Foundational and Structural Documents
Articles of Agreement -- This is a document used to legally incorporate the church.
Church Bylaws -- This document defines the church and how it runs.
Bible Study Resources and Position Papers
Bible Study in Basic Christian Faith and Practice -- A course with multiple Bible studies on the basics of Christian faith and practice.
Further description along with the studies themselves can be found at the link.
Position Paper on Divorce and Remarriage -- This article by Andrew David Naselli from the Detroit Baptist Seminary
Journal articulates FCC's position on divorce and remarriage. Very basically, that
position is that divorce is normally sinful, but that it is sometimes legitimate, and that there are more legitimate grounds for divorce than adultery and desertion, and that remarriage is legitimate when the divorce is legitimate. Additionally, within the church, the elders (i.e., pastors) should be involved in any decision to divorce and should evaluate each situation that arises on a case by case basis as to its biblical
allowability and advisability.
-- Related Resource: Pastor Brian's sermon, "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage."
Recommendations for Dating and Courtship
The Bible does not directly address dating and courtship. There was little need to do so in biblical times since marriages were usually arranged and any sort of courtship activities that might have existed were strictly overseen by parents and families. There was no such thing as dating in our modern sense. However, dating and courtship is such a major part of our culture that there is a great need for godly wisdom in this area. We can and should apply biblical principles to dating and courtship. As your pastors, we feel the need to offer the church godly counsel on how to approach these matters. Below we have included material that represents our recommendation for the best way to approach dating and courtship. But since the Bible does not address the issue directly, we want to stress that these are mostly recommendations and that church members are not to be using these as a standard by which to judge others. Of course, some things are required by the Bible and we are to hold one another accountable to such standards. For example, it is wrong for a believer to date or (especially) marry an unbeliever (1 Cor 7:39; 6:14; cf. Ezra 9--10; Neh 10:1-30; 13:23-27), and sexual intimacy is to be reserved for marriage between a man and woman (1 Cor 6:12--7:2, 8-9; 1 Thes 4:1-8). But there are various acceptable ways to approach dating and courtship. We offer our recommendation for what we regard as the best approach.
-- Greg Spencer, "Emotional Fornication:" Argues that, normally, a man and woman should remain friends until their friendship leads them to think it likely that they should marry, at which point they would enter into a committed dating relationship ("courtship") to determine if they should indeed marry.
-- An interview with Gerald Hiestand on Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach (Crossway, 2012), co-authored with Jay Thomas: Argues that sexual activity, including passionate kissing, is to be reserved for the marriage relationship and that pre-marital relationships should only become romantic at engagement. The book the interview is about goes into much more detail and gives fuller argumentation.
Bible Study on Women in Church Leadership -- This study looks at the Bible's teaching on the issue and sets forth FCC's position with its biblical support. FCC's position, reflected in our church bylaws, is that women are not to be elders/pastors/overseers, exercise authority over the church, or teach men or the church as a whole authoritatively, but that only men should function in these ways.
-- Related Resources
- The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood -- A great website with a great abundance of resources
- John Piper and Wayne Grudem (eds), Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical
Feminism (Wheaton: Crossway, 1991) -- A major, classic book
(Wheaton: Council on Biblical Mannhood and Womanhood, 1992) -- Chapter 2 of the previous resource (Recovering
Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) giving a helpful
and practical overview of the issues
-- Related Resources:
- Series of online articles by Neil Shenvi, “Social Justice, Critical Theory, and Christianity: Are They Compatible?" (this link will take you to part 1, from which you can access the rest of the articles in the series)
- Neil Shenvi and Pat Sawyer, Engaging Critical Theory and the Social Justice Movement -- An article length booklet
- Neil Shenvi's website -- Contains an abundance of resources on apologetics, especially Critical Race Theory etc.
Bible Study on Homosexuality -- These 2 studies looks at the Bible's teaching on the issue and sets forth FCC's position with its
biblical support. Very basically, that position is that homosexual (and all LGBTQ+) practice is
wrong/sinful. Heterosexual relations are God's design for humanity. The word "practice" is critical in that statement. It is not sin to merely have same-sex or other LGBTQ+ attraction; it is sin to embrace such attraction or to act in accord with it.
-- Assessing Arguments for Homosexuality from the Bible, Part 2 (New Testament) -- The final sentence of the conclusion of this
copy of the study is missing. The final
sentence should read, "The basic teaching
of the Bible is that it is sin, and that
heterosexuality is God's design for
Related Resource: Preston Sprinkle, "15 Reasons for Affirming Same-Sex Relations and 15 Responses" -- An excellent
discussion and refutation of arguments in favor of same-sex relations, though Pastor Brian would disagree with the author's position that homosexuality was not a substantial part of the sin of Sodom
(see the Old Testament Bible study above).