A Statement of the Christian Doctrines of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (1925)
We believe and teach:
1. The Bible
That the Bible is the Word of God and the only infallible guide for man; that it is divinely inspired, authentic, and authoritative; that without this direct revelation from God we would be in ignorance as to the nature of creation and origin of the universe as well as the origin and eternal destiny of man. 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 5:17, Matthew 24:35; John 12:48; Psalms 119:105, Psalms 130; 2 Peter 1:21.
2. God (Divine Trinity)
That there is one eternal, self-existing, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, invisible, incomprehensible God, revealing Himself in three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--three in one, one in three, coexistent from eternity to eternity. Psalms 90:2; Romans 11:33; 1 John 5:7; Isaiah 45:22.
3. God the Son
That Jesus Christ is the Son of God; that He was and is now coexistent with the Father, that He was born of a virgin, partook of humanity, but without the taint of sin; that He suffered and died on the cross, arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, that alone through the shedding of His blood do we have atonement for sin and free access to the throne of grace. John 1:1; John 3:16; Matthew 1:20, Matthew 2 1, Colossians 2:9; Luke 2:11; Luke 9:35.
4. God the Holy Ghost
That the Holy Ghost in the third Person of the Godhead; that He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son; that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment; that He is the Comforter of saints and guides them into all truth. John 15:26; John 16:7-13; Acts 2:1-4, 38.
That the Genesis account of the creation is true and authentic; that the modern theory of evolution, which teaches continuous natural development from the lowest to the highest forms of life, is a direct contradiction of this account and therefore cannot be accepted as truth by anyone who believes in the authenticity of the Bible as God's Word. Genesis chapters 1-2; Hebrews 1:10; Exodus 31:17; Jeremiah 10: 12, 13; Revelation 4:11.
That man was created an intelligent being by an immediate act of God, and that in his original state he was like unto his maker in righteousness and holiness; that through transgression he fell; that in his fallen state he is estranged from God, and in him "dwelleth no good thing." He is utterly unable of himself to return to righteousness, even his mind and conscience being defiled. Genesis 1:27, 31; Romans 7:8; Titus 1:15; Colossians 3:10; Matthew 19:4.
7. Miracles of the Bible
That the miracles of the Bible are matter of fact statements and literally true. That they are wonderful acts through the divine power of God. Matthew 12:40; Acts 1:3; Acts 2:22; Acts 4:16.
8. The New Birth
That only those who by faith, remorse of sin, and true repentance accept the atoning work of Christ are redeemed from sin; that sonship is based on the new birth, and fellowship upon obedience to God's Word. John 3:3-16; Acts 4:12; 1 John 1:6, 7; Hebrews 12:22, 23; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30; Acts 20:21.
9. The Church
That the Church is the body of Christ composed of those who have been "born again" and have joined the visible Church through water baptism; "there is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." That the same was founded by Jesus Christ, and that her primary mission is to preach the Word. Matthew 16:18, 19; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Hebrews 12:22-24, Acts 20:28.
10. Authority of the Church and Excommunication
That God has made provision for the organization, government, and perpetuation of His visible Church; that He has given her authority, through the Holy Spirit, to interpret Scripture, choose needed officials, discipline members, and establish institutions to accomplish the work committed unto her; that every member should loyally support the Church by a willing obedience and ready service; that the Church must be kept from ultimate decay by severing stubborn, offensive members and teachers of heretical doctrine. Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Titus 1:5; Matthew 18:8, 9, 15-18; Hebrews 13:17; Romans 16:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-16; Mark 4:11; Matthew 16:19, 1 Corinthians 5:12, 13; John 7:24; Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:9.
11. Avoidance of the Excommunicated
That the Church after separating willful persistent transgressors from the body shall avoid such to prevent further defilement in the Church until the excommunicated have repented and have been reaccepted into fellowship. Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Romans 16:17, 18; 2 John 9-11.
12. The Commission
That unto His Church is given the Commission to go "into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," persuading people to repent and become a member of the visible Church. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15-18.
That the penitent believers who are actually "born again" should be admitted into the visible Church through water baptism, even as they are admitted into the invisible Church, through Christ, by the new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit; that the Scriptures symbolically point to pouring as the proper mode of administering the rite. Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:5, Acts 2:16, 17, 38, 41; 1 Peter 3:21.
14. Christian Ordinances
That God instituted the Christian ordinances, and to this Jesus' final positive command to the apostles was, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," which applies to every member of His Church. Matthew 28:20; John 13:17; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15.
15. Holy Communion
That Christ instituted the communion as a memorial of His suffering and death; that it should be observed as such by all believers to proclaim forth His death as oft as they observe it; that only such who are of like faith and are at peace with God and man should participate. Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.
16. Feet Washing
That feet washing is an ordinance instituted by our Savior to be observed literally by all believers of the same faith, in connection with the communion, as the Savior commanded and set the example Himself. John 13:4-17; 1 Timothy 5:10.
17. Devotional Head Covering
That every Christian woman, especially during times of worship and prayer (that we should 'pray without ceasing' should also be kept in mind), should have her head veiled with a special devotional covering, complying with the form the Church has adopted. "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head " or a sign on her head, sign of subjection. 1 Corinthians 11:8-16.
18. Dress of Hair
That women (married or unmarried) should not have the hair bobbed. 1 Corinthians 11:5, 15. But contrariwise that men should not wear long hair, but have them cut according to Scripture. 1 Corinthians 11:14; Leviticus 19:27; Leviticus 21:5; Ezekiel 44:20.
19. The Beard
That men would not shave nor mar their beards. Leviticus 19:27; Leviticus 21:5; Matthew 5:17-21; Genesis 1:26; Romans 12:1, 2; 9:20.
20. Salutation of the Holy Kiss
That the salutation of the holy kiss should be observed among the Christian believers of the same faith. Romans 16:16; 1 Peter 5:14; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12.
21. Healing by Faith
That anointing with oil, laying on of the hands and prayer should be administered to the sick who call for it in faith. James 5:14, 15; Mark 6:13; Mark 16:18.
22. Holy Matrimony
That marriage was divinely instituted for the propagation, purity and happiness of the human race, that it receives divine sanction between one man and one woman only; that the bond is dissoluble only by death. That there should be no marriage between a believer and an unbeliever, nor between members of the Church and other denominations. 1 Corinthians 7:39. "She is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord ." Genesis 2:18; Nehemiah 13:24-31; Mark 10:2-12; Romans 7:2; Matthew 5:32,Matthew 19:3-12.
23. The Church and the World
That the Church and the world are distinctly separate institutions with aims, tastes, and attachments essentially different. That for church members to be conformed to the world is sinful, whether it be by worldly dress, social activities, amusements, or any other worldly attraction, "No man can serve two masters." Matthew 6:24; Romans 12:1,2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 John 2:15,16; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 5:11.
That covetousness is idolatry and a gross sin of the present age, and that all Christian people should earnestly resist and condemn it; they should beware of greediness and deal honestly with all men, never taking advantage of anyone, ever abstaining from usury; "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Exodus 20:17; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; (Usury) Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:37; Deuteronomy 23:19; Nehemiah 5:7, 11, 12; Psalms 15:5; Proverbs 28:8; Isaiah 24:2; Jeremiah 15:10.
That Christian people should be temperate in all things lawful; that they should abstain from the use of intoxicants, tobacco and kindred carnal habits; that they should not seek popularity, worldly power, nor offices, nor desire any of the follies of this world; "Wherefore come out from among them, and be separated, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17: Revelation 18:4; 1 Corinthians 9:25; Galatians 5:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Judges 13:4; Habakkuk 2:15; Proverbs 23:29-32.
That pride is an abomination in the sight of God; that humility and contrition characterize God's people in whom is not found an haughty, overbearing spirit. "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Luke 14:11; Proverbs 6:16, 17; "pride goeth before destruction. " 1 John 2; 15-17; Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6.
27. Purity Becometh God's People
That God's people should be pure, holy, devout, reverent, with "chaste conversation coupled with fear," not yielding to the lust of the flesh; therefore vulgar conversation, secret vice, and other improper and sinful conduct which give rise to social evils are entirely outside of the realm of Christian living. 1 Peter 1:15; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:1; 2 Peter 3:11-14; 2 Corinthians 7: 1; Galatians 5:19-25; 1 John 3:3.
28. Modest Apparel
That Christian people should be clothed in modest apparel; that the wearing of jewelry, costly array, fashionable attire, gaudy dress, and bodily ornamentations should be strictly avoided by all believers; "Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed, by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:1, 2; Isaiah 3:16-24; 1 Timothy 2:9,10; 1 Peter 3:3-5; 1 John 2:15-17.
That the letter and the spirit of the Gospel are emphatically against strife, contention, and carnal warfare; and that therefore no believer should have part in carnal strife, whether among individuals, in suits at law, or in conflict among nations. The nonresistance doctrine was taught and exemplified by Christ and the apostles and adhered to by true Christians until the present time. Matthew 5:38-45; Matthew 26:52; John 18:36; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Romans 12:17-21; 2 Corinthians 10:4.
30. Swearing of Oaths
That under the Gospel dispensation the swearing of oaths, for any purpose and for all circumstances, is forbidden. Matthew 5:34-37; James 5:12.
31. Church and State
That there should be a complete separation of Church and state: that though "strangers and pilgrims on the earth," we should be subject unto the higher powers," "submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake." Nevertheless we owe our first allegiance to God. John 18:36; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-5; Hebrews 11:13.
32. Secret Societies
That believers should have no part in secret or oath-bound organizations, and that membership in them disqualifies anyone for church membership; since labor unions and fraternal organizations have similar characteristics, they should be considered in the same light. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
That insuring one's life and property in worldly insurance companies is contrary to the Word and will of God. Christians should not put their trust in speculative companies, but in Him who has numbered the very hairs of our heads. Psalms 118:8; Jeremiah 49:11; Matthew 6:19-34; Psalms 10:14; Philippians 4:6.
34. Return of the Lord
We believe in the personal, imminent second coming of the Lord Jesus, which is the blessed hope of the believer. That He will come, not in humiliation, nor to literally reign here on earth with His people, but in great glory to receive His own and judge the world in righteousness. Matthew 24:29-31, 42-44; Matthew 25:31, 32; Mark 13:24-27; Titus 2:13; Acts 1:11; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 20:11-15.
35. The Resurrection
That there will be a bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust. Thus in the last day all men who shall have died or fallen asleep, shall be "raised up" and made alive through the incomprehensible power of God. And that they, together with those who will still be alive and remain, shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump; that they shall be placed before the judgment seat of Christ, and the good be separated from the wicked; them everyone shall receive in his own body according as he both done, whether it be good or evil. Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; 1 Corinthians 15; Matthew 22:28-32; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 11:24,25; Revelation 20:13.
That all who rejected the blood atonement of Christ will have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone and where the smoke of their torment ascendeth forever. Psalms 9:17; Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 20:10-15; John 5:28, 29; 2 Peter 3:10-12; 2 John 7; Jude 7.
That the righteous--saved blessed and glorified--will spend eternity in the realms of endless bliss and glory. Daniel 12:2, 3; Matthew 25:34, 46; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelations 22:5; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 21:1-5; Revelation 22:5.
Context of the Statement
This statement of doctrines is not a confession of faith, but it has served as a teaching tool for the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite since it was written about 1925 by Fredrick C. Fricke (1867-1947). Fricke was a German-born Lutheran who converted in 1882 to the Holdeman Mennonites. He became a minister and later overseer of the denomination in 1909. He served as editor of the denomination's periodical, Messenger of Truth, from 1906 to 1942.
The statement has been issued in pamphlet form numerous times, as well in history books. It has also formed the basis for two doctrinal study books. In 1999 the statement was available as a free 16-page tract.
- Loewen, Howard John, ed. One Lord, One Church, One Hope, One God: Mennonite Confessions of Faith, Text-Reader series. Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1985.
- Penner, John M. A Concise History of the Church of God: [From the Time of Christ and the Apostles to the Present Time]. Moundridge, KS : Gospel Publishers, 1978.
- Principles of Faith: a Brief Discussion of Some of the Teachings of God's Word. Moundridge, KS : Publication Board, Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, 1961.
- Questions and Answers on Christian Doctrine. Moundridge, KS, 1965.
- Hiebert, Clarence. The Holdeman People: the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, 1859-1969. Pasedena, CA : William Carey Library, 1973: 234-258, 383.