Frequently Asked Questions About FBC

 

What is Communion?

Communion is a time when as a church family we remember the life, death, and burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We are commanded as an ordinance of the church to do this as often as we meet together in remembrance of Christ.  We believe in open communion, in other words if you are a believer and are in a right standing with God and others you are welcome to participate even if you are not an official member of Family Bible Church.  We encourage the adults / parents to use discretion when serving their children.  Only you know the maturity and understanding level of your children.  Some churches believe in transubstantiation where the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus actually transforms the juice and bread into the Body and Blood of Christ.  Other churches teach consubstantiation where Jesus shows up in His bodily presence at the moment of communion.  FBC simply believes that we are to do this ordinance of the church in remembrance of His finished work on the cross for our sins.  It is an act of worship and re-commitment to Christ and to His church.  (See John 6:22-59; I Corinthians 11:17-34)

When do we celebrate communion?

Most believers understand our Lord’s admonition to partake of the Lord’s Supper. In fact this is one of two ordinances of the church: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism. Both are pictures of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, essentially the gospel message. The Apostle Paul said that he had determined to not know anything but Christ and Him crucified. (I Corinthians 2:2) In our vernacular today it might have sounded like this: “This is our primary mission statement as a church: to lift up the message and the mission of Christ alone, the Scriptures alone, Grace alone, Faith alone whenever we come together as a church.” These are the foundational heart principles of the church of Jesus Christ and of His gospel message.

Over the years church tradition has replaced the Scriptural mandate. Churches moving away from the Roman Catholic tradition wanted to make the service of communion around the Lord’s Table special and so their thinking went something like this: “less is more.” In having communion fewer times, like once a month, then it ceases from being religious duty and mundane to becoming “special” and meaningful. The problem with this mindset is that Jesus said, “This cup is the New Testament in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” Note that Jesus didn’t say once a month or every time you come together. It is left up to each church to decide. Church history suggests that they were meeting daily in each others’ houses and having communion together when they met. And so the historical model, interestingly enough, was daily not even weekly.

Understand, there certainly is not a “religious obligation” to the number of times in a week, month or year we are to be obedient, but we are to be obedient in coming to the Lord’s Table in remembrance of what Christ had accomplished on the cross of Calvary. I’ve said all of that to say this: We have chosen to celebrate communion weekly because we sin weekly. Every week, every day, every moment we need to be reminded of Christ’s sacrificial life, death, burial and resurrection. The gospel is not appropriate once a month but daily, moment by moment. We remember what we are supposed to forget and we forget what we are supposed to remember. Some of our attendees here at FBC have unwillingly participated in the weekly observance simply out of compliance, others have decided to participate only once a month, but most of the body here at FBC worship willingly at the table weekly and never tire of the meaning and celebration of our forgiveness in Christ.

Coming on our own verses being served is more personal and intimate. It is between you and God alone. We certainly do not want our time of worship around the table of the Lord to become just another religious exercise or meaningless observance. Rather this holy moment at the table is a reminder of what Christ has done and that we have been forgiven. It is a weekly reminder of our need for forgiveness, reconciliation and a reunion in broken fellowship with our heavenly Father. Many churches have chosen to have communion once a year, once a quarter, once a month which of course is their right to do. In having families come together weekly we have seen time and time again reconciliation between children and their parents between husbands and their wives, wives and their husbands, between members coming together in a spirit of forgiveness and brokenness. The praise team on more than one occasion has had to look away from the unfolding drama of the morning praise around the Table of the Lord because it was simply too moving and emotional. Is this a bad thing when we serve one another, when husbands and fathers are encouraged to lead their families in worship, when warring parties come together in reconciliation and forgiveness around the table of the Lord as a humble response of contrition after the preaching of the Word?

Let me ask you a closing question: Can you, would you, find fault towards anyone who felt the need to remember Christ once a day much less once a week? When our traditions become the letter of the law that kills the spirit of doing what we do it is then we need to stop and ask ourselves the question of whether or not we are indeed hindering God’s Spirit instead of welcoming Him into our midst. Would Jesus frown with our remembrance weekly? I think not. Our quest for fresh wind, fresh fire, fresh faith and fresh zeal for worship is a lofty pursuit worthy of praise and thanksgiving. I trust you will join in what God is doing embracing His Spirit, after all the alternative is all too prevalent in America’s churches: hearts that have grown cold and indifferent to God’s sustaining grace.

Why is there no altar call here at FBC?

Good question.  The church has just recently, within the past 100 years or less, practiced what we call decisional theology.  Most churches recognize that salvation is a process in that we are admonished to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  (See Philippians 2:12-13)  Unfortunately, especially among Baptist and Bible type churches the Christian and the church has become more dependent on the altar call than on the faithful work of the Holy Spirit, as if people will not get saved if we miss that specific divine opportunity.  First of all walking an aisle or praying a prayer doesn’t save you, it is by faith through grace.  (See Ephesians 2:8-10)  A good Biblical model is at Pentecost, (in Acts 2:37-38), when the Apostle Peter was preaching he was interrupted because people had been cut to the heart through the workings of the Holy Spirit in their lives and they cried out to Peter, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  We believe in the doctrine of election that shouldn’t in any way make us lazy in sharing our faith but at the same time causes dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and righteousness and of the coming judgment. (see Colossians 3:12; I Peter 1:1-6 )  People under the conviction of the Holy Spirit are encouraged to come forward after the service to speak to the Pastors or Elders for godly counsel on various issues of concern, or for counsel on how to come to Christ in salvation.  A person’s decision to come or not to come down an aisle doesn’t make salvation dependent on it.  Collectively we are to all do the work of an evangelist.  It’s not the Pastor’s job or even the church’s job to save anyone, it is the privilege of each individual believer to be faithful in their witness of Christ and for Christ.

Why does FBC have Elders instead of Deacons?

Actually we have both.  The Scriptures are very explicit on the polity (the government and organization) of the local church.  Paul appointed elders in every city in every church.  A Pastor or Shepherd is a teaching elder and is the first among equals.  What this means is that God over the centuries always has worked through one man in the context of a plurality of godly men to lead His people.  The elders at FBC are overseers in that they are given to setting spiritual direction and policy for the church.  “… but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”  Acts 6:4.   We don’t have an existing Deacon Board here at FBC, in fact we don’t have anyone given the title of deacon or deaconess.  These positions, though not explicit, are in place as anyone who is in a position of leadership serving the body they are obliged to follow the scriptural dictates of a deacon or deaconess according to I Timothy 3:8-13.  Our elders are under the scriptural admonition of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
 
Are background checks being done on workers who work with our children?
 
Yes, any ministry with children or teens requires a background check.  FBC takes very seriously the covenant we have before God and before parents who entrust their children to us.  We do our utmost to hold ourselves before the Lord accountable to Him, to parents and to one another.
 

What church affiliation is FBC?

We are part of the Conservative Baptist Association of America.  There are dozens of Baptist denominations but the CBA movement is unique in that it is more a loose association of churches under a common creed and doctrinal stance then a denomination.  Each church is completely autonomous and takes on the philosophy and unique finger print of God for the church and area of ministry.  An acronym for BAPTIST might be, the authority, sufficiency and inherency of the BIBLE, the AUTHORITY of the Scriptures and of the church as well as the ASSURANCE of the believer, the PRIESTHOOD of the believer, the TWO ORDINANCES of the church, being baptism by immersion and communion, INTERDEPENDENCE realizing we are not the only church in town we are to cooperate as a vital part of the Bride of Christ with other Bible believing faithful churches as partners in the work of the ministry to Kingman as our Jerusalem, SEPARATION from the world the flesh and the devil, and lastly, TRUE BELIEVERS.  We seek to be balanced between Spirit and Truth.  It’s not either or it’s both.  Too far on the Spirit side is license and a spirit of liberty that drifts dangerously from the truth of God’s Word.  Too far on the truth side leads to legalism and a spirit of the letter of the law that stifles and condemns rather than encourages and builds up the believer.  (See Vision, Purpose and Mission statements of FBC)

How many Pastors has FBC had in the last fifty years?

Another good question because effective ministry doesn’t happen over a short period of time but over the long haul.  FBC has enjoyed long pastorates and is a church that values stability and integrity in its pastoral leadership.  FBC has had ten pastors in its fifty six year history.  Pastor Pete has been the Senior Pastor here twenty years.

Where and when do you have your baptism service?

Baptisms are done once a year on a Sunday in July or August.  Because FBC no longer has a baptistery we make this event a wonderful time of worship and celebration.  We rent one of the community pools and enjoy testimonies, music, worship and an all church picnic.  Classes on the meaning of baptism are conducted before the event.  We certainly would not hinder a person should they want to be baptized as an act of faith and obedience prior to this yearly event.

What is FBC's position on Marriage and Human Sexuality?

 We believe the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or disagreement with one’s own biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church membership and community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity or who serves as volunteers, be required to agree to this statement on Marriage and human sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. Each church employee, volunteer, Elder, and or minister shall sign a contract agreeing with Family Bible Church’s statement of faith and moral conduct expectations.

We believe that God and His church should offer redemption and restoration to all who confess and are honestly attempting to forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated, are not in accordance with the compassion of Christ or the dictates of the Scriptural doctrines of the church and may be subject to Church discipline.