Physical Address: 1343 Dixon Mill Road, Sciotoville, OH 45662

forgotten vows…

As a member of a local church, and of district, state, and national associations, we sometimes forget the vow we made (before God) when we agreed to the Free Will Baptist Covenant.  As a pastor, I expect the members of Porter Free Will Baptist church to fulfill the vow they made before their fellow members (and before God).  As a pastor, I am equally responsible in leading our church family in fulfilling that same Covenant in regard to our responsibility to our district, state and National Associations.  Anything less than that is short-sighted and hypocritical.  May we reconsider our responsiblility to Christ and His Church, and return to the commitments we made in our forgotten vows.

By the way, please pay special attention to the first paragraph, as well as the last, of this covenant.

The Free Will Baptist Covenant

Having given ourselves to God, by faith in Christ, and adopted the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, we now give ourselves to one another by the will of God in this solemn covenant.

 We promise, by His grace, to love and obey Him in all things, to avoid all appearance of evil, to abstain from all sinful amusements and unholy conformity to the world, from all sanction of the use and sale of intoxicating beverages, and to “provide things honest in the sight of all men.”

We agree faithfully to discharge our obligations in reference to the study of the Scriptures, secret prayer, family devotions, and social worship; and by self-denial, faith, and good works endeavor to “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church conferences, public worship, and the observance of the ordinances of the Gospel; nor fail to pay according to our ability for the support of the church, of its poor, and all its benevolent work.

We agree to accept Christian admonition and reproof with meekness, and to watch over one another in love, endeavoring to “keep the unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, to be careful of one another’s happiness and reputation, and seek to strengthen the weak, encourage the afflicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are able, promote the success of the church and of the Gospel.

We will everywhere hold Christian principle sacred and Christian obligations and enterprises supreme; counting it our chief business in life to extend the influence of Christ in society, constantly praying and toiling that the kingdom of God may come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

To this end we agree to labor for the promotion of educational and denominational enterprises, the support of missions, the success of Sunday schools, and evangelistic efforts for the salvation of the world. And may the God of peace sanctify us wholly, and preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In my opinion, the Covenant would at least suggest that our loyalties are to be primarily to the denominational efforts and opportunities that exist to make these causes real in our world.  Secondarily, we may choose to support extra-denominational ministries.  As a Free Will Baptist, I am bound by the vows I made, before God and my church family, to support Free Will Baptist efforts.    Simply, my dad taught me to never make a promise I do not intend to keep.
Can the cause of Christ be proclaimed and propagated through other efforts?  Sure.  But my voluntary commitment to join myself to a Free Will Baptist Church demands my loyalty to support my denominational causes first.  To me it is an integrity issue.

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