The Bible teaches that believers should enjoy unity with other members of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 4:1-6). This unity is based on our common faith (Eph. 4:5), desire for holiness (1 John 1:6-7), and purpose (Phil. 1:5). The Bible also teaches that believers should be separated to God. This separation is based on a common desire for personal holiness (Titus 2:11-14), for purity within the church (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:6-7, 11-13), and to keep the church from false teaching (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 John 9-11).
The Ohio Bible Fellowship recognizes the need for both unity and separation in its purpose statement. Biblical unity is sought with like-minded churches who are “committed to stated doctrines and practices,” who desire to “advance the gospel” (Matt. 28:19–20), and who are “proclaiming the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim. 4:2). Biblical separation is humbly practiced by “furthering the separatist position for the protection of the Christian faith and the church” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14; 2 John 10–11) and by “warning of contemporary dangers” (Eph. 5:11; Jude 3).
During a time when many shy away from biblical separation, it would be easy to seek unity without it or to minimize its importance. However, this would not be complete obedience to the whole counsel of God. Let us, therefore, resolve to faithfully seek biblical unity with like-minded believers and churches whenever possible and to practice biblical separation when necessary for the purity of the Church and the glory of God.
We the members of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, meeting at Bucyrus Bible Church, Bucyrus, Ohio, and Calvary Baptist Church, Willard, Ohio, on April 14-15, 2023, adopt this resolution.