UPDATE 11/19/15 – I realize many of my blogs may be perceived as “in your face”, naming names. My main beef is with the Evangelical Friends (EFCI), the denomination I grew up in. I want to emphasize, I have no problems with EFCI personalities, just doctrinal issues. I’m currently trying to smooth out relationships with some individuals I may have inadvertently offended, especially in the EFCI.
I want to point out, I do not feel I am compromising or changing my current doctrinal positions. However, I may take blogs offline from time to time, to tone down unnecessarily accusatory or inflammatory language. I am attempting to be more diplomatic and tactful, softening language particularly in cases where I name names. My intent has never been to attack individuals; I believe all human beings (nonchristians and Christians) are brethren in Adam, if not brethren in Christ. Also, with both nonchristians and Christians, I am trying to follow the Golden Rule, treating others as I would want to be treated.
In warning people of what I believe are false doctrines (see Scripture passage below), I am attempting to “speak the Truth in love”; this can be a double-edged sword (harsh Truth plus tough love). Often in this discernment ministry I feel I need “the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job”!
” 14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 ) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Eph. 4:14-15)
Also, I have reposted articles from various writers. In some cases, I have closely followed the copyright policies at the bottom of their articles – for example reposting articles with credit to the authors and links to the articles’ original sites. In other cases, I have reposted articles without getting permission from the authors. I’m discovering that, when NO copyright info/instructions are given below articles, this does not necessarily give readers the right to repost articles. I will be taking various blogs offline, either to: 1) get repost permission from the authors, or 2) revise my blogs to include excerpts from articles, rather than entire reposts of articles.
(Note – I am still in the process of developing the Doctrinal Statement below.)
I started blogging in October 2010, mostly about Spiritual Formation’s heretical contemplative Richard Foster. Foster was closely tied to the denomination I grew up in – the Evanglical Friends Church International (EFCI). Amazingly, I found very few members of the EFCI who were speaking out against Foster or any of the other postmodern (Emerging/Emergent/Emergence) adjunct professors who were/are at George Fox University and George Fox Evangelical Seminary, in Northwest Yearly Meeting. These professors include Richard Foster, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Dan Kimball, Leonard Sweet, etc.
I have learned a great deal about the EFCI – to which the EFC-ER (formerly the “Gurneyite” Wesleyan Holiness Ohio Yearly Meeting) belongs. I believe Ohio Yearly Meeting was biblically sound between approx. 1854-1965. I have learned much from the examples of many biblically sound relatives who served in Ohio Yearly Meeting during those years. In many of my blogs, I’m attempting to help reverse the damage caused to evangelical denominations by liberal/heretical individuals (especially Richard Foster) associated with Northwest Yearly Meeting of the EFCI.
To locate me on Facebook, click here.
Theologically, I would label myself primarily as independent, separatist (point #4 below), fundamentalist (point #5 below), and (s0 far at least) Conservative Holiness (point #6 below). I don’t consider myself perfectly aligned with any one denomination. I admire many traits of 1) Conservative Holiness denominations, 2) Free Will Baptists, and 3) Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches (particularly those listed by David Cloud).
I’m engaged in “militant separatism” from the “mainstream” Wesleyan Holiness denominations, which are each year becoming increasingly postmodern (Emerging/ Emergent/ Emergence). I am a “work in progress”, moving closer to various IB (Independent Baptist) doctrines in recent years. I don’t want to offend or alienate any IB people, yet I must be honest below in pointing out where my beliefs differ from theirs, in my thinking at this time. Even discussing my few differences is agonizing for me, since I love the King James Bible, the evangelistic hymns, the zeal for soulwinning, the militant separatism, etc. of IB people.
Interestingly, there are many “streams”, many groups, many affiliations of IB churches, including IFB and Independent Unaffiliated Baptist churches. In this article David Cloud does a good job of describing the various kinds of IB churches. Although David Cloud’s doctrinal stance differs somewhat from my own, his sentiments in this same article match my own:
“… I know some truly godly Independent Baptist churches that are not biblically shallow; that are careful about presenting the gospel to the unsaved, seeking genuine conversions and not mere professions; that are not near-cultic or idolatrous in regard to pastoral authority, honoring the pastor after a scriptural fashion but not putting him on an untouchable pedestal; that are striving for true godliness and not mere conformity to a list of external standards; that establish and test standards by biblical principles rather than by mere tradition; that are trying to produce real disciples for Christ rather than religious clones; that don’t have their heads in the sand but are striving to educate the people properly about major issues affecting us today; that are not blushing in their stand for separation but are bold and unapologetic.
… The bottom line is that I don’t have to agree with most Independent Baptists. As an Independent Baptist I have the liberty to fellowship with the 10% or whatever that I do agree with and ignore the rest! Independent Baptist is not a denomination.”
More details on my beliefs (I am hoping to further develop all the points below)
1) Saved – a converted, born again Christian (John Chapter 3). I strongly oppose baptismal regeneration. I also oppose “Easy Prayerism” (“Easy Believism”); I agree with David Cloud’s criticisms Easy Prayerism here. Repentance must involve a confession and turning from sin, turning one’s life over from self to Christ – not parroting the words of the Sinners Prayer, mouthing an insincere repentance and insincere belief in Christ, trying to get “fire insurance”. (Click here for another article regarding this, with which I agree.)
2) Sanctified – striving to live a life of “personal holiness” (as opposed to “social holiness”), separated from worldly sins, totally committed to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2). The Wesleyan Holiness movement I grew up in (and still feel close to) traditionally held for the most part to “Christian perfection” aka “sinless perfection”. I personally do not believe it is possible to reach Christian perfection in this life. I DO think we can have “victorious” Christian lives, i.e. having victory over sin through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But we will still stumble and give in to temptation and sin from time to time. On this issue I would thus be more aligned with the Keswick (Higher Life) movement. When we stumble and sin, we need to confess it to God, sincerely repent, and move on in our Christian walk. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
3) Soul winning – passionately witnessing to people, carrying out the Great Commission. This does not include the Great Commandment, which postmoderns have twisted into a social gospel combined with the Great Commission. Yes, we should love our neighbor, but compassion/social justice/being missional will not get people saved – they have to hear the gospel message of Christ and Calvary, a message of what I call “the Blood and the Cross”.
4) Separatist and militant – practicing primary and secondary ecclesiastical separation from those who teach heresies/false teachings/doctrinal errors. But separation is not enough, for example if we merely slink away from a backsliding, apostate church without revealing why we’re leaving its membership. For an explanation of the term “militant” click here. “Militant” to me means “fighting” false teachings, taking a stand, speaking up, protesting, exposing, confronting, etc. Done of course in Christian love as much as possible – diplomatically, politely and tactfully, not attacking personally, not using slurs or name calling.
5) Fundamentalist – Among other things, adhering to most of the articles in The Fundamentals of 1910-1915. There are a few articles I do not consider to be biblically sound, such as an article compromising with evolution – for more on this compromise click here. For me “Fundamentalist” means far more than adhering to the five fundamental, essential Christian doctrines. I take the position of this article by David Cloud.
6) Conservative Holiness – of the Wesleyan Holiness denominations, I most closely identify with those in the Conservative Holiness movement. I realize a key trait of many Conservative Holiness denominations is simplicity/modesty/Christlikeness in dress (no short hair for women, no jewelry not even wedding rings, etc.). I have no problem accepting these standards (which many blindly label as legalistic rather than obedience to God’s Word – see Rom. 12:1-2). But as a married couple my wife and I are working through this practical, everyday call to Christlike appearance… On a related note, I miss the times when many evangelical denominations opposed dancing, going to movie theaters, working on Sundays, drinking, etc. We have lost many godly behaviors as born again Christians in these End Times. Truly tragic, how most evangelical churches have compromised since the 1960s, in these and many other ways.
7) King James Bible/Textus Receptus only (KJB/TR) – I look to the KJB as my rock, my authority in the English language. Like other KJB/TR people, I strongly oppose Peter Ruckman (click here and here). With his hateful spirit and bizarre teachings, Ruckman has terribly tarnished the King James Bible defense. (Some of Ruckman’s teachings are spot on, but others are way out there.) The KJB emphasis began over 100 years before Ruckman’s twisting of it, with groups such as the Trinitarian Bible Society.
As a KJB/TR person, unlike Ruckman, I believe that ideally every language (over 8,000) should have one “authorized version” of God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved Word (the Textus Receptus New Testament and Masoretic Old Testament). For English speakers, this authorized version should be the KJB. In other languages, the Bible should be translated directly from the TR NT and Masoretic OT.
I consider my stance on Bible versions as virtually identical to that of David Cloud. Some others David Cloud lists as holding this view are: WILLIAM ABERHARD — CLINTON BRANINE — MARK BUCH
EVERETT FOWLER — EDWARD F. HILLS — DON JASMIN
BRUCE LACKEY — PHILIP MAURO — IAN PAISLEY
THOMAS STROUSE — TRINITARIAN BIBLE SOCIETY — DONALD WAITE (a president of the Dean Burgon Society). For more info on my view click here.
I do refer to many TR/MT English translations – although I believe they are on shaky ground and should be used only as Bible study aids to the KJB. The most helpful I’ve found so far (since I don’t know TR Greek and MT Hebrew) is Young’s Literal Translation (the 1862 and 1898 editions, not the 1887 corrupted edition based on the 1881 Westcott-Hort text).
8) Premillenial, leaning towards Post-Trib, but I am not dogmatic about the timing of the Rapture (Pre, Mid, Pre-Wrath, or Post). I love all born again Christians who look forward to Christ’s soon return, regardless of the exact timing of the Rapture. I like the saying “hope for the best” [a Pre-Trib Rapture] but expect the worst [the Tribulation]”… Fact is, every second of life is uncertain. Our next breath could be our last, and we would pass away into eternity even before Christ returns. We need to be born again and be right with God this very second. (Click here for a sermon reminding us that “now is the day of salvation”.)
9) Spirit filled – Like most Wesleyan Holiness people, I prefer this to the term Spirit baptized. I like many of the teachings of “Classic Pentecostals” (“First Wave Pentecostals”) such as the late David Wilkerson, but unlike Classic Pentecostals I do not hold to tongues as the IPE (initial physical evidence) of being baptized/filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe tongues do exist today, but they are a gift from the Holy Spirit, a gift rarely given today (many tongues speakers are fakes – many are unsaved Catholics and many others are unsaved mainline/liberal Protestants). I do not believe tongues are required for being Spirit baptized/filled. My view on tongues is very similar to that of Pentecostal Rick Walston. Regarding supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, I would consider myself a “soft cessationist” (see link under “The Holy Ghost” in the Statement of Beliefs below). I believe many Pentecostals have promoted very heretical views; these heresies are increasing in popularity today, and have greatly harmed the born again Body of Christ. Interestingly the tongues issue has faded somewhat compared to these other heresies; I would say the largest Pentecostal heresy currently is the New Apostolic Reformation (which includes Elijah’s List).
Statement of Beliefs
[Note – I have taken the liberty of adapting the following Statement of Beliefs from the Statement of Beliefs of Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Original Allegheny Conference), originally found here. I am still working on adapting it and adding to it. Changes and additions have been inserted, [bracketed and bolded in orange]. The AWMC is one of my favorite Conservative Holiness denominations. However, there are some sections below which I differ on, such as the “sacraments” (ordinances) being described as a “means of grace”. Also note: I have inserted a few excerpts from Independent Fundamentalist David Cloud, [bracketed and bolded in pink].
I. Faith in the Holy Trinity
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance, power, and eternity-the Father, the Son (the Word), and the Holy Ghost.
Gen. 1:1; 17:1; Exod. 3:13-15; 33:20; Dent. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; 104:24; Isa. 9:6; Jer. 10:10; John 1:1-2; 4:24-5:18; 10:30; 16:13; 17:3; Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 16:27; 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:16; 1 Tim. 1:17;1 John 5:7, 20; Rev. 19:13.
II. The Son of God
The only begotten Son of God was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried-to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for the actual sins of men, and to reconcile us to God.
Mark 15; Luke 1:27, 31, 35; John 1:14, 18; 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:10, 18; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Gal. 1:4; 2:20; 4:4-5; Eph. 5:2; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 2:17; 7:27; 9:28; 10:12;1 Pet. 2:24;1 John 2:2; 4:14.
III. The Resurrection of Christ
Christ did truly rise again from the dead, taking His body with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until He returns to judge all men at the last day.
Ps. 16:8-10; Matt. 27:62-66; 28:5-9, 16-17; Mark 16:6-7,12; Luke 24:4-8,23; John 20:26-29; 21:1-25; Acts 12; 2:24-31;10:40; Rom. 8:34; 14:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:6, 14; Heb. 13:20.
IV. The Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
Job 33:4; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24-26; Acts 5:3-4, Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 4:6.
[Regarding the “supernatural gifts” click here for an article which matches my position: soft cessationism. I especially like this excerpt:
… based on my belief in Sola Scriptura, I find myself standing on a position of “soft cessationism”. God’s will cannot be thwarted. If tongues, healing, prophecy or other miraculous gifts are “required” in order to accomplish that end, then they will happen. I believe that God has done just that in the presence of some in order to either bring them to him, or to strengthen their faith. However, I do not believe that this is a common practice and that everyone walking around claiming these gifts is [authentic]…
And click here for the Wikipedia article on various types of cessationism.]
V. The Sufficiency and Full Authority of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation
The Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scriptures, we so understand the books of the Old and New Testaments. These Scriptures we do hold to be the inspired and infallibly written Word of God, fully inerrant
in their original manuscript and preserved, and superior to all human authority:
The canonical books [consist of the 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books in our King James Bible].
Ps. 19:7; Luke 24:27; John 17:17; Acts 17:2, 11; Rom. 1:2; 15:4; 16:26; Gal. 1:8; 1 Thes. 2;13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; Jas. 1:21;1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; Rev. 22:14, 19.
[David Cloud: The Bible, with its 66 books, is the very Word of God. The Bible is verbally and plenarily inspired as originally given and it is divinely preserved in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Received Text. The Bible is our sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. The King James Version in English is an example of an accurate translation of the preserved Hebrew and Greek texts; we believe it can be used with confidence. We reject modern textual criticism and the modern versions that this pseudo-science has produced, such as the American Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version, and the New International Version). We also reject the dynamic equivalency method of Bible translation which results in a careless version that only contains the general ideas rather than the very words of God. Examples of dynamic equivalency versions are the Today’s English Version, the Living Bible, and The Message.
2 Samuel 23:2; Psalm 12:6-7; Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 17:17; Acts 1:16; 3:21; 1 Corinthians 2:7-16; 2 Timothy 3:15- 17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:18-19]
VI. The Old Testament
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testaments everlasting life is offered to mankind through Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth, yet notwithstanding no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
Matt. 5:17-19; 22:37-40; Luke 24:27-44; John 1:45; 5:46; Rom. 15:8; 2 Con 1:20; Eph. 2:15-16; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 10:1; 11:39; 1 John 2:3-7.
VII. Relative Duties
20. Those two great commandments which require us to love the Lord our God with all the heart, and our neighbors as ourselves, contain the sum of the divine law as it is revealed in the Scriptures: they are the measure and perfect rule of human duty, as well as the ordering and directing of families and nations, and all other social bodies, as for individual acts, by which we are required to acknowledge God as our only Supreme Ruler, and all men as created by Him, equal in all natural rights. Wherefore all men are bound so to order all their individual, social, and political acts as to render to God entire and absolute obedience, and to secure to all men the enjoyment of every natural right, as well as to promote the greatest happiness of each in the possession and exercise of such rights.
Lev. 19:18, 34; Dent. 1:15,17; 2 Sam. 23:3; Job 29:16; 31:13-14; Jer. 21:12; 22:3; Matt. 5:44-47; 7:12; Luke 6:27-29,35; John 13:34-35; Acts 10:34-35; 17:26; Rom. 12:9; 13:1, 7-8,10; Gal. 5:14; 6:10; Tit. 3:1; Jas. 2:8; 1 Pet. 2:17; 1 John 2:5; 4:12-13; 2 John 6.
[David Cloud: VIIa. The Creation
We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively; that the world was made in six 24-hour days; that man was created directly in God’s own image and did not evolve from any lower form of life; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and made subject to God’s law that they bring forth only “after their kind.”
Genesis 1; Nehemiah 9:6; Job 38:4-41; Ps. 104:24-30; Jn. 1:1-3; Acts 14:15; 17:24-26; Rom. 1:18-21; Col. 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; 11:3]
VIII. Original or Birth Sin
Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is wholly gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.
Gen. 8:21, Ps. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Rom. 3:10-12; 5:12,18-19; Eph. 2:1-3.
IX. Free Will
The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and work, in faith and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ working in us, that we may have a good will, working with us when we have that good will.
Prov. 16:1; 20:24; Jer. 10:23; Matt. 16:17; John 6:44, 65; 15:5; Rom. 5:6-8; Eph. 2:5-9; Phil. 2:13; 4:13.
X. Justification of Man
We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by faith, and not our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort.
Acts 13:38-39;15:11;16:31; Rom. 3:28; 4:2-5; 5:1-2,9; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9.
XI. Good Works
Although good works, which are the fruit of faith and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God’s judgment, yet they are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit.
Matt. 5:16; 7:16-20; John 15:8; Rom. 3:20; 4:2,4,6; Gal. 2:160; Phil. 1:11; Tit. 3:5; Jas. 2:18,22; 1 Pet. 2:9,10.
XII. Sin After Justification
25. Not every sin willingly committed after justification is the sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore repentance is not denied to such as fall into sin after justification. After we have received the Holy Ghost we may depart from grace given and fall into sin, and by the grace of God rise again to amend our lives. And therefore, they are to be condemned who say they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
Ps. 32:5; 95:7,11; Ecd. 7:20; Jer. 3:13-15; Matt. 24:12; John 5:14; Gal. 5:4,7; Eph. 5:14; Heb. 3:7-13,15; Jas. 3:2,8; 1 John 1:8-9; 2:12; Rev. 2:5.
[Now for a few comments on the “Once Saved Always Saved” (OSAS) teaching, also referred to “eternal security” or “perseverance of the saints”. Coming from a Wesleyan Holiness upbringing, I have always been taught that a truly born again Christian can indeed lose his or her salvation. That being said, I would say that many seemingly born again Christians who appear to lose their salvation never really knew Christ in the first place. So for these individuals the issue is a mute point. They did not “lose” their salvation, because they never had salvation in the first place.
Interestingly, not all Baptists hold to the OSAS position. There are a number of Baptist denominations which support conditional eternal security. This Wikipedia article discusses three views regarding eternal security: the Calvinist view (eternal security), the Free Grace view (Baptist, eternal security), and the Arminian view (conditional eternal security). I hope to expand further on my current view in a separate blog; in the meantime, click here for an article that summarizes the Arminian view. I’m searching (with little success so far) for books and articles which present all the sides of this issue in one document, in a debate/discussion format.]
Y XIII. Regeneration
26. Regeneration is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the pardoned sinner becomes a child of God; this work is received through faith in Jesus Christ, whereby the regenerate are delivered from the power of sin which reigns over all the unregenerate, so that they love God and through grace serve Him with the will and affections of the heart receiving the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry; Abba, Father.
John 1:12-13; 3:3,5; Rom. 8:15,17; Gal. 3:26; 4:5,7; Eph. 1:5; 2:5,19; 4:24; Col. 3:10; Tit. 3:5; Jas. 1:18;1 Pet. 1:3-4; 2 Pet 1:4; 1 John 3:1.
XIV. Entire Sanctification
27. Entire sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is cleansed from all inbred sin through faith in Jesus Christ. It is subsequent to regeneration, and is wrought when the believer presents himself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, and is thus enabled through grace to love God with all the heart and to walk in His holy commandments blameless.
Gen. 17:1; Dent. 30:6; Ps. 130:8; Ezek. 36:25-29; Matt. 5:48; Luke 1:74-75; John 17:2-23; Rom. 8:3-4;11:26; 1 Cor. 6:11;14:20; Eph. 4:13, 24; 5:25-27; Phil. 2:5,7; Col. 4:12; Thes. 3:10; 5:23; 2 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:17; Tit. 2:12; Heb. 9:13-14; 10:14,18-22; Jas. 1:27; 4:8;1 Pet. 1:10; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 John 1:7, 9; 3:8-9; 4:17-18; Jude 24.
[I believe in a “second work of grace” or “second blessing” (without requiring tongues). Following are several articles on the subject:
Second Work of Grace (Wikipedia article)
The Second Blessing in Experience, in Theology, and in the Bible, by Aaron Hill (warning – while giving a good history of the “second blessing” teaching, this article recommends a few heretics, such as George Fox; I am looking for a more biblically sound history)]
[David Cloud: XIVa. Separation
SEPARATION FROM HERESY AND APOSTASY
We believe that the Bible requires separation from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy (Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 Thess. 3:6; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 3:10-11; 2 John 10-11; Rev. 18:4). We are commanded to try them, mark them, rebuke them, have no fellowship with them, withdraw ourselves, receive them not, have no company with them, reject them, and separate ourselves from them. The Bible teaches that the course of the church age is characterized by increasing apostasy (2 Timothy 3:1 – 4:6).
SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD
We believe the Bible also requires strict separation from the evil things of the world (Mat. 6:24; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 6:3; Eph. 5:11; 1 Thess. 5:22; Titus 2:11-14; James 1:27; 4:4; 4:8; 1 John 2:15-17; 5:19)]
[“Some Protestant traditions avoid the word “sacrament”. Reaction against the 19th-century Oxford Movement led Baptists to prefer instead the word “ordinance“, practices ordained by Christ to be permanently observed by the church. “Sacrament” stresses mainly, but not solely, what God does, “ordinance” what the Christians do.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrament]
Sacraments Ordinances ordained of Christ are not only tokens of Christian profession , but they are certain signs of grace and God’s good will toward us, by which He doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken but also strengthen and confirm our faith in Him. There are two sacraments ordinances ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel: that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
Matt. 26:26-28; 28:19; Mark 14:22-24; Rom. 2:28-29; 4:11; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-26; Gal. 3:27.
29. Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others who are not baptized, but it is also a sign of regeneration or new birth. [Baptism can also be defined as “an outward sign – or witness – of an inward change”.]
The baptism of young children is to be retained in the church. [Baptism should not be provided to children younger than the “age of accountability”.]
Num. 8:7; Isa. 52:15; Ezek. 36:25; Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:10; 16:16; John 3:22, 26; 4:12; Acts 2:38,41; 8:12-17; 9:18;16:35;18:8;19:5; 22:16; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27-29; Col. 2:11-12; Tit. 3:5.
XVII. The Lord’s Supper.
30. The Supper of the Lord is
not only a sign of love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament a remembrance of our redemption by Christ’s death, a commemoration of what He did for us on the Cross of Calvary. The Lord’s Supper – Communion – is also an opportunity for us to get right with the Lord, to repent of all known sin prior to partaking ; insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily and with faith receive the same, it is made a medium through which God doth communicate grace to the heart.
Luke 22:19-20; John 6:53, 56; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; 10:3-16; 11:28.
XVIII. The One Oblation of Christ Finished Upon the Cross.
[I’m unfamiliar with the term “oblation” – this would not be my word choice.]
31. The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption and propitiation for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore, to expect salvation on the ground of our own works, or by suffering the pains our sins deserve, either in the present or future state, is derogatory to Christ’s offering for us and a dangerous deceit. :
Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:8; 8:34; Gal. 2:16; 3:2-3,11; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Heb. 7:23-27; 9:11-15,2428; 10:14.
XIX. The Rites and Ceremonies of Churches.
[I have a problem with section 32 below. I’m not sure what the writers mean by “rites and ceremonies”. I plan to revise section 32, or drop it completely.]
32. It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same or exactly alike, for they have always been different and may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word. Every particular church may ordain, change, or abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to edification.
Acts 15:10, 28-29; Rom. 14:2-6, 15, 17, 21; 1 Cor. 1:10; 12:25; 14:26; 2 Cor. 13:11; Gal. 5:1,13; Col. 2:16-17; 2 Thes. 3:6,14; 1 Tim. 1:4,6; 1 Pet. 2:16.
XX. The Second Coming of Christ.
33. The doctrine of the second coming of Christ is a very precious truth, and this good hope is a powerful inspiration to holy living and godly effort for the evangelization of the world. We believe the Scriptures teach the coming of Christ to be a bodily return to the earth and that He will cause the fulfillment of all prophecies made concerning His final and complete triumph over all evil. Faith in the imminence of Christ’s return is a rational and inspiring hope to the people of God.
Job 19:25-27; Dan. 12:1-4; Ps. 17:15; Isa. 11:1-12; Zech. 14:1-11; Matt. 24:1-51; 26:64; Mark 13:27-37; Luke 17:26-37; 21:24-36; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11;1 Cor. 1:7, 8; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 9:27-28; Jas. 5:7-8; 2 Pet. 3:1-14;1 John 3:2-3; Jude 14; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-16; 22:6-7, 12, 20.
It is not to be understood that a dissenting understanding on the subject of the millennium shall be held to break or hinder either church fellowship or membership. [I hold to Premillenialism and lean towards the post-Tribulation return of Christ; however, a dissenting understanding on the timing of the premillenial Rapture/return of Christ shall not break or hinder fellowship with other born again Christians. For info on the post-Tribulation view read this Wikipedia article.]
XXI. The Resurrection of the Dead.
34. We hold the Scriptural statements concerning the resurrection of the dead to be true and worthy of universal acceptance. We believe the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ was a fact of history and a miracle of supreme importance. We understand the manner of the resurrection of mankind to be the resurrection of the righteous dead, at Christ’s second coming, and the resurrection of the wicked at a later time, as stated in Revelation 20:4-6. Resurrection will be the reuniting of soul and body preparatory to final reward or punishment.
Job 19:25-27; Ps. 17:15; Dan. 12:2; Matt. 22:30-32; 28:1-20; Luke 14:14; John 5:28-29; Acts 23:6-8; Rom. 8:11;1 Cor. 15:1-58; 2 Con 4:14; 5:1-11;1 Thes. 4:14-17; Rev. 20:4-6.
XXII. The Judgment of Mankind.
35. The Scriptures reveal God as the Judge of all mankind and the acts of His judgment to be based on His omniscience and eternal justice. His administration of judgment will culminate in the final meeting of mankind before His throne of great majesty and power, where records will be examined and final rewards and punishments will be administered.
Eccl. 12:14; Matt 10:15; 25:31-46; Luke 11:31-32; Acts 10:42;17:31; Rom. 2:16;14:1011; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:27; 2 Pet. 3:7; Rev. 20:11-13.
36. The Scriptures reveal hell, the final doom of ungodly unbelievers, as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, unquenchable fire, outer darkness, everlasting fire, everlasting punishment, and torments in the lake of fire.
Matt. 3:12; 8:12; 25:41,46; Luke 16:23; Rev. 20:15.
37. The Scriptures reveal heaven, the final home of every righteous believer. Jesus said it was His Father’s house where He went to prepare a place for us with no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither any more pain, with no more curse and no night there; the Lamb is the light thereof and His servants shall serve Him.
John 14:2; Rev. 21:4,23; 22:3,5.
[Note – The following is not a doctrinal statement. But, it does give the reader a glimpse of the rules/policies of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection. Although I would not word policies this way, I do think their positions on these things are excellent.]
Article III. General Rules.
38. It is expected of those who are admitted to our churches that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation:
First, by doing no harm-by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced, such as
The taking of the name of God in vain.
The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein or by buying or selling.
Drunkenness or the manufacturing, buying, selling, or using intoxicating liquors, unless for mechanical, chemical, or medicinal purposes, or in any way intentionally and knowingly aiding others so to do.
The buying or selling of men, women, or children, with an intention to enslave them, or holding them as slaves, or claiming that it is right so to do.
The giving or taking things on usury, i.e., unlawful interest.
Fighting, quarreling, brawling, brother going to law with brother, returning evil for evil, or railing for railing.
The buying or selling goods that have not paid the duty. Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation.
Doing to others as we would not they should do unto us. Doing what we know is not for the glory of God, as The putting on of gold and costly apparel.
The wearing of apparel which does not modestly and properly clothe the person.
The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The singing those songs or reading those books which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God.
Softness and needless self-indulgence. Laying up treasure upon earth. Borrowing without a probability of paying, or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them.
39. It is expected of all who continue in these churches that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation:
Second, by doing good; by being, in every kind, merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all men.
To their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick or in prison.
To their souls, by instructing, reproving, or exhorting all we have any intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine that “we are not to do good unless our hearts be free to it.”
By doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to others, buying one of another, helping each other in business; and so much the more because the world will love its own and them only.
By all possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed. By running with patience the race which is set before them, denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily; submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and offscouring of the world, and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely for the Lord’s sake.
40. It is expected of all who desire to continue in these churches that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation:
Thirdly, by attending upon all the ordinances of God; such as: The public worship of God.
The ministry of the Word either read or expounded. The Supper of the Lord.
Family and private prayer. Searching the Scriptures. Fasting or abstinence.
41. Further, by abstaining from membership in secret societies. We will on no account tolerate our ministers and members joining or holding fellowship with secret societies, as, in the judgment of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Original Allegheny Conference), it is inconsistent with our duties to God to hold such relations.
“Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20).
“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matt. 24:26).
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation” (James 5:12).
Also see Lev. 5:4-5; Isa. 29:15; Matt. 5:34-36; John 3:19-20; 2 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11-12; 1 John 4:2-3.
Note: This rule on secret societies does not prevent our members from affiliating with unions organized for the purpose of protecting their industrial interests where Christian principles are not violated; and where such principles are violated, members shall be dealt with because of such violation and not because of membership in the union.
42. Further, by abstaining from the use of tobacco. In the judgment of The Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Original Allegheny Conference), the use of tobacco is a great evil, unbecoming a Christian, a waste of the Lord’s money, and a defilement of the body, which should be the temple of the Holy Ghost. We do, therefore, most earnestly require our members to refrain from its cultivation, manufacture, and sale, and to abstain from its use in all forms, for Jesus’ sake.
We will not receive as members into our churches nor will we ordain or license to preach or to exhort, persons who use, cultivate, manufacture, or sell tobacco. Using tobacco by a member of a church or of the conference after being received from this date (June 28, 1927) is a violation of the law of the Church, and the offending party should be dealt with according to the Judiciary Rules.
43. Further, by observing the teachings of Scripture regarding marriage and divorce. We regard adultery as the only justifiable cause for divorce. In the case of a divorce for such cause the innocent party may marry again; but the guilty party has by his or her act forfeited membership in the church. In the case of divorce for other cause, neither party shall be permitted to marry again during the lifetime of the other; and violation of this law shall be punished by expulsion from the church (Matt. 5:32; Mark 10:11-12). In the carrying out of these principles, guilt shall be established in accordance with judicial procedures set forth in the Discipline.
44. These are the General Rules of our churches, all of which we are taught of God to observe, even in His written Word, which is the only rule and the sufficient rule both of our faith and practice, And all these we know His Spirit writes on truly awakened hearts. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be known unto them who watch over that soul, as they who must give account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways. We will bear with him for a season. But if then he repent not, he hath no more place among us; we have delivered our own souls.
FOR FURTHER READING
Other Conservative Holiness doctrinal statements
Wesleyan Nazarene Church, What We Believe
I hope to locate doctrinal statements for all the Conservative Holiness denominations (this list of denominations was found here in Wikipedia):
- Wesleyan Methodist Church (Allegheny Conference)
- Bible Holiness Church
- Bible Methodist Connection of Churches
- Bible Methodist Connection of Tennessee 
- Bible Missionary Church
- Calvary Holiness Church Philadelphia 
- Central Yearly Meeting of Friends 
- Church of God (Holiness) 
- Crusaders Churches of America 
- Faith Missionary Association
- God’s Missionary Church 
- Independent Conservative Holiness Churches
- International Conservative Holiness Association 
- Pilgrim Holiness Church (Midwest Conference)
- Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York
- Pilgrim Nazarene Church
- United Holiness Church (Southeast Indiana)
- Wesleyan Holiness Association of Churches
- Wesleyan Holiness Alliance (Bartlesville, Oklahoma)
- Wesleyan Nazarene Church