American Council of Christian Churches
72nd Annual Convention, October 22–24, 2013
Hardingville Bible Church, Monroeville, New Jersey
“Resolution on the Convention Theme—Divine Authority Challenged”
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). That simple statement that admits no compromise sounded forth in a time of great religious confusion. False prophets abounded and proclaimed most earnestly that the Lord had sent them to deliver His message to the people. Those false prophets, at the behest of those they served, sought their messages from those that consulted with evil spirits. Their message was generally that the prophets who spoke the truth, a message that proved very unpopular, did not deserve any hearing from the people of the land.
But the prophet Isaiah cut through the fog of unbelief and open defiance of the Lord’s Word to warn that there was only one way to tell whether or not any professed prophet was actually speaking for the Lord. The measure would be the issue of total conformity to what was written in Holy Scripture. If a false prophet spoke at any variance from what was written in the law and the testimony, all would know that the false prophet had no spiritual light at all. The people of God would know not to listen to such a man. The trouble was that the people preferred to have the comforting words of those who departed from the Lord’s Word instead of the powerful but convicting ministry of the prophets who declared that which God had revealed. Ultimately, the people suffered under the judgment of God that brought a famine of hearing the words of God (Amos 8:11-12).
Such a prospect is becoming increasingly likely in our own time. The impatience with the sober and steadfast proclamation of the Word of God manifests itself in the refusal to be bound by the commands of that Word. There is, of course, the usual legion of favorite whipping posts for those who profess some allegiance to the Word. But the crisis for Biblical authority strikes much closer to home. It arises in the willingness to temper, if not to abandon, the doctrines and practices of historic separatism. It arises in the willingness to alter the terms on which the commands of Scripture have been received. Some wish to redefine separation strictly in personal terms, ignoring the force of 2 Cor. 6:14-18 that places separation in an ecclesiastical context. It becomes possible, then, to express appreciation for certain practices of personal holiness while continuing in fellowship with some who have compromised the truth of Scripture. Others go farther and reveal their willingness to soften or dismiss the emphasis even on personal holiness.
Those who have inherited the places of those who maintained the authority of the Bible in prior generations profess that they do not see what all the fuss is supposed to mean to them now. Seeking a more comfortable path that will alienate fewer people, they turn from the words that have not changed their force since the day when the Holy Spirit inspired His servants to write them. They construct ministries, instead, on the platform of what works best in their view instead of what God requires.
Since its founding in 1941, the American Council of Christian Churches has refused to join in the fashioning of such paths. Established to proclaim the message of the Word of God against the forces of modernism, the ACCC has called over the years for rock-solid allegiance to the commands of God. It is still following that old path in 2013. But it does so while mourning the spirit of decline that has become more enamored of tangible results than it is with faithfulness to God’s Word.
Therefore, the American Council of Christian Churches, at its annual convention, October 22-24, 2013, at Hardingville Bible Church, Monroeville, NJ, resolves to maintain its devotion to the Scriptures of Truth and to continue to bow in submission to the authority of the Bible. Furthermore, we resolve humbly to pray to the Lord that He would keep us from surrendering to the deception that greater inclusiveness will lead to greater influence. In this time of fascination with that which carries the banner of compromise, we renew our resolve to proclaim the authority of the Bible in its inspiration, its inerrancy, and its infallibility. From the pages of that Book, we hear the voice of God Himself and desire to live in obedience to the clear expression of His will, and to speak according to that Word.