Philosophy of Ministry

  1. Represented by the name of the church.
    1. Church: This term which comes from the greek term “Ecclesia”, means literally the “called out” ones. The church is then the assembly of those people who are called out of the world to take care of the affairs of God on earth, by making known His message of salvation, and by living themselves for His glory.
    2. Bible: The local church is an assembly of people duly constituted according to the rules of the New Testament, with a clear doctrinal identity, structured according to a Biblical model, and actively engaged in the evangelism of its locality and of the world through missionary support.
    3. Baptist: This name is the one most often used around the world and through the ages to designate those believers who refused to adhere to the official Christian church, established by the Emperor Constantine during the third century. These believers, also called Paulicians, Donatists, Waldensians, etc. were severely persecuted for having practiced the baptism by immersion as the sign of personal conversion. This persecution came principally from the church of Rome, and was also practiced by the Reformed church against Anabaptists. These so-called “Baptist” assemblies had in common the following distinctive points, which also characterize our church.
      1. Personal conversion to Jesus-Christ, as opposed to Covenant Theology, where one is supposed to become a Christian as a baby by birth in a Christian family and through baptism by sprinkling.
      2. Public baptism by immersion following the personal testimony of conversion by the candidate.
      3. Two recognized functions in the church: that of pastor (also called elder or bishop) and that of deacon.
      4. Two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s supper, which both have symbolic value and do not communicate any particular favor or grace (as opposed to the sacraments).
      5. The liberty of conscience before God (as opposed to religious constraint and persecution).
      6. The separation of church and state. No religion should be imposed by the state, and the church as an institution has no role to play in government affairs (Acts 5:1; I Timothy 2:1-2; Romans 13). This position results automatically in liberty of conscience.
      7.  The autonomy of the local church (no structure above the local body).
      8. The government of the local church by its members. All decisions affecting direction are made by the members; the pastors and deacons are to execute and follow up on these decisions.

      No other name defines as precisely and concisely our identity and our convictions.

    4. of Comminges: The Comminges region is the name of the southern part of the Haute Garonne Department, as well as a few neighboring localities in the Gers and Ariege departments. This geographical name perfectly describes the field of our local action and the region in which our community testimony must penetrate.

II. In relation to the Christian world:

The Bible Baptist Church of Comminges does not adhere to the following movements and tendencies and does not cooperate with those churches and movements who do so.

  1. Ecumenism – This movement, whose goal is to unite all the parts of the Christian church by dialogue, does so to the detriment of the Word of God. Those participating in the dialogue express themselves with the same words, but these terms to not mean the same thing for all. Therefore, the unity is not real and the method is profoundly dishonest. This is also true of ecumenical evangelism, such as that practiced in some quarters since the 1960’s.
  2. The charismatic movement – The search for spiritual gifts (speaking in tongues, prophecy or healing) was the foundation for this movement. Begun by the Pentecostals at the beginning of the 20th century, this practice has spread over all the protestant denominations and has penetrated the Catholic church. Sound doctrine has been replaced by subjective experience, and a false unity has been built between regenerated Christians and those who are so in name only. Also, many dangerous currents have drawn some into the occult and psychological manipulation as turned many sincere souls toward a frightening slavery. We believe these gifts (tongues, knowledge, prophecy, and apostolic gift of healing) were given to the church for its beginning, and that consequently, they are no longer in use today.
  3. The neo-evangelical movement – More a mindset than a structured movement, neo-evangelicalism sought to present evangelical thought in a new way. The word was invented in 1946 by Dr. Harold Ockenga, a pastor in Boston. Here are the main principles:
    1. Put the accent on the positive aspects of the Gospel, and keep under silence the more “negative” doctrines, such as sin, being lost, or eternal torments.
    2. Try to acquire high-level diplomas in colleges and seminaries approved by the world, in order to be credible when one speaks with the unconverted.
    3. Associate liberal churches (those who put in doubt the miracles of the Bible or who deny the necessity of the new birth) in evangelistic efforts, in order to draw members to meetings, that the Gospel may be proclaimed to the greatest possible number of people.
    4. Announce the truth, but do not denounce error, nor those who propagate it.
    5. Establish dialogue with all the parts of Christendom, in order to find points of convergence, while minimizing the doctrines that divide.
    6. Work in such a way that the unsaved will find the Gospel attractive and will naturally want to come to the evangelicals.
    7. Maintain and propagate good doctrine, while refusing to combat error and refusing to separate from those who announce it.

III. The church’s action

Since we are convinced that all churches faithful to the Scriptures must accomplish spiritual action, we wish to define below the guidelines for our conduct.

  1. For the glory of God – much more important than the social, numerical or financial success of our action, we must aim for the glory of God. We will not use pragmatism in our spiritual action.
  2. In view of our church’s autonomy – Our church will endeavor, in every way possible, to take charge of all the expenses of its existence and its action (meeting place, evangelistic program, etc.) but also invest in the support of the Lord’s servant for the propagation of the Gospel and for the pastoral care of the flock, according to the instructions in the New Testament (I Timothy 4:13-16; 5:17-18; I Corinthians 9:5-14).
  3. In view of the evangelism of the world – Our church will seek, according to the means the Lord will give it, to be represented in other areas of France and in other countries, by supporting missionary effort through its intercession and its financial support. The priority will be given to those who are directly implicated in the implanting of new churches, or who work with others to this end (Matthew 28:19, 20).
  4. Accomplished by its members - Since the members of a local biblical church are the members of the body of Christ, they are all called to work together to do what none of them could accomplish alone. This is why we will endeavor to be all involved in service for our Lord through our church family. If the pastor and those responsible for the church are in charge of coordinating its action, the entire church body should be implicated in the accomplishment of the decisions made by the members, whether it be for various activities, intercession, evangelism or financial support (I Corinthians 12).
  5. In independence and inter-dependency – We believe that the New Testament presents churches as independent and autonomous, in the sense that no church may impose upon another its projects, its action or its local decisions. And yet, we notice inter-dependency among the churches in several projects (such as the offering for the church in Jerusalem). In the same way, we will seek to establish fraternal links with other churches of like faith and practice and undertake projects with them, according to the means and the convictions that the Lord will give us (I Corinthians 8-9).