Introduction Early Brethren in Christ leaders bore witness to the beliefs which set the Church apart by formulating a Confession of Faith. The first confessional statement of about 1780 and others that followed reflect the Pietistic and Anabaptist influences which have shaped our doctrinal understandings. Some 100 years later, the Brethren in Christ adopted aspects of Wesleyan thought which were incorporated into subsequent doctrinal statements.
Through the years we have reaffirmed and redefined our essential beliefs. New doctrinal statements were adopted by General Conferences in 1937 and again in 1961. In 1986 we decided to give written expression to our current beliefs and life. This was done with a sensitivity to and respect for our doctrinal heritage. We regard each previous doctrinal statement of the church as having its own integrity.
In preparing the doctrinal statement we affirm an understanding of scriptural interpretation that recognizes
the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit
the centrality of Christ in divine revelation
the New Testament as interpreter of the Old Testament
the scriptural focus on piety and obedience
the essential value of community consensus in the interpretive process
It is best to read the doctrinal statement as a whole, since each of the sections is closely related to the others. Moreover, this is a summary statement of our beliefs. The Brethren in Christ Manual of Doctrine and Government, together with other publications of the church, explain more fully our understanding of biblical faith and the Christian life.
Following the doctrinal statement is a listing of selected Scripture references. Since the statement grows out of the totality of the biblical message, these references are only illustrative of the scriptural truths identified in each section. Study of these and other related Scripture passages is important for a clearer understanding of God and His will for humanity.
Here then in summary is what we, the Brethren in Christ, believe about revelation and Scripture, God and creation, humanity and sin, Jesus Christ and salvation, the Holy Spirit and the church, eternal hope and judgment.
As a church, we have agreed that ten core values are at the heart of our life and work together. In setting forth our core values, we declare our ties with true Christians of all times and every place. We confess with them the faith as embodied in the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed. We recognize that these values are rooted in our history and doctrine. In broad strokes they convey the essential beliefs of our denomination as stated in our Articles of Faith and Doctrine.
We present these ten core values to help you to better understand the Brethren in Christ. In ten concise statements, these are the values which touch our hearts, stir our emotions, and move us to action!
Experiencing God's Love and Grace We value the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Believing the Bible We value the Bible as God's authoritative Word, study it together, and build our lives on its truth.
Worshiping God We value heartfelt worship that is God-honoring, Spirit-directed, and life-changing.
Following Jesus We value whole hearted obedience to Christ Jesus through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.
Belonging to the Community of Faith We value integrity in relationships and mutual accountability in an atmosphere of grace, love, and acceptance.
Witnessing to the World We value an active and loving witness for Christ to all people.
Serving Compassionately We value serving others at their point of need, following the example of our Lord Jesus.
Pursuing Peace We value all human life and promote forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation, and non-violent resolution of conflict.
Living Simply We value uncluttered lives, which free us to love boldly, give generously, and serve joyfully.
Relying on God We confess our dependence on God for everything, and seek to deepen our intimacy with Him by living prayerfully.