Evangelical Church

Statement of Faith and Constitution

Statement of Faith

Preamble

Article I. - Creedal Statements

A. The Apostles' Creed (2nd century)

B. Nicean Creed; Constantinople (381 AD)

C. Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD)

D. A Westminster Creed

E. An Evangelical Statement

Article II. - Governments

A. Introduction

B. Self-government

C. Family Government

D. Church Government

E. Civil Government

Constitution

Preamble

Article I. - Members and Electors

A. Members

B. Electors

1. Qualifications for electors
2. Authority of electors
3. Qualified electors
4. Elections
5. Men's meetings

Article II. - Selection of Elders and Deacons

  • A. Elders
  • B. Deacons

Article III. - Duties of Church Officers

A. Elders

1. Responsibilities of Elders
2. Conduct of Men's Meetings
3. Responsibilities of Individual Elders
4. Compensation

B. Deacons

1. Responsibilities of Deacons
2. Conduct of Deacons' meetings
3. Responsibilities of individual Deacons

Article IV. - Removal of Elders and Deacons

A. Elders

B. Deacons

Article V. - Removal of Members

  • A. Subjects of discipline
  • B. Informal Discipline
  • C. Formal Judicial Discipline
  • D. Egregious Sin
  • E. Discipline
  • F. Penalty
  • G. Documentation

Article VI. - Denominational Affiliations

Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals

Preamble

Article VI.I. Authority of Scripture
Article VI.II. Local Congregations
Article VI.III. Presbytery
Article VI.IV. Church Council
Article VI.V. Missions
Article VI.VI. Ministerial Calling
Article VI.VII. Confessional Standards and Revision
Article VI.VIII. Meeting Protocols
Article VI.IX. Commencement of the CRE
Article VI.X. Amendments
Article VI.XI. Memorials
Article VI.XII: Reformed Evangelical Confession
A. The Apostles' Creed (2nd century)
B. Nicean Creed; Constantinople (381 AD)
C. Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD)
D. A Westminster Creed
E. An Evangelical Statement

Article VII. - Church Organizational Structure & Taxation Status

  • A. Rejection of Tax Deductible Status of Tithes, Offerings, and Other Contributions
  • B. Permanency of Unincorporated Status

 

Preamble

The following statement of faith is not intended to define our boundaries of fellowship. Some Christians will certainly differ with some of what is set forth here. Such Christians are nevertheless welcome to fellowship together with us. Our basis for fellowship is a biblical confession of the lordship of Jesus Christ, and the absence of a scandalous lifestyle.

This statement of faith does represent the doctrinal understanding of the leadership of Evangelical , and it is our intention that the teaching and preaching at EEF reflect this understanding. Procedural standards for our church government can be found in our Constitution.

Article I. - Creedal Statements (The Reformed Evangelical Confession)

A. The Apostles' Creed (2nd century)
    • I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin, Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day He rose again, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
B. Nicean Creed; Constantinople (381 AD)
    • I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin, Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the Prophets. And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church; acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
C. Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD)
    • Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men to confess the one and same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and in humanity; truly God and truly man, with a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father according to His deity, and consubstantial with us according to the humanity; like us in all respects, sin only excepted. Before the ages He was begotten of the Father, according to the deity, and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, He was born of Mary the virgin, who is Godbearer according to His humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, to be acknowledge in two natures; without confusing them, without interchanging them, without dividing them, and without separating them; the distinction of natures by no means taken away by the union, but the properties of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one subsistence; not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as from the beginning the prophets have declared concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the symbol of the fathers has handed down to us.
D. A Westminster Creed

(A modern selection from the 17th century Shorter Catechism)

    • I believe man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever;
    • I believe God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth; I believe there is but one true and living God; that there are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; I believe God has foreordained whatever comes to pass; that God made all things of nothing, by the word of His power, in the space of six days, and all very good; and that God preserves and governs all His creatures and all their actions.
    • I believe our first parents, though created in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, sinned against God, by eating the forbidden fruit; and that their fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery; I believe God determined, out of His mere good pleasure, to deliver His elect out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer; I believe the only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever; I believe Christ, as our Redeemer, executes the office of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king. I believe Christ as our Redeemer underwent the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, the cursed death of the cross, and burial; He rose again from the dead on the third day, ascended up into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father, and is coming to judge the world at the last day.
    • I believe we are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit; I believe God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance unto life to escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin; I believe by His free grace we are effectually called, justified, and sanctified, and gathered into the visible church, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation; I believe that we also are given in this life such accompanying benefits as assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end; that at death, we are made perfect in holiness, and immediately pass into glory; and our bodies, being still united in Christ, rest in their graves, till the resurrection; and at the resurrection, we shall be raised up in glory, we shall openly be acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.

 

E. An Evangelical Statement

(Adapted from the National Association of Evangelicals)

    • We believe the Bible to be the only inerrant Word of God. It is our only ultimate and infallible authority for faith and practice.
    • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is omnipotent, that is, He is all-powerful. He is omnipresent, that is, He is present throughout all Creation but not limited by it. He is omniscient, that is, nothing is hidden from His sight. In all things He is limited by nothing other than His own nature and character. We believe the God we serve is holy, righteous, good, severe, loving and full of mercy. He created the heavens and earth, and everything in them, in the space of six ordinary days, and all very good. He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Governor of everything that has been made.
    • We believe in the true deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory.
    • We believe in the full deity of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging Him together with the Father and the Son in the works of creation and redemption.
    • We believe that because of Adam's sin all mankind is in rebellion against God. For the salvation of such lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.
    • We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone, and that faith without works is dead.
    • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
    • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and lost; those who are saved to the resurrection of life, and those who are lost to the resurrection of damnation. We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Article II. - Governments

A. Introduction
    1. We believe that God has ordained various governments among men. The three basic governments are civil government, church government and family government. All of these governments are dependent on the grace of God, common or special, working in individuals to bring about self-government.
    2. We deny that the authority of these governments should be set against one another. God has ordained them all, and assigned to them differing responsibilities.
B. Self-government
    1. We believe that a man becomes a Christian when the Holy Spirit regenerates him and causes him to submit, in faith, to the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13). He has become a disciple of Jesus Christ, and seeks to live in submission to His Word.
    2. We deny that Christ can be received as Savior, and rejected as Lord (Matthew 7:21).
    3. We believe that Christians were chosen before the foundation of the world to live holy and blameless lives (Ephesians 1:4).
    4. We deny that holiness can be defined by means of any extra-biblical rules or regulations. Legalism is not holiness, but rather another kind of sin. The Christian's only standard of holiness is found in the Old and New Testaments (2 Timothy 3:16).
    5. We believe that God will complete the work He has begun in each believer. If someone is truly regenerate, then he will not fall away from salvation (Romans 8:29-31). The basis for this is God's faithfulness, not the faithfulness of the believer.
    6. We deny that this understanding of God's sustaining faithfulness is in any way a cushion for sin. A life of sin is inconsistent with assurance of salvation (Romans 6:1-4).
    7. We believe that each Christian has an obligation to regularly and honestly confess his sins before God (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). In this way, the quality of his relationship with God is maintained and protected.
    8. We deny that confession of sin is the foundation of the Christian's relationship to God. Salvation does not depend on confession of sin; the joy of salvation does (Psalms 51:10-13).
    9. We believe that God commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel, that is, that Christ died on the cross to secure the salvation of all who believe. All unregenerate men therefore have a true obligation to do so (Acts 17:30, 2 Thessalonians 1:8).
    10. We deny that unregenerate men are coercively excluded from grace. But because they are dead in their sins, they have no desire for God's grace (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:6-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14). They are therefore responsible for remaining in sin.
    11. We believe that at regeneration, God creates each Christian a new man, created to grow in love and good works (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
    12. We deny that this new man moves in alongside the old man inherited from Adam. The old man was crucified in Christ (Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 2:20).
    13. We believe that God has given to each individual various gifts of varying worth (1 Corinthians 12:22-24). Each Christian has an obligation to understand accurately what his gifts are, and to put them to work in the worship of God ( Ephesians 4:11-16).
    14. We deny that equality in Christ (Colossians 3:10,11) requires the elimination of God-assigned roles and stations (Colossians 3:12-22, Philippians 2:3).
C. Family Government
    1. We believe that God has ordained the husband to be the head of his wife, and that he is answerable to God for the spiritual state of everyone in his household (Ephesians 5:23).
    2. We deny that the hierarchy established by God in the family diminishes in any way the worth of women in the sight of God, or their husbands (Galatians 3:28). Righteous men rise up and call their righteous wives blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
    3. We believe the Biblical design for marriage to be a holy, honorable, monogamous union between a man and a woman for life, founded on fidelity and self sacrifice. (Hebrews 13:4, Ephesians 5:31-33)
    4. We deny that this Biblical design for marriage can be achieved in a homosexual or lesbian relationship. These are not alternative, acceptable lifestyles to be tolerated, rather they are simply heinous sins to be confessed, repented from and brought under submission to the Bible.
      (1 Cor. 6:9-11, Romans 1:23-32)
    5. We believe that men are responsible to protect their families, and to provide for them (1 Timothy 5:8), loving their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are responsible to minister to their husbands and children (Titus 2:4), to be homemakers, keeping their homes well-managed and clean (Titus 2:5).
    6. We deny that reversal of God's assigned roles to husbands and wives can occur without serious damage to the family, and consequently to the society and church (Titus 2:5).
    7. We believe prosperity is a gift from God (2 Corinthians 9:10-11).
    8. We deny that godly living is an automatic means to wealth and prosperity (Hebrews 11:35-38).
    9. We believe that God blesses in a material way when men honor Him through hard work over a long time, are generous with the blessings God has already given, and provide for their families and dependents (2 Thessalonians 3:7-10).
    10. We deny that covetousness and greed can be means to obtain the blessings God bestows (1 Timothy 6:5).
    11. We believe that Christian parents have an obligation before God to provide their children with a godly understanding of the world in which they are growing up. To this end, Christian education, however administered, is essential (Deuteronomy 6:1-6).
    12. We deny that the state or the church has the obligation to rear our children. That responsibility belongs to the parents (Ephesians 6:4).
    13. We believe that marriage is ordained by God, and that man has no authority to sever what God has joined together. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Divorce and remarriage must be regulated biblically, not culturally.
    14. We deny that compassion for the divorced requires any softening of the biblical teaching on the subject.
D. Church Government
    1. We believe that each local gathering of the visible church is to be governed by a plurality of men called Elders, overseers, or bishops, each of whom must meet the requirements for church leadership (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
    2. We deny that someone can be called by God to such leadership when his life or family is not in order. Seminary training, long experience, and gifts of leadership or communication are no substitute for obedience (1 Samuel 15:22).
    3. We believe that each local gathering of the visible church is to be served by a plurality of Deacons, each of whom must meet the requirements for church service (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
    4. We deny that such service can be rendered properly when a Deacon's life does not meet the criteria set by Scripture.
    5. We believe the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be the sole authority for faith and practice in the church. The laws of the Old Testament, including the Mosaic code, are normative for Christians today, provided they are understood and applied according to the teaching of the New Testament (Romans 13:8-10).
    6. We deny that the grace of God in Christ has changed in any way the definition of right and wrong. Rather, the Spirit works in us to accomplish the righteous requirements of the law (Romans 8:4).
    7. We believe a great commission has been given to disciple the nations to Christ. The instrument for accomplishing this is the preaching of the gospel prior to the return of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).
    8. We deny that the church should work as though we are living in the last generation (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
    9. We believe baptism in water to be a symbol of baptism into Christ, which the Holy Spirit performs at conversion. Water baptism therefore should be offered only to those so converted (Romans 6:1-4).
    10. We deny that water baptism imparts grace by means of water. God imparts grace to His children whenever they obey Him, and water baptism constitutes a part of that obedience.
    11. We believe the Lord's Supper to be a symbol of the body and blood of Christ. Christians should regularly eat at this table, as long as they are not under the discipline of God, or God's people
      (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
    12. We deny that the Lord's Supper imparts grace by means of the bread and cup. It is, however, a participation in Christ (1 Corinthians 10:14-17), and God blesses faithful participation in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 10:16-17), and disciplines faithlessness in it (1 Corinthians 11:30).
    13. We believe baptism in water and the Lord's Supper to be external signs of internal, spiritual and historical realities.
    14. We deny that they are automatic means of blessing. Grace comes to us through faith alone. Any biblical means to build biblical faith is therefore a means of blessing and grace - including water baptism and the Lord's Supper.
    15. We believe the sign gifts which were apparent in the first century church were not given as a normative pattern for subsequent generations (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).
    16. We deny that a church must manifest such gifts in order to please God in worship (1 Corinthians 14:20-22).
    17. We believe that Christians must fellowship in unity with all true Christians, and that we have no right to judge the hearts of fellow servants. If God has accepted someone, we must willingly do the same. The one exception occurs when a professing Christian is under the biblical discipline of God's people (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
    18. We deny that this fellowship requires joint ministry with those Christians who teach or practice that which is unbiblical. We may believe someone to be a Christian, and yet believe them to be unqualified for leadership. The qualifications for leadership differ from those for fellowship (Romans 14:1-8; 1 Timothy 3:1-7).
E. Civil Government
    1. We believe that Christians are to live quiet and peaceful lives, in true submission to the civil magistrates ordained by God as His servants (Romans 13:1-7).
    2. We deny that this submission is absolute. When civil authorities require something forbidden by God, or forbid something required by God, the duty of Christians is to humbly, respectfully, and submissively disobey (Acts 4:19-20).
    3. We believe that Christians are to pray for those authorities that God has placed above them
      (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
    4. We deny that this prayer should be limited to blessings (Psalms 139:19-24).
    5. We believe that Christians should be involved in the political process. Christ required His followers to be salt and light in the world, and He did not exclude civil government from that Christian influence (Matthew 5:13-16).
    6. We deny that the power of the gospel is to be found in political involvement. We do not believe civil government to be a saviour (2 Corinthians 10:3-6), and deny that the church is a political organization.
    7. We believe that in the prohibition of stealing, God has ordained the institution of private property. We believe that the Christian church should teach against theft in all its forms (Exodus 20:15).
    8. We deny that the institution of private property is a human invention. Rather, it is the result of a biblical understanding of God's ordination of private property. But because man is fallen, the institution of private property, like all God-ordained institutions, has been much abused (Ephesians 5:5).
    9. We believe that the root cause of political disregard for the institution of private property is envy and covetousness (Matthew 20:1-16).
    10. We deny that theft can be sanctified, even if it is done in the name of civil justice
      (Isaiah 5:20). If the civil magistrate oversteps the boundaries established for him in Scripture one result can be various forms of theft, including oppressive taxation.

Constitution

Preamble

In the church of God all things are to be done decently and in order. This pertains to the government of the church as much as to the corporate worship. Convinced that Jesus Christ, the Head of the church, will protect and guide her, we seek to obey Scripture through the following standards for the orderly and scriptural government of our church, Evangelical in Bellevue, Washington. These standards do not supplant Scripture, but rather are an expression of biblical church government under God. While biblical, these standards are primarily procedural; the doctrinal position of the church may be found in the Statement of Faith.
The purpose of this church is to glorify God through submission to His Word, proclaim grace in Christ to sinners, and to build up the saints through doctrinal and applicatory preaching of the whole counsel of God.

Article I. - Members and Electors

A. Members
All who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10), who live in our geographical region (Ephesians 1:1), and who submit themselves to the government of EEF (Philemon 2; Hebrews 13:7, 17), are members of this particular portion of the visible church. In no way is this membership to be construed in such a way as to interfere with our fellowship with saints who attend church elsewhere.
B. Electors
Those members of EEF who vote in church elections will be called electors.
1. Qualifications for electors
Electors of EEF are those members satisfying the following conditions;
    • a. whose lives exhibit the fruit of regeneration,
    • b. who are members of EEF,
    • c. who are heads of households,
    • d. who are consistently involved in the life of the church, have a good reputation in the church, through prayer and study hold themselves and the Elders accountable to the Word, and who are in general agreement with our Statement of Faith and Constitution.
The requirement that an elector be the head of a household may be waived by unanimous consent of the Elders.
2. Authority of electors
a. Electors may vote in the elections of Elders and Deacons.
3. Qualified electors
The Elders will qualify electors. Three weeks prior to any election to church office, the election will be announced and the ballot will be provided to the electors. Those who desire to vote but who do not receive a ballot may contact the Elders. If qualified, they will be provided a ballot in time for the election.
4. Elections
Elections will be conducted at appropriate times.
5. Men's meetings
There will be a monthly men's meeting, which will be the normal channel through which the Elders and Deacons receive advice from the church.

Article II. - Selection of Elders and Deacons

A. Elders
  • Elections will be held from time to time as circumstances warrant. A man may be considered as a potential Elder in several ways. He may aspire to the office himself (1 Timothy 3:1), the Elders may approach him, or the people of the church may suggest his name to the Elders. Once he becomes a candidate, the Elders will examine the candidate with regard to his doctrine and manner of life. If the candidate has any disagreement or mental reservation about any portion of the church's Statement of Faith or Constitution, then he must inform the Elders of it. All candidates must meet the qualifications for the office set down in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:2-4).
  • A man may not be placed on the ballot without the unanimous consent of the current Elders. Once on the ballot, the electors of the church have the option of voting either "yes" or "no."
  • If the candidate receives the unanimous support of the church as represented (Philippians 2:l-4), the Elders will ordain the new Elder to the ministry through the laying on of hands and prayer. The requirement for unanimity may only be set aside through the unanimous consent of the Elders, and that only after the Elders have met with those who objected, and carefully considered their objections in the light of Scripture.
  • Once installed, the Elder will serve for life, unless he resigns or is removed.
B. Deacons
  • Elections will be held from time to time as circumstances warrant. A man may be considered as a potential Deacon in several ways. He may aspire to the office himself, the Elders or Deacons may approach him, or the people of the church may suggest his name to the Elders. The Deacons will include the candidate in their work in order to prove his fitness for the office (1 Timothy 3:10). When the candidate has shown, in the unanimous judgment of the Deacons, his fitness for office, the Deacons will make a recommendation to the Elders to place his name on the ballot. The Elders will examine the candidate with regard to his doctrine and manner of life. If the candidate has any disagreement or mental reservation about any portion of the church's Statement of Faith or Constitution, then he must inform the Elders of it. All candidates must meet the qualifications for the office set down in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
  • A man may not be placed on the ballot without the unanimous consent of the current Elders. Once on the ballot, the electors have the option of voting either "yes" or "no."
  • If in the unanimous judgment of the Elders, the candidate receives the clear and obvious support of the church as represented, the Elders will ordain the new Deacon to the ministry through the laying on of hands and prayer (Acts 6:6).
  • Once installed, the Deacon will serve for life, unless he resigns or is removed.

Article III. - Duties of Church Officers

A. Elders
1. Responsibilities of Elders
The Elders are collectively responsible to oversee the following:
    • a. Ruling/shepherding (1 Peter 5:1-2).
    • b. Equipping (Ephesians 4:11-12).
    • c. Prayer/fasting (Acts 6:4; 13:1-3).
    • d. Teaching/preaching (1 Timothy 5:17).
    • e. Administering baptism and communion (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
    • f. Administering church discipline and restoration (1 Corinthians 5:1-5).
    • g. Prayer for the healing of the sick (James 5:14-15).
    • h. Delegating responsibilities to the Deacons, hiring and firing church staff, defining the responsibilities of church staff, and delegating responsibilities to the staff of subordinate ministries. This includes the approval of the budget.
2. Conduct of Men's Meetings
All usual business of the Elders will be conducted at their regular meetings, or at special meetings called for a particular purpose. The Elders will appoint one of their number to moderate the meetings of the Elders, and one to record the minutes of the meetings. The moderator will not be an Elder whose principal duties include teaching the church on Sunday.
3. Responsibilities of Individual Elders
Elders are responsible for those duties delegated to them by the body of Elders, and recorded in the minutes, with due regard to their gifts and desires. Elders with such a charge will serve willingly, and without domineering in the discharge of their assigned duties, whether pastoral or administrative (1 Peter 5:1-3). There is no distinction of rank within the body of Elders.
4. Compensation
Those Elders whose assigned duties preclude them from providing for their families in the ordinary way must be compensated by the church (1 Timothy 5:17-18).
B. Deacons
1. Responsibilities of Deacons
Under the general oversight of the Elders, the Deacons will manage the financial, physical, social, and benevolent functions of the church (Acts 6:2-4). Such responsibilities include: preparing and administering the annual budget, building maintenance, fellowship meals, administration of subordinate ministries, office support, and administering the Deacon's fund.
2. Conduct of Deacons' meetings
All usual business of the Deacons will be conducted at their regular meeting, or at a special meeting called for a particular purpose. The Deacons will appoint one of their number to moderate the meetings of the Deacons, and one to record the minutes of the meetings. The Deacons will be prepared to give a general report of their work at each of the monthly men's meetings, they will provide a quarterly financial report to the church, and they will give an annual report to the Elders with proposals for the upcoming year.
3. Responsibilities of individual Deacons
Deacons are responsible for those duties assigned to them by the Deacons, and recorded in the minutes, with due regard to their gifts and desires. There is no distinction of rank among the Deacons.

Article IV. - Removal of Elders and Deacons

A. Elders
If a Christian believes an Elder may be morally or doctrinally unfit for his office, the scriptural requirement for him is clear: he is to approach that Elder individually first (Matthew 18:15), and then with two or three others (Matthew 18:16). If the problem remains, then the individual, with the two or three witnesses, should come to the other Elders and present the charges
(1 Timothy 5:19).
If the charges are unanimously sustained by the other Elders, then that Elder, depending on the gravity of the charges and the response to the correction, will be rebuked in the presence of the congregation (1 Timothy 5:20), or will be removed from the office of Elder (Titus 1:5-9;
1 Timothy 3:1-7), or both.
B. Deacons
If a Christian believes a Deacon may be morally or doctrinally unfit for his office, the scriptural requirement for him is clear: he is to approach that Deacon individually first (Matthew 18:15), and then with two or three others (Matthew 18:16). If the problem remains, then the individual, with the two or three witnesses, should come to the Elders and present the charges.
If the charges are unanimously sustained by the Elders, then that Deacon, depending on the gravity of the charges and his response to the correction, may be corrected, or removed from the office of Deacon (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

Article V. - Removal of members

A. Subjects of discipline
Members of EEF and non-member professing Christians who regularly attend our fellowship: Those who meet the criteria of membership according to Article l, Section A of this constitution or are a regularly attending non-member professing Christian, may be disciplined according to the procedures outlined in the following sections (1 Corinthians. 5:12-13).
Members of other churches: If another church has disciplined one of its members, and that individual seeks fellowship at EEF, then the Elders of EEF will seek to honor the discipline of the other church. This will only be done after due consultation with the individual concerned and the appropriate information is obtained from the disciplining church. The discipline will be honored unless in the unanimous judgment of the Elders there is clear and compelling evidence that the discipline was unbiblical (3 John 9-10).
B. Informal Discipline
The Elders of EEF will, through teaching and example, encourage the members and regular attenders of EEF to discipline one another through the following:
    • 1. Exercising self-discipline (Romans 8:13).
    • 2. Overlooking the failings of one another in love (1 Peter 4:8).
    • 3. Admonishing a brother if he needs to be corrected (Matthew 18:15).
    • 4. Taking one or two others as witnesses if the admonition is rejected (Matthew 18:16).
    • 5. Bringing the issue to the church through the Elders if it is still rejected (Matthew 18:17).
C. Formal Judicial Discipline
When a dispute is brought to the attention of the Elders (see Section B.5), they will ascertain whether or not the appropriate steps have been taken to resolve the matter privately. The Elders will also seek to carefully ascertain the facts of the case. As soon as the matter is brought to the Elders' attention, all decisions of substance by the Elders concerning the case must be entered in the minutes.
If in the unanimous judgment of the Elders the individual accused of sin may be guilty, and is unrepentant, then the Elders will schedule a formal judicial session of the Elders. Notification of this meeting will be made to the Electors of the church by mail and/or at the next monthly men's meeting.
The first judicial session will simply set forth what the charges are, what the scriptural standards concerning these charges are, who the principal witnesses are, and what the date of the trial will be. The one accused must be granted a reasonable amount of time to prepare a defense for the second judicial session, if he so desires (2 Corinthians 13:1).
If the one accused fails to appear at the first judicial session, then a copy of the minutes will be sent to him by registered mail, along with a warning that if he fails to appear the second time, the judicial session will proceed with the trial in his absence.
For the second judicial session, the Elders beforehand will appoint one of their number as a chairman for the hearing of the evidence. All the Elders, unless providentially prevented, will sit in judgment on the evidence. The chairman will ensure that the proceedings are taped, and that detailed minutes are kept. All the witnesses shall be placed under the most solemn oath (Deuteronomy 6:13).
After the evidence is presented, the Elders will retire to deliberate on the verdict. The Elders will remember at all times that the biblical standards of evidence are high, and that two or three witnesses are required in order to apply formal church discipline.
D. Egregious Sin
If a member of the church is involved in an open and scandalous sin, then there is no requirement for individuals privately to confront that person before the church takes formal action (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). Private confrontation in such cases is certainly to be encouraged, but is not necessary before the church can act. In such cases, the Elders may act by immediately scheduling the first formal judicial session.
E. Discipline
If a guilty verdict is reached, the Elders will do the following:
    • 1. The verdict will be read at the conclusion of the second judicial session.
    • 2. The following statement will be read to the congregation of EEF on the subsequent Sunday:
Church discipline must always be conducted under the headship and the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. This being the case, we acknowledge that Christ has required His church to conduct such church discipline in order to preserve and protect moral and doctrinal purity. The purpose of our church discipline is to glorify God through obedience, to maintain the purity of Christ's church, and to reclaim the offender if possible.
After repeated efforts to exhort and instruct [ ] with regard to [his/her] Christian duty to [ ], the Elders of Evangelical have determined, after a judicial trial on [date] in accordance with the pattern set forth in Scripture and the procedures of our church constitution, that [ ] is guilty of the [charge/s] brought against [him/her] at that trial. The [charge/s was/were]:
1.
2.
3.
It is therefore with grief that the Elders of EEF unanimously pronounce that [ ] is hereby expelled from Christ's church. We declare this day, by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church, that [ ] is excommunicated in accordance with the requirements of Scripture, and is put outside the body of Christ. [He/she] is delivered to the domain of Satan, and is hereafter to be deemed an unbeliever, thus excluding [him/her] from any hope of salvation, unless [he/she] humbly repents and is converted.
It is our prayer that God will use this action we have taken today to glorify His name, and if He is willing, to restore [ ] to fellowship with us.
    • 3. A report of the discipline will be made to the men of the church at the next men's meeting.
If an innocent verdict is reached, the accused party's name will be cleared during the next regularly scheduled church service. If such a verdict suggests deceitfulness on the part of any of the witnesses who testified against the accused, such witness or witnesses will become the subject of an immediate judicial investigation according to the rules set forth in Article V, Section C. (Deut. 19:15-21).
F. Penalty
As a result of the discipline, the one under discipline is to be considered and treated as an outcast (Matthew 18:17). To the members of EEF this means:
    • 1. He is not welcome to attend services of the church. If the person chooses to attend, he will not be physically restrained from entering the church premises, but will not be allowed to partake of the Lord's Supper. The saints must not fellowship with him at all.
    • 2. If the circumstances warrant, there is no longer a scriptural prohibition of a Christian taking the individual under discipline to court before a civil magistrate.
    • 3. If the one under discipline seeks to find a church that will accept him, then the Elders of EEF will contact that church and supply them with all the records of the disciplinary action. If the other church refuses to acknowledge the discipline, then EEF will proceed on the assumption that the other church is in disobedience to Scripture and will not cultivate ties of fellowship with that church.
G. Documentation
In all situations where the Elders take disciplinary action, they are required to fully document all of their actions. The level of documentation will vary with the gravity of the charge, and the status of the one disciplined. All documentation will be placed in the files of the church.
Members of EEF and non-member professing Christians who regularly attend our fellowship: The documentation will consist of entries in the minutes of the meetings of the Elders, entries in the minutes of the monthly men's meeting, and a transcript of all judicial sessions. Any transcript must have an attached letter from the Elders stating that the transcript is a true and reliable account of those proceedings.
Members of other churches: The documentation will consist of entries in the minutes of the meetings of the Elders, entries in the minutes of the monthly men's meeting if appropriate, any and all documentation provided by the disciplining church, and a copy of the letter from the Elders of EEF to the disciplining church, stating whether or not EEF would honor the discipline.

Article VI. - Denominational Affiliations

By unanimous vote of the elders on November 6, 1997, Evangelical became a member of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals. We hereby amplify the stated intention of this confederation as found in the preamble to its constitution which "...is not intended as a separation from other orthodox believers who confess the name of Christ, but rather as a gathering within that broader church, in order to work together effectively for reformation."
Withdrawal from the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals may only occur by unanimous vote of the elders of Evangelical. The entire constitution of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals is incorporated into this article as follows:

Constitution of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals

(Ratified November 6, 1997)

Preamble
In the providence of God, the church of Jesus Christ goes through periods of spiritual growth as well as times of spiritual and doctrinal decline. In a period of decline, the need of the hour is for churches to return to the standards of Scripture, and to encourage other churches to do the same. We are convinced that we live in such a time and that a great need for such a common testimony exists. To that end we have gathered our churches together.
The name of this confederation of churches is the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals (CRE). As a confederation, we intend to form a broad connection between churches which, with respect to polity, is representative, being neither hierarchical nor autonomous. By reformed, we call to mind the need to restore the church from many contemporary abuses, as well as testify that we stand in the stream of historic Protestant orthodoxy. As evangelicals, we desire to confess the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in both love and doctrinal integrity. Our gathering of churches is not intended as a separation from other orthodox believers who confess the name of Christ, but rather as a gathering within that broader church, in order to work together effectively for reformation.
With patterns of church order and confessional standards, one of the fundamental requirements of Scripture is that of honesty (Ex. 20:16). Consequently, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we charge you, the generations who will follow us in this confederation, to submit to the Scriptures with sincere and honest hearts, and to the standards of this confederation as consistent with the teaching of Scripture. When a portion of our order and confession is found to be out of conformity to Scripture, we charge you to amend it honestly, openly, and constitutionally, as men who must give an account to the God who searches the hearts of men. We charge you in the name of the Lord to abhor all forms of ignoring our intentions in what we have set down through dissembling, reinterpretation, dishonesty, relativism, pretended explanations, presumed spiritual maturity, assumed scholarly sophistication, or outright lying, so that the living God will not strike you and your children with a curse. We charge you to serve Him in all diligence and honesty, so that the blessings of the covenant may extend to your children for a thousand generations.
Our desire is simply to acknowledge, preserve and manifest unity, preserve purity, and advance Christ's kingdom in an orderly and reasonable way, resulting in mutual edification, accountability, and spiritual discipline. Association with this confederation is in no way meant to exclude warm, fraternal, and working relations with other faithful churches. Churches with existing denominational attachments may even be included in our confederation, depending on any constitutional restrictions maintained by that denomination.

Article VI.I. Authority of Scripture

    • The Scriptures are always the ultimate and inerrant court of appeal (Ps. 18:30; 119:89; Matt. 4:4; John 16:12-15; Rom. 3:1-2; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). Because this is a constitutional document, a certain emphasis must be placed on creeds and confessions in what follows (Acts 15:1-31; 16:4-5; 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17-18; John 1:14; 1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 7). However, in no way is it our intention to set such confessions of faith above or alongside the Scriptures. Our expectation is that all our churches will routinely teach and preach the whole counsel of God as expressed in Scripture (Acts 20:27; Matt. 4:4), and in all matters of doctrinal discussion and debate, an appeal to Scripture will always be the first resort. In accordance with our creedal and confessional standards, we acknowledge the preeminence of Scripture.
    • Our intention is to submit to all those principles regarding church order which are clearly required by Scripture, or required by deductions from Scripture which can be understood through good and necessary consequence. For the rest, we desire to operate in terms of a sanctified Christian prudence, with all things done in good order and biblical decency. We make no claim that every detail of our confederated order is found in Scripture. At all times, we seek to reflect the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ps. 133; Eph 4:3,13).

Article VI.II. Local Congregations

    • We hold the local congregation has primacy in the structure of biblical church government (Heb. 13: 7, 17) without denying the important blessings and obligations which come from broader connections and fellowship.
    • Each congregation must be committed in principle and practice to government by a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; Jas. 5:14), often called a board, a council or a session. Congregations without a plurality of elders must have accountability with another established CRE church.
    • A distinction exists within the eldership which recognizes work done by elders who are especially given to the labor of word and doctrine (1 Tim. 5:17), such men commonly being called pastors or ministers. Those elders who do not serve in this capacity are commonly called ruling elders, and in some congregations there may be a third category called teachers. Each congregation will determine according to its own standards whether or not these various sub-offices are distinguished by means of separate ordinations. Within the CRE each elder must be a member of the local congregation which he serves.
    • Each congregation will be served as possible by a plurality of deacons (Acts 6:5-7; 1 Tim. 3:8-13).
    • Each church will adopt into its statement of faith the Apostles Creed, the Nicean Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon (1 Tim. 6:12) in the form found in the Reformed Evangelical Confession below. Forms of the following creeds which have been modernized for spelling and usage are acceptable. Forms which have been altered with regard to doctrinal content are not.
    • Each church will adopt into its statement of faith at least one of the following:
    • Westminster Confession of Faith (1647);
    • American Westminster Confession of Faith (1788);
    • The Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession [1561], Heidelberg Catechism [1563], Canons of Dort [1619]);
    • The London Baptist Confession (1689);
    • The Savoy Declaration (1658);
    • The Reformed Evangelical Confession (see Article VI.XII).
Controversies within a local congregation regarding matters arising from differences between our various confessions will not be adjudicated beyond the local church level. All churches agree to work cheerfully and carefully in their study of doctrinal differences, and to strive for like-mindedness with one another (Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 3:16).
Inclusion in the CRE presupposes honest subscription by the eldership to whatever confessions are adopted, with any exceptions carefully noted prior to affiliation (Ex. 20: 16; Col. 3:9). If a difference of conviction arises after a church has become affiliated, then the presbytery must be notified before the adoption of confessional or creedal exceptions by the local congregation which depart from, or may be at odds with, CRE standards.
All members in good standing in a local CRE congregation must be received into membership in any other CRE church, confessional differences between the churches notwithstanding.
The worship and work of each local congregation is ultimately to be governed by the teaching and godly examples supplied throughout all Scripture. This requires a practical understanding of all that Scripture teaches, including an understanding of lesser and greater matters (Matt. 23:24), Christian forbearance with weaker brothers (Rom. 14:1), liberty in worship which is not self-willed (Col. 2:20-23), and an avoidance of an overscrupulous zeal (1 Sam. 21:6; 2 Kings 5:18-19; Luke 4:16). We hold that in our corporate worship we are to be governed by the Word of God in its entirety. In this context alone, and with these constraints, we hold to what has been historically called the "regulative principle" (Deut. 4:2; Leviticus 10:1-2; 2 Sam. 6:6-7). Specifically, we hold that worship is to be centered on the faithful preaching and teaching of the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 4:2), the faithful administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper (Matt. 28: 19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26), with both Word and sacraments protected and promoted by conscientious, biblical church discipline (1 Cor. 11:17, 20).
Before a congregation may be accepted into the CRE it must have been in existence for at least two years, have enough support from members to meet all regular expenses. Congregations seeking membership with the CRE which do not meet these criteria will be characterized as mission churches, and once accepted, may have non-voting delegations at presbytery and church council meetings. When such a congregation comes to meet the criteria for a particularized church, they may be accepted into voting membership of the CRE by a two-thirds vote of presbytery.

Article VI.III. Presbytery

      1. A minimum of two local churches are necessary to establish a presbytery (another term in common use is classis). Geographical boundaries for a presbytery will be established by each presbytery. Geographical boundaries of presbyteries may overlap, but in considering this presbyteries are urged to remember the law of Christ (Matt. 7:12; 3 John 9).
      2. Each congregation in a presbytery will send two elders as voting representatives to each meeting of presbytery—one a teacher or minister, and the other a ruling elder. In the absence of a teacher or minister, a second ruling elder may serve.
      3. The presbytery will have a stated annual meeting. If three quarters of the churches submit a written request to the moderator, an ad hoc presbytery meeting can be called. The decision to call for an ad hoc meeting of the presbytery cannot be made at presbytery.
      4. Each presbytery will elect a moderator from among the assembled delegates when that office is vacant. The moderator will chair the meeting, and will be the presbytery's moderator, representative and spokesman for the next three years (Rev. 2:1; Acts 19:10, 20:28). All nominations for the position of moderator must be preposted on the agenda. The presbytery will also elect a moderator pro tem, to serve in cases of the moderator's absence, or to fill out the term of the moderator if the office of the moderator becomes vacant.
      5. At votes of presbytery, each delegate has one vote. The moderator may not vote, and so in those cases when a church has only one vote because one of their delegates has been elected moderator, the remaining delegate has two votes.
      6. No moderator may serve two consecutive terms as moderator (1 Pet. 5: 1-4).
      7. Each moderator must be concurrently serving as a pastor, ordained teacher, or ruling elder in a local church. If a moderator ceases to serve in such a local office, then his term as moderator ceases at that time.
      8. Full minutes of all the presbytery's proceedings will be kept. The public minutes and records of the presbytery will be published on a public electronic page maintained by the church of the moderator, with the moderator responsible for its contents. Minutes of confidential proceedings will be distributed in hard copy to all the churches in the presbytery. The costs associated with this process will be borne by the church of the moderator. Minutes must be posted within two weeks of their approval.
      9. The moderator has the authority to call an ad hoc meeting of the presbytery, with the issues related to the stated reasons for calling the meeting being the only agenda items.
      10. As representative of that presbytery, the moderator may encourage and spiritually strengthen the sessions of elders within his presbytery.
      11. As representative of that presbytery, the moderator has the authority to meet with the moderators of any other presbyteries to encourage them or to be encouraged, as well as to inquire about the spiritual and doctrinal health of the churches within the other presbyteries. This should in no way be interpreted as a judicial or prelatical authority.
      12. Before his term is completed, a moderator may resign his position, or may be removed by a three-fourths vote of presbytery.
      13. After sending at least one fraternal delegation to a stated meeting of presbytery, churches may be admitted to membership in a presbytery through a two-thirds vote of the presbytery at its next stated meeting. They may remove themselves by whatever means their respective constitutions allow. When a church joins the CRE, this entire document through Article VI.XI must be adopted into that church's constitutional documents, according to the constitutional processes and standards of that church. The membership of the local church in the CRE is finalized at that point, and not before.
      14. After a fair and open judicial hearing at presbytery, a congregation may be removed from membership in the presbytery by a two-thirds vote of the presbytery. Upon such occasions, the removed congregation retains the full right of appeal to council (see Article VI.IV).
      15. Issues relating to the local congregation which may lawfully be brought before the presbytery are specified in this section. All matters not itemized here must be adjudicated and resolved at the level of the local church.

        Before any appeal is made, a matter must be first addressed at the local church level. Appeal may be made (1.) when the session of elders is accused by two or more of the church members of participating in or tolerating grievous dishonesty in subscription to the doctrinal or constitutional standards of the local church; or, (2) when the session of elders is accused by two or more of the church members of gross misbehavior. In any case where at least two witnesses are from the same household, three witnesses are required to hear the case. The presbytery must refuse to hear frivolous or unconstitutional appeals.
      16. The decisions of the presbytery with regard to the local congregation are spiritually authoritative, but practically advisory. If the elders of a particular congregation choose to refuse the instruction of the broader church, they may do so without deprivation of property. However, if their disregard of godly counsel is particularly egregious, they may be removed from membership in the CRE, in accordance with Section N above.
      17. When an appeal comes to presbytery, a simple majority at presbytery is necessary to decide the issue. The matter may be appealed further to the council by the appellant. The council must refuse to hear frivolous or unconstitutional appeals.
      18. The presbytery may form no standing committees or boards. Every committee must be ad hoc and automatically dissolve when it completes its assigned task, or submits its assigned report to the presbytery. Assigned tasks may not be open-ended, allowing for de facto standing committees.
      19. A simple majority of the presbytery may seat fraternal delegations from other Christian churches. Such delegations are encouraged to come as observers and friends, or as prospective members of the CRE. Members of fraternal delegations may not vote, although they may address the presbytery at the invitation of the moderator. They may not participate in debate without unanimous consent of the assembled delegates.
      20. The presbytery may from time to time address issues not included in the historic creeds and confessions by means of overtures, memorials (see Article VI.XI), or confessional statements.

Article VI.IV. Church Council

      1. A minimum of two presbyteries are necessary to form the council (Acts 16:4).
      2. Each congregation in a presbytery will send two elders as voting representatives to the meeting of church council—one a teacher or minister, and the other a ruling elder. In the absence of a teacher or minister, a second ruling elder may serve.
      3. The council will have an stated meeting every five years. If three quarters of the presbyteries submit a written request to the moderator of the council, an ad hoc council meeting can be called. The decision to call for an ad hoc meeting of the council cannot be made at council.
      4. Each council will elect a moderator from among the assembled delegates when that office is vacant. The moderator will chair the meeting, and will be the council's moderator, representative and spokesman for the next five years (Rev. 2:1; Acts 19:10, 20:28). All nominations for the position of moderator must be preposted on the agenda. The council will also elect a moderator pro tem, to serve in cases of the moderator's absence, or to fill out the term of moderator if the office of the moderator becomes vacant.
      5. At votes of council, each delegate has one vote. The moderator may not vote, and so in those cases when a church has only one vote because one of their delegates has been elected moderator, the remaining delegate has two votes.
      6. Full minutes of all the council's proceedings will be kept. The public minutes and records of the council will be published on a public electronic page maintained by the church of the moderator, with the moderator responsible for its contents. Minutes of confidential proceedings will be distributed in hard copy to all the member churches. The costs associated with this process will be borne by the church of the moderator. Minutes must be distributed within two weeks of their approval.
      7. No moderator may serve two consecutive terms as moderator. No moderator of the council may serve as moderator of a presbytery concurrent with service as moderator of the church council.
      8. Each moderator must be concurrently serving as a pastor, teacher, or ruling elder of a local church. If a moderator ceases to serve in such a local office, then his term as moderator ceases at that time.
      9. Before his term is completed, a moderator may resign his position, or may be removed by a three-fourths vote of council.
      10. The council may form no standing committees or boards. Every committee must be ad hoc and automatically dissolve when it completes its assigned task, or submits its assigned report to the council. Assigned tasks may not be open-ended, allowing for de facto standing committees.
      11. A simple majority of the council may seat fraternal delegations from other Christian churches. Such delegations are encouraged to come as observers and friends, or as prospective members of the CRE. Members of fraternal delegations may not vote, although they may address the council at the invitation of the moderator. They may not participate in debate without unanimous consent of the assembled delegates.
      12. The council may from time to time address issues not included in the historic creeds and confessions by means of overtures, memorials, or confessional statements.
      13. Neither church council nor presbyteries may own property. All property within the CRE will be owned by the local congregations. General costs associated with hosting the presbytery or church council will be borne by the host church of the presbytery or church council. Specific costs (e.g. food and travel) will be borne by the delegates or sending churches.
      14. All retirement or pension plans for CRE ministers, teachers, missionaries, etc. will be under the authority, management and oversight of the local churches, and will not be the responsibility of the presbyteries or church council.

Article VI.V. Missions

      1. All supported international or domestic CRE missionaries will not be sent by the presbyteries or church council, but rather by the local church.
      2. As appropriate, the other churches in the presbytery can offer encouragement and financial support, but the accountability of the missionaries will only be to the congregation which is the sending body.
      3. As circumstances warrant, missionaries may seek a transfer of the sending authority from one local church to another, with the details to be worked out between the missionary and the elders of the respective congregations involved.

Article VI.VI. Ministerial Calling

      1. The CRE affirms the need for spiritually-disciplined, well-educated pastors, qualified in their households, grounded in rigorous and wise handling of the Scriptures, and exhibiting a thorough understanding of the biblical world and life view (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9).
      2. Any institutions and processes of ministerial education and training that are formally associated with the CRE must be under the authority and supervision of a local session of elders in a local CRE church (2 Tim. 2:1-2).
      3. Any candidate for pastor, minister, or teacher within the CRE will be examined by a local session of elders with regard to his manner of life, knowledge of Scripture, and doctrinal understanding. The presbytery will also examine him with regard to his manner of life, knowledge of Scripture, and doctrinal understanding. The presbytery may then by a simple majority recommend his ordination by the elders of the local congregation. The local session is not judicially bound by the recommendation of presbytery.
      4. If a minister or teacher has been ordained within the CRE, he may not be required by presbytery or council to undergo another examination. Such an examination may occur if both the calling church and the candidate agree to it. If a man has been ordained outside the CRE, then the same procedures are followed as with a new candidate.
      5. Each candidate, regardless of his level of formal education, will be examined before ordination (See Article VI.XI.C).

Article VI.VII. Confessional Standards and Revision

      1. The CRE holds as its foundational confession of faith the Apostles Creed, the Nicean Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon. These confessions are included in Article VI.XII of this document.
      2. The CRE holds generally to the system of doctrine reflected in the great creeds, catechisms, and confessions of the Reformation, and consequently requires all confederated churches to hold to at least one of the particular statements listed in Article VI.II.F.
      3. Revisions to any portion of these confessions of faith must have a first reading at a stated meeting of the church council, and may then be brought to a vote at the subsequent stated meeting (See Article VI.XI.E).
      4. Three quarters of the presbyteries are required to propose revisions to this confession of faith.
      5. Such proposed revisions will be placed on a list of potential revisions maintained by the moderator, to await consideration at the appointed time.
      6. Three quarters of the presbyteries may remove proposed revisions to the confession of faith at any time prior to the council when they are to be voted on.
      7. A proposed change in the confession requires a three quarters margin in order to pass.
      8. This process of revision applies only to the confessional statements, and not to other portions of this constitution.
      9. If a church's standing in the CRE is potentially affected by the process of confessional revision, that church has five years within which to make their first appeal to presbytery.

Article VI.VIII. Meeting Protocols

      1. Neither council nor presbyteries will be considered as having acted unless a measure is moved, seconded, carried by the appropriate number of votes, entered in the minutes, and approved in the minutes.
      2. The minutes of presbyteries will be approved when the moderator has circulated a draft of the minutes within two weeks of the adjournment of the presbytery. All suggested corrections must be made by the churches within a week, and a revised copy of the minutes will be circulated for final approval. The minutes require a two thirds margin to be approved. Lack of response from a church will be considered an affirmative vote. The final approval of the minutes must occur within one month of the adjournment of presbytery.
      3. The minutes of the council will be approved when the moderator has circulated a draft of the minutes within one month of the adjournment of the council. All suggested corrections must be made by the churches within a month, and a revised copy of the minutes will be circulated for final approval. The minutes require a two thirds margin to be approved. Lack of response from a church will be considered an affirmative vote. The final approval of the minutes must occur within six months of the adjournment of the council.
      4. The quorum for presbytery and church council meetings will be two-thirds of the voting delegates.
      5. The agenda of any stated presbytery meeting must be posted on the public electronic page maintained by the moderator of the meeting in question no less than thirty days and no more than sixty days before the meeting. The agenda of any stated council meeting must be posted on the public electronic page maintained by the moderator of the meeting in question no less than thirty days and no more than six months before the meeting. Motions to amend the agenda at the meeting require a unanimous vote.
      6. In order to set time limits for floor debate, a three quarters vote is required.
      7. In order to call for the question, a three quarters vote is required.

Article VI.IX. Commencement of the CRE

      1. When at least two of the founding sessions have approved the inclusion of this document in their constitutions, the CRE will have formed. The sessions involved are Evangelical in Bellevue, Washington, Wenatchee Evangelical Fellowship in Wenatchee, Washington, and Community Evangelical Fellowship in Moscow, Idaho. Following the formation of the CRE, the churches will then confer and establish the time and place for the first presbytery.
      2. Other churches interested in the CRE may send fraternal delegations to the first presbytery meeting to facilitate consideration for membership by other members of the presbytery.

Article VI.X. Amendments

      1. This constitution of the CRE, excluding the article containing the confessions of faith, may be amended at any time by a three/quarters margin at any regularly scheduled meeting of the church council, or by the sole presbytery at any time prior to the formation of the first council.

Article VI.XI. Memorials

Memorials are intended to state the position of the CRE on issues which cannot be addressed effectively in constitutional language, but on which some sort of constitutional statement is desired.

      1. A local congregation within the CRE is not excluded from membership if it is incorporated, but churches are strongly urged to avoid such status. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only rightful Head of the church (Eph. 1:22), and incorporation blurs that truth in that a corporation is judicially a creation of the state (Matt. 22:21).
      2. In questions about candidates for ordination, the local session is not judicially bound by the recommendation of presbytery. But when the local church has sought the wisdom of the broader church, agreement with such recommendations is strongly encouraged.
      3. While a formal seminary education may prepare a candidate for ordination, our confederation strongly prefers ministerial training, under the oversight of local church elders, which maintains high academic and theological standards (including training in the original languages of Scripture), and yet at the same time incorporates an apprentice or internship approach within the context of the local congregation.
      4. Our process of confessional revision is established so that the differences between our churches may be resolved over time by a careful striving for like-mindedness. The process is established to work in a slow and deliberate fashion so that we will be less susceptible to various fads and winds of doctrine (Eph. 4:14).

Article VI.XII: Reformed Evangelical Confession

Please refer to Evangelical's Statement of Faith Article I.A through I.E.

Article VII. - Church Organizational Structure & Taxation Status

A. Rejection of Tax Deductible Status of Tithes, Offerings, and Other Contributions

    • In as much as Jesus Christ our Chief Shepherd and Lord has commanded the church to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all the things He has instructed us in; And in as much as in a democratic society such discipleship may from time to time take the form of seeking to influence legislation and/or the electoral process; And in as much as churches wishing to preserve the tax deductible status of tithes, offerings, and other contributions must agree to limit such activities; Evangelical hereby repudiates the tax deductible status of tithes, offerings, and other contributions conferred by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    • We deny that rejecting this federal government subsidy in the form of preferential tax status in any way lessens every individual Christian's unambiguous duty to be subject to the governing authorities including the duty to render taxes to whom taxes are due.
    • In as much as corporations are creatures of the state in which they are incorporated; We affirm our intention to permanently maintain the unincorporated status of the church thereby avoiding any obfuscation of the sole headship of our Lord Jesus Christ over His church.
  • Article VIII. - Amendments

This constitution may be amended at any time through unanimous consent of the Elders, after due consultation with the Electors of the church by mail and/or at the monthly men's meeting.

Click Your Choice



Go To Start: WWW.BIBLE.CA