The Brethren Card
The Brethren Card was first published by the Brethren's Book and Tract Work about 1887, and was printed in Messenger magazine for a brief period of time. A revised edition of the card was reviewed by Annual Conference in 1923, with the provision that it must not be considered a creed (see also Minutes of 1923-1944, pp. 7-8). It is presented here with the hope of answering basic doctrinal questions from visitors who desire a keener understanding of the general beliefs of the Church of the Brethren. Although it was disseminated widely in former years, the Brethren Card rarely appears in official denominational literature. Most Brethren stress the need to be open to revelation from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with a special emphasis on studying the New Testament, particularly the teachings of Christ. Brethren have traditionally sought after the "mind of Christ" as explained by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:16: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. A previous version of the Brethren Card follows afterward.
This body of Christians originated early in the eighteenth century, the church being a natural outgrowth of the Anabaptist and Pietistic movements following the Reformation.
Firmly accepts and teaches the fundamental evangelical doctrines of...
The inspiration of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16);
The personality of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-13);
The virgin birth of Christ (Matthew 1:18);
The deity of Christ (Colossians 2:8-9);
The sin-pardoning value of His atonement (Ephesians 1:7);
And the resurrection both of the just and the unjust (John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:46).
Observes the following New Testament rites:
Communion (Matt 26:26-30);
The Scriptural headveiling (1 Corinthians 11:2-16);
These rites are representative of spiritual graces which are evident in the lives of true believers, and as such are essential factors in the development of the Christian life.
stewardship of time, talents, and money (Matthew 25:14-30);
taking care of the fatherless, widows, poor, sick, and aged (Acts 6:1-7).
Opposes on Scriptural grounds:
Going to law, especially against our Christian brethren (1 Corinthians 6:1-10);
Membership in secret oath-bound societies (1 Thessalonians 5:22);
Extravagant and immodest dress (1 Timothy 2:8-10; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
Labors earnestly, in harmony with the Great Commission, for the evangelization of the world, for the conversion of men to Jesus Christ, and for the realization of the life of Jesus Christ in every believer (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Maintains the New Testament as its only creed, in harmony with which the above brief statement is made.
The Brethren Card
A previous version (circa. 1900)
That there are a people who, as little children (Luke 18: 17), accept the Word of the New Testament as a message from heaven (Heb. 1: 1, 2), and teach it in full (2 Tim. 4: 1, 2, Matthew 28: 20). They baptize believers by trine immersion (Matt. 28: 19), with a forward action (Romans 6: 5), and for the remission of sins (Acts 2: 38), and lay hands on those baptized, asking upon them the gift of God's Spirit (Acts 19: 5, 6). They follow the command and example of washing one another's feet (John 13: 4, 17). They take the Lord's Supper at night (John 13: 30), at one and the same time, tarrying one for another (I Cor, 11:33, 34). They greet one another with a holy kiss (Acts 20: 37; Rom. 16: 16). They take the communion at night, after supper, as did the Lord (Mark 14: 17, 23). They teach all the doctrines of Christ, peace (Heb. 12: 14), love (1 Cor. 13) unity (Ephesians 4), both faith and works (James 2: 17, 20). They labor for nonconformity to the world in its vain and wicked customs (Romans 12: 2). They advocate nonswearing (Matthew 5:34), anti-secretism (2 Cor. 6: 14,17), opposition to war (John 18: 36), doing good unto all men. (Matt 5: 44, 46). They anoint and lay hands on the sick (James 5: 14, 15). They give the Bread of life, the message of the common salvation unto all men without money or price (Matt. 10: 8).
"But sanctify the Lord God in your
and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you
a reason of the hope that is in you
with meekness and fear."
1 Peter 3:15
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