Our Statement of Faith
We have a High Bar!
1.1 God :
There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator; Savior and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for his own glory.
1.2 The Bible :
God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
1.3 The Human Race :
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, every aspect of human nature has been corrupted and all men and women are separated from God, being guilty sinners and hostile to their Creator. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be born again, forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him.
1.4 The Lord Jesus Christ :
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true. On the cross he died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin, redeeming them by his blood. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.
1.5 Salvation :
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.
1.6 The Holy Spirit :
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
1.7 The Church:
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; for pastoral care and discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.
1.8 Baptism and the Lord’s Supper :
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
1.9 The Future :
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. God will make all things new and will be glorified forever.
Our Statement of Practice
We are SEPARATED to GOD
2.1 Conduct contrary to the Scripture:
shall be determined by the Executive Board of Directors and shall be sufficient grounds upon which any person may be disqualified as a Board member or as an appointed officer or employee. Some Scriptures which support such disciplinary action are Romans 16:17, 18; I Corinthians 5:11-12; Galatians 1:18; II Thessalonians 3:6-15; Titus 3:10; II john 9-11. The steps of the discipline of the members shall always be consistent with the instructions given in Matthew 18:16-20 and Galatians 6:1.
The purpose of discipline is restorative, and remedial. However, if a person is separated from the Organization, they may not be re-instated until there has been genuine repentance of the offence and reconciliation made, which will be attested to by the President and confirmed by the rest of the Board.
The Role of Men & Women in our Organization
2.3 Affirmation :
Whilst most thoroughly affirming the Biblical teaching that women have a vital and very significant place in the mission of The 66 Books Ministry and its many associated projects, a misunderstanding of Biblical gender roles in ministry have attracted much attention and done much damage to the cause of Christ at the turn of this millennium and so we find it necessary to state that our conviction is that, although some of the details may be debated, the essential thrust of Biblical teaching is very clear.
2.4 Equality :
As both redeemed men and women are joint-heirs of salvation; we affirm the equality men and women have in creation and redemption. Both men and women are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Both men and women receive the Holy Spirit and are heirs with Christ. We are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29). Women as well as men belong to the body of Christ and their service and gifts are essential for the proper functioning of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
2.5. Complementary in ministry:
At the creation God stated that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Men and women are to work together in partnership both in the family and all aspects of Christ’s church and The 66 Books Ministry. There are, however, distinctions in the roles and the biblical texts which speak directly of the roles of both men and women in Christian ministry.
2.6 1 Timothy 2 and 3:
Timothy was charged with bringing order to the dysfunctional Ephesian church (3:14-15). There had been problems within the leadership of the church (e.g. 5:19-20), and a key aspect of Timothy’s role was to make sure the church in Ephesus had suitably qualified elders (3:1-7). The qualifications assume that the elders will be men (3:2). This should not surprise us given that he makes it clear in the immediately preceding context that men, and not women, were to do the authoritative teaching (2:11-15).
2.7 1 Corinthians 11 and 14:
At first glance, there appears to be a contradiction between 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which assumes that women will pray and prophesy, and 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 which commands that women be silent in the church gathering. However one seeks to resolve this tension, it is clear that restrictions of some kind are being placed upon women. In 1 Corinthians 11, whilst Paul reminds us of the interdependence of men and women, he also makes it clear that issues of authority are at stake: man is the head of woman. The section in 1 Corinthians 14 also indicates that the women do not have the same freedom to speak in the gathering as the gifted men.
2.8 Creation and Trinity:
Paul roots the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2 in creation (vv. 13-14) and that of 1 Corinthians 11 both in creation (vv. 8-9) and the nature of the Godhead (v. 3). These commands are therefore driven neither by culture, nor by a particular crisis in the church; rather, they are deeply rooted in who we are as creatures and the relationships within the Trinity.
Paul’s teaching on marriage also has some bearing on this discussion. There has been debate as to whether the term “head” implies authority, but the command for the wife to submit implies/suggests that it does. Husbands and fathers have responsibility for the welfare of their families and they should exercise authority in a loving way for the spiritual and physical welfare of their wives and children. Marriage is between one man and one woman.
2.9 Role of women in the Old Testament:
What we see in the New Testament is, as we would expect, a reflection of patterns laid down in the Old Testament. Leadership and teaching were reserved for men; priests, prophets and kings were men. There were exceptions with regard to prophecy, but these are few and far between. However, as in the New Covenant so under the Old, women are co-workers with the men. In the book of Proverbs, we note that both the mother and the father are to be involved in the teaching and training of the children, and the virtuous woman of the closing chapter has a wide remit in terms of service.
2.10 Role of women in the New Testament:
Women, like men, receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit and are involved in the work of the gospel. Women are witnesses to the resurrected Christ (e.g. Matthew 28) and are to pass on this good news. Many of the gospel workers mentioned by Paul in Romans 16 are women. Women are included in the command for us all to teach one another in the body of Christ (Colossians 3:16).
2.11 Implications in our Ministry:
Regarding then the mission of The 66 Books Ministry and any members of Church66 : Reflecting upon the biblical data, we can see that the primary leaders and teachers of the church are to be suitably qualified men. Teaching, though, is not to be restricted to male leaders of any kind. All Christians are to be involved in teaching and encouraging one another. This includes women who are to teach other women (Titus 2:4) and who may well be involved in teaching in other forums. How exactly this works out in practice may well vary within The 66 Books Ministry and from within any Church66 or City-Simple churches.
2.12 Implications for The 66 Books Ministry and any Churches it may uniquely plant:
To ignore the prohibitions of Scripture in our endeavor to fulfil our mission is not something we can endorse. Scriptural oversight is essential for the welfare of The 66 Books Ministry and its associated churches and we believe the word of God makes it clear that this must be done by suitably gifted and qualified men. This will mean, in particular, that all Church66 churches, should not have a woman pastor-teacher or women elders.
2.13 Implications for our leaders:
This also has implications for those wishing to join The 66 Books Ministry and any 66Bible.Church as leaders, for those applying to do so would need to accept the position of The 66 Books Ministry on this issue.