What We Believe

The Responsibilities of an Army Chaplain

Chaplains in the U.S. Army fulfill a dual role as clergy and staff officers. As clergy, they provide religious ministry to the members of the command to which they are assigned. They do this either directly, by performing ministry functions themselves, or indirectly, by arranging for others to perform them. Chaplains provide ministry directly according to the requirements, practices, and traditions of their own distinctive faith groups. They provide ministry indirectly by coordinating with other chaplains, lay leaders, or civilian clergy to perform ministry functions to meet the religious needs of soldiers of faith groups other than their own. Chaplains as Staff Officers Chaplains serve on both the personal and the special staffs of the commander. As a staff officer, one of the chaplain's most important functions is to provide professional advice and counsel to the commander on religious, moral, and ethical issues. The chaplain is expected to report regularly to the commander on the spiritual, ... Read more

A Thumbnail Sketch of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Definition: The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) is one manifestation of the church of Jesus Christ and is Reformed in doctrine, Presbyterian in polity, and evangelical in outreach. Purpose: The OPC sees as its reason for existence the glorification of the name of the triune God through covenantal obedience and gospel witness. That is to say, it wants to be upward- and outward-facing. History: The OPC came into being in the mid 1930s, when the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. deposed certain ministers and elders (led by J. Gresham Machen) for their insistence that the church uphold its standards against inroads of unbelief and apostasy. Standards: Primary—the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments Secondary—the Westminster standards, consisting of The Confession of Faith (with certain amendments) The Shorter Catechism The Larger Catechism Tertiary— The Book of Church Order of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church , including The Form of Government The Book ... Read more

Personal Righteousness: The Importance of Obeying God's Commandments

God has blessed my wife and me with four children, and, like most parents, we have learned that it is not always easy to influence children to change inappropriate behavior. But when you consider how slowly and usually reluctantly all of us who are God's children correct our behavior, it should come as no surprise to us that our children follow suit. Even though our children resist obeying us at times, it is encouraging to see them giving us a good, honest effort to do what we want. How should we look at the larger issue of trying to obey God? Believe it or not, the idea of trying to obey God is becoming almost heretical in some Christian circles today. There are even seminars and conferences being offered today that deliberately minimize the importance of obeying God's law. There are two critical questions that all Christians should ask themselves regarding these matters: (1) Should we try with all our being to obey God's law, defined as all of his commandments harmoniously revealed to us in the ... Read more

Ruth - One Pound, Nine Ounces

God was surely our help last year. The year 1999 was only a few hours old when a chain of events began that would leave us totally dependent upon him. Hours before dawn on New Year's Day, my wife Sharon fell victim to a stomach flu. Her severe nausea subsided after several hours, but it had stimulated the muscles that were prepared to deliver our third baby late in April. At a doctor's visit on January 7, we were told that Sharon was about to give birth. There was some hope of delaying the delivery by a few days, but the odds of a baby surviving at twenty-four weeks gestation were only fifty-fifty at best. That afternoon, Sharon was rushed to the best-equipped hospital in Charlotte. After examinations, medications, consultations, surgery, anesthetics, and pain killers, she gave birth to a tiny girl, Ruth. The baby was immediately taken down the hall to a neonatal intensive care unit, connected to a life-sustaining ventilator and about six other tubes. By the end of that day, our world had been turned ... Read more

Christian Education in the Local Church

What comes to your mind when you think of "Christian education": a denominational or presbyterial committee? a Christian school? that small "sanctified junk" section of your religious bookstore? the Sunday school? the youth program? In one sense, "Christian education" is a redundancy, for no education is really possible apart from the truth of biblical Christianity. As a created being, man is totally dependent upon his Creator if he is to learn anything. Nonetheless, the term "Christian education" is a useful one. In Christian education, the truth of God is brought to bear upon every aspect of daily living. Surely each local church should be vitally concerned with this teaching and learning process. How faithful and responsible is your congregation to the task of Christian education? The educational program in your local church should look beyond the Sunday school. As important as this ministry has become in the twentieth century, it is unable to accomplish everything in the limited time that it meets. ... Read more


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