The Order of Eusebeia
The idea behind this Rule is not to attempt to put anything written by fallible man in the place of the scriptures. The holy scriptures are the fully sufficient and authoritative guide in religious matters for Christians (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:20-25). The idea behind this Rule is to help believers achieve a balance in Christian disciplines which are integral to spiritual growth and godly living. This Rule insists on putting the scriptures first, thus the clear limitation to the "promise" one makes below.* The various points of the Rule should be interpreted by and defined within the limitations of the scriptures. Therefore, a few relevant passages will be offered along with the various points of the Rule. Members of The Order of Eusebeia should adapt the particulars of the rule to their understanding of God's written word and to their various circumstances of life.
As a member of The Order of Eusebeia I will strive for Christian perfection and seek Christ's kingdom first (Matthew 5:48; 6:33).
I promise, in so far as I understand the following duties to be biblical and according to the will of God:*
1. To discipline myself in Christian piety and godliness (Matthew 5:3-7:27; 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 6:11; 2 Peter 3:11);
2. To serve others out of love as Jesus did (Matthew 20:25-28; John 13:34; 15:9-12);
- I will pray and engage in acts of Christian devotion daily (Matthew 6:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:12; Luke 18:1; Ephesians 5:19-20; Colossians 3:16; 4:2);
- I will read and study my Bible daily (Matthew 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; Psalm 19; 119);
3. To worship God in spirit and truth (Matthew 4:10; John 4:24);
- I will show compassion and care, as I am able, for the poor, those in hunger, widows, orphans, the sick and those burdened with grief, loneliness and other needs (Matthew 25:31-46; Romans 12:3-20; James 1:27);
- I will support human rights, equality and justice as I am able and will attempt to be a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9; 7:12; Acts 10:34-35; James 2:1-13; 4:1-12);
4. To live a Christian life (1 Thessalonians 4:7; Titus 2:11-12; 1 Peter 1:15-17);
- I will assemble regularly with the saints in corporate worship (Acts 5:42; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2);
- I will commune regularly at the Lord's table in memory of him** (Matthew 26:17-30; Luke 22:14-23; Acts 20:5-7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34);
5. To engage in Christian evangelism and to support Christian missions (Matthew 5;14-16);
- I will strive to live a life of Christian virtue and character (Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Timothy 6:11; James 3:13, 17-18; 2 Peter 1:5-7);
- I will keep myself pure in sexual matters and strive to avoid any form of vice or the works of the flesh (Romans 1:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-11; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; James 3:14-16; 1 Peter 2:1-2);
- I will share the gospel of Christ with others as I have opportunity (1 Corinthians 9:16; 2 Corinthians 5:20);
- I will help with and encourage the preaching of the gospel to the whole world (Matthew 28:19-20).
*Limitation: To some who are accustomed to giving assent to creeds or rules enforced by an authority, the above limitation will seem strange, if not anemic. It is in place for those who come from non-creedal or anti-creedal church backgrounds and/or for those who are fully committed to the principle of sola scriptura for their authority. In writing this limitation, two stories from church history came to my mind. One is the famous statement from Martin Luther in his trial at Worms. When asked to recant his writings, he finally answered: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason . . . my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen." Another comes from an episode in the founder's religious heritage. When Barton W. Stone was asked to give his approval of the Westminster Confession of Faith, he responded: "I do in as far as it agrees with the Bible." The issue was not pressed any further on that occasion and he was approved as a Presbyterian minister.
**The founder's understanding of when the Lord's Supper should be taken is expressed well by Willy Rordorf in his book Sunday (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968), when he wrote, "No Lord's Supper without Sunday, no Sunday without the Lord's Supper." For further discussion of this, see Acts 20:7 and the surrounding context; 1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10; the chapter on "Christian Assemblies," in Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak, Abilene, TX: ACU Press; and the same author, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), especially pages 242-43 and the discussion of the Lord's Supper.
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