111 Christian Disciplines
Every member shall attend to the ordinances of the church–namely, baptism (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38) and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28, 1 Corinthians 11:23-29); shall be diligent in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and the study of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15). Further, it is the responsibility of all members of the church to serve with time and talent, and to contribute to the financial interests of the church in proportion to their ability, as God has prospered them.
112 Love to Others
All persons should walk as in the presence of God and accustom themselves to a close communion with God in all of their employments (Colossians 2:6; Psalm 1:1,2; Romans 8:1-6). They should never speak evil of their fellow beings (Ephesians 4:25, 29, 31; Titus 3:2; James 3:5-10), but practice love toward others (Mark 12:31), rendering service to others (Luke 10:28-37, Galatians 5:13), and endeavoring to be a follower of Christ in deed (Colossians 3:17, 23), in order that a spirit of unity may exist (Ephesians 4:3).
113 Lord’s Day Observance
Following the example of the early disciples and New Testament church, everyone should make provision for exercises of devotion on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and inasmuch as possible shall attend all services for hearing read the Word of God, singing spiritual songs and hymns, Christian fellowship, and giving of tithes and offerings (John 20:19, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Hebrews 10:25). Members are admonished to neither buy nor sell needlessly on the Lord’s Day.
114 An Effective Witness
Since every Christian is called to be a witness to Christ (Acts 8:26-39) in the midst of ungodly people and circumstances (Acts 1:8), and since it is largely through the testimony of believers that others are brought to a saving knowledge of Christ, we urge every member of the church to assume the obligation of seeking the lost and winning them to Christ.
In order that they may be prepared to witness for Christ by life as well as by word, we admonish our members of all ages to maintain a position of nonconformity to the world (Romans 12:2) and to lay aside the evil things of this life (James 1:21); and further, to guard carefully their Christian testimony–
1. By engaging only in such business and social activity which is consistent with the Christian life (Colossians 3:17, 23).
2. By observing modesty in dress, in speech, and in all other personal conduct as becomes a child of God (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Peter 3:3-4).
3. By renouncing the world and all ungodliness, seeking to lead a life of holiness and devotion to God and his cause (2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Timothy 2:19, 21).
115 Necessity of Union
Let us be deeply sensible, from what we have known, of the evil of a division in principle, spirit or practice, and of the dreadful consequences to ourselves and others. If we are united, what can stand before us? If we are divided, we shall injure ourselves, the work of God, and the souls of our people. To secure a closer union among ourselves, let us:
1. Be deeply convinced of the absolute necessity of union (Ephesians 4:3).
2. Pray earnestly for and speak truly and freely to each other (James 5:16).
3. When we meet, never part without prayer, if prayer is at all practicable.
4. Take care not to despise each other’s gifts (Romans 12:3-8).
5. Never speak lightly of each other (James 4:11).
6. Defend each other’s character in everything, so far as is consistent with truth (Ephesians 4:31).
7. Labor in honor, each preferring another before himself (Philippians 2:3).
8. Seriously examine the cause, evils, and cures of heart and church divisions (Galatians 5:26).
9. Observe and follow the principles for reconciliation or excommunication laid down by Jesus in Matthew 5:21-26 and 18:15-17 whenever an offense exists between members of the congregation.
116 Obedience to Government
It is the duty of every member to lead a quiet, peaceable, and godly life among mankind, as it becomes a Christian to live in peace and to be subject to the higher or ruling powers, as the Word of God requires. (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-3; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17)
117 Legal Testimony
We believe that the mode of testifying to the truth, when required to do so in a legal form, by way of affirmation is on us solemnly, conscientiously and fully binding before God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (Matthew 5:33-37).
118 Going to Law
Any member refusing, in case of debt or dispute, to refer the matter to arbitration, or who shall enter into a lawsuit with another member before these measures are taken, may be expelled, except in criminal and other cases which require and justify a process at law. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Proverbs 25:8-10; Matthew 5:25-26)
119 Lodges and Other Heretical Groups
The Bible teaches that salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ, and that Christians are neither to participate in things done in secret (Eph. 5:10-15) nor to show favoritism (James 2:1). Therefore, United Brethren members must not be members of any other church, group, or organization which teaches a way of salvation incompatible with the United Brethren Confession of Faith, such as a Masonic lodge or the Order of Oddfellows. Members who do, and who refuse to sever the relationship after having been confronted by the pastor and at least one other board member, shall be regarded as having withdrawn their membership from the church. (John 14:6, 2 Corinthians 6:14-15)