Definition of Evangelical
The following definition of evangelical was adopted by the 1976 General Synod (and set forth in the Manual of Authorities and Duties): “The word ‘evangelical’ comes from a Greek root meaning ‘good news’ and it refers to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a broad sense, evangelicals are people who believe that the Bible is God’s inspired Word and that an individual can become a Christian only by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Evangelicals believe:
“1. The Bible alone, being God-breathed, is the Word of God Written, infallible in all that it teaches, and inerrant in the original manuscripts. (2008 Minutes of Synod).
“2. That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“3. In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Virgin Birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through the shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
“4. That for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
“5. In the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
“6. In the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; that they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
“7. In the spiritual unity of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We believe that the Scriptures clearly and plainly testifies to the infinite worth of human life by virtue of man having been created in the image and likeness of God, and that decisions about life and death are God’s prerogatives and not man’s, and that even in the case of rare exceptions such as judgments by medical personnel about highly technical medical problems, human judgement should always stand in submission to the divine judgement and wisdom of God.
We also believe the Scriptures point up a unique relationship between God the Creator and the unborn child. And, therefore, regarding the divine mysteries of the conception and development of human life, we dare make no other inference than the conclusion that it is not for men basically to be the determiners of life and death, even for the unborn child. Therefore, in all instances, one should seek to preserve the life of the unborn child.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 1981, p. 402 & 403)
WHEREAS, the dark and tragic night of abortion continues to overshadow our land, and
WHEREAS, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church has previously declared its opposition to the hideous practice of elective abortion, and,
WHEREAS, some 22 million preborn children have been “legally” executed in the United States of America since January 22, 1973, and
WHEREAS, God’s law is immutable and we His servants are called upon to be “salt and light”, and
WHEREAS, euthanasia and other practices which diminish the sanctity of human life are now gaining prominence in our nation,
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Northeast Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, memorialize the General Synod of said church to designate the Sabbath nearest to January 22 of each year to be recognized as the “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” in all churches of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and that every minister of said church be asked to mark the day with appropriate Biblical messages in which the members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church are exhorted to seek out and practice non-violent measures attempting to oppose abortion and to promote the sanctity of human life.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Principal Clerk of this Church notify the Congress of the United States of America as to the action of this, the highest court of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 1988, p. 567)
“Be it resolved that the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, in its 192nd meeting, held at Flat Rock, N.C., June 10-13, 1996, reaffirm its strong position against abortion which was adopted in 1981, and, in light of the horrendous practice of partial-birth abortion being carried out in our society and being recently endorsed by the President of the United States, go on record to protest this evil which is nothing short of the murder of children and an offense to Almighty God in whose image all humanity is made.
“Be it further resolved that this protest be sent to the President of the United States with the humble but fervent request that he reconsider his position on this issue and that he do all that is in his power to save and protect these defenseless children.
“And be it further resolved that the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church be in prayer for the President of the United States, to the end that the One who holds the heart of the king in His sovereign hand might turn that heart to the path of justice and truth.”
(Minutes of the General Synod, 1996, p. 325)
For all conditions of men and women, the renewing grace and changing power of Jesus Christ are freely offered. To those enslaved in the bonds of any sinful practice or thought pattern, Jesus Christ can bring freedom and release.
Today, many seem to be caught in the web of homosexual practices and thought-patterns. In Christian love we declare that God’s Word clearly forbids homosexual practice as a sin against God. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ we affirm our obligation to show Christian love and concern for homosexuals, and call them to repentance, cleansing, and deliverance in the saving power of Jesus Christ.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 1977, p. 444)
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God without error in all that it teaches.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 1979, p. 23)
We believe Christ is the Son of God. We believe God the Father gave His Son to save us from our sins. We believe that the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us through the Holy Scripture which is the Word of God written. While we do not have the original autographs as evidence, we believe on faith that God’s Word in its entirety was accurately recorded by the original writers through divine inspiration and reliably transmitted to us. We affirm that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 1979, p. 76)
The position of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church on Scripture is that the Bible alone, being God breathed, is the word of God written, infallible in all that it teaches, and inerrant in the original manuscripts.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 2008, p. 514)
Women in the Life of the Church
Everywhere there are winds of change in modern culture and society. In the secular world, time-honored role patterns for men and women have undergone considerable change as women have begun to fill roles which were traditionally reserved for men. The church has not been isolated from these changes and, because of this, the church is faced with both a danger and an opportunity. On the one hand, the church faces the ever-present temptation to conform to the dictates of modern culture. This must be resisted if God’s Word is to continue to speak with full authority to us. On the other hand, the church has the opportunity to reexamine issues that were long thought, perhaps wrongly, to have been settled. Through such reexamination, teachings of Scripture that have been hidden or distorted may be recovered and speak to us with a new power. This report will examine the role of women in the life of the church and the question of women serving in ordained church office.
Download the Women in the Church position paper (PDF).
Historicity of Adam
That The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church adopt the following affirmations and denials:
1) We affirm that Adam and Eve were special, unique direct creations of God, created in His image, with Adam being formed from the dust of the ground and Eve being made from his side; as such, they were real human beings and the first man and woman;
2) We affirm that the account of the creation of Adam and Eve as found in Genesis 1 and 2 is history;
3) We deny any teaching that claims that the account of creation of Adam and Eve, as found in Genesis 1 and 2, is mythology;
4) We deny any theory that teaches that Adam and Eve descended from other biological life forms and that such a theory can be reasonably reconciled with either the Standards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church or Holy Scripture.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 2012, pp. 503, 505)
The General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church affirms the Biblical standard for marriage, one man and one woman.
(Minutes of the General Synod, 2012, p. 564)
Slavery and Racism
We, the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, do confess the sinful failings of our church in the past in regard to slavery and racism.
We reaffirm that all people are created in the image of God.
We also reaffirm our historic stance that the Gospel should be offered freely to all sinners regardless of race or ethnicity through the preaching and teaching of God’s holy, inerrant and infallible Word.
(212th General Synod, June 2016)