To understand why our church maintains the unique positions summarized on this page, we invite you to read the page entitled, “Who We Are: A Brief History of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood.”  (PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

How We Are Different From Other Presbyterians:

Bible Presbyterians are a distinct and separate denomination from other Presbyterians.  We are not ashamed to be called Bible-believing fundamentalists.   In general, allowing for limited conscience variations, and as modified by the original Bible Presbyterian General Synod, we hold to the WESTMINSTER STANDARDS (Westminster Confession of Faith, Longer Catechism, Shorter Catechism, Form of Government and Book of Discipline).  The Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, NJ also has the following additional distinctives, not all of which are clearly addressed in the Standards, and some of which differ from other Bible Presbyterians.

1. Eschatology (the doctrine of “last things” or “end times”).  The Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood is “pre-millennial” and “pre-tribulational.” That means we believe that Jesus Christ will literally and bodily return in the clouds to “catch up” (“rapture”) into heaven all true Christians (including raising from the dead all Christians who have previously died) immediately before the literal seven-year period of judgment, which God has promised to send upon the earth.  That period is what the Bible calls the “great tribulation” – hence, we are “pre-tribulational.”  We also believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will then literally and bodily return to earth with the resurrected Christians at the end of the tribulation to set up his millennial (1,000-year) reign on earth – hence, we are “pre-millennial.” Most other Presbyterians are either amillennial (they deny both a literal rapture, and a literal millennium on earth), or they are postmillennial (they believe the world will get better and better with the last 1,000 years being a golden age, after which Christ will return.)  Consistent with our pre-millennial and pre-tribulational position, we also hold that God still has a future plan of blessing for national Israel, distinct from the Church.

2. Missions:  The Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood believes that mission boards should be independent, and not denominationally controlled.  In that way if a mission board or its missionaries ever defect from the faith, the churches are free to withdraw their support.  The two Presbyterian Boards supported by the church are independent. 

3. Separation:  The strong, vibrant, robust Christian life maintains a balance between separation and unity.  The Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood believes in: (a) Ecclesiastical Separation; (b) Ecclesiastical Unity; (c) Practical Separation; and, (d) Practical Unity.

(a) Ecclesiastical Separation means that we do not participate in theological or evangelistic ecumenical events or activities that include Roman Catholic or apostate Protestant denominational leaders or their representatives (II Cor. 6:17-18), even though we may agree with a limited number of positions officially taken by their groups.  For example: on many conservative national, moral and spiritual issues (such as abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research and other bioethical issues), we might arrive at similar conclusions to those held by groups with whom we have no fellowship.  In such cases we consider ourselves to be “co-belligerents” (not allies) with certain conservative-minded individuals and denominations from whom we are ecclesiastically separated, and with whom we could neither have Christian fellowship, nor participate in any “religious” endeavor. In particular, we avoid, reprove, and expose all those pseudo-Christian denominations and cults that deny that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, or who maintain that there are other sources of authority equal to, or greater than, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

(b) Ecclesiastical Unity:  On the other hand, we warmly embrace other Bible-believing fundamentalists, regardless of their denominational labels, who are willing to separate from apostasy, and who believe the fundamentals of the faith, viz. (1) the inerrant, infallible, confluent, verbal, plenary and finished inspiration of the Scripture; (2) the absolute and undiminished Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ; (3) His sinless humanity through the literal Virgin Birth; (4) His genuine, literal and supernatural miracles; (5) His true substitutionary death on the Cross of Calvary for our sins; (6) His literal, bodily resurrection from the dead; and (7) His literal bodily ascension into heaven, from which He will come to judge the living and the dead.  This is most clearly seen in our participation in the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC); and, our refusal to join the neo-evangelical National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), although we recognize that the NAE has many true Christians in its ranks.

(c) Practical Separation is grounded in, flows from, and is impossible apart from, Ecclesiastical Separation (II Cor. 7:1).  This means that we believe Christians should lead holy lives of moral purity, separated from worldly activities that stimulate the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:15-17).  Because certain things clearly defile the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, it has historically been, and continues to be, our strong conviction that the drinking of beverage alcohol, and the use of tobacco in any of its forms is sin.  Any use of pornography is both vile and degrading sin because it not only defiles the body, but the spirit as well.  All forms of immorality condemned in Scripture are also vile sin, and any person claiming to be a Christian who participates in such sin should be excluded from the church until he or she clearly and genuinely repents.  Legitimately prescribed medical use of controlled substances to heal and preserve the body is both proper and good.  However, the abuse of any controlled substance, including the abuse of prescription drugs is sin.  Additionally, we believe that it is a sinful violation of Biblical stewardship to gamble.  Further, a Christian who wishes to please the Lord and not cause others to stumble through lust, inflamed passion, covetousness, anger or pride will dress and groom modestly, humbly, neatly, cleanly, appropriately, in accordance with the commands of Scripture, in deference to the church, and in a way that honors God more than man.  Those who manifest a stubborn will and knowledgeable spirit of rebellion in their clothing, grooming, music, literature and other outward manifestations of the inner man, should be disciplined in love, with the goal of restoration.  However, when such is not possible, the unrepentant sinner should be subject to church discipline and excluded from fellowship.

(d) Practical Unity:  In the same way as Ecclesiastical Unity, our Practical Unity with other Christians seeks to mirror our convictions regarding our desire to lead holy lives that please the Savior.  We are to seek the fellowship of other godly, separated, Bible-believing Christians wherever we are at any given point in time (on vacation, traveling, at home, school or elsewhere), even though they may not bear an identical denominational label.

4. Bible Translations:  We believe that God literally and verbally inspired the text of the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts (including certain passages in Daniel and elsewhere, in Aramaic).  We also believe that God has faithfully and accurately preserved this original text in the Masoretic Text (Old Testament) and the Textus Receptus (New Testament), the “majority text” manuscripts used to translate the King James Version of the Bible.  We therefore believe that the King James Version is the most faithful and accurate translation available in the English language.  We do not believe in “double inspiration” (i.e. – the additional inspiration of the English text) nor do we believe that the King James Version can be used to correct the original language texts.  While others may differ with us on this point, we believe that the proliferation of modern translations, almost all of which are based on the defective eclectic minority text, has damaged the church-at-large by: (1) making the general population of Christians Biblically illiterate, (2) in general, making Christians doctrinally incompetent (by subtly denying true doctrine and promoting false doctrine), (3) diluting the standard of Biblical authority and excellence, (4) reducing Scripture memory and meditation; and, (5) generally manifesting a spirit of commercial greed.  We therefore hold strongly to the King James Version, and use it exclusively in our public worship and in the teaching and training of our children and youth.

5. Creation:  We strongly believe in a literal six-day creation week, (God rested on the seventh day), and a young earth in the range of 6,000 years.  All of the days of the creation week were literal “twenty-four-hour” days in which God created “all that is” out of nothing.  We reject all forms of biological macroevolution, including, but not limited to, theistic evolution, threshold creationism, framework theory, and other compromise positions that deny the clear teaching of the Bible.

6. Worship and Music:  We consistently and consciously seek to maintain a robust, though traditional form of worship and music consistent with our heritage stemming from the Protestant Reformation.  We believe that such worship and music honors God.  We still sing the great hymns of the faith that are doctrinally sound and musically articulate.  Others may choose a different course, but we have specifically and deliberately chosen NOT to employ “Contemporary Christian Music” (CCM) or ”blended worship”.  The services of this church are designed for worship, not for entertainment or to make people “feel good”.  Other contemporary forms of worship are readily available in other churches.  To copy them would merely make us redundant and therefore unnecessary.  It is our conviction that bringing the decadent musical forms of the world into the church fails the test of Practical Separationand is one of the primary causes of spiritual apathy, ecumenical and charismatic seduction, defections from the final authority of Scripture, general compromise and doctrinal deadness in modern “evangelical” churches.

7. Expository Preaching:  Our pastor preaches directly from the text of the Bible, book by book, verse by verse.  He then seeks to explain exactly what the Bible says, and how it applies to practical daily living. 

8. Christian Education:  We strongly support Bible-centered Christian education in its multi-faceted variations ranging from formal Christian Academic Schools and Christian Trade Schools to Christian Home-schooling, and the various cooperative Christian ventures in between.  Not only has government education failed to produce any form of consistent academic excellence, it has actually “dumbed down” multiple generations of children for the past 50 years or more.  As the humanistic approach to education has focused on social engineering rather than on academic achievement, the United States has fallen farther and farther behind its international counterparts.  However, a far more serious indictment against government schools is that they have systematically excluded God, prayer and the Bible, and therefore cannot expect God’s blessing.  As a result, the government schools have become a morass of immorality, illicit drugs, situational ethics, atheism, evolutionary bigotry, and tar pits of anti-Christian, New Age, pseudo-scientific environmental paganism and anti-patriotic one-world thinking.

9. Evangelism:  We believe that the world is lost – dead in trespasses and sins, and heading for a literal, eternal burning hell.  We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in Scripture, is alone able to save men, women, boys and girls from their sins and give them eternal life.  There is no eternal salvation apart from Jesus Christ.  We firmly believe that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)  Therefore, we believe that it is mandatory that every Christian should personally, consistently and habitually witness and “preach the Gospel”, set forth in I Cor. 15:3-4, indiscriminately “to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

10. Charismatic Movement:  We are not “charismatics” as that term is commonly used.  We believe that the so-called “charismatic movement” is in serious error, both in doctrine and practice.  Although God still answers prayer, and supernaturally heals in response to the prayers of the church, the apostolic gifts of “apostle”, “prophet”, “knowledge” (new revelation), “healings”, “miracles”, “tongues” (supernaturally given real human languages), and “interpretation of tongues” (supernatural translation of real human languages), ceased with the completion of the written New Testament.

11. Patriotism:  We are unashamed to be called Americans in a world that has become distinctly hostile to patriotic pride and national sovereignty.  We abhor those individuals and organizations that increasingly seek to crush American independence in favor of a one-world government.  The Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood is proud of its historic stand against communism, socialism, fascism, the United Nations, and all other totalitarian systems and organizations that seek to subjugate the minds, bodies and consciences of men and women to systems that prohibit religious liberty and freedom of worship.

12. Free Market:  Because all of creation rightfully belongs under the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28, Christians should diligently, and with all honesty and fair play, practice what has come to be known as “the Protestant work ethic.”  Biblical economics is based on Christian stewardship, with each believer working at a
morally righteous job to provide for his family, support God’s work through the church, and meet the needs of destitute Christians.  Competition within the context of producing the best goods and the best services, for the best prices, and the right to work without social engineering, welfare intervention, and/or government interference and manipulation, is basic to the Biblical mandate that “if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (II Thess. 3:10)

13. Current Issues:  According to our Lord Jesus Christ, every Christian has the responsibility of being “salt and light” in this world. (Matt. 5:13-16)  We understand this to mean that we should study and understand the current moral and social issues making inroads into our culture, and actively engage our society from a Biblical Worldview in two ways.  First:  We must strive to preserve (the function of “salt”) a national moral environment under Biblically righteous legal standards where the Gospel can flourish, and from which the Gospel can be sent to other parts of the world.  Second:  We must live godly lives of faith – consistently, courageously and without embarrassment – and do Biblically righteous deeds, in the power of the Holy Spirit, that are in contrast to, and that uncover and reveal (the function of “light”) the evil actions and plans of wicked people that are destroying the spiritual and moral fabric of our nation, our churches and our families.

Copyright 2008, 2011, 2013 by Christian S. Spencer
All Rights Reserved.

Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood

What Makes Us Different from Other Presbyterians?

For More Information:

Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood
1115 Haddon Ave.
Collingswood, N.J. 08108

Pastor Christian S. Spencer, Th.M., J.D.

Church Office: (856) 858-7175
Pastor’s Study: (856) 858-1559