The following is a statement of faith approved for circulation by the 1923 Annual Conference, with the understanding that it is not to be considered a creed. [The New Testament is our only creed]. It is commonly called “The Brethren Card.”
The Church of the Brethren
Formerly Called “Dunkers”
1. This body of Christians originated early in the eighteenth century the church being a natural outgrowth of the Pietistic movement following the Reformation.
2. Firmly accepts and teaches the fundamental evangelical doctrines of:
- the inspiration of the Bible,
- the personality of the Holy Spirit,
- the virgin birth,
- the deity of Christ,
- the sin-pardoning value of his atonement,
- his resurrection from the tomb, ascension and personal and visible return and
- the resurrection, both of the just and unjust (John 5:28, 29; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
3. Observes the following New Testament rites:
- Baptism of penitent believers by trine immersion for the remission of sins (Matt. 28: 19; Acts 2:38);
- feet-washing (John 13:1-20; 1 Tim. 5:10);
- love feast (Luke 22:20; John 13: 4; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Jude 12);
- communion (Matt. 26:26-30);
- the Christian salutation (Rom. 16:16; Acts 20:37);
- proper appearance in worship (1 Cor. 11:2-16);
- the anointing for healing in the name of the Lord (James 5:13-18; Mark 6:13);
- laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14).
These rites are representative of spiritual facts which obtain in the lives of true believers, and as such are essential factors in the development of the Christian life.
- daily devotion for the individual, and family worship for the home (Eph. 6: 18-20; Philpp. 4:8, 9);
- stewardship of time, talents and money (Matt. 25:14-30);
- taking care of the fatherless, widows, poor, sick and aged (Acts 6:1-7).
5. Opposes on Scriptural grounds:
- War and the taking of human life (Matt. 5:21-26, 43, 44; Rom. 12:19-21; Isa. 53:7-12);
- violence in personal and industrial controversy (Matt 7: 12; Rom. 13: 8-10);
- intemperance in all things (Titus 2: 2; Gal, 5: 19-26; Eph. 5: .18);
- going to law, especially against our Christian brethren (1 Cor. 6:1-9);
- divorce and remarriage (Matt 19:9);
- every form of oath (Matt. 5: 33-37; James 5:12);
- membership in secret oath-bound societies (2 Cor. 6:14-18);
- games of chance and sinful amusements (1 Thess. 5:22; 1 Peter 2:11; Rom. 12:17);
- extravagant and immodest dress (1 Tim. 2:8-10; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
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 Cor. 3:18).
7. Maintains the New Testament as its only creed, in harmony with which the above brief doctrinal statement is made.