What is the Brethren Church?
The Brethren Church began in Schwarzenau, Germany in 1708 primarily out of a desire
for religious freedom and in reaction to the government controlled churches of the day. By the
mid 1700's the Brethren Church had migrated to America in pursuit of that same religious
freedom. The heritage of the Brethren church would be similar to that of other "Anabaptist"
denominations such as the Mennonite, German Baptist Brethren, Church of the Brethren and
The Brethren maintain that the entire Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) is the
inspired Word of God and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who gave His life as a sacrifice for
our sins. We also believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and that He has ascended
into heaven where He intercedes on our behalf. Having ascended into heaven, Jesus sent His
Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of His people as our comforter, counselor and friend. We believe
that those who have acknowledged Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will have the
assurance of a home in heaven with Christ for all eternity.
The Brethren Church seeks to live out their faith in Christ on a daily basis. Obedience to
Christ is demonstrated through a commitment to a daily relationship with God and involvement in
the ministries of the church. We believe that God empowers His people to this obedient service
through the gifts of His Holy Spirit. Each person who believes in Christ is equipped by God to
perform some meaningful function within the context of the Body of Christ.
The above is from the Jefferson Brethren Church, who's our motto is "Building up the Body." We believe that it is our God given responsibility to include everyone in the Body of Christ (the church) regardless of race, gender or national origin. We encourage you to worship with us as neighbor and friend.
The Brethren Card
|1. ||This body of Christians (referring to The Church of the Brethren) originated early in the eighteenth century, the church being a natural outgrowth of the Anabaptist and Pietistic movements following the Reformation.|
|2. ||Firmly accepts and teaches the fundamental evangelical doctrines of: |
- The inspiration of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16);
- The personality of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-13);
- The virgin birth of Christ (Matthew 1:18);
- The deity of Christ (Colossians 2:8-9);
- The sin-pardoning value of His atonement (Ephesians 1:7);
- His resurrection, ascension, and personal and visible return (1 Cor. 15:1-25; Acts 1:9-11);
- And the resurrection both of the just and the unjust (John 5:28-29).
|3. ||Observes the following New Testament rites: These rites are representative of spiritual graces which are evident in the lives of true believers, and as such are essential factors in the development of the Christian life.|
- Baptism of penitent believers by trine immersion for the remission of sins (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38);
- Feet washing (John 13:1-20; 1 Timothy 5:10);
- Love feast (Luke 22:20; John 13:4; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Jude 12);
- Communion (Matt 26:26-30);
- The Christian salutation (Romans 16:16; Acts 20:37);
- The Scriptural headveiling (1 Corinthians 11:2-16);
- The anointing for healing in the name of the Lord (James 5:14-18; Mark 6:13);
- Laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim 4:14).
|4. || Emphasizes... |
- daily devotion for the individual, and family worship for the home (Ephesians 6:18-20; Philippians 4:8-9);
- stewardship of time, talents, and money (Matthew 25:14-30);
- taking care of the fatherless, widows, poor, sick, and aged (Acts 6:1-7).
|5. ||Opposes on Scriptural grounds: |
- War and the taking of human life (Matthew 5:21-26; 43-44; Romans 12:19-21);
- Violence in personal and industrial controversy (Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10);
- Intemperance in all things (Titus 2:2; Gal 5:19-26; Ephesians 5:18);
- Going to law, especially against our Christian brethren (1 Corinthians 6:1-9);
- Divorce and remarriage (Matthew 5:32; Mark 10:11-12; 1 Corinthians 7:10-15);
- Every form of oath (Matthew 5:33-37; James 5:12);
- Membership in secret oath-bound societies (2 Corinthians 6:14-18);
- Games of chance and sinful amusements (1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Peter 2:11; Rom. 12:17);
- Extravagant and immodest dress (1 Timothy 2:8-10; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
|6. ||Labors earnestly, in harmony with the Great Commission, for the evangelization of the world, for the conversion of men to Jesus Christ, and for the realization of the life of Jesus Christ in every believer (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; 2 Corinthians 3:18). |
|7. ||Maintains the New Testament as its only creed, in harmony with which the above brief statement is made. || |
| || |
| ||Resources |
| ||The Brethren Card was first published by the Brethren's Book and Tract Work about 1887. It was printed in the Gospel Messenger for a period of time a revised edition of the card was sanctioned by Annual Conference in 1923, with the provision that it must not be considered a creed. See also: Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Church of the Brethren 1923-1944, pp. 7-8. |
New Testament Beliefs and Practices: A Brethren Understanding, by Harold S. Martin, pp. 123, co-published by Brethren Press and the Brethren Revival Fellowship, 1989.
The above Brethren Card is from Mark Roth's Web site www.anabaptists.org .
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June 22, 2000