Membership at BEMC
All persons seeking to be saved from their sins, who believe in Jesus Christ as God's only begotten Son, that He was born of a virgin, that He died for our sins, that He was buried and the third day rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is coming again; and who have confessed Him as their Lord and Savior before men, and who are willing to walk in the Light as the Spirit Himself shall give, are eligible for membership in The Evangelical Methodist Church.
When the pastor is satisfied that the candidates for membership are born-again Christians, when they have been baptized and have taken the vows of church membership, and have knowledge of and have expressed willingness to keep the doctrines, rules and regulations of The Evangelical Methodist Church, he shall receive them into membership and present them to the church.
Members in good standing in any evangelical church who desire to unite with us may be received into membership by taking the vows if living nearby, after having given satisfactory evidence of their willingness to support and be loyal to The Evangelical Methodist Church.
When requested by a member or his delegated representative, a certificate of transfer shall be granted, by the pastor or secretary of the church to which he is transferring.
A letter of withdrawal shall be issued, by the pastor or secretary, when requested by an individual and the reason for withdrawal recorded in the membership roll book.
Anyone joining another denomination without a certificate of transfer shall be recorded as having withdrawn.
A member may be dropped from the roll for immoral conduct or for action detrimental to the welfare of The Evangelical Methodist Church, disobeying the DISCIPLINE, assisting the liquor traffic in any way, sinful tempers, vices, and contrary doctrines, upon trial and conviction by the Stewards.
The Christian church is composed of all believers who are trusting in the blood of Jesus Christ for salvation for both forgiveness and cleansing from all sin. The local church is a collection of persons who believe and practice that the Holy Bible is the inspired and authentic Word of God, who are converted to God (born again), accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ through faith in His Atonement made for the sins and sin of all men. The local church is also a collection of persons, who by mutual agreement unite for the purpose of worshipping God, for Christian fellowship, to receive the Word of God through preaching, to receive the Ordinances, to pray and work together, to seek and save the lost, to disseminate the Christian spirit and life, and to send out the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The local church shall promote Christian worship, teach the whole Bible, cause to be preached the teachings of Christ, evangelize the unsaved, promote Missions both at home and abroad, minister to the local needs, foster and encourage Christian and social fellowship among its members and apply the teachings of Christ to everyday life.
The word Congregation shall refer to the body of members of the local church. The local congregation is an integral part of the conference of churches known as The Evangelical Methodist Church. It cooperates with the Annual Conference and the General Conference, and supports the work through all of its organizations as outlined in the DISCIPLINE. It is represented at and reports to the Annual Conference, and accepts the DISCIPLINE as its Constitution and By-laws as to the general purpose, policy, practice, and ritual.
The local church is congregational in government with property rights vested in the local church. The local church is also connectional.
The local church chooses its pastors from among Conference men, and must secure the approval of the District Superintendent before a man is actually pastor. In the event of failure to agree upon the call of the church to fill the pastoral vacancy, the case shall be referred to the General Superintendent, whose decision shall be final. When separate annual conferences are held, and the question of pastoral call is involved and when the District Superintendent and the local church are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement, then the decision, in seeking to settle the question of pastoral call, shall rest with the Cabinet.
THE GENERAL RULES for Members
There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies, a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins. But wherever this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown by its fruits.
It is therefore expected of all who continue therein 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 of the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein, or by buying or selling; Drunkenness, or drinking spirituous liquors; Fighting, quarreling, brawling, brother going to law with brother, returning evil for evil, or railing for railing, the using of many words in buying or selling; The buying or selling goods that have not paid the duty; The giving or taking things on usury, i.e., unlawful interest; Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation, particularly speaking evil of magistrates or ministers; Doing to others as we should not that 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 taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus; The singing of those songs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God; Softness or needless self-indulgence; Laying up treasurers on earth; Borrowing without a probability of paying, or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them.
It is expected of all who continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation.
Secondly, 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.
It is expected or all who desire to continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation.
Thirdly, by attending upon all the ordinances of God, such are; 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; and Fasting or abstinence.
These are the General Rules of our societies; 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 an 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.
MANS GREATEST NEED
In this fast paced age of great expectations, we are constantly told by the media, politicians, etc., of a crisis and a need to solve the crisis. In fact we are so bombarded with what we need, that many have lost all true sense of need, want, desire, dreams and the difference between these. There are a few basic necessities if man is to experience a satisfactory existence while on earth. But, much of what we desire today is not a need. Most of us give little thought to these true needs, (i.e. basic health; water; clothes; food; shelter, etc.), until something interrupts their normal supply.
There is a need far more important than any physical, material need you can name. Most people experience this need as an emptiness, an unfulfilled part, a sense of lacking something, or a need for help beyond human means. This need is so vital to man's overall well-being it is priceless. This need cannot be satisfied with anything in the present material world. Many have attempted to pacify this need with certain religious observances, activities, commitments and works. Others seek to fill this need with entertainment and pleasure. If we could work two hundred lifetimes or keep all religious ordinances, we could never fill this need. THIS NEED IS SIMPLY FOR THE SOUL TO BE RESTORED OR RECONCILED TO A PROPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
At the beginning, God created man for his own glory and for fellowship. He created man in his image, (with a soul that will live forever), so that man could respond to his love and fellowship. Man was created with the ability to acquire knowledge, formulate opinions and exercise his own will. In his relationship with man, God chose to limit himself, allowing man to exercise his abilities of wisdom, emotions and will, with a certain amount of independence. God's requirement for continual unbroken fellowship and relationship was a voluntary submission to His will. In the Bible, (Genesis 2:16-17), God said that Adam could show this voluntary submission by not eating of the fruit of one tree in the Garden of Eden. God's requirement that man submit to His will is still in effect today. Those who wish to have a personal relationship and fellowship with God must submit to God's plan of reconciling man to a right relationship with God. To accomplish this, one must be "Born Again", by the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, (John 3:3-8, I Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:7-10).
Genesis 3 explains how Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and exercise their will over his will. At the moment they disobeyed they began to experience death in three areas. (Death is simply a separation from one's regular, normal environment. Being unable to respond to one's environment.) First, they experienced spiritual death. God separated himself from them and they became unable to respond to God. SIN HAD DESTROYED THEIR SPIRITUAL NATURE. Second, they experienced physical death. After 930 years of physical life, Adam died. Thirdly, man will experience eternal death, unless he is "Born Again"; has his spiritual relationship to God restored, (Revelation 20:1 1-15). When Adam died spiritually he was incapable of restoring himself to a proper relationship with God. If man was to be restored. God would have to take the initiative.
From the Scripture (Ephesians 1), we see that before he ever began the creation, God in his love and foreknowledge, had devised a plan to satisfy His justice and holiness and yet open a way for man's reconciliation. That plan was that God the Son would come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He, living as a man, would fulfill the one requirement of God; (live his entire life totally subject to the will of God the Father, John 6:38). Christ's first submission to divine will was to step down from heaven, (Philippians 2:5-12). In order to live in sinless perfection, it was absolutely necessary for him to have a virgin birth; sinless birth. By being of the seed of the woman, he did not automatically inherit Adam's sin nature. He was born sinless, he lived sinless, he died sinless, he arose sinless, (I Peter 2:22). Being sinless, Jesus could offer himself as a sacrifice for men's sin. God's penalty for sin was death. Jesus suffered death in the place of all who will believe this and come to God asking for the gift of salvation based on the atonement Jesus made, not the merit of their own works or goodness. God has promised to give them the new birth (i.e. the indwelling of the Holy Spirit), John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:1-10.
He promised the disciples that when he was exalted back to is former position, the Holy Spirit would come and indwell all "Born Again" believers from that time forward, (John 16:7-13). This promise was to assure them that God's justice and righteousness had been satisfied by Christ's offering of himself.
John 3:1-18 teaches these truths completely. God so loved his creation, that he gave his Son that whosoever believed in him (the Son) would have eternal life.
Romans 10:9-17 teaches that when a person truly believes that Christ died and arose and acts upon that belief confessing to God their agreement with him and his plan of salvation, they will be saved, ("Born Again").
What is it that we agree with?
- 1. Romans 3:23
- All are sinners.
- 2. Romans 5:12
- All are dead (separated from God) because of sin.
- 3. Romans 6:23
- God's great gift to man is that he may have eternal life through Jesus Christ.
- 4. John 14:6
- Jesus is the way, the truth, the life; no man can come to God (the Father) but by Christ.
- 5. Romans 10:9-17
- I accept these truths by faith, which is produced from reading and studying God's word. I confess them to God, asking him to give me this spiritual birth.
- 6. John 3:8
- His promise is that those who ask, believing in Christ, shall be saved by a supernatural working of the Holy Spirit within their soul.
Do you know for a surety that God has given you this blessed promise of a new birth? Restoring your ability to have relationship and fellowship with him.
YOU CAN KNOW, FOR A SURETY TODAY; II Timothy 1:12b! God loves you and desires to have a loving relationship with you, but, YOU must respond to him accepting his ONLY PLAN for salvation.