American Council of Christian Churches
74th Annual Convention, October 20-22, 2015
Reformation Bible Church, Darlington, Maryland
After the fall of his homeland to its Babylonian enemy, Daniel’s generation was called to serve the Lord in a new place and in a new way. God commanded them, “Seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace” (Jer. 29:7). This new challenge confronted Daniel almost immediately with an important choice. Would he remain true to the law of His God or defile himself with the king’s meat? Would he open the windows to pray toward Jerusalem or close them and hide his prayers? Would he give God glory as the Interpreter of dreams or claim some glory for himself? Would he live a life of biblical conviction or one of cowardly confusion?
The answer was clear from the outset: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” He chose conviction over confusion, and God was pleased to bless that choice. The threatening kings were humbled, and Daniel was exalted. His stalwart friends were not hurt by the fires of the furnace. The mouths of the lions were shut. In spite of the hostility of his environment, Daniel’s conviction remained steadfast: “The Lord is my judge.”
Having been preserved by the providence of God for its 74th year of ministry, the American Council of Christian Churches remembers its beginnings as the choice of conviction over confusion. Our preamble explains the determination of our founders: “the constituent denominations forming this Council, do now establish it as an agency, without compromise or evasion, unreservedly dedicated as a witness to ‘the faith once delivered unto the saints.’”
Our doctrinal statement outlines our common conviction as a Council of Christian Churches: “The plenary divine inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and, as the Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life; the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the essential, absolute, eternal deity, and the real and proper, but sinless, humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ; His birth of the Virgin Mary; His substitutionary, expiatory death, in that He gave His life ‘a ransom for many’; His resurrection from among the dead in the same body in which He was crucified, and the second coming of this same Jesus in power and great glory; the total depravity of man through the Fall; salvation, the effect of regeneration by the Spirit and the Word, not by works, but by grace through faith; the everlasting bliss of the saved, and the everlasting suffering of the lost; the real spiritual unity in Christ of all redeemed by His precious blood; and the necessity of maintaining, according to the Word of God, the purity of the Church in doctrine and life.”
Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches, at its annual convention, October 20-22, 2015, at Reformation Bible Church, Darlington, MD, recommits to these same convictions in these days of increasing confusion and unbelief. We gather to encourage one another in this stand, and to call upon our Lord by His mercy for sufficient grace to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). We determine to “keep that which is committed to [our] trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20-21). With the Lord as our judge, we know that His grace will not fail.