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Brethren

The Church of the Brethren is an Anabaptist-Pietist Christian denomination. It originated in 1708 in Schwarzenau, Germany, in the Palatinate. Early leaders included Alexander Mack, Peter Becker, and John Nass.

After enduring persecution for a time, the Brethren migrated to America in three separate groups from 1719 to 1733. In America, they established themselves at Germantown, Pennsylvania, and from there moved south and west along with other pioneers.

Brethren beliefs are commonly found in the statement of faith known as the "Brethren Card."

The Church of the Brethren Formerly Called Dunkers

1. This body of Christians originated early in the eighteenth century the church being a natural outgrowth of the Pietistic movement following the Reformation.

2. Firmly accepts and teaches the fundamental evangelical doctrines of the inspiration of the Bible, the personality of the Holy Spirit, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the sin-pardoning value of his atonement, his resurrection from the tomb, ascension and personal and visible return and the resurrection, both of the just and unjust (John 5:28, 29; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

3. Observes the following New Testament rites: Baptism of penitent believers by trine immersion for the remission of sins (Matt. 28: 19; Acts 2: 38); feet-washing (John 13:1-20; 1 Tim. 5:10); love feast (Luke 22:20; John 13: 4; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Jude 12); communion (Matt. 26: 26-30); the Christian salutation (Rom. 16:16; Acts 20:37); proper appearance in worship (1 Cor. 11:2-16); the anointing for healing in the name of the Lord (James 5:13-18; Mark 6:13); laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14).

These rites are representative of spiritual facts which obtain in the lives of true believers, and as such are essential factors in the development of the Christian life.

4. Emphasizes: daily devotion for the individual,and family worship for the home (Eph. 6: 18-20; Philpp. 4:8, 9); stewardship of time, talents and money (Matt. 25:14-30); taking care of the fatherless, widows, poor, sick and aged (Acts 6:1-7).

 
5. Opposes on Scriptural grounds: War and the taking of human life (Matt. 5:21-26, 43, 44; Rom. 12:19-21; Isa. 53:7-12); violence in personal and industrial controversy (Matt 7: 12; Rom. 13: 8-10); intemperance in all things (Titus 2: 2; Gal, 5: 19-26; Eph. 5: .18); going to law, especially against our Christian brethren (1 Cor. 6:1-9); divorce and remarriage, except for the one Scriptural reason (Matt 19:9); every form of oath (Matt. 5: 33-37; James 5:12); membership in secret oath-bound societies (2 Cor. 6:14-18); games of chance and sinful amusements (1 Thess. 5:22; 1 Pet. 2:11; Rom. 12:17); extravagant and immodest dress (1 Tim. 2:8-10; 1 Peter 3:1-6).

6. Labors earnestly, in harmony with the Great Commission, for the evangelization of the world; for the conversion of men to Jesus Christ; and for the realization of the life of Jesus Christ in every believer (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16; 2 Cor. 3:18).

7. Maintains the New Testament as its only creed, in harmony with which the above brief doctrinal statement is made.



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