In glad submission to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruling and Living Head of the church and to the Word of God written, as contained in all the books of the Old and New Testaments, we, the members of Temple Reformed Baptist Church of Haw River, NC, declare and establish this constitution
By the grace of God, we have been led to repent of our sin and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We have confessed our faith and been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Now, therefore, in the presence of God and by His grace, we joyfully and solemnly covenant one with another as the members of Temple Reformed Baptist Church.
- We promise to walk together in Christian love through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We pledge not to forsake the assembling of ourselves for any corporate gatherings on the Lord’s day and will use our spiritual gifts for the mutual edification of the church.
- We commit to faithfully participate in the ordinances of the church and endeavor after unity of mind in doctrine.
- We will both submit to the church’s discipline upon ourselves and lovingly assume our responsibility to participate in the discipline of other members, as taught in Scripture.
- We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to this church for its general ministry and expenses, the relief of the poor, the cause of reformation and revival, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.
- We will strive by God’s grace and power to live out a faithful Christian witness in the world and, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
strive to walk in accordance with God’s Law written on our hearts, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
- We pledge to participate in pastoral oversight as well as to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember one another in prayer, to help one another in sickness and distress, and to cultivate Christian compassion and courtesy.
- We will be slow to take offense, always eager to seek the reconciliation Christ commands, and work to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- We resolve to practice personal and family worship and to train our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- We promise that if in the providence of God we leave this church, we will diligently seek to unite with another biblical, evangelical congregation.
The name of this church shall be Temple Reformed Baptist Church.
II. STATEMENT OF FAITH
Temple Reformed Baptist Church subscribes to the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, in its original text, as the statement of faith which most accurately expresses orthodox, biblical doctrine. The articles of this constitution must be interpreted from the theological perspectives of that confession.
Section 1. Authority
We recognize no ecclesiastical entity as having jurisdiction over this church. Christ alone, as Head of the church (Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18), is our authority who governs the church through duly qualified elders chosen by the common suffrage.
Section 2. Cooperation
This church will cooperate with other churches with whom we stand in substantial doctrinal agreement in matters pertinent to the edification of the churches and the advance of the gospel. While we desire to cultivate and nurture relationships with likeminded churches, no decision or action of any other church shall be deemed as binding on this church.
Section 3. In Cases of Difficulties or Differences
Based on the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith Chapter 26 Paragraph 15, in times of conflict this church may consult only with fellow Reformed Baptist churches also adhering to the same confession.
Section 1. Qualifications
Any person who professes repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrates the fruits of regeneration, has professed saving union with Christ in baptism, expresses substantial agreement with this church’s statement of faith, and is willing to submit to the government and discipline of this church shall be eligible for membership.
Section 2. Reception of Members
A person who desires to become a member of the church must indicate such to the elder(s) and be interviewed by them. The purpose of the interview(s) shall be to examine the candidate for membership in view of the necessary qualifications as set forth in Section 1 of this Article.
If the candidate is or has been a member of another church, the elder(s) may contact that church in order to ascertain the candidate’s previous status and reason(s) for leaving
Upon the conclusion of the elders’ examination of the prospective member, they shall announce their findings at a stated meeting of the church. If the candidate is recommended to the congregation for membership, a designated period of time will then be announced by the elder(s), wherein the membership may express objections or questions to the elder(s) concerning the candidate’s qualifications for membership. Following such a designated time period and after the evaluation and resolution of any objections raised, the person who has applied for membership will be formally received into membership at a stated meeting of the church. At such time the candidate will give his/her public testimony of saving faith in Jesus Christ and a public affirmation of the church covenant after it has been publicly read.
Section 3. Duties of Members
All members are to contribute financially to the life and ministry of the church. Offerings are to be given, not grudgingly or under compulsion, but freely and cheerfully as a grateful expression of worship and as a means to support the work of the church. The principle of the tithe (10%) is the amount which members are encouraged to give as a minimum.
All members are to submit to and obey the elders as they discharge their duties of instruction and oversight in accordance with the Word of God.
All members are to willingly cooperate with the deacons as they administer the ordinary and outward affairs of the church.
All members are required to affirm the church covenant and seek to live out its intent by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Section 4. Duties of Elders
- The elders shall have the responsibility of upholding the aforesaid duties in Section 3 of this Article by such means (instruction, admonition, corrective discipline) as they deem appropriate in accordance with biblical principles and directives.
Section 5. Termination of Membership
Membership in this church shall be terminated only by one of the following means:
Transfer.When it is so requested, the elders may grant to a departing member in good standing a letter of transfer and recommendation to another biblical, evangelical church. No such letter will be granted to a member under the corrective discipline of the church. Further, the elders may refuse to grant such a letter to any church which is, in their judgment, unorthodox.
Dismission.Occasionally, a person's membership may need to be terminated under circumstances which make both transfer and corrective discipline inappropriate. In such circumstances a member may be dismissed. While there is no explicit precedent for dismission in the New Testament, it is required by biblical principles, including the voluntariness of local church membership.
Dismission may be initiated either by the written request of a member to the elders, or by the elders themselves when a member ceases to maintain vital contact with this church. In either case, the final decision regarding the action of dismission will lie with the elders. Church membership is a very serious matter. Members, therefore, shall be dismissed only after due inquiry and admonition by the elders, whenever such contact is possible. Before any individual is dismissed, the church shall be informed of the intention of the elders to dismiss the individual. This information must include the grounds for the proposed dismission. A suitable period of time following the announcement shall be given for the church to privately raise concerns with the elders. After due consideration of such concerns, the elders may proceed with dismission. When possible, they shall send a letter to the dismissed individual informing him of his dismission. The elders shall subsequently communicate to the church that the person has been dismissed. If one who has been dismissed applies again for membership, the normal procedures shall be followed as set forth in Section 2 of this Article.
Dismission may be warranted for any of the following reasons:
- A member in good standing concludes that he is not truly saved.
- A member in good standing wishes to terminate his membership for reasons that do not impugn his Christian profession.
- A member ceases to maintain vital contact with this church due to relocation or other unique circumstances.
Excommunication.. It is the solemn duty of the church to formally put out of the church members who persist in holding and/or propagating heretical doctrine or in conducting themselves scandalously, divisively, disorderly, or impenitently. Procedures to be followed in such excommunicative action are set forth under Article V of this constitution
V. CHURCH DISCIPLINE
Section 1.Formative Discipline
Each member of this church is to be under the administration of corporate, formative discipline. Among the means of this aspect of church discipline are worship, preaching, teaching, prayer, private and mutual instruction, and fellowship. These various means and others are intended to cultivate faith and obedience. Such means are superintended by the church’s elders. The more effectual the formative discipline, the less frequent is the need for corrective discipline.
Section 2.Corrective Discipline
Corrective discipline becomes necessary when either heretical doctrine or scandalous, divisive, disorderly, or impenitent conduct appears among any of the church’s members. Corrective discipline and the various measures employed in its administration are necessary for the reclaiming of offending members, for deterring other members from similar offenses, for purging the church of sin, for vindicating the honor of Christ and the message of the gospel, and for preventing divine wrath from consuming the church should the church indifferently tolerate offenders and offenses that bring reproach on the New Covenant.
Within the scope of the application of corrective discipline are these measures (See Article VI, Section 5 for discipline of church officers):
- Rebuke and warning. After private rebukes (according to Matt 18:15) with no repentance, a member who is guilty of certain offenses should be rebuked and warned privately by the elders. The failure of a private rebuke to restore an offender will lead to public rebuke and warning.
- Suspension.At the discretion of the elders, an offending member may be suspended from the privileges of membership. Such an action will often be accompanied by admonition and censure of the suspended member. In such cases no congregational approval shall be required. This corrective measure consists of the public marking out of an offender and the withdrawal of social interaction and specific privileges of membership. II Thessalonians 3:6–15 is the most significant New Testament passage in this connection. In this action, the offender is still regarded as a brother/sister but the membership is declaring that we have separated ourselves from the offender’s example and conduct. Upon evidential repentance and amendment by the offending member, he/she shall be reinstated to full rights and privileges of membership by the announcement of the elders. Upon a protracted condition of impenitence and offensive conduct, either dismission (See Article IV, Section 5, Paragraph 3) or excommunication may be employed. Suspension and restoration shall be announced by the elders.
- Excommunication. This, the most severe of corrective measures, consists of putting a professed Christian and church member out of the church membership upon that member’s impenitence in sins inconsistent with saving faith. Matthew 18:15–20 and I Corinthians 5 are the two most instructional texts as to the application of excommunication. The act of excommunication is enacted by the common suffrage of the church and shall require the approval of a minimum three-fourths of the members present and voting.
Excommunication may be the church’s disciplinary response when a member persists in believing and/or propagating heresy. Further, scandalous conduct, divisive and contentious conduct which threatens the church’s unity, or impenitent obstinance in any sin inconsistent with saving faith may require this radical, corrective action. Romans 16:17–18, Titus 3:10–11, II Thessalonians 3:6–15, Galatians 1:6–9 and 6:1 are additional texts which must guide the solemn exercise of excommunication.
Section 1. Introduction
The Lord Jesus Christ alone is Head of the church. He governs His church through office-bearers whom He qualifies and endows with the necessary capacities to accomplish their appointed work. Office-bearers in the church are of two kinds: elders (also called overseers and pastors) and deacons. All office-bearers shall be male only. It is the duty of the church to discern those whom Christ has set apart for these offices and formally recognize them by the common suffrage.
- The qualifications for a man to be set apart to the office of elder are set forth in I Timothy 3:1–7, Titus 1:5–9, and 1 Pet 5:1–3. No man shall be installed into this office unless he exhibits all the qualities identified.
- The two great departments of the duty given to the elders are that of instruction and of oversight (government, superintendence of the church). The bearers of this office are to provide the membership with a vital teaching and preaching ministry of the Word of God and to pray for, keep watch over, shepherd, and guide the people of God under their care. These duties are to be carried out according to the truths of the Scriptures.
- The members of the church have the duties of submitting to and obeying the instruction and government of the elders (Heb 13:7, 17).
- Ideally, a plurality of elders shall exist at all times in the life of the church. The great responsibilities of shepherding the flock of God and ruling the household of God demand that more than one man labor in this office. Yet it is recognized that in the providence of God some churches, particularly new or smaller ones, may have only one man, or no man duly qualified for the office.
- In view of the nature of the responsibilities of the eldership and with the light of I Timothy 5:17–18, it is very desirable that at least one elder devote his full vocational time and energies to the office and its duties. Such men are to be sufficiently compensated financially (I Corinthians 9:9–11, 14; I Timothy 5:17–18).
- Among any existing plurality of elders, an appropriate division of labor shall likely exist. Due to such factors as vocational demands, experience, and gifts, some may be more engaged in formal and public teaching/preaching, while others may be more engaged in private teaching, counseling, and governing. Such a possible division of labor does not diminish the qualification of “apt to teach,” which applies to every elder, nor does it erode the parity which is to exist among the plurality.
- ) There shall be no fixed number of elders. Their terms shall run as long as they are able to discharge their duties and exhibit all the necessary qualifications. It is the duty of the church to recognize all those men whom the Holy Spirit has made overseers.
- While elders are overseers and shepherds of the flock of God, they are themselves members of the flock. Therefore, each elder as a member of the church is under the oversight of his fellow elder(s). In the case when there is only one elder, prudence would dictate that he would seek out accountability and oversight from another elder of a church holding to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
- The qualifications for a man to be set apart to the office of deacon are set forth in Acts 6:3 and I Timothy 3:8–13. No man shall be recognized as a deacon unless he exhibits all the qualifications named.
- Deacons are responsible to administer the material, financial, and secular affairs of the church. Additionally, the deacons are to administer the benevolent concerns of the church. All of the duties of the deacons are exercised in cooperation with and in subjection to the elders.
- The members have the duty of being available to and cooperative with the deacons in their various labors.
- Ideally, a plurality of deacons shall exist at all times in the life of the church. The nature and range of the services to be performed by this office demand, if possible, more than one deacon.
- There shall be no fixed number of deacons. Their terms shall run as long as they are able to discharge their duties and exhibit all the necessary qualifications. It is the duty of the church to recognize all those men whom the Holy Spirit has made deacons.
Section 4.Appointment of Office-Bearers
- The church is responsible to select and set apart men to the offices of elder and deacon. The selection process is a matter of such gravity that it should be accompanied by much prayer, fasting (Acts 14:23), patience, consideration of the relevant texts of Scripture, and impartial, objective evaluation of the prospective men.
- Nominations to the offices of elder and deacon shall be made by the eldership. Any member may suggest candidates to the elders for either office at any time.
- Nominations to the offices of elder and deacon shall be announced sufficiently in advance of the business meeting of the church wherein a vote shall be taken. In a called business meeting prior to the meeting wherein a vote shall be taken, discussion will be entertained relative to the prospective office-bearer. The congregational vote shall be taken in a succeeding meeting. It is highly desired that the vote of the church be unanimous. However, if unanimity is not realized, no less than the approval of three-fourths of the members present and voting shall be required for the election of an office-bearer.
- Should reservations exist in the judgment of any member, he/she is strongly encouraged to express such reservations to the elders (Phil. 2:2–4) (or to the Steering Committee in such circumstances when the church is without an elder). Such communications are crucial in order to ensure that all valid objections are properly considered and addressed prior to the vote.
- Following the election of an office-bearer, he shall be publicly installed in his office at a designated worship service.
- Office-bearers are subject to the duties of members and the discipline of the church as are all the other members. They shall occupy an office as long as they are faithful to their duties, continue to evidence the necessary qualifications for the respective office, and have the confidence of the membership. An office bearer may resign his office if for valid reasons he is no longer able to discharge its duties.
Section 5.Discipline of Officers
- Warrant for the Discipline of Officers.While elders are overseers of the flock, they are themselves members of the flock. Therefore, each elder is under the oversight of his fellow elders and is subject to the same discipline as are all the members of the church but must adhere to a more rigorous standard of conduct than other members (Gal. 2:14; 1 Tim. 5:20). Deacons likewise are under the oversight of the elders and are subject to the discipline of the church. In addition to the ordinary strictures of public reproof and censure, suspension of privileges, and excommunication, officers are subject to removal from office as part of the disciplinary action of the church (1 Tim. 3:2).
- Procedure for the Discipline of Officers.The process of discipline may be initiated either by the elders or by members of the congregation while adhering to 1 Timothy 5:19–20. Members who observe behavior that would disqualify an officer according to the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 must first approach that officer privately and express their concerns. If the concerns are not resolved, they should inform the elders of the situation and wait upon them in the determination of the matter (Mt. 18:15ff). In the case where a sole elder is the officer regarding whom the concern is expressed, the deacons and Advisory Committee shall assume responsibility to investigate the matter and to recommend congregational action if they judge it to be warranted.
Since this is such a delicate and serious matter, the elders shall proceed with due caution and earnest prayer (1 Tim. 5:19; Prov. 19:2). If the elders judge public discipline or removal from office to be necessary, they shall inform the congregation of the basis for the proposed action. If corrective discipline is imposed upon any officer under the terms of Article V, Section 2, Paragraph 1 (“rebuke and warning”), the officer must submit himself to an immediate vote of confidence and must attain a three-fourths majority of the members present and voting in order to remain in office. If corrective discipline is imposed upon any officer under the terms of Article V, Section 2, Paragraph 2 or 3 (“suspension” or “excommunication”), the officer is automatically removed from his office.
Section 6.Termination of Office
- By Voluntary Resignation.An officer may resign his office if for good and valid reasons he finds he is no longer able to discharge the duties of it with a good conscience (Acts 24:16).
- By Removal for Non-culpable Incompetence.In cases where the elders determine that an officer is no longer competent to fulfill all the duties of his office, by reason of infirmities not of themselves culpable (2 Sam. 21:15–17), they shall explain their concerns to him and seek his resignation. If he will not resign, they shall present their concerns to the congregation and call for a vote of confidence in him. In order to retain his office in such circumstances the officer must receive a vote of confidence by no less than a three-fourths majority of the members present and voting.
- By Loss of the Confidence of the Congregation.The elders may call for a vote of confidence in any officer at any time. The elders will set forth their recommendation in the matter and the reasons for it. In order to retain his office in such circumstances the officer must receive a vote of confidence by no less than a three-fourths majority of the members present and voting.
- By Removal through Disciplinary Action of the Church.See Section 5 of this
VII. STEERING & ADVISORY COMMITEES
Section 1. Steering Committee.
- While the Scriptures teach that local churches should be ruled by qualified elders called by the local congregation, we acknowledge that in God’s providence churches at times do experience situations where there are no elders for a period of time. In such cases, as a practical matter a church must have some form of established leadership in place in order to function until an elder is called. In the event that Temple Reformed Baptist Church is without an elder, the church will be guided during the transition by a Steering Committee. The deacons will be the initial members of the Committee.
- The deacons will also select two to three other men as additional proposed Committee members. The men must be members in good standing, having established themselves as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ and faithful church members, and having demonstrated over time the wisdom and maturity needed to provide the requisite leadership. The Steering Committee candidates will be recommended by the deacons to the congregation. After a sufficient period of time for the congregation to consider the candidates’ qualifications and to discuss any concerns with the deacons, a congregational vote will be held. An affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members present will then be required to confirm a Steering Committee member.
- Duties of the Steering Committee include planning and leading worship services, teaching/preaching when needed, arranging for outside pulpit supply, counseling of church members, evaluating potential pastoral candidates, and obtaining counsel from elders at other churches when needed. The non-deacon members of the Committee will also assist the deacons in financial and administrative matters of the church when needed.
- The Steering Committee will be dissolved upon the calling and installation of an elder.
Section 2.Advisory Committee
- Temple Reformed Baptist Church acknowledges that, based on the light of Scripture, a plurality of elders is the normative situation for local church government. Additionally, the Bible teaches that there is wisdom in having multiple counselors (Proverbs 11:14). To that end, in the event this church has only one elder, the elder may determine that it is needful and beneficial for a standing Advisory Committee to assist and to advise him on a variety of matters. When such a Committee is in effect, it serves with the approval of the eldership and not as an independent or self regulating body. It does not exercise pastoral authority over the church but does provide counsel to the pastor as needed. Members of the Committee also assist the pastor in performing certain duties when needed, including preaching and teaching, leading other parts of worship services, and other necessary duties as determined by the elder. These tasks may be performed because of the pastor’s absence or to relieve him of certain obligations due to the pressures and time constraints that are inevitable when a church has only one elder.
- Advisory Committee members must be men who meet the qualifications for Steering Committee members as set forth above. Members are selected by the elder(s) and announced to the congregation.
- When a plurality of elders is in force, the Advisory Committee will be disbanded unless the elders choose to continue the Committee for a time.
Section 3.Officers of the Corporation
- Temple Baptist Church is the church’s corporate name and will be DBA Temple Reformed Baptist Church.
- The officers of the corporation shall consist of the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary, all of whom shall elected by the corporation (the church) at a duly called congregational meeting. The president shall be the pastor of the church. If in the event there is no pastor the vice president shall perform the duties of the president while remaining vice president.
- The officers of the corporation shall conduct business that pertains to the physical plant of the church. The officers of the corporation are not part of the eldership or diaconate and must carry out its responsibilities in subjection to the eldership.
- Any business that is conducted on behalf of Temple Baptist Church that exceeds the amount of $2000 shall require congregational approval.
VIII. CHURCH BUSINESS MEETINGS
Section 1. Frequency and Subject Matter
There shall be an annual business meeting for the hearing of various reports and the transaction of other necessary business. The deacons will present a proposed budget for congregational vote annually. Additional business meetings may be called at other times at the discretion of the elders.
Section 2. Notice
The annual business meeting shall be announced at least fourteen days prior to the meeting. Other business meetings shall be announced as far in advance as possible.
Section 3. Quorum
Members in good standing (not under discipline) present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. At the discretion of the elders, a called business meeting may be postponed or canceled.
One of the elders shall preside at all business meetings. However, the elders may delegate to a deacon the role of presiding over a meeting if they consider it appropriate in light of the subject matter.
- 1. All members in good standing and at least eighteen years of age may vote on any matter properly brought before the church. A member will not be permitted to vote who is no longer attending Temple Reformed Baptist Church (e.g., as in the case of a member who is in the process of leaving the church through transfer or otherwise.) This requirement will be in effect for all congregational votes, whether for business matters or otherwise.
- 2. Unanimity shall at all times be sought. When unanimity is not realized, no less than two-thirds majority of the members present and voting shall be required to validate a proposed action except where stated otherwise in this Constitution.
- At the discretion of the eldership, provisions for voting in absentia may be made in cases where members are providentially hindered from attending with good cause. In such cases where voting in absentia is allowed, such a vote(s) shall be considered as “present and voting” in its effect on any necessary majority.
- All recommendations calling for the consent of the congregation shall be made by the eldership, the diaconate, or by a Committee appointed by the eldership or diaconate. No recommendations for congregational consent shall be made from the floor by an individual member.
IX. ON MARRIAGE, GENDER, SEXUALITY, & WEDDINGS
- Marriage is a God-instituted, covenantal, and exclusive union of one man and one woman. It is a creation ordinance revealed in the Holy Scriptures in Genesis 2:18–25, and it absolutely and perpetually consists of the man (Hebrew "ish," the male gender) as husband and the woman (Hebrew "ishshah," the female gender) as wife. Chapter 25 of The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 is a more extensive governing statement of the moral and religious convictions of the membership and office-bearers of Temple Reformed Baptist Church concerning the marriage of one man and one woman. Marriages consistent with the above are the only marriages recognized by this church. Wedding ceremonies participated in, approved of, or officiated by any member or office bearer of this church must be consistent with the above. The properties and buildings of this church will only be used for weddings of one man and one woman consistent with the above.
- The two genders (or "sex" in terms of humans being either male or female) are established by genetic code and biological sexual identity at conception. While there are rare exceptions of abnormal physiological manifestations, male and female gender is normally reflected in distinctive physiology at birth. Gender is not determined by, nor will be recognized by this church on the grounds of, elective surgical and/or medical modification, preferred sexual or social identity, personal choice, nor on any other basis or for any other reason.
- Sexual relations between one man and one woman, in the exclusive covenant of marriage, are morally right, are the gift of God, and are affirmed by this church. All other forms of sexuality as well as the inordinate desires and lusts therein (homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, transgenderism, and any other sexual activity forbidden by the Bible) are regarded as moral evils. Homosexuality is also unnatural (Romans 1:26–27). One's genetic and biological gender is not to be altered, nor obscured by dress, appearance or medical means (Deuteronomy 22:5). The person committing such sins should repent, forsake them, and seek the grace, pardon, and liberation offered to sinners in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The practice of such sinful forms of sexuality is inconsistent with membership in this church, and those who engage in such practices will not be received into membership.
- Though Temple Reformed Baptist Church affirms the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for those penitently struggling against homosexuality and other sexual sins as identified above (l Corinthians 6:9–11) and affirms that forgiveness for such may be found in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, it does not affirm or approve of these practices or lifestyles and will not receive into membership anyone practicing the same. Though ineligible for baptism and membership, partaking of the Lord's Supper, and undertaking leadership roles in the ministries sponsored and administered by the church, such people may (and are encouraged to) attend the meetings and ministries of the church wherein the Word of God is publicly proclaimed, as long as their presence is not disruptive to the good order of the assembled church. The transforming power of the gospel is the only hope of liberation from the penalty and power of sin of any sort, and is freely offered to all; as such, those who formerly practiced sexual immorality, but now bear the fruits of repentance and have turned from such practices to true saving faith in Christ Jesus, are eligible to be considered for membership. Additionally, Temple Reformed Baptist Church does not subscribe to any civil law pertaining to sexual lifestyle choices to the extent they are contrary to the standards revealed in the Bible as explained by The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, as well as by this church's Constitution
- Wedding ceremonies conducted in the buildings or on the properties of Temple Reformed Baptist Church or at any other venue (owned, leased or rented by this church) must reflect the standards set forth in the above paragraphs, and must be approved in advance by the elder(s) of this church.
- No officer (elder/pastor or deacon) or member of Temple Reformed Baptist Church may officiate, approve of, or facilitate in any manner a "same-sex" or "transgender" "wedding" or "civil union." The message and ministry of this church entirely and absolutely rejects the validity of such ceremonies and the relationships they profess to solemnize.
- The facilities of Temple Reformed Baptist Church will not be made available for the wedding of a believer to an unbeliever, since the Bible prohibits such a marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14–15). The elder(s) / pastor(s) will determine in advance the advisability and permissibility of all other weddings (two believers marrying or two unbelievers marrying) that are proposed to be conducted in connection with Temple Reformed Baptist Church or that would involve the use of this church's property. Such determination will be made within the framework of the Bible, together with Chapter 25 of The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 and pre-marital counseling. For the purposes of this constitution, a "believer" refers to one who has expressed credible testimony of belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ as set forth in the Bible (as explained in The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689) and conducts his/her life in a manner that is consistent with that profession.
- Temple Reformed Baptist Church reserves at all times the continuing right to enjoy exceptions available under all applicable laws and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which permit discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs and motivations, with respect to implementing any religious service, sacrament or ceremony, or in defining standards for participation and membership so as to uphold the religious values expressed in the Bible as explained by The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. The statements in the above paragraphs express the fundamental religious convictions and beliefs of this church regarding marriage and sexuality, which the church has held since its beginning, and which it continues to hold. These statements also delineate several church policies which necessarily derive from those beliefs and convictions.
X. USE OF PROPERTY
Temple Reformed Baptist Church will not allow any property or facility that it owns, leases, rents, or otherwise controls to be used or rented by any individual, group, or organization that does not substantially adhere to the moral and theological standards expressed in this Constitution. In all cases of any individual or group desiring to use any facility of Temple Reformed Baptist Church, the elder(s) / pastor(s) of this church will determine if such use will be permitted
In the event of the dissolution of Temple Reformed Baptist Church, all of its debts shall be fully satisfied to the extent possible with the funds available. None of its cash funds or other assets shall be divided among the church’s officers, members or other individuals. To comply with the Internal Revenue Code and other relevant tax laws, funds and other assets remaining after satisfaction of the church’s debts shall be irrevocably transferred to (or used for the benefit of) such other non-profit tax-exempt religious organizations as are in substantial agreement with the principles reflected in this constitution.
Section 1.Majority Required
This constitution may be amended by a three-fourths majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly convened business meeting of the church.
No proposed amendment may be voted upon which has not been distributed to the membership at least two weeks prior to the business meeting designated for that purpose.