Article XI – Christian Stewardship and the Gospel

Section 1  The First Duty of Christian Stewardship

Because all stewardship is predicated on faithfulness to the Savior, we believe that it is the first duty of every Christian to grow at the outset of their conversion to faith in Christ, into a mature knowledge of the doctrine of salvation, including the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, and that it is the duty of every believer to then do the work of an evangelist to advance the gospel message (Ephesians 6:10-17).  Accordingly, we believe that it is the first duty of every pastor to formulate a program of education and discipleship that provides this instruction, both in doctrinal truth, assurance of salvation, and in lifestyle evangelism.

Section 2  Tithing and The Gospel Message

(a)          We believe that there are eternal rewards for Christians who sacrificially give of their finances (Matthew 6:1-7; 6:19-20), personal resources (Matthew 10:40-41) labors (Matthew 10:42), and their life (Matthew 16:25) in support of those ministries and Christian workers who faithfully and accurately proclaim the gospel message (3rd John vs. 3-8).

(b)         We believe, however, that it is the duty of every Christian to avoid supporting, either financially, or through any other resource, those pastors, churches and ministries that distort the gospel (2nd John vs. 7-11).  We believe God holds accountable, believers who, out of ignorance of the gospel that is clearly set forth in Scripture, support ministries that do not abide in the pure doctrine of Christ.  Accordingly,

(i)                  We believe it is the duty of every Christian to make diligent inquiry into the doctrine of a church or ministry, particularly with respect to the doctrine of soteriology before financially supporting it.

(ii)                We believe that those Christians who tithe or support doctrinally aberrant ministries are partakers of the evil deeds of those teachers and “evangelists” (2nd John vs. 11).

(iii)               We believe that the eternal rewards that God gives for sacrificial tithing (Matthew 6:1-4; 6:19-20), will be diminished or lost when those tithes and offerings supported ministers or ministries that are not straight with the gospel (2nd John vs. 8).

In view of the clear teaching of Scripture on this subject, we regard it as a tragedy that Christians should be willing to sacrificially tithe, while they are unwilling to put forth the effort to grow to a pure understanding of the gospel message to learn where to tithe, lest they forfeit, at the judgment seat, part or all of the reward that they should have received.  We further believe it is a tragedy that the money and resources of God’s people should be squandered on advancing teachers and ministries that are not faithful with God’s word.[1]

Section 3  Pastoral Selection and The Gospel Message

In view of the biblical requirement that a pastor have the theological maturity both to recognize false doctrine, and to refute false doctrine (Titus 1:7; 2nd John vs. 10), it logically follows as the duty of Christians who have a solid grasp of Christian doctrine, particularly in relation to the gospel, that they to seek zealously to serve on pastoral search and selection committees, and ensure, as within their ability, that any man to whom a call to the pastorate is extended is sound and accurate in his understanding of salvation, and faithful in his proclamation of the gospel.

Section 4            Christian Unity and The Gospel Message

Scripture teaches the unity of the church as one of the highest goals toward which the church should aspire (Ephesians 4:3).  We believe, therefore, that not every theological dispute merits separation.  For example, whether the church of Galatia was located in North Galatia or South Galatia is a valid question, and one that has been explored and debated by theologians, but it is certainly not a question over which fellowship should be broken.

We believe, however, that any area of doctrine even remotely affecting the integrity of the gospel is inherently serious (Galatians 2:11-14), that Scripture calls us to draw the line at the earliest point, and to yield not one inch on matters that jeopardize the integrity of the gospel, a compromise that jeopardizes the eternal life of every man, woman and child on this planet who has not yet heard the gospel message (Galatians 1:6-9, 2:5).

Section 5            Christian Service and The Gospel Message

In view of the above statements, we believe that it is the duty of Christians who are clear on the gospel to use whatever spiritual gifts, positions of authority, finances, and other resources available to them, to defend and advance the clear gospel in its purity and clarity (Philippians 1:7, 17).

[1] Because Christians are called to sacrificial grace giving, but are also warned against tithing to ministries that are not straight with the gospel, and because it is often difficult to identify sound ministries, it is the intent of Clear Gospel Campaign to post, on its web site, or re-direct to an appropriate web site, a listing of various ministries and churches that are faithful and accurate in their understanding of the gospel message.