The overall purpose of Brethren for Biblical Authority is to provide a networking opportunity for like-minded leaders & churches within the Church of the Brethren. The Theological viewpoint for "B4BA" can be seen on the Faith Statement & supporters tab above.

A B4BA goal is to move beyond the distractions & struggles of the denomination and THRIVE, in spite of what's happening in the COB.

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A Tale of Two Churches

A few posts back, at the conclusion of A.C., I made this statement: ”We basically have two different churches that are sharing the same name."  There was nothing tangible about my observation, it was just a gut feeling.

When I got home, my wife told me that she had just been reading, "Portrait of a People," Carl Bowman's 2008 sociological and statistical book about the COB.  She added, "That book basically said what you wrote in that post."  So, I took a look again at Bro. Bowman's book.

Some general findings of his study include that the majority of Brethren don't attend A.C. and that 45% of people in the COB feel the A.C. decisions are "not very important."  Another 42% offer an unclear response saying that A.C. decisions are "fairly important."
Finally, only 10% feel strongly that there should be sanctions for churches that don't comply with A.C. decisions.

Regarding A.C. and the concept of two churches with the same name, Bowman offers the following on pages 32 & 33 of his book:

Frequent A.C. attendees are more likely to:

- impart greater authority to the new Testament than the Old.
- think of God as offering guidance, rather that controlling the events in their lives
- claim "spiritual," "Pietism," and particularly "Anabaptist" as elements of their religious identity.
- say that they seek to be a disciple of Jesus in their daily living.
- believe that Muslims and Christians worship the same God
- thing of Jesus as a nonviolent peacemaker
- believe that all war is sin.

Whereas, Brethren who never attend A.C. are more likely to:

- think of themselves as religious "conservatives."
- say that human nature is basically sinful
- believe that God created humans in their present form at creation
- say that Jesus is "the only way" to God.
- believe that everything in the Bible should be taken literally, word for word
- believe that hell is a real place where humans are eternally punished, and that the devil is a personal being who is active in our world.
- view the Biblical miracles as historical facts
- believe in the "rapture," the Antichrist, and other millenarian tenants.

Even though I regularly attend A.C., the second group certainly represents me more than the first list.  So, Brethren across the nation, if you thought you were in a minority, you are not!