The Nature of True Protestantism

The Protestant Reformation was a movement of God whereby godly men earnestly contended for the central truths of the Christian faith against a corrupt gospel and its advocates. The name Protestant originates with German princes who met in 1529 protesting measures contrary to the Word of God. Their motto was “The Word of God abideth forever.” These Protestants believed that the church always has the duty “to protest against sin, error, corruption, tyranny, and every kind of iniquity” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 7:692). They asserted that:

There is no sure preaching or doctrine but that which abides by the Word of God. According to God’s command no other doctrine should be preached. Each text of the holy and divine Scriptures should be elucidated and explained by other texts. This Holy Book is in all things necessary for the Christian; it shines clearly in its own light, and is found to enlighten the darkness. We are determined by God’s grace and aid to abide by God’s Word alone, the holy gospel contained in the biblical books of the Old and New Testaments. This Word alone should be preached, and nothing that is contrary to it. It is the only truth. It is the sure rule of all Christian doctrine and conduct. It can never fail or deceive us (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, p. 889).

One Reformer, John Calvin, said “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”


Scripture details that Christ’s church must expose and oppose false teachers and their teaching because such corrupt believers’ minds (2 Cor 11:3–4). Those who oppose the true gospel do not please God and their efforts harm mankind by preventing the spread of the gospel and thus the salvation of sinners (1 Thess 2:15–16). In addition, they cause disputes rather than godly edification (1 Tim 1:4) and are given to disputing, arguing, envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, and useless wranglings (1 Tim 6:4–5). Their teaching increases ungodliness (2 Tim 2:16), spreads like a cancer (2 Tim 2:17), and overthrows others’ faith (2 Tim 2:18). They are insubordinate, idle talkers, and deceivers (Titus 1:10; 2 John 7) who teach for dishonest gain (Titus 1:11), being of this world and having the spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3, 5).


Scripture says that biblical protesting involves marking and avoiding (Rom 16:17–18), identifying false teachers as Satan’s servants (2 Cor 11:13–15), rendering Scriptural condemnation (Gal 1:18–19), demonstrating how they are enemies of Christ (Phil 3:17–21), shunning them (2 Tim 2:16), and rebuking them sharply (Titus 1:13). Furthermore, Christian churches, ministries, and individuals must not yoke up but come out and be separate from them (2 Cor 6:14, 17; 2 John 11) and have no fellowship with them (Eph 5:11).


Our aim in protesting error must be first and foremost to glorify God by obeying His commands to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) and “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph 5:11). By doing so we protect the church from error (Acts 20:28–30; Rom 16:17–18; 1 Cor 5), preserve the purity of the Christian faith (Jude 3–4), and seek the salvation of souls (1 Thess 2:15–16). Biblical protesting warns of false teachers’ fate so believers will avoid following them to that end (2 Cor 11:13–15; Gal 1:8–9; Phil 3:19). Biblical protesting is essential to persevering in Christ and the true faith (Col 2:8, 16–19).


We, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our fall conference October 20–21, 2017 at Eastside Community Bible Church, in Milford Ohio, wholeheartedly believe in and are committed to the proclamation and defense of the Christian faith. Our love for Christ and his gospel moves us to deplore how much of professed Protestantism has departed into apostasy, away from the faith once delivered to the saints. We lament that too many Christians, churches, and ministries disobey Scripture’s command to contend for the faith. Recognizing that Christ himself hates false teaching, we, his church, must hate it as well (Rev 2:14–16). We therefore commit ourselves to faithful gospel ministry that involves proclaiming the true gospel and earnestly contending for the faith, praying the Lord will help us to glorify him by obeying his commands and thereby accomplish his purposes.

Spring OBF Conference

Prayerfully consider spending time under the preaching of God’s Word and in fellowship with God’s people as the OBF gathers for its Spring Conference in Bucyrus, OH. The Bucyrus Bible Church will host the conference. Dr. Robert Shaw will be speaking to us on the them of “In the Pursuit of Purity.”

An event flyer can be found here.

Friday
2:00 Prayer
2:30   First Business meeting
3:15   Break
4:00 Purity of Purpose,  Dr. Robert Shaw
5:00  Supper
7:00 Purity of Preaching, Dr. Robert Shaw
Saturday
8:30 Prayer
9:00 Business meeting
9:45 Purity of Practice, Ecclesiastically
10:45 Break
11:15 Purity of Practice, Personally

 

2017 Pastors’ Conference

Biblical and historical context remain essential to maintain warm, fervent, and doctrinally correct pastoral ministry. The Pastors’ Conference this coming June will serve to solidify pastoral orientation to Scriptural standards of ministry while examining lives of men God used in past ages to honor His Name. Along with the chapels and sessions, there will be ample time for fellowship, enjoying the camp activities, or just resting! Check out the session themes below and our speaker, Dr. Gerald Priest. Follow this link to register!

Chapel Sessions: “Standing in the Gap”

Monday afternoon: “Be the Man: Stand in the Gap”—the lives of Ezekiel and Daniel

Monday evening 2nd chapel: “Luther’s Courageous Stand for the Truth”

Tuesday evening 2nd chapel: “Christ our Mediator”—Christ stands in the gap of human inability

 

Morning Workshop Sessions: “Your Ministry as a Protestant Pastor (Modeling the ministries of the great Reformers)”

Tuesday morning: Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli

Wednesday morning: John Calvin, and John Knox

Gerald (Jerry) Priest is formerly professor of historical theology at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. His Ph.D. in church history is from Bob Jones University. He has taught at Clearwater Christian College, Piedmont International University, and Bob Jones University. He has conducted classes for pastors in the U.S., the South Pacific, India, Tanzania, and Canada and has led church history tours and spoken at Bible conferences in both the United States and Europe. He served twenty-eight years as a chaplain in the United States Army National Guard, retiring as lieutenant-colonel. Dr. Priest has served as pastor and interim pastor of churches in North Carolina and Michigan. He has written articles for numerous publications and is author of The ABC Memory Verse Program and The Baptist Family Catechism. He has been happily married to Beverly for over fifty-one years. They have two children and six grandchildren, all actively involved in their local church.

Resolution Opposing Physician-Assisted Suicide – 2017 Winter Conference

The following resolution was passed by the members of the OBF on January 14, 2017:

On October 27, 1997 Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act became state law following a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in June 1997 that state bans on physician-assisted suicide were constitutional. The SCOTUS left the decision to state law. Since that time, 991 patients have died in Oregon by taking prescribed, life-ending drugs. Five additional states have legalized physician-assisted suicide: California, Colorado, Montana, Washington, and Vermont.[i]

Christianity Today reported in a December 6, 2016 article that two-thirds of the general populace believe physician-assisted suicide is morally acceptable, including over forty percent of professing evangelicals. Generationally, seventy-seven percent of those 18-24 agreed that, “When a person is facing a painful terminal disease, it is morally acceptable to ask for a physician’s aid in taking his or her own life” (LifeWay survey question).[ii]

Physician-assisted suicide differs from euthanasia by specifying parameters when a physician might prescribe lethal drugs. Also, euthanasia involves  the actual administration of lethal agents while physician-assisted suicide involves providing the agents and necessary information for self-administration. The AMA Code of Medical Ethics, chapter 5, sections 7 and 8, states that both euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are “incompatible with the physician’s role as a healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”[iii] Physician-assisted suicide must not be confused with the choice to withdraw artificial life-sustaining systems. Instead, it is the provision of an outside, lethal agent with the intent of self-murder.

Many  secular and religiously liberal groups argue against physician-assisted suicide on the basis that the physician becomes culpable for taking life. In some instances, these viewpoints will argue that suicide is a legitimate human right if another person does not facilitate the act. This argument ignores the ramifications of the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” and allows man to arbitrarily shape morality. Scripture allows the taking of life for judicial equity in murder cases, war, and self-defense.

Physician-assisted suicide contradicts  several Scriptural pylons. At its root, any immoral taking of life rejects God’s sovereignty as Creator. Because God gives  life, God alone chooses how and when life ends (Hebrews 9:27). Moreover, enabling a man to unjustifiably  end life undermines the doctrine of God’s providential control over all the affairs of men, including suffering. Physician-assisted suicide assumes that man knows what constitutes legitimate suffering and when that suffering is too much for another human being. This directly violates the full scope of the sixth command which “requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life and the life of others” (answer to question 74 of the Baptist Catechism of 1693). Proverbs 24:11-12 instructs wise people to rescue those heading to death and reminds the reader that God watches over the soul and will justly repay. Paul pleads with the Philippian jailer to refrain from taking his own life (Acts 16:28). Furthermore, God says “no one ever yet hated his own flesh” (Ephesians 5:29). As the image-bearer of God, God distinguished man from all other creatures and thereby decreed  the sanctity of human life. God alone chooses when and how man dies (including aforementioned instances of just causes).

Therefore, we, the members and delegates of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting in our Winter Conference on January 13-14, 2017, at Fayette Bible Church in Washington Court House, Ohio, express our whole-hearted acceptance of the biblical teaching regarding the sanctity of human life and thus reject  physician-assisted suicide as unbiblical. We reject the assumption that man knows better than God when to end life and assert that God fulfills His purposes in times of intense suffering. We remain committed to ministering God’s truth to those suffering and desire to see them find eternal peace and comfort through faith in Jesus Christ. We will boldly proclaim the doctrines of Scripture upholding God’s authority over life and death.

[i] CNN article, “Physician-Assisted Suicide Fast Facts”: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/26/us/physician-assisted-suicide-fast-facts/index.html

[ii] Christianity Today article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/december/opposition-to-assisted-suicide-dies-out-lifeway.html

[iii] AMA Code of Ethics, chapter 5: https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/code-of-medical-ethics-chapter-5.pdf

Euthanasia.com – Excellent resource compiling numerous articles organized by a variety of groups (e.g., “Research,” “Physician articles,” etc.)

2017 Winter Conference

Start out 2017 with fellowship, solid instruction, and renewing a burden to point young people to Jesus Christ. Pastor Tony Garren and Fayette Bible Church have put together a full conference with a variety of opportunities. See below for the schedule and accommodation options. We look forward to seeing you there!

2016 OBF Fall Conference

fall-conference

Accommodations

·         America’s Best Value (23 miles from OBC), $103

·         Holiday Inn Express (23 miles from OBC), $141

·         Hampton Inn (23 miles from OBC), $169

·         Ramada (23 miles from OBC), $110

·         Sleep Inn (23 miles from OBC), $127

·         Old Stone Bed & Breakfast, Mesopotamia (6 miles from OBC), $125

·         Red Maple Inn, Burton (13 miles from OBC), $196

obf-fall-2016

Perry Update

Perry background

Check out the full update from the Perry’s here.

Brothers, Pray for Us

Continue steadfastly in prayer.

Missionaries are always asking for prayer. We are no exception: we always ask the churches where we minister to pray for us. We have prayer cards, refrigerator magnets, wrist bands, a website and Facebook page, and this prayer letter to help believers remember to pray for us. And we are not just saying that: we need your prayers! But how should we pray for missionaries?

Pray according to God’s will.

We can pray with confidence when we ask according to God’s will (1 John 5:14–15), and when we pray scriptural prayers, we know we are praying according to God’s will. First, we ask you to pray that God will use every circumstance he ordains in our lives to make us more like Jesus. Romans 8:28–29 says that God works every thing in our lives for our good, and specifically, to conform us to the image of his Son.  So our prayer request is that even more than raising support or traveling safely, we want God to change us to be more like Jesus Christ.

Second, we ask you to pray that God will use us to serve Jesus’ church. We often feel weak and inadequate, but we trust God to use our “watering” efforts to and make his church grow (1 Cor 3:6–7). We know that God delights to use weak vessels because then his power and glory are magnified (2 Cor 4:7).

Third, we ask you to pray that God will open our eyes and hearts to spiritual needs around us. We don’t just want to see the Water of Life flow to the deserts of northern Chile, but also to the thirsty souls around us (John 4:13–14). We want God to enable us to see the people we encounter and talk with as image bearers who need to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:20–21).

Finally, we ask you to pray that God will provide churches and individuals to partner with us. We don’t just desire people or churches who will write checks—we hope they will see us as members of the same team. We want them to realize that what we desire to do in Chile is obeying the same commission that Jesus has given us here!

Please pray for us as we seek to serve these churches over the next month:

2016 Pastors Conference

Mark your calendars for June 27-29 to meet with fellow pastors and laborers in the harvest field for two full days of fellowship and instruction from the Word of God. Dr. Fred Moritz will be our keynote speaker focusing on the theme of “Faithful Shepherding.”

More details will be coming regarding the schedule and specific sessions.

To register, follow this link or mail in the following information…

2016 OBF Pastors’ Conference Registration
Name: _________________________________________________________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________________________________________________________
City: ___________________________________ State: ____________ ZIP: ___________________________________
Phone: ____________________   __ Home __ Cell __ Work
Phone: ____________________   __ Home __ Cell __ Work
E-mail address: _________________________________________________________________________________
Home Church: _________________________________________________________________________________

Attendance
___ I plan to attend the entire conference.
___ I will only be able to attend part-time. (Contact camp registrar for partial camp fee schedule.)

Accommodations
___ Cabin
___ Cabin (up to 8 men)
___ Lakeside Cabin (2-4 men)
___ Staff house with indoor facilities (limited availability)
___ Campsite (bring your own camping unit)
___ Drive-in (no overnight accommodations)

Enclosed
___ Standard: $110
___ $20 deposit on camp fee
___ Entire camp fee

Complete this registration form and mail with camp fee to Camp Registrar.
Patti Perry, Peniel Bible Camp Registrar
103 Parkview Ave.
Westerville, OH 43081

 

2016 Spring Conference

Spring Ohio Bible Fellowship Conference

hosted by Morrow Bible Church

April 8-9, 2016

Dear OBF members and friends,

We are looking forward to the OBF conference next week at Morrow Bible Church. There are some changes to report. Dr. Vaughn will not be able to speak for the conference next week as previously announced. His daughter Becky has developed a health issue that is requiring his care. He sends his regrets for not being able to attend. We are thankful for the others that will be speaking in his place! Note the revised schedule and speakers below.

GFA missionary deputees Jeremy and Caroline Dion had planned to attend the conference, and have agreed to speak. Pastor Dan Greenfield will give an entire session to his report on “Reclaiming ‘The Gospel Ministry’ from the ‘Gospel Centered’ Movement.” We look forward to preaching from Pastors Steve Spence and Charles Flesher.

Also, the church is planning a meal on Friday and child care as several are coming with children. It would be helpful to the church to let me know if you plan to attend for the Friday meal and if any other children are coming.

Plan to come next week for a good time of fellowship and encouragement from God’s Word!

Pastor Stephen Howard

Morrow Bible Church

Revised Schedule

FRIDAY, April 8, 2016

1:30-2:00          Scripture reading and prayer

2:00-3:00          Business meeting

Ladies meeting with Caroline Dion (GFA missionary to PNG)

3:00-3:30          Fellowship

3:30-4:30          Missionary Jeremy Dion (GFA missionary to PNG)

5:00-6:30          Dinner served at Peniel Bible Camp

7:00-8:30          Pastor Steve Spence (Grace Bible Church, Avella PA)

SATURDAY, April 9, 2016

8:30-9:00         Scripture reading and prayer

9:00-10:00       Pastor Dan Greenfield (Orwell Bible Church)

10:00-10:30     Fellowship

10:30-11:30     Business Meeting

Ladies’ activity with Jenny Howard

11:30-12:30     Pastor Charles Flesher (Greencastle Bible Church)

Friday Meal

Dinner will be served by the church at Peniel Bible Camp on Friday evening. Please let Pastor Stephen Howard  know if you plan to come on Friday so that the church can better prepare for the meal (740-501-3666).

Conference Accommodations

Morrow Bible Church is located 2.5 miles southwest of Sparta, Ohio. The church address is 423 County Road 204, Centerburg, Ohio  43011.