How We Use Our Statement of Faith – part 3
Here is part 3 of the Christ Fellowship, Kansas City elders statement of how they use their statement of faith….
3. We do expect conformity to the statement of faith for our pastors, interns, and teachers–those most associated with the pastoral duty of teaching the truth. This does not imply that every teacher must have a thoroughly formulated understanding of every aspect of the statement. It does mean, however, that they are willing not to knowingly teach contrary to the established doctrine of the church while working out the finer points. Certain doctrines are so clear and so necessary that a teacher or potential leader would have no reason to be in confusion over them (e.g. the inerrancy of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the nature of saving faith, the sovereignty of God in electing, etc.). However, certain difficult points of doctrine may take even good students some time to work out (e.g. the extent of the atonement, the precise relationship between the covenants, etc.). Since any teaching is a pastoral extension, the pastor(s) will decide which points of theology, on a case by case basis, may remain suspended in the mind of a teacher or potential leader. Pains should be taken, however, to remove the confusion and to come to a solid conviction and doctrinal unity.
What biblical standards does you church leadership follow in determining who should preach and what doctrinal positions must be held by those who would occupy the office of elder?
You must as a leader be prepared to…..
1) teach what is in accord with sound doctrine – Note Paul’s injunction to Timothy.
2) speak the truth in love – always a challenge to find the balance! It is so easy to fall off the trail on the “truth” side or the “love” side.
3) contend for the faith which was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude)
Perhaps the leadership could regularly hold instructional classes and engage teachers within the body of Christ to dig deeper, to test everything, to present (in a safe context) divergent views. I often wonder how fair we are with those with whom we disagree. Paul writes “Those who oppose him, he must gently instruct…..” not shred, not publicly tear down, not “straighten out” through veiled references in a sermon, but “GENTLY” instruct.
We don’t need to “bully” people to accept our position. As former Central Baptist Seminary Dean Brown often said, “The Bible is 21. It can speak for itself!”