Onawa Bible Baptist Church

Articles of Faith and Bylaws

 

Articles of Faith

1.    OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth for its matter without any admixture of error; that it is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; and that it is the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.We believe the Authorized (King James) Version Old and New Testaments are the Word of God kept intact for English-speaking peoples by way of God’s divine providence and work of preservation; and that the Authorized Version translators were not “inspired”, but were merely God’s instruments used to preserve His words for English-speaking peoples.By “Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written and providentially preserved, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.By “inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.By “providentially preserved” we mean that God through the ages has, in His divine providence, preserved the very words that He inspired; that the Hebrew Old Testament text, as found in the Traditional Masoretic Text, and the Greek New Testament text as found in the Textus Receptus, are indeed the products of God’s providential preservation, and are together the complete, preserved, inerrant Word of God.
Dt 4:2; Ps 12:6-7; Ps 19:7-11; Ps 119:89,105,130,160; Isa 8:20; Isa 40:8; Jer 23:29; Ezek 12:25; Mt 5:17-18; Mt 22:29; Lk 24:44-45; Jn 12:48; Jn 17:17; Jn 20:30-31; Rom 3:4; Rom 15:4; Eph 6:17; II Tim 3:16-17; Heb 4:12; I Pt 1:23-25; II Pt 1:19-21; Rev 22:18-19.

 

2.    OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; and that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct, but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Ex 20:2-3; Ex 15:11; II Sam 7:22; Ps 83:18; Ps 90:2; Ps 147:5; Isa 40:28; Isa 45:5-6; Jer 10:10; Mt 28:18; Mk 12:30; Jn 1:1-2,14; Jn 4:24; Jn 14:7-11; Jn 17:5; Rom 11:33; I Cor 8:6; I Cor 12:4-6; Phlp 2:5-6; Col 2:9; I Tim 1:17; I Tim 3:16; I Tim 6:13-16; I Jn 5:7; Rev 1:8.

 

3.    OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with God the Father and God the Son, and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world, the Holy Spirit restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that He is the witness of and guide into all truth; that He shall not speak of nor exalt Himself, but will glorify the Son of God; that the Holy Spirit is the agent in the New Birth; and that He seals, endues, comforts, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
Gen 1:1-3; II Chr 7:1-3; Neh 9:20,30; Job 33:4; Ps 139:7; Isa 11:1-2; Isa 59:19; Ezek 36:26-27; Zec 4:6; Mt 12:31; Lk 1:35; Lk 24:49; Jn 3:5-6; Jn 14:16-17,26; Jn 15:26; Jn 16:7-11,13-14; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:30-32; Acts 6:5; Acts 13:2; Rom 8:9,14-16,26-27; I Cor 3:16; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 3:16; Eph 4:30; I Pt 1:2; I Jn 4:13; Rev 22:17.

 

4.    OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels; that Satan is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world; that he is mankind’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy; and that he is the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Gen 3:14-15; Job 2:2; Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:14-19; Zec 3:1; Mt 4:1-11; Mt 13:19,38-39; Mt 25:41; Jn 8:44; Jn 13:2; Jn 14:30; II Cor 4:3-4; II Cor 11:13-15; Eph 2:2; Eph 6:11-12; I Ths 3:5; II Ths 2:7-10; Heb 2:14; I Pt 5:8; II Pt 2:4; I Jn 2:22; I Jn 4:3; II Jn 7; Jude 6; Rev 9:11; Rev 12:7-10; Rev 20:1-3,7-10.

 

5.    OF CREATION
We believe the Genesis account of creation; that the Genesis creation record is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that by God’s own handiwork, in the space of six twenty-four hour days, were all things created that are in heaven and that are in the earth, visible and invisible; that creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; and that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only after their kind.
Gen 1:1-2:3; Gen 2:21-23; Gen 5:1-2; Ex 20:11; I Chr 16:26; Neh 9:6; Job 12:7-9; Job 38:4-11; Ps 8:3-6; Ps 19:1; Ps 100:3; Ps 102:25; Prov 30:4; Isa 42:5; Isa 45:11-12,18; Jer 10:12; Jer 32:17; Jn 1:1-3; Acts 4:24; Acts 17:24-26; Rom 1:20; Col 1:16-17; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11; Rev 10:5-6.

 

6.    OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state; and that by the sin of one man all men are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice, and therefore all are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Gen 3:1-13,16-24; Job 15:16; Ps 14:2-3; Ps 51:5; Prov 20:9; Eccl 7:20; Isa 53:6; Jer 16:12; Jer 17:9; Ezek 18:4; Mt 7:21-23; Mt 23:28; Rom 1:18-20,28-32; Rom 2:1; Rom 3:10-19,23; Rom 5:12; I Cor 15:21-22; Gal 3:22; Eph 2:1-3; I Tim 2:13-14; Jms 1:13-15.

 

7.    OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe Jesus Christ, Who was preexistent in the Godhead from eternity-past, was made flesh when He was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner: born of a virgin woman, Mary, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman; and that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, both the Son of God and God the Son.
Gen 3:15; Ps 2:7; Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6-7; Mt 1:18-25; Mt 16:16; Mk 1:1; Lk 1:30-35; Jn 1:1-2,14; Jn 8:58; Jn 12:45; Jn 17:5; Rom 8:3; I Cor 15:47; Gal 4:4; Phlp 2:5-8; Col 2:9; I Tim 3:16; Heb 5:5; Heb 7:3; II Pt 1:16-18; I Jn 4:2; I Jn 5:9,20.

 

8.    OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself the nature of man yet without sin, Who honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and Who by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind, providing redemption through His blood; that without the shedding of blood is no remission of sin, therefore, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, that cleanseth man from all sin, was presented in heaven, was sprinkled on the true mercy seat, and was accepted by God the Father as the atonement for the sins of the whole world, only becoming efficacious through man’s individual repentance, confession, and faith; that Christ’s atonement consisted not in setting man an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing the sins of man in His own body on the tree; and that after having given Himself for man, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor, and having, in turn, risen from the dead, Christ Jesus is now seated on the right hand of God, becoming in every way a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
Isa 53:4-7,10-12; Lk 19:10; Jn 3:16-17; Acts 15:11; Rom 3:24-25; Rom 5:6-8; I Cor 15:3; II Cor 5:15,21; Gal 1:4; Eph 5:2; Phlp 2:7-8; Tit 2:14; Heb 1:3; Heb 2:14-17; Heb 7:25; Heb 8:1-2; Heb 9:12-15,22-26; Heb 10:10-12; Heb 12:2; I Pt 1:18-19; I Pt 2:24; I Pt 3:18; I Jn 2:1-2; I Jn 3:5; Rev 1:5.

 

9.    OF THE RESURRECTION
We believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead bodily the third day, according to the Scriptures; that the Lord’s resurrection was attested to by many infallible proofs; and that forty days thereafter, He physically ascended back to heaven assuming His place as man’s Advocate with the Father: the faithful High Priest Who ever liveth to make intercession for mankind.
Mt 16:21; Mt 28:1-15; Mk 16:1-13,19; Lk 24:1-51; Jn 2:19; Jn 20:1-20,24-29; Acts 1:1-3; Acts 2:22-27,29-33; Acts 3:14-15; Acts 4:33; Acts 10:39-41; Acts 13:29-31; Acts 17:2-3,31; Acts 26:22-23; Rom 1:4; Rom 6:9-10; Rom 8:34; Rom 10:9; I Cor 15:3-8; II Cor 4:14; Eph 1:20; Phlp 3:10-11; II Tim 2:8; I Pt 3:21-22; Rev 1:18.

 

10. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe sinners must be born again in order to be saved; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that the new birth is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above man’s comprehension, and is not by culture, nor by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure man’s voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that proper evidence of the new birth appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.
Jer 17:7-8; Jn 1:12-13; Jn 3:3,6-7; Jn 5:24; Jn 6:63; Rom 3:24; Rom 5:15; Rom 8:11,32; I Cor 6:9-11; II Cor 5:17-19; II Cor 9:15; Gal 2:20; Gal 4:29; Gal 5:22-24; Gal 6:15; Eph 2:1,5-8,15; Eph 4:24; Eph 5:9-10; Col 2:13; Col 3:1,9-10; II Tim 2:1; Tit 3:5; Jms 1:18; I Pt 1:23; II Pt 1:4; I Jn 2:29; I Jn 3:8-10; I Jn 4:7; I Jn 5:1,4,10-12,18,21.

 

11. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all men to accept salvation by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel, a rejection which involves the sinner in an aggravated condemnation.
Isa 55:1; Ezek 33:11; Mt 11:28; Lk 11:10; Jn 3:14-20,36; Jn 4:10; Jn 6:37; Jn 15:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:20-21; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 17:29-31; Rom 5;18; Rom 6:23; Rom 8:29-30; Rom 10:12-13; Eph 2:7-9; Tit 1:1-2; II Pt 3:9; Rev 3:20; Rev 22:17.

 

12. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; and that justification and its benefits are bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which man has done, but rather, God’s righteousness is imputed to man solely through faith in the Redeemer’s vicarious shed blood.
Gen 15:6; Job 9:20; Ps 40:2; Isa 53:11; Hbk 2:4; Lk 16:15; Jn 5:24; Acts 13:39; Rom 1:17; Rom 2:13; Rom 3:24-28; Rom 4:1-9,23-25; Rom 5:1,9; Rom 8:1; I Cor 6:11; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:8-11,24; Phlp 3:9; Tit 3:5-7; Heb 10:38; Heb 11:4; Rev 1:5-6.

 

13. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in the soul of man by the quickening Holy Spirit of God; that being deeply convicted of his own guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, man must turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy, while at the same time heartily believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, openly confessing Him as the only true and all-sufficient Savior.
Ps 34:18; Ps 51:1-4; Prov 28:13; Isa 55:6-7; Isa 66:7; Ezek 18:31; Joel 2:12-13; Mk 1:14-15; Mk 6:12; Lk 12:8; Lk 13:3; Lk 18:13-14; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22-23; Acts 17:29-30; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:18-20; Rom 10:9-11; II Cor 7:10; I Jn 1:8-9.

 

14. OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe all the Redeemed are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and are, therefore, secure in Christ; and that eternal security is synonymous to eternal life, and is a work of God which insures that the gift of salvation, once received, cannot be lost by any true believer.
Ps 31:23; Ps 37:28; Ps 121:3; Prov 2:8; Isa 46:4; Mt 7:24-25; Jn 3:16; Jn 5:24; Jn 10:27-29; Jn 17:11; Rom 4:21; Rom 8:15-16,33-39; II Cor 1:21-22; II Cor 5:5; Eph 1:13-14; Phlp 1:6; II Tim 1:12; II Tim 4:18; I Pt 1:3-5; I Jn 2:19,25; I Jn 3:2; I Jn 4:13; I Jn 5:11-13; Jude 24.

 

15. OF THE RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe Jesus Christ will physically return to the earth in like manner as He was seen to go into heaven: bodily, personally and visibly; that His Second Coming will be preceded by a chronology of Last Days’ events – literal events, beginning with a pre-tribulational, pre-millennial calling out of all the redeemed: the Rapture; that the Rapture will terminate the dispensation of the New Testament Church, and will induce the time of Jacob’s Trouble: a seven-year Tribulation Period and reign of antichrist; that the Tribulation will culminate with Armageddon: the final terrible event in world history when the Lord Jesus, with heaven’s host, returns victoriously making the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; that upon the Second Coming of Christ, the Lord shall reign in righteousness on the earth for one thousand years, climaxing with the final condemnation of Satan and the last judgment of Revelation Chapter Twenty; and that, eternally thereafter, the Lord Jesus Christ shall reign for ever and ever.
Gen 18:25; Isa 11:4-10; Jer 23:5-6; Jer 30:6-10; Dan 7:23-27; Dan 9:24; Dan 12:1; Zech 14:9-11; Mt 24:3-31,36-51; Mt 25:31-33; Mt 26:64; Jn 5:22; Jn 14:2-4; Acts 1:9-11; I Cor 15:22-26,48-54; Phlp 3:20-21; I Ths 4:15-17; I Ths 5:1-9; II Tim 4:1; Tit 2:13; Heb 9:28; Heb 10:37; II Pt 3:10-13; Jude 14-15; Rev 1:17; Rev 16:16; Rev 20:1-15; Rev 22:20.

 

16. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only such as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in His esteem, and that all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in God’s sight wicked and under the curse; and that among men both in and after death there exists this great eternal distinction: the everlasting bliss of the saved, and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost.
Gen 18:23,25; Ps 11:5-7; Prov 10:6-7,10; Prov 11:31; Prov 14:32; Mal 4:1-2; Mt 7:13-14; Mt 13:38,47-48; Mt 25:32-34,41; Lk 16:25; Jn 3:18-21,36; Jn 12:25; Rom 1:17-18; Rom 2:9-11; Rom 5:18; Rom 6:16-18; Rom 7:5-6; I Cor 6:9-11; I Cor 15:22; Gal 3:10-11; II Pt 3:7; I Jn 2:29; I Jn 3:7-10; I Jn 5:10-12,18-19.

 

17.OF HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God purposely created mankind as male (man) and female (woman); that God blessed and charged man and woman to fulfill the design of their sexuality (intimacy and progeny) strictly within the confines of a marriage relationship between one man (who was born a male) and one woman (who was born a female) for one lifetime; and that pornography, fornication, adultery, polygamy, incest, bisexuality, homosexuality, bestiality, transgenderism, and any other such aberrations are all perversions of God’s design for mankind and heinous transgressions of God’s Law.

Because God has ordained marriage and define it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, Onawa Bible Baptist Church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman.  Further, the pastor(s)/leaders and staff of Onawa Bible Baptist Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman.  Finally, the facilities and property of Onawa Bible Baptist Church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman. (see THE USE OF CHURCH FACILITIES)
Gen 1:27-28; Gen 2:18,21-24; Lev 18:6-18,22-30; Deut 23:17; Deut 27:20-23; Prov 5:15,18-20; Prov 6:29; Prov 9:13-18; Prov 18:22; Eccl 9:9; Mt 19:3-8; Rom 1:18-32; I Cor 5:9; I Cor 6:9-10,18; I Cor 7:1-2,8-11; I Cor 10:8; Gal 5:19,21; Eph 5:5-6; Col 3:5-6; I Ths 4:4-5; Heb 13:4; Jude 7

 

18. OF SEPARATION
We believe one distinguishing mark of biblical Christianity is a separation from worldly conduct, interests, philosophies, and unions; that separation from the worldly unto the godly should be maintained in two primary realms: the personal and the ecclesiastical; that personal separation is the believer’s responsibility to live circumspectly: denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; and that ecclesiastical separation is a vigilant adherence to holiness in all matters related to the church.
Ezra 10:11-12; Ps 1:1; Prov 4:14; Prov 13:20; Prov 24:1; Isa 52:11; Ezek 44:23; Amos 3:3; Mt 5:13,16; Jn 15:19; Acts 2:40; Rom 8:1; I Cor 6:19-20; II Cor 5:17; II Cor 6:14-18; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:11,13-15; I Ths 4:3-5; I Ths 5:22; II Ths 3:6; Tit 2:11-12; Jms 4:4,8; I Pt 2:11-12; I Pt 4:1-4; I Jn 2:6,15-16.

 

19. OF THE CHURCH
We believe the New Testament church is a local, visible, autonomous assembly only; that Jesus Christ established His Church during His earthly ministry, prior to the events of Acts Chapter Two and the Day of Pentecost; that a Baptist church is a congregation of born-again baptized believers associated by a scriptural covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being the citadel and propagator of the divine and eternal grace; that the church alone is authorized to administer and observe the ordinances of Christ; that all church members, ministries, and polities are to be subject to the Lordship of Christ, exercising the gifts, rights, disciplines, and privileges vested in them by His Word; and that church officers are pastors or elders, and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures.We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize believers and add them to the church; and third, to teach and instruct as Christ commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order.We believe the church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only superintendent of the church is Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation with others; and that in all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the church is final.
Mt 16:18-19; Mt 18:15-18; Mt 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42,46-47; Acts 6:2-6; Acts 11:25-26; Acts 20:17-21,27-28; Rom 16:1-5; I Cor 3:9-11; I Cor 6:1-3; I Cor 11:2; I Cor 12:12-27; I Cor 16:15-19; II Cor 1:1; II Cor 8:23-24; Eph 1:22-23; Eph 3:8-11,21; Eph 4:11-12; Eph 5:23-27; Col 1:18; I Tim 3:1-15; I Pt 5:1-4.

 

20. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S TABLE
We believe baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by and under the authority of a New Testament Baptist church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem one’s faith in and identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effects: death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that baptism is requisite to the place and privileges of a church membership and to the Lord’s Table in which, after solemn self-examination, and by the use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, the members only of a given Baptist church are to commemorate together the sacrificial love of Christ.
Mt 3:5-8,13-17; Mt 26:26-29; Mt 28:18-19; Mk 13:34; Lk 22:19-20; Jn 3:22-23; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 8:12,36-39; Acts 10:48; Acts 18:8; Rom 6:3-5; I Cor 10:21; I Cor 11:2,23-29; I Cor 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-5; Col 2:12; I Pt 3:21.

 

21. OF MISSIONS
We believe Missions, the endeavor to reach all the world with the gospel, is a charge to, and the responsibility of the church; that the church is debtor to those who have never heard the gospel; that the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the gospel to be preached at home and abroad — to the uttermost part of the earth; and that the magnitude of the Great Commission constrains autonomous New Testament Baptist churches to cooperate together for the accomplishment of the task.
Ps 96:3; Prov 11:30; Isa 6:8; Dan 12:3; Mt 9:36-38; Mt 24:14; Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:45-47; Jn 4:35-38; Jn 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:1-4; Acts 16:9-10; Rom 1:14-16; Rom 9:22-26; Rom 10:13-15; II Cor 5:18-20; II Cor 10:13-16; Phlp 4:14-18; II Pt 3:9; Rev 14:6.

 

22. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
We believe God’s program for financing the execution of His Great Commission is the program by which every believer gives tithes and offerings to God in and through the New Testament storehouse: His Church; that the institution of tithing predates and is separate from the Law; and that cheerful, obedient, sacrificial giving presents for God opportunities to manifest His grace and His inexhaustible bounty of blessings.
Lev 27:30,32; I Chrn 29:3; II Chrn 31:10; Prov 3:9-10; Prov 11:25; Mal 3:8-11; Mt 6:1-4; Mt 23:23; Lk 6:38; Acts 4:33-35,37; Acts 11:29-30; Acts 20:35; I Cor 4:2; I Cor 16:2; II Cor 8:1-9; II Cor 9:6-7; I Tim 6:17-18; Heb 7:1-2,4; Heb 13:16.

 

23. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe civil government is ordained of God for the interest and good order of society; that government’s purpose is to punish evildoers and to support and defend the righteous; that believers are commanded to conscientiously honor, obey, and pray for all that are in authority, that men may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; that civil government has no jurisdiction in respect to the free exercise of the church; and that civil disobedience is justified only in things opposed to Divine Law, which is supreme, and to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Ex 22:28; II Sam 23:3; II Chrn 19:6; Ps 72:11; Prov 16:12-15; Prov 19:12; Prov 24:21; Prov 29:2; Eccl 8:2; Isa 10:1; Dan 2:21; Mt 17:24-27; Mt 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:29; Rom 13:1-7; Eph 6:5-9; Phlp 2:10-11; Col 3:22-25; Col 4:1; I Tim 2:1-4; I Tim 6:1-2; Tit 3:1; I Pt 2:13-14,17-18.

 

24.  OF THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image.  Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death.  We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Genesis 1:26; 9:5-7; Psalm 139)

 


Bylaws



PREAMBLE

 

Reposing our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, believing in the teaching and practices of New Testament Baptists, and in those great distinctive principles for which they have stood, and accepting as a general summary of doctrine and duties a covenant and Articles of Faith contained herein:

We, therefore, bind ourselves together, as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ and adopt for our government and plan of worship and service the following articles:

 

CHURCH NAME

 

The name of this church under the authority of God alone, shall be the Onawa Bible Baptist Church of Onawa, IA.

 

CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND AFFILIATION

 

Section A.  Government

This church is an autonomous body of baptized (immersed) believers, the government being vested in its active membership and exercised through its duly elected officers.  The instruments of government are the Holy Bible (66 canonized books), the Articles of Faith, and Bylaws.

 

Section B.  Autonomy

(1) We, the Onawa Bible Baptist Church of Onawa, IA, shall be known as an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.

(2) This church reserves the right to fellowship with any Christian organization which clearly holds to our Articles of Faith, and in no way lays claim to any of our property.  In no wise shall this church become a permanent “affiliate” or “member” of any organization; we forever reserve the right to withdraw fellowship.

 

Section C.  Separation

(1)  In no wise shall this church cooperate fellowship or contribute to any organization identified or connected with the National Council of Churches and/or World Council of Churches or future progenitors of such (i.e. ecumenical movement).

(2) In no wise shall this church cooperate, fellowship or contribute to any organization identified or connected with the so-called “Charismatic Renewal.”

(3)  In no wise shall this church cooperate, fellowship or contribute with any cult—i.e. Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholicism, etc.—or any future progenitors.

 

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

 

Section A.  Church Membership Defined.

This church shall consist of baptized (water immersion) believers in Christ, who take the Holy Bible as their rule of faith and practice.

 

Section B.  Membership Acquisition.

Persons may be received into the membership of this church (a) by letters of recommendation from other Baptist churches of like faith and order; or, (b) by relation of the Christian salvation experience, having previously been baptized into a Baptist church of like faith and order; or, (c) by confession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and following Him in scriptural water baptism.  In each case for baptism, the candidate must give evidence of a change of heart, the testimony of a Christian life, and the adoption of the views of faith and practice held by this church.

 

Section C.  Membership Dismissal and Status.

(1) A member in good standing may be dismissed to the fellowship of another Baptist church by a letter of recommendation.  A member wishing to withdraw from the church to enter some other denomination shall be dropped from the membership roll.

(2)  To be considered a member in good standing of this church, and maintain one’s voting privilege, a member must have attended at least twenty-five (25) regular services during the preceding three (3) months, unless providentially hindered.  Those who willfully absent themselves for this stated period of time shall automatically be considered not in good standing, forfeiting the voting privilege afforded active members in good standing.  (Hebrews 10:25)

(3) If a member of Onawa Bible Baptist Church comes under church discipline, their membership cannot be freely terminated unless they choose not to repent of their sin after being confronted by the church.  Then the church will remove the unrepentant member from the membership rolls.  This process is laid clearly in Section D, dealing with Church Discipline.

 

Section D.  Church Discipline.

(1)  All members of this church shall hold themselves subject to the discipline of this church and shall conduct themselves in accordance with the Word of God (Articles of Faith) and bylaws of this instrument.

(2)  In a case where offense is believed to have been given, those who are in possession of evidence concerning the alleged offense (witnesses), must confront the sin the way Jesus demanded it to be confronted:  One on one, then two or three on one, then the church on one.  If the person refuses to hear and repent, then he shall be dismissed from church membership and from all church privileges.  He will not be allowed to return until repentance has been truly demonstrated.

(3)  If a member under church discipline shall voluntarily make a confession to the church, and manifest an evidence of true repentance, no further proceedings shall be entertained.  One who has been excluded from membership may be reinstated to full fellowship by making a voluntary confession, showing true repentance, and by expressing a desire to reunite with the church fellowship.

(4) Sin that is discovered that is in violation of the law must be reported.  It should first be reported to the Pastor, then to the authorities (police).  Immediate response to the known sin is required, not only for the spiritual health of the church, but the testimony of the church as well.

 

CHURCH OFFICES

 

Section A.  The Existent Offices.

The offices of this church shall consist of pastor(s) and deacons.  All other offices (i.e. trustee, treasurer, church clerk) will be appointed by the pastor to assist the pastor and the church needs.  All persons holding such offices shall be members of this church in good standing.  Each office holder/employee shall be required to sign a statement affirming that they agree with Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s articles of faith and are willing to comply with its standards and conduct (articles and bylaws).  Violation of Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s articles of faith and/or bylaws constitutes good cause to terminate the office holder’s position/employment.

 

Section B.  The Office of Pastor.

(1)  A pastoral candidate for this church must meet the qualifications of that office as listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and rigorously adhere to the Articles of Faith adopted by this church.

(2)  The pastor shall be elected for an indefinite term of office.

(3)  The pastor/church relationship may be dissolved by mutual agreement after thirty (30) days notice.  This time may be extended to meet the needs of the pastor or church by mutual agreement.

(4)  If the pastor terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation as to salary or regularly extended church facilities.  Other arrangements may be made by mutual agreement.  If the church should terminate the relationship, the church will extend regular church facilities and salary for (1) month.

(5)  The call or dismissal of a pastor shall come before the church at a regular or specially called business meeting, with notice of such meeting and its purpose having been announced from the pulpit on two successive Sundays previous.  A three-fourths (3/4) vote of all active members present and voting shall be necessary to make such action valid.

(6)  In the event of a vacancy occurring in the pulpit due to death or resignation the Deacon(s) shall put together a Pulpit Committee of men that are members in good standing (see Article VII, Section E for duties of the Pulpit Committee).

(7)  Any speaker occupying the pulpit or otherwise addressing this church membership must first be approved by the pastor (or Pulpit Committee, if a pulpit vacancy exists).

 

Section C.  The Office of Deacon.

(1)  Those individuals designated as Church Deacons must meet the qualifications of that office as listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  A proving period (as mentioned in vs. 10) shall be defined as six (6) months of prior membership in this church, and two (2) years tenure as a born-again believer.

(2)  This church shall have sufficient number of deacons (such number will be determined by the pastor), provided such men are available who meet the requirements of paragraph one (1).

(3)  An incumbent deacon, derelict in his qualification or duties, shall be asked to resign his office.  If a resignation is refused, said deacon may be removed from office in a special church business meeting, duly announced by a simple majority vote of active church members present and voting.

(4)  A deacon who moves his place of residence a distance prohibiting regular attendance, automatically vacates his office.  Vacancies left by death or other causes may be filled by pastoral appointment.

(5)  Whenever the number of deacon offices is increased (such need determined by the pastor), the total number required to fill all vacancies will be appointed by the Pastor.  All deacons shall be installed according to Acts 6:1-7.

 

Section D.  The Office of Trustee.

If necessity requires the church to have a trustee, he will be appointed by the Pastor as he sees fit.  The Trustee shall be appointed for the sake of handling the legal issues of the church.

 

Section E.  The Office of Church Clerk.

The church clerk shall be appointed by the pastor.

 

Section F.  The Offices of Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer.

The church treasurer and assistant treasurer shall be appointed by the Pastor and voted on by the church.  Those voted into office will continue as long as the Pastor sees fit.

 

DUTIES OF THE CHURCH OFFICERS

 

Section A. General Responsibility.

In order to promote a high spiritual standard in the church, all officers, teachers, and committee men will be members of this church and will be expected to attend the regular services of the church faithfully when not providentially hindered.

 

Section B.  Duties of the Pastor.

(1)  The pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly, administer the ordinances, act as moderated of all meetings for the transaction of business, supervise the teaching ministry of the church, tenderly watch over its membership and spiritual interest, organize and develop its strength for the best possible service, and guard the church from wolves in sheep’s clothing and false teaching.

(2)  In the event of illness, absence, or pulpit vacancy, the associate pastor shall act as business meeting moderator.  If there be no associate pastor, the head Deacon shall moderate that particular meeting.

(3)  The pastor shall be given liberty by the church to conduct revivals, Bible conferences, or other such meetings, as he feels led of the Holy Spirit to do so.  He shall be at liberty to attend seminars, fellowship meetings, and conferences he deems necessary to his ministry.  When the pastor is absent from his pulpit, he is responsible to engage a suitable supply.

(4)  The pastor shall hire, discharge and accept or reject resignations of all salaried personnel of this church.

(5)  The pastor shall possess authority for the appointment and removal of all church staff not holding elected offices (superintendents, teachers, clerks, etc.).

(6)  For purpose of Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the pastor(s) shall act as Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application concerning its truth, morality, and what it teaches about the proper conduct of mankind.

 

Section C.  Duties of the Deacons.

The deacons shall attend to the necessities of the poor, and act as an advisory committee to the pastor in planning the work of the church financially and otherwise.  With the pastor, they will make such recommendations to the church as they deem wise, and aid the pastor in zealously guarding and fostering the spiritual life of the church.

 

Section D.  Duties of the Trustees.

The trustees of this church, as directed by the pastor and church shall conduct all legal business of the church.

 

Section E.  Duties of the Church Clerk.

The church clerk shall (a) keep a correct record of the proceedings of the church at all meetings (e.g., business meetings); (b) keep a complete registry of membership; (c) be responsible for the issue of dismissal letters and call for letters of recommendation as directed by the church; (d) preserve all papers and letters coming into his (or her) hands during the term of office, and delivering the same and all records kept by the church clerk to his (or her) successor.

 

Section F.  Duties of the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer.

(1)  The church treasurer and assistant treasurer shall receive and account for all funds contributed and shall disburse the same as ordered by the church and Finance Committee.

(2)  The church treasurer shall present a monthly financial report of church receipts and disbursements to the Finance Committee.  A detailed report showing the financial condition of the church will be submitted to the entire church at each annual business meeting.

(3)  All general fund checks in the amount of $500.00 or more shall be brought before the church for approval.

 

CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS

 

Section A.  General Principles.

It shall be understood that all organizations of this church are a part of this church and subject to its jurisdiction.  They shall not conduct themselves in any way that is unbecoming to the Christian faith or that shall bring discredit to the body of which they are a part.  They shall in no way allow any activities which are contrary to scripture or disapproved by this church.

 

THE USE OF CHURCH FACILITIES

 

Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s facilities were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members.  The church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body to bring God glory.  Although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we make our facilities available to approved non-members as a witness to our faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice.

 

But facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices that conflict with the Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, the Onawa Bible Baptist’s Church’s Articles of Faith and Bylaws.  Nor may church facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, the Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith or moral teachings.  The pastor, or his official designee, is the final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.

 

This restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons.  First, Onawa Bible Baptist Church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith.  Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict its beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith and religious practice. (2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 5:22.)

 

Second, it is very important that the Onawa Bible Baptist Church present a consistent message to the community, and that the church staff and members conscientiously maintain that message as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith would have a severe, negative impact on the message that the church strives to promote.  It could also cause confusion and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, that Onawa Bible Baptist Church agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its facilities.

 

Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict the Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s Articles of Faith and Bylaws use any church facility.  Nor may Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s facilities be used in any way that contradicts the church’s faith.  This policy applies to all church facilities, regardless of whether the facilities are connected to the church’s sanctuary, because the church sees all of its property as holy and set apart to worship God. (Col. 3:17.)

 

 

CHURCH MEETINGS

 

Section A.  Church Business Meetings.

(1)  The annual business meeting shall be held each year on the third Sunday night of January.  The fiscal year for this church shall be the January 1 to December 31.

(2)  The pastor shall moderate at all church business meetings.

(3)  All church business meetings shall be opened and closed in prayer.

(4)  All motions shall be presented in writing when requested.  The names of all who make and second motions shall be included in the church minutes.  Those individuals making and seconding motions shall stand and respectfully address the moderator.

(5)  Another motion shall not be entertained until all consideration and discussion of the current motion has been disposed of.

(6)  Discourteous language or remarks intended to injure the reputation or feelings of any member shall be ruled out of order and such speaker shall forfeit his (or her) right to be heard.

(7)  The introduction of any matter foreign to the subject at hand shall be ruled out of order and may be asked to leave. (Colossians 4:6)

(8)  Special business meetings, with a minimum advance notice of three days given at a regularly scheduled service, may be called by the pastor whenever such meetings are deemed necessary.

(9)  All special business meetings must be in reference to those topics duly announced.  Any motion to the contrary shall be ruled out of order.

(10)  Any and all “secret” or unauthorized meetings of this church shall be invalid.

(11)  A quorum for all annual and special business meetings of the church shall consist of all those members who attend that are qualified to vote.

 

CHURCH VOTINGS

 

Section A.  Church Business Meetings.

Unless otherwise authorized by this church, all voting will be public.  Those who call for a secret ballot shall be considered.

 

Section B.  Qualifications.

All scripturally baptized members of this church who at least eighteen (18) years of age or older, and in possession of “member in good standing” status (see Article III, Section C, Paragraph 2) shall be entitled to vote.

 

Section C.  Requirement.

Unless otherwise stated, a simple majority affirmative vote of all members present and voting, who are in compliance with the qualifications of Section B, is required for church business.

 

AMENDMENTS

 

Section A.  Bylaws.

These bylaws may be changed or amended at any regular or special business meeting by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of all active members present and voting, provided, however, a written notice of such changes shall have been proposed and announced at a regular service to the church at least one month previous, and such alteration does not conflict with the Articles of Faith.

 

Section B.  Articles of Faith.

(1)  In no wise shall an amendment, change or alteration be considered or enacted with references to the Articles of Faith or Bylaws so related.

(2)  Any member, or group of members, who shall subject the Articles of Faith unbelief or amendment shall be subject to church discipline.

 

DISSOLUTION

 

No part of the net earnings of this church shall ever become the personal benefit of any donor, member or officer of the church.  No private individual, donor, member or officer shall be entitled to share in the distribution of church assets.