- Shows no spiritual or material interest in this church.
- Are under discipline.
- Any member who in judgment of Pastor and deacons fails to participate in the life of the church.
- Not eligible to vote on church business or hold church office.
C) Action to change member classification may be instituted only on the agreement of Pastor and Deacons. To be placed on inactive, a member must be found in serious breech of scriptural and church obligations and manifest spiritual indifference that is inconsistent with a vital church relationship. A member may be reinstated to “active” status by the Pastor and Deacons.
NOTE: No member can be dropped from membership (active or inactive) without a congregational majority vote.
Section 3. Dismissal
A) By 75% vote of members present.
B) Active Members
- May be dropped by their written or verbal request.
C) Inactive Members
- May be dropped by their written or verbal request.
- May be dropped after a minimum of 3 quarters of little or no attendance or church participation.
- May be dropped through church disciplinary action.
- May be dropped by their uniting with another church.
Section 4. Church Discipline
Discipline shall be administered by the Deacons assisted by the Pastor and shall be dealt with according to Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1. Discipline shall be considered necessary with anyone who is obstructing the work of the Lord and disturbing the work by slander, falsehood, gossip, conspiracy, immorality, or other unchristian methods. No member shall be placed on inactive or expelled until every effort has been made to restore him or her for Christ and the church. Dismissal shall be by 75% majority congregational vote.
Article VII – Ordinances
Section 1. Baptism
A) Those professing faith in Christ, upon approval of CBC leadership, may be baptized.
B) Candidate will be handled according to Article VI, Section 1: B, C, D.
C) Baptism shall be administered by the Pastor or deacons in Pastor’s absence.
D) Immersion as a believer, shall be a prerequisite to CBC membership.
E) A person may be baptized without becoming a member only with CBC leadership agreement.
Section 2. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper shall normally be served to the assembled church by the Pastor, or some other person authorized by the church. Times of Communion shall be determined by the church. Since it is the Lord’s Table, none that are His shall be barred, but the Pastor shall frequently state the Scriptural order, meaning, and purpose. The elements shall be unleavened bread and grape juice. The Lord’s Supper shall not be served outside of a church meeting.
Article VIII – Officers And Appointees
Section 1. Officers of CBC
The elected officers of this church shall be a Pastor, four or more deacons, a Clerk, a Treasurer, a Financial Secretary, a Christian Education Director, a Missions Committee (Art. IX Sect. 2G). All elected officers must be currently active members for a period of one year, except when received from churches of like faith, where six months membership shall be required. All appointed officers must be active members for six months before being eligible for office.
The Christian Education Director shall be supervisor over Sunday School Department, Junior Church Department, and Vacation Bible School.
Clarification: A “church of like faith” is one which adheres to Article III (Confession of Faith) and a church which our church would recommend.
Section 2. Officer Nominations
All new officers, elected and appointed, except the Pastor, shall be nominated by the congregation at least six weeks prior to the Business Meeting. The nominees list shall be screened by the Pastor and Deacons to evaluate candidates and may be adjusted. Final nominees will be placed on the ballot and posted. Nominees will be posted no less than two weeks prior to the Meeting. Term of office begins January 1st and ends on December 31st, except for the Deacons.
Section 3. Senior Pastor
A) Shall be considered overseer of the work of this Church. His scriptural mandates are those of I Peter 5:1-4, Ephesians 4:11-16 and bearing the character qualifications of I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9.
B) Within congregational rule, shall be responsible for the administration of the work of the Lord for this assembly and accountable to God in all manner of life and is held to these high standards by the congregation.
C) Shall be entitled to an annual vacation, the length and dates in keeping with the compensation plan. Dates to be agreed with the Deacons.
D) Performance and compensation shall be reviewed annually and approved by the church upon the recommendation of the Deacons.
E) Shall be called for an indeterminate period.
F) Should he resign, he must give 60 days paid notice. If dismissed, he must receive 30 days paid notice. Time period may vary by agreement between the Pastor and deacons.
G) Pastor may be called upon recommendation of Pulpit Committee, by 75% vote on the first ballot of those members present at a meeting duly called for this purpose.
H) Members are to regard the Pastor in the spirit of I Timothy 5:17 and Hebrews 13:7, 17 and 24. I) Shall be in agreement with the Covenant & Constitution of this church and shall unite with this Church.
J) Accusation against Pastor/ Officers and/or request for resignation shall require:
- Pursuit in line with I Timothy 5:17-20.
- Matter reviewed with/by Deacon Board and Pastor.
- If matter must proceed further: a. A first congregational meeting duly called for this specific purpose, with a two week prior posting. b. Chaired by Deacon Board Chairman
- A 75% ballot vote of those members present shall decide the Pastor’s issue, with a one week prior posting. Officer vote, similarly, shall require 51%.
Section 4. Deacons
A) Shall be no less than four men in number.
B) Shall meet the qualifications in the Word of God. (Acts 6:3, I Timothy 3:8-13)
- Shall not have been divorced.
C) Shall be elected by congregation for a three year period.
- Men receiving the highest number of votes shall be contacted by the Pastor to discuss the office with them.
- Process will continue until the entire slate is full.
- Terms of Deacons shall end alternately (staggered), with no man serving more than two consecutive terms.
D) Shall assist the Pastor in all areas of his responsibility to the Lord’s work. Shall act where the Pastor position is vacant.
E) The chairman of the Deacons shall serve as the moderator of any church meeting in the Pastor’s absence or at the Pastor’s discretion. In the absence of both, the Deacons will moderate.
F) Are the Trustees of the church in legal/property matters.
G) A midterm vacancy on the board of Deacons shall be filled, for the remainder of the term, by a special election at a duly called meeting.
H) A Deacon shall be appointed to be a part of all standing Church committees.
I) Various offices among the Deacons shall be decided by Pastor/Deacons within one week of election.
Section 5. Appointed Officers
A) Appointed Officers shall consist of:
*Plus additional appointed officers as deemed necessary.
B) Appointment/Nomination Procedure
- A list of all active adult members 18 years of age and over will be distributed six weeks prior to a Business Meeting.
- Deacon Board and Pastor will discuss and select officers based on nominations.
- Term of office shall be one year.
- All appointments must be ratified at the Annual Meeting.
- For a complete list of responsibilities see job descriptions.
- All appointees must comply with the statement of Standards for Service at Chardon Baptist Church.
- List of all appointments shall be posted two weeks prior to a Business Meeting.
Section 6. Additional Pastors
Should the need arise for additional Pastoral Staff, a Pulpit Committee shall be organized. (See Article IX Section 2 F.)
- Committee shall screen and examine all candidates against a position description.
- Committee shall then make a recommendation to the church, on which the church shall vote. A 75% majority vote shall be required.
- Pastoral staff shall be directed by and subordinate to the Senior Pastor.
- Within congregational rule, dismissal is by 75% majority vote.
- Performance and compensation shall be reviewed annually.
Article IX – Government, Committees, Meetings
Section 1. Government
A) The work of this church is governed by the active and voting membership. Their vote on decisions shall be final.
B) The work and decisions of the people are executed through the Pastor and Deacons.
C) The voting age shall be 18.
D) No amount above $1000.00 shall be expended for unbudgeted/unseen expenditures without congregational vote.
E) The work of the church shall be carried on by the systematic free-will offerings of God’s people. Statements of giving will be provided to donors, annually.
Section 2. COMMITTEES
A) Shall be appointed by the Pastor and Deacons, including the chairman.
B) Shall be considered an integral part of this church and are not to function as separate entities.
C) Shall include, the Pastor as ex-officio.
D) Shall be organized only as needful and shall be dissolved upon completion of the task.
E) Committee Members must be active members in good standing.
F) Pulpit Committee:
- Shall be composed of current Deacon Board and no less than two elected active members of church.
- Supply speakers shall be selected by Pulpit Committee when the church is without a Pastor.
G) Missions Committee: – Elected
- Committee Members shall serve two years and are eligible for one additional consecutive term.
- Shall consist of not less than four and not more than six members including the Pastor. Member terms are staggered.
Section 3. BUSINESS MEETINGS
A) Quarterly Business Meetings shall be held in February, May, August and November. The Fiscal Year shall be January 1 through December 31.
B) The Quarterly Meeting will include:
- Reading and approval of minutes of last previous meeting.
- A review and updating of both active and inactive members
- Treasurer’s Report
- Discussion of Church Business
- Reports of Departments of the church.
- Establishing Church budget by majority vote as required.
- Vote to elect Officers as required.
- Ratifying all Appointed Officers by majority vote as required.
C) Special meetings may be called by:
- The Pastor and Deacons with notice of said meeting one Lord’s Day before, in the A.M. Service.
- The calling or dismissing of a Pastor requires two weeks prior posting.
- Members may call for a special meeting upon written request stating the nature of the business, and requires signatures of 20% or more of active adult Church membership. Two weeks prior posting shall apply.
D) In order to vote on a question at a meeting a quorum must be present.
- Quorum consists of 30% of active adult membership.
- Exception: In instances where a Pastor is being called or dismissed a 51% quorum is required.
E) There shall be no voting by proxy.
F) In the conduct of business, Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern. In exceptions a simple majority vote shall establish the rule.
Article X – Legal Provisions
Section 1. Statement of Non-Profit Charitable Corporation
This church shall have right to buy, own, sell, lease, mortgage, and improve its real estate and personal property for the conduct of mission, benevolent, and Christian enterprises, when authorized by vote of the church. No profit shall ever accrue to the benefit of any individuals from the assets, holdings, or other transactions in which the corporation may become involved. None of its assets or holdings shall be irrevocably designated by corporation vote prior to dissolution.
All business transactions shall be conducted in conformity with the requirements of the United State Internal Revenue Service Code 1954 (Sec. 501.c3).
Section 2. Dissolution of Corporation
Upon dissolution of the Chardon Baptist Church, Inc. the Board of Deacons/Trustees after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation, shall dispose of all assets of the corporation exclusively to a corporation not for profit in the State of Ohio preferably, as are in agreement with the letter and spirit of the Articles of Faith adopted by this Church
Article Xi – General Provisions
Section 1. Statement Regarding Indemnification
(Insurance against loss or damage).
All those serving in this local Church (Pastor, Staff, Voluntary Workers) shall be indemnified against all expenses actually or necessarily incurred by said worker in connection with the defense of any action suit, or proceeding to which they have been made a party by reason of being or having been such a worker except in relation to matters as to which said worker shall be adjudicated in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for gross negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of duty.
Section 2. Statement Concerning the Sexes
We believe that the Bible specifically places man and woman in a Biblical, God commanded relationship. God instituted marriage as a lifetime relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:22- 24; Ephesians 5:22) creating the Biblical family. We believe it is totally against the command and teaching of the Word of God to in any way change or pervert this order. Thus we must Biblically conclude that homosexuality or any other sexual relationships outside of marriage are contrary to the Word of God and we do not accept these as an alternative lifestyle nor allow membership in CBC. (Romans 1:18-32)
Section 3. Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by 75% majority vote of the voting members present at any Annual Meeting or at a Special business meeting, provided that notice of proposed amendment shall have been given from the pulpit for the two Sundays prior to the voting meeting. Approval of this Constitution shall supersede any and all other constitutions.
The Constitution amending meeting must satisfy all meeting quorum requirements.
Statement of Standards For Service at Chardon Baptist Church
It is the expressed desire that teachers and officers at CBC be exemplary in their Christian walk. Paul exhorted the young man Timothy in I Timothy 4:12: “Be thou an example of the believer, in word, in conversation, in charity in spirit, in faith, in purity.” We therefore require that all teachers & officers both elected and appointed, abstain from:
- The use of tobacco in any form. (I Corinthians 3:16, 17; II Corinthians 7:1; I John 3:3).
- The use of alcoholic beverages. (Proverbs 23:29-35)
- The abusive use of drugs (I Corinthians 3:16, 17; II Corinthians 7:1; I John 3:3).
- Membership in Secret Societies (Isaiah 29:15; 30:1, John 7:3, 4; II Corinthians 6:14-18).
Where the Word of God is not explicit regarding our lives and our conduct, the expectation from a servant of the Lord should be based on:
I Thessalonians 5:22 – “Abstain from all appearance of evil”
I Corinthians 8:9, 13 – “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”