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Member Church Affirmations

ACME promotes biblical principles that link churches across geographic, ethnic, and denominational lines. ACME Churches adhere to the eight following Member Church Affirmations.

Expositional Preaching

We believe that God gives life through his written Word, the Bible. Therefore, we believe that the main diet of weekly teaching in the local church must consist of the live exposition of God’s Word to God’s people—that is, the main preaching event in the life of the church should each week consist of reading, explaining, and applying a portion of the Bible. 

Historic Baptistic Ecclesiology

We are Baptist in our understanding of baptism and polity. This means that we stand with Baptists throughout history in affirming that the Bible teaches that baptism is a personal and public declaration of one’s faith in the Lord Jesus, and therefore its only proper subjects are those who personally and credibly profess faith in him. Likewise, the only proper candidates for membership in a local church are those who have been baptized as believers. 

Reformed Soteriology

We are Reformed in our understanding of salvation. That is, we stand with Christians in the Reformed tradition in affirming that the Bible teaches that God is entirely sovereign in salvation, and at the same time that we as human beings make real choices for which we are morally responsible. We understand that throughout history those who affirm God’s sovereignty in salvation have been accused of neglecting the Bible’s command to make disciples of all nations. However, we are convinced by Scripture and history that far from undermining missionary zeal, a conviction of God’s sovereignty in salvation is the fuel which drives us to proclaim the gospel to the world with unshakable confidence—knowing beyond doubt that God will open doors for gospel proclamation and then open hearts to repent and believe. 

Meaningful Membership & Discipline

We believe that local church membership is a biblical imperative—meaning that it is incumbent upon every Christian to be engaged in a formal, mutually-recognized relationship of accountability and responsibility with a local church. Further, we believe that it is incumbent upon local churches to be clear about precisely who are members of their bodies, and to both shepherd and disciple those members in the faith of the Lord Jesus. We also believe that church discipline includes the correction of sin–it begins privately and sometimes culminates in excommunication, or removal from the Lord’s Table and church membership. 

Elder-Led Congregationalism

We believe that the Bible teaches that the assembled local congregation must hold final earthly authority in church matters. Details and specifics of polity will vary among ACME Churches, but this means at least that the assembled congregation must have formal authority to countermand an unbiblical decision of an elder board. We also believe that a local church should be led by a plurality of male elders/pastors/overseers—recognizing that each is a different name for the same office. We deny that the Bible differentiates between the “gift of pastoring” and the “office of pastoring.” We also deny that women should in any instance take the title "pastor," and (following 1 Timothy 2:12) that women should carry out any obviously pastoral role with regard to the whole church. 

One, Unified Assembly

We believe that a local church is a singular assembly that meets together weekly in one place at one time. While budgetary or building constraints or other extenuating circumstances might temporarily mean a church has multiple services or sites, we deny this to be a biblically-prescribed model of ministry. Rather, we believe that strides should be taken to align with the biblical model of a single church meeting at a single site at a single time. Furthermore, we believe that gathering as the unified assembly is the primary means for Christian discipleship. Practices will vary, but this means at least that we lead church members to prioritize the main gatherings over and above small groups or auxiliary ministries. 

Biblically Oriented Public Worship

We believe that God alone has the right to determine how his people will worship him. Thus, we include in our public worship services only those elements which are commanded by God in Scripture, whether by precept or by right and proper inference from the example of the early church. We preach the Bible, pray the Bible, read the Bible, sing the Bible, and see the Bible (in the ordinances) to show that the Scriptures are sufficient to nourish and sustain the people of God. 

Church-Centered Missions & Evangelism

We believe that the Lord has given good, specific, and sufficient instruction to his church about how the local church is to be organized and how it is to carry out its mission. We believe that faithfulness requires us, as churches, to adhere as closely as we are able to those instructions, regardless of what we may think of their effectiveness or relevance. We deny that any ecclesiological or missiological practice is to be favored “because it works” or “because it produces results” or “because it reverse-engineers a movement.” We seek to follow the King’s commands as given in the Bible.

Faith & Practice

The only statement of faith ACME requires churches to affirm is our Member Church Affirmations. However, the faith and practice of all ACME churches is consistent with the following, evangelical statements.