Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs
Today’s culture has brought us to a place where we need to clarify some Biblical guidance on certain issues.  Below you will find the answers of what we hold as sincerely held religious beliefs as Christians.
  • You can also read the following which is what the links will refer you to:


United Pentecostal Church International

by United Pentecostal Church International Weldon Spring, Missouri

  • Abortion •

  • Abuse and Sexual • Misconduct

  • Biblical Ideal of Marriage and Family, The

  • Biblical View of Human Sexuality, The

  • Church and State

  • Church Government


Gambling • Gender Distinction • Holiness
Human Life

Sports (organized)

Transcendental Meditation

True Humanity of Jesus Christ, The

Unity of Oneness Believers

  • Church Schools

  • Coming of the Lord, The

  • Computers and the Internet

  • Ethics (ministerial)

  • Restoration of Ministers

  • Revised Standard Version, The

  • Social Media Use

Judicial Procedure: Spirit of Intent

Media Technology

Racial and Ethnic Affirmation


Adopted by the General Conference in 1974



Be it resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International go on record as

being opposed to legalized abortion.


Adopted by the General Conference in 1988

Whereas our world has been wracked for a number of years by the corporate sin of abortion, and

Whereas the United Pentecostal Church International must confront this moral and ethical challenge in our [North] American society, and

Whereas the Holy Bible does provide insight into this climate of sexual permis- siveness prevalent in our generation, and

Whereas the Bible acknowledges God as totally involved in the creation of new life (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:24), and

Whereas the Bible further acknowledges that a woman is with child at conception (Luke 1:31-36), and

Whereas the church of the living God has a responsibility in protecting the rights of the unborn,

Be it therefore resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International go on record as opposing abortion on demand.

Be it further resolved that we voice our opposition to any legislation at provincial, state, or national levels which would bring about a climate designed to undermine the sanctity of human life, further destroying the moral fiber of our society.

Be it further resolved that we give ourselves to earnest prayer during the time of [the revival endeavor called Global] Conquest for an awakening in our NorthAmerican society of moral consciousness concerning this issue.

Be it further resolved that we encourage and help provide for proper biblical solutions to this problem and that we continue to reach out through pastoral counsel- ing, through biblically-based maternity care and adoption ministries, and through biblically-based crisis pregnancy services, to those who have been caught or blighted in any way by the effect or contemplation of abortion.

Be it further resolved that we encourage our ministers, churches and other coun- selors, who assist and counsel those who are faced with unplanned pregnancy situa- tions, to offer a full range of biblically-based alternatives, including maternity care, foster care and adoption, so that more birthmothers will choose life for their babies.

Be it further resolved that we again reaffirm that we want to minister with com– passion to those who may presently suffer the trauma of having had an abortion.


Adopted by the General Board 2009

“General Board declares the third Sunday in January of each year to be Sanctity of Life Sunday and urges all of our churches to join in commencing this year.”


Adopted by the General Board in 2019

The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) opposes all types of abuse and sexual misconduct. The church should do everything within its power to prevent the occurrence or coverup of abuse and exploitation of children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations. When an allegation of abuse is presented, it should be


investigated and considered with both great diligence and discretion, in addition to being referred for investigation and adjudication by appropriate authorities when so directed by the law and/or ethical standards. All church leaders involved in an inves- tigation or hearing must keep confidentiality, but exceptions are to be made when it is appropriate to notify the proper authorities of abuse or sexual assault.

Guiding Philosophy


It is the responsibility of every local church to cultivate a culture of protection, both to prevent abuse and to support victims who have been abused. The UPCI condemns any instance in which a leader uses his or her position of authority in a sexually inappropriate manner. Further, we repudiate the abuse of power by any leader who attempts to silence or marginalize victims or to protect perpetrators of sexual abuse. The local church should have clear procedures governing interactions between leaders and the populations they serve. If these guidelines are violated, local church discipline should be administered. Such forms of church discipline, however, do not negate the fact that sexual abuse and some other forms of abuse are crimes to be investigated and prosecuted in the context of governmental entities. Moreover, certain church leaders and administrators may be required by state or provincial law to report child and/or sexual abuse to the authorities.

The UPCI charges our ministers and our institutions to create a culture in which victims can safely share instances of abuse and receive necessary care and protection throughout the process. We urge all church leaders to implement policies designed to protect against and confront any form of abuse, and to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the abused. We call all ministers to report allegations of sexual or other child abuse immediately to the proper authorities as required by law and/or ethical standards, and to exercise appropriate church discipline upon those who have committed such abuse.

While both victim(s) and perpetrator(s) are created in the image of God, and as such, are His children, the primary responsibility of the church must be to protect and support the victim(s), then attempt to restore the perpetrator(s) spiritually to forgive- ness and right fellowship with God. True repentance for perpetrating abuse requires an acceptance of the consequences of sin, both in the context of governmental entities and in the context of the local church. Through the grace of God, survivor(s) of sexual abuse can forgive their abuser(s), but such forgiveness is not a substitute for justice for the crime of sexual abuse. Forgiveness also does not require victims to have an ongoing relationship with their abuser(s) in order to be in right standing with God or their church.

Sexual Misconduct

• Within the United Pentecostal Church, the term “sexual misconduct” means any behavior not in keeping with biblical guidelines regarding human sexu- ality. This would include, but not be limited to, those behaviors listed in the Position Paper adopted by the General Board in September 2015 titled “The Biblical View of Human Sexuality.”

• Further, sexual misconduct would include acts of sexual harassment which is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidat- ing, hostile, or offensive working environment.

• We encourage all local churches and all districts with employees to adopt a written policy which specifically prohibits sexual harassment. Such a policy




can be adopted by the board of directors and should also (1) contain a pro- cedure for filing complaints of harassment with the employer, (2) encourage victims to report incidents of harassment, (3) assure employees that com- plaints will be investigated promptly, (4) assure employees that they will not suffer retaliation for filing a complaint, (5) discuss the discipline applicable to persons who violate the policy, and (6) assure the confidentiality of all complaints and complainants.

• It is to be understood that for churches, the courts may well treat volunteers as employees for legal purposes, and pastors may be deemed the equivalent of supervisors since they are in a position of authority. All our ministers are encouraged to understand that there are legal as well as moral ramifications for sexual misconduct, even when the conduct may be considered private activity between consenting adults whether or not it rises to the level of adultery.

• Under the UPCI Judicial Procedure, the district must investigate all formal complaints received by it of sexual misconduct against a credentialed minister.

• Under the UPCI General Constitution, if a credentialed minister is found guilty of a sexual offense such as those described in the above-referenced position paper, then his or her credentials must be revoked and cannot be reinstated. If a credentialed minister is found guilty of sexual harassment, appropriate discipline will be enacted by the governing district board depending on the severity of the conduct, up to a lifetime revocation of his or her ministerial credentials.

• The UPCI Employee Manual contains a section on “Sexual and Other Harassment” for the definition, prevention, reporting, and prompt investiga– tion of alleged sexual misconduct on the part of all staff and/or volunteers at UPCI World Headquarters.

• The term “child abuse” is understood to mean any act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emo- tional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm. Such “caretakers” could include any church employee, volunteer, or attendee.

• All UPCI ministers and churches are expected to abide by all federal, state or provincial, and local laws regarding mandatory reporting of abuse of a child, the elderly, the disabled, or other vulnerable populations. They are further expected to cooperate fully with all proper authorities investigating the same.

• All formal complaints of abuse against credentialed ministers must be investigated by the governing district board according to the UPCI Judicial Procedure. A credentialed minister found under the UPCI Judicial Procedure to have engaged in abuse may have his or her ministerial credentials revoked, whether or not he or she is charged with a crime.

• No individual having pled guilty or having been adjudicated guilty by a court of law of sexual abuse of a child shall be granted ministerial creden- tials with the United Pentecostal Church. Any credentialed minister having pled guilty or having been adjudicated guilty by a court of law of sexual abuse of a child will immediately have his or her ministerial credentials permanently revoked.

• The UPCI Global Council Policy and Procedures (which governs churches outside of the United States and Canada) contains a sample Judicial Procedure for every national church “to prevent the occurrence or coverup of abuse and exploitation of children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations.”



Every effort should be made to provide professional counseling to victims of abuse. If the abuse was committed by a credentialed minister, the govern- ing district board is encouraged to fund such as a gesture of compassion, though not as any admission of liability. If the abuse was committed by a non-credentialed member or volunteer of a local congregation, that church is encouraged to pay for the needed counseling.


Governance & Awareness

The UPCI encourages its ministers to stay abreast of evolving issues involv- ing such matters as negligent hiring, negligent supervision, sexual miscon- duct, and child abuse. All congregations are encouraged to cooperate with their individual insurance companies regarding these issues.

The UPCI has a congregational form of church government, which means the local church is self-governing. The UPCI does not own or have an own- ership interest in local churches or their property. The UPCI does not oper- ate or supervise local churches or ministries. The UPCI does not control, and does not have the authority to control, the manner, means, methods, or daily activities by which local churches operate. Local churches and ministers are not subsidiaries, employees, or agents of the UPCI. The local church is responsible for the screening, hiring, supervision, and retention of its minis- ters, employees, and volunteers, and of those of any subsidiaries. The UPCI does not assign ministers to churches or transfer ministers from one church to another and does not have the authority to terminate the employment of a minister by a church. The doctrinal and disciplinary jurisdiction exercised by the UPCI, or available for its exercise, is guided by religious conviction and religious law, not by employment relationships. It is ecclesiastical and not temporal.


Adopted by General Conference in 1990, 2012

Inasmuch as modern society has eroded the biblical ideal of the family and its practical existence, and

Inasmuch as homosexual couples, unmarried heterosexual couples, and even groups of persons simply maintaining a common household are seeking to gain legal and social status as families, with all due rights and privileges given to families, including but not limited to social benefits or rights such as child rearing and custody, spousal or dependent insurance, inheritance rights, and tax exemptions, and

Inasmuch as a growing number of states, with the support of certain national leaders, have attempted to change the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Be it resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) uphold the biblical ideal of the basic family as one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-9; Ephesians 5:22-25, 28), married by law in accordance with all biblical injunctions; and all offspring of such a couple, biological or adopted (Psalm 127:3; Leviticus 14:29; James 1:27); with the extended family being comprised of the various relatives of blood and marriage resulting from the lawful union of a man and woman (Leviticus 25:25, 47-49; Numbers 27:6-11; Judges 18:19; Acts 10:2, 11-14; 16:31-32).

Be it further resolved that the UPCI and its constituent ministers uphold the biblical ideal of the family in doctrine and example, publicly defending the family as the most critical social institution ordained by God, while making all reasonable, practical efforts to resist legal recognition of persons or groups as families when such


persons or groups contradict biblical teaching on morality and the family.
And be it further resolved that the UPCI go on record as actively opposing any
attempt to change the definition of marriage that broadens this sacred institution from


the union of one man and one woman.


Adopted by the General Board, September 2015

Human sexuality was given by God both as a means of human reproduction and as a means to help bond a male and a female in a one-flesh union (Genesis 2:24).Because of its inherent power, God placed restrictions on human sexuality. As such the Bible presents fornication, adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and transgenderism as improper expressions of human sexuality.

The United Pentecostal Church International will continue to uphold by teaching, preaching, and practice the biblical ideal of human sexuality and to stand against all improper expressions of human sexuality, including, but not limited to the following:

Fornication is defined as “sexual intercourse between unmarried people” and often is interpreted as sexual immorality, including all sexual sins. It is a sexual sinclassified by the Bible as a work of the flesh. The Bible records, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness . . . that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). This principle is echoed when the Bible warns, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Further, the Bible notes, “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (I Corinthians 6:13). The Bible states plainly that believers should, “because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own hus- band” (I Corinthians 7:2). During times of temptation the Bible teaches believers, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (I Corinthians 6:18). Finally, the Bible instructs, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (I Thessalonians 4:3).

Adultery is defined as “a married man having sexual relations with anyone other than his wife or a married woman having sexual relations with anyone other than her husband.” God forbade His people to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). Jesus taught, “You shall not commit adultery” (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus gave his approval of the Old Testament commandments against adultery when He quoted the commandment in Luke 18:18-20. Adultery defiles a person (Matthew 15:19-20). God will judge adulterers (Hebrews 13:4). When an individual commits adultery he or she destroys himself or herself (Proverbs 6:32). Unless the adulterer repents and is forgiven by God, he or she shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9).

Polygamy is defined as “marriage that includes more than two people.” Even with numerous examples of polygamy in the Old Testament, monogamy was God’s intent (Genesis 2:22-24). Jesus reinforced and emphasized the original plan in citing Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:3-6.

The practice of polygamy developed first in fallen humanity in the line of the murderer Cain, not the line of Seth, through the murderer Lamech (Genesis 4:23). Wherever instances of polygamy are recorded, we also see sociological disaster that created heartbreak and sowed familial discord, such as in the families of Abraham, Jacob, and David.

Homosexuality is defined as “sexual attraction and behavior between members of the same sex or gender.” God’s Word is very clear regarding homosexual behavior. In the Old Testament, God commanded His people, “You shall not lie with a male, as



with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). In the New Testament, Paul wrote, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men com- mitting what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:26-27). Paul asked: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? . . . Neither fornicators, . . . nor homosexuals . . .” (I Corinthians 6:9).

Bestiality is defined as “cross-species sexual activity between human beings and animals.” The Bible condemns this act for both men and women in four different Old Testament passages: Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23; Leviticus 20:15-16; and Deuteronomy 27:21. This act of perversion was punishable by death to both the human being and the animal. God designed human beings to mate with other human beings, as shown in the creation account when none of the animals were found suit- able for Adam (Genesis 2:20). God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:27), and bestiality diminishes this uniqueness to that of a beast unable to distinguish the differ– ence between right and wrong, natural from unnatural, and love from lust.

Incest is sexual activity between family members or close relatives; it is pro- hibited by Scripture. The first occurrence of incest is recorded in Genesis 19. Lot’s daughters, fearing they would not find husbands, conspired to make their father drink wine and then lie with him to preserve seed of their father. The result was that both of Lot’s daughters were with child by their father. The Bible classifies incest as a wicked thing, noting, “If a man takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his guilt” (Leviticus 20:17). These sentiments can also be found in Leviticus 18:6-18. Ultimately, the Bible warns, “Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother,” and “Cursed is the one who lies with his mother in law” (Deuteronomy 27:22-23).

Transgenderism is defined as “appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or hav– ing undergone surgery to become a member of the opposite sex.” God’s plan for gen- der identification (Genesis 1:26-27) clearly defines differences between maleness and femaleness. God has a specific design for everyone at conception (Psalm 139:13-16).

Gender identification is a biological issue rather than merely self-perception. The fact that some individuals are born with evidence of mutations in their sex- determining genes does not change their value in God’s eyes or His plan any more than someone born with a mutation that causes any other developmental, physical, or emotional problem.

The Genesis account shows God’s intent as heterosexuality, with definite bound– aries between sexes in both appearance and behavior. Men are to act and appear as men; women are to act and appear as women (Deuteronomy 22:5; I Corinthians 6:9).

Attempts to alter gender as in hormonal intervention or sex-reassignment surgery must be seen as a form of bodily mutilation (Leviticus 22:24-25) and an attempt to alter God’s design.

The UPCI and its constituent ministers will continue to uphold the biblical ideal of human sexuality in doctrine and example and publicly defend the beauty of human sexuality as ordained by God and presented in His Word. At the same time the UPCI will continue to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, who did not come into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:7). “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself” (II Corinthians 5:19). Likewise our mission is not condemnation but reconciliation; we implore everyone to be reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:18-20).
*All quoted Bible passages are from the New King James Version.



Adopted by the General Conference in 1984

Inasmuch as there are referendums that are presented in local communities for public vote, and

Inasmuch as these referendums on occasion represent items of a moral and ethi- cal nature, and

Inasmuch as pastors and/or churches have a scriptural obligation and Constitutional protection to speak out publicly about such matters in the printed news media and/ or to offer appropriate support to certain organized efforts designed to influence the outcome of the referendums containing moral issues, and

Inasmuch as some churches who have already done this have been declared in some instances as “political action committees” and thereby have been instructed tofile certain financial disclosure forms or face criminal prosecution, and they are now engaged in legal proceedings to determine the validity of such laws and directives,

Be it therefore resolved that we as an organization reaffirm our position of main– taining that churches and ministers have scriptural precept and Constitutional protec- tion for freedom of speaking on matters of moral and ethical nature.

Be it further resolved that we deny the designation of churches as “political action committees” when voicing opinions on public referendums of moral and ethical con- sequence and that we disapprove of filing financial disclosure forms.

Be it further resolved that we authorize whatever action be taken in support of our opposition to the progressive intrusions into the ministries of churches by govern- mental agencies with these actions being directed by general and executive boards to be sure that they are in harmony with our purpose as a church.


Adopted by the General Board in 2019

The church is the body of believers who are born again, living by faith in Jesus Christ, and pursuing holiness. The term church refers both to the local congregation and to the universal body of believers. (See Matthew 16:18; I Corinthians 1:2.)

The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) does not claim to be equivalent to the body of Christ, but it is part of the universal church and it plants and nurtures local churches. We do not believe someone must belong to the UPCI to be saved or to have a valid ministry, but we have covenanted together to fulfillscriptural teachings of identity, unity, fellowship, worship, evangelism, and disciple- ship. As our name indicates, we are more than a ministerial fellowship; we are an organized part of the New Testament church. All faithful disciples in local churches, both “preachers” and “saints,” are members of the UPCI. (See General Constitution, Article II.) Credentialed ministers vote in district and general conferences, while all members vote in local church business meetings. This pattern is similar to the early church in that the members participated in the selection of seven administrators for church business in Acts 6:2–4, while the elders participated in the decision of the first general council in Acts 15:6.

Biblical Principles

The Bible does not give detailed instructions for church governance. Evidently this is because needs and methods can vary based on time, culture, and circum- stances. Thus, there is considerable liberty in forms of local church government. Nevertheless, the New Testament reveals principles for church structure and organi- zation. Ministers should meet qualifications, be approved by elders, and seek ordina– tion. Believers should belong to local churches, and local churches should be led by



pastors. Each local church should be connected in an international body that main- tains the apostolic doctrine, promotes fellowship and missions, provides account- ability and mutual submission, and recognizes spiritual authority. (See Acts 2:42–47; 14:23; 16:4–5.) When a church implements these principles in its own culture and circumstances, God honors its efforts. In the context of church discipline Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18). He further promised to honor the church’s united prayers and meetings (Matthew 18:19–20). The church and its leaders are not infallible, for no authority is absolute except God’s, but God instituted the principle of church government and uses it to accomplish His purposes.

The specific structures of any local church and general organization are con– structed and administered by fallible humans. This does not mean we can simply disregard them, however. Both are part of God’s plan for His work in this world. Churches have different policies and procedures, and sometimes we change them, so we cannot say a particular one is essential. Nevertheless, they are our attempt to fulfill biblical principles, and thus God expects us to cooperate with them and be account- able to them. We should respect the structure, delegated authority, and decisions of both the local and the general church. For instance, when God calls people to preach, they should first obtain approval from their local pastor and church and then from the general body.

The New Testament pattern is that once a local church grows to maturity, it gov- erns its own affairs with its own pastor or pastors rather than being controlled by an external hierarchy. Although Paul was an apostle and the founding pastor of many churches, when he later dealt with problems in those churches he did not simply issue decrees but appealed to their leaders to address the problems. He asked a coworker in Philippi, probably the senior pastor, to mediate a dispute between two women ministers (Philippians 4:2–3). In a case of incest in the Corinthian church, Paul did not directly excommunicate the sinning member but advised the church on dealing with him (I Corinthians 5:1–5). In the case of a rebellious member who had repented, again he advised the local church, promising that if they forgave the man, he would also (II Corinthians 2:5–11).

At the same time, the local churches were not independent, or completely autono- mous. They received guidance from external leaders such as Paul. They were con- nected to the general body and accepted its general decisions. In Acts 15, the apostles and elders met in Jerusalem to consider the acceptance of Gentiles into the church. The delegates debated, consulted Scripture, sought the leading of the Spirit, achieved consensus, and announced their decision by letter to all local churches. They did not expect any church or pastor to reject the decision or to leave the fellowship but to accept the conference’s action.

In the New Testament we find much evidence of organization and operations beyond the local church. On the general or international level, we find the followingexamples:

• • •

On a • •

Ministerial business conferences (Acts 15:6, 22–29)
Recognized leaders (Galatians 1:18–19; 2:9)
Organized missions, including appointment, oversight, and support of missionaries (Acts 13:1–4; 14:26–17; Romans 15:24; Galatians 2:7–10; Philippians 4:14–19)
Reports to, investigations by, and assistance from leaders (Acts 8:14; 11:1–4, 22; 15:1–4; 21:17–19)
Special offerings (Romans 15:26; I Corinthians 16:1–4)
Regional or district oversight (Titus 1:5)

regional or district level, we find the following examples:
Implementation of ministerial qualifications (I Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9)
Recommendation of ministers, or granting of ministerial credentials



(II Corinthians 8:23; Colossians 4:10; I Thessalonians 5:12–13; III John 12) • Withdrawal of recommendation, or placing ministers under question (II

John 9–11; III John 9–10)
• Ministerial discipline (I Timothy 1:19–20; 5:19–20; II Timothy 2:16–18;

Titus 3:10)
We find at least four levels of authority and responsibility in the general church, although the exact nature, relation, and operation of these levels are not described fully:

• Paul submitted to the general body and reported to its leadership in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–35; 21:18–26).

  • The leaders recognized Paul as apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:6–10).

  • With Paul’s instruction, Titus had responsibility for the island of Crete

(Titus 1:5).
• Pastors ordained by Titus led the local churches in Crete (Titus 1:5).

The Ministry

In the New Testament church everyone is a priest before God (I Peter 2:5–9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10). Through Jesus Christ, our high priest, we approach Goddirectly and confidently in prayer, offering the sacrifices of praise, good works, and sharing (Hebrews 4:15–16; 13:15–16). As priests, we confess sins directly to God in the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus. We can intercede on our own behalf and on behalf of others (I John 1:9; James 5:13–16). Some have compared Old Testament priests to pastors and preachers, but the better comparison for Old Testament priests is to all believers today. Because of the priesthood of all believers, the UPCI is basi- cally congregational in structure rather than hierarchical, with each member having a voice and expected to participate in the worship, life, ministry, and governance of the local church.

Ephesians 4 identifies five types of leaders whom God has called to preach, teach, and lead His church, and the UPCI grants ministerial credentials to these leaders. They are stewards of the gospel and of God’s people (I Thessalonians 2). They are not dictators, but they lead by service and by example (Matthew 20:25–28; I Peter 5:1–5). Today we often call them the “fivefold ministry” or “ministers of the gospel” (Ephesians 3:7). Specifically, the Lord has given to the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the saints, so that all the believers can do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11–12). The word ministry here simply means “service,” and in this sense everyone should have a ministry. When every believer is trained for a place of service and functions accordingly, then the body of Christ will be built up.

The twelve apostles had unique qualifications and a unique foundational role in the early church and were not replaced upon their death (Acts 12; Revelation 21:14), but others also served as apostles in the sense of pioneer missionaries or key regional or ethnic leaders. (See Acts 14:14; Romans 16:7; Galatians 1:19.) Prophets had a special ministry as God’s spokespersons in certain situations to give insight, encouragement, warning, and guidance. (See Acts 13:1.) Some have wrongly used these two titles to assert authority over everyone else, and thus the UPCI does not use these designations as official titles. (See II Corinthians 10:18; 11:13; Revelation 2:2, 20.) Moreover, the recipients of such a ministry must decide how to interpret and apply it. (See Acts 21:10–14.) Those who exercise this type of ministry may or may not serve as organizational leaders, but they are generally recognized as preachers to preachers and leaders of leaders. However, their ministries do not confer the right to bypass or supersede pastoral authority or church government (whether local or gen- eral). For example, Peter and Paul submitted to the leadership of the general body, recognized one another’s roles, and respected local church government. (See Acts 11; 15; 21:17–26; Galatians 2; II Corinthians 2:10; 8:8–12; 9:5.)



An evangelist focuses on proclaiming the gospel to the lost. Today, we often use the term for an itinerant preacher, but the two are not necessarily equivalent. Theword pastor literally means “shepherd.” The pastor is responsible to lead, feed, pro- tect, care for, and grow the local assembly. Finally, we have the teacher, or instructor. While not every teacher is a senior pastor, every pastor must exercise or facilitate the ministry of teaching (Titus 1:9).

God has appointed these leaders to guide and protect us spiritually, and they are accountable to Him to fulfill this responsibility (Hebrews 13:17). We follow leaders as they follow God and teach God’s Word. We should not follow anyone into unethi- cal conduct, sin, or false doctrine. By having godly leaders, we fulfill a principle established by our unchangingLord (Hebrews 13:7–8). We are to recognize our lead- ers and hold them in high regard (I Thessalonians 5:12–13). Their job is to govern, preach, and teach, and we are to give double honor to leaders who serve well, which includes financial support (I Timothy 5:17). This principle of authority applies to all Christians, including leaders, and to the larger fellowship of believers as well as the local church. Even the highest leaders must be accountable to one another and submit to spiritual authority in the body of Christ.

The New Testament uses three Greek terms for those who lead the local church: poimēn, pastor or shepherd; episkopos, bishop or overseer; and presbyteros, presbyter or elder. Believers in a city met in multiple locations but were all described as part of the church of that city. Each church had multiple elders or bishops (e.g., Acts 20:17; Philippians 1:1). We can regard them as the pastoral team of a large church or pastors of individual house churches in a city (e.g., Romans 16:3–5; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1). It appears that each house church had a senior elder or lead pastor (e.g., Philippians 4:3; Colossians 1:7; Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18). According to Paul, the elders (presbyteros) are to shepherd/pastor (poimainō) the church and to serve as overseers/bishops (episkopos) of the flock (Acts 20:17, 28). Similarly, according to Peter, the elders (presbyteros) are to both shepherd/pastor (poimainō) and oversee (episkopeō) the flock, under the Chief Pastor/Shepherd (archipoimēn) (I Peter 5:1– 4). Of the three biblical terms, the UPCI has chosen the title of pastor as its primary designation, because other denominations have historically used bishop for hierarchi- cal (episcopal) church government and elder for presbyterian church government, whereas the UPCI is basically congregational.

In the second century, the term bishop came to be used for the senior pastor of the mother church of a city or region. Similarly, today we sometimes use this title unof- ficially for an organizational leader or a minister who leads other ministers. When a senior pastor retires from primary service in a church, we may call him a bishop, signifying advisory pastor or honorary pastor. Some pastors and churches refer to a founding pastor or another former long-term pastor as their bishop, meaning spiritual leader. These additional uses of the term bishop are accepted as these leaders have a type of oversight. At the same time, in New Testament congregations the elders were simultaneously pastors and bishops (e.g., Titus 1:5–9). The senior leader who has the foremost spiritual and operational authority in the local church can be consid- ered both a pastor and a bishop. The first title speaks primarily of responsibility; the second title speaks primarily of authority. The minister who has the ultimate respon- sibility of shepherding (leading and feeding) the flock should have the corresponding authority as overseer. While pastors should be accountable to spiritual leaders beyond the local church (e.g., Acts 16:4–5), no one should seek to override the authority and responsibility of the senior pastor in the local church.

Because the term bishop has hierarchal connotations today, it could cause confu- sion if not explained properly. In the UPCI, local churches may use various titlesfor their leaders, including pastor, assistant pastor, and bishop. In official UPCI terminology the leader who exercises senior spiritual and administrative authority is designated as the pastor (senior pastor or lead pastor) and should be listed as such in



the Church Directory. The UPCI also uses the term presbyter with the special mean- ing of sectional leaders (“district presbyters”) and district superintendents (“general presbyters”).

Some leaders who assist pastors are called deacons, from the Greek diakonos, meaning “servant, minister.” (See Romans 16:1–2; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:8–13.) This office possibly originated in Acts 6, when the apostles asked the congregation to select seven men who could assist them in the business and practical affairs of the church, specifically the distribution of food to widows. This duty probably involved the collection of food and finances as well. In today’s terminology, church board members, department heads, and other lay leaders could fill the function of deacons.


The UPCI has an optional status for local churches called “affiliation,” which is a procedural safeguard for maintaining church identity. When church members vote to affiliate, they choose to have UPCI identity, a UPCI pastor, and a form of government compatible with the UPCI. For a church to disaffiliate, it must conduct a vote of the members and allow district officials to represent the UPCI in the meeting. Affiliation does not replace the need for incorporation or bylaws, although a church may use the UPCI Local Church Government as its bylaws. Affiliation does not place a church under UPCI ownership or control or make it liable for any UPCI obligations, as an affiliated church remains its own distinct, self-governing legal entity. A church that is not officially affiliated is still part of the UPCI as long as it has a UPCI pastor. When church members vote to disaffiliate, they delegate to the pastor the sole authority to determine the church’s future relationship with the UPCI; at any time he or she may terminate its fellowship with the UPCI without notice or vote.


• The UPCI seeks to implement biblical principles for the structure and opera- tions of the church. In doing so it recognizes that there is considerable diver- sity, liberty, and flexibility in both local and general church government.

• Each local church is self-governing. Its form of government should provide for both pastoral leadership and membership participation. The UPCI does not advocate authoritarian control, control by an external hierarchy, gover- nance by members without pastoral oversight, or a hierarchical network for established churches. (See General Constitution, Article XVIII, and see the Local Church Government in the UPCI Manual.)

Each local church is connected to the general body for identity, fellowship, accountability, and cooperation. Based on New Testament examples, the UPCI is an international organization and fellowship of ministers, churches, and local members formed to promote world missions, coordinate efforts, and uphold ministerial qualifications. As stated by the General Constitution, Article I, “The purpose of the United Pentecostal Church International is to carry the whole gospel to the whole world by the whole church; to establish an effective organized effort; to encourage the opening and establishing of new works; to evangelize the world by every means possible; and to produce and maintain a clean ministry and fellowship.”


Adopted by the General Conference in 1983

Inasmuch as the United Pentecostal Church International is a worldwide orga- nization of more than 9,000 local assemblies existing to propagate the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and



Inasmuch as this proclamation includes the discipling of constituents and the training of children, and

[Inasmuch as it is] furthermore our firm conviction that this training of children can be extended to their proper education within a Christian environment, and

Whereas it is within our rights as citizens of these United States [of America] to consider our parochial Christian schools an extension of our local church ministry, and Whereas there are areas of these United States [of America] where this freedom of choice concerning the education of our children is being assailed and denied by

certain states within this union,
Be it resolved that this 59th General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church

International go on record as upholding this basic liberty of a local church to provide for its constituents a private parochial school without interference from any external authority with reference to its curriculum or teachers.

Furthermore, we go on record as opposing an effort by any governmental agency to impede this right; we dedicate ourselves this day as a unified body to protect, stand with, pray for, and lend assistance in all practical ways to any assembly whose right as described herein has been violated.

We further reiterate that inasmuch as our educational concepts are rooted in scrip- tural Judeo-Christian principles that it is not incumbent upon our schools to accept any curriculum imposed upon them by the education proponents of secular humanism that would violate these principles.


Adopted by the General Board in 2005

In this increasingly post-denominational world, there is decreasing emphasis on doctrinal teaching. In such a climate, mention of the coming of the Lord is often absent from songs, teaching, and preaching. Even in the Oneness Pentecostal church, there has sometimes been a de-emphasis on this important doctrine, leading to apathy and in some cases acceptance of erroneous teaching. One false teaching, generally termed preterism, alleges that the coming of the Lord was fulfilled in the first cen– tury. Preterists teach that most if not all of the scriptural prophecies of the coming of the Lord addressed judgment upon the Jews, which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70.

While the UPCI allows diversity in views regarding the timing of the coming of the Lord, particularly with reference to the Tribulation, the expectation of the soon return of the Lord is integral to our identity as a movement. In fact, the modern Pentecostal movement was reborn at the beginning of the twentieth century, out of the anticipation that the Lord wanted to prepare His bride for His soon return. We believe that when the New Testament speaks of the “soon” return of the Lord, it gives the promise to assure the church of its future hope. Paul expressed this anticipation, for although he expected martyrdom, he promised that a crown was not merely wait- ing for him alone but for all those who love His appearing. (See II Timothy 4:8.)

We reject preterist notions that the prophecies of Revelation 4-19 were fulfilled prior to a.d. 70, that Satan is bound, and that we are now living during the thousand years described in Revelation 20. As Oneness Pentecostals, we believe New Testament prophecies of the return of Christ are literal, still to be fulfilled. Further, while Israel has been blinded in part, there will come a time when they will be grafted in again (Romans 11:17-26). We look forward to a time when the church will reign with Christ in the Millennium, a time when Christ will reign supreme and will restore peace on the earth.

The early church universally believed the prophecies of Revelation and the promise of the return of Christ to be future and not past. It was the medieval church that formally did away with a futurist reading of the Book of Revelation and taught that the church was living in the Millennium. As Oneness Pentecostals, we reject


any new “revelation” which suggests that the consistent teaching of the ancient and modern Oneness Pentecostal church is in error and that the medieval teaching is in fact correct. We are looking for the catching away of the saints, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, the establishing of Christ’s millennial kingdom, and ultimately the institution of the new heaven, the new earth, and the New Jerusalem.



Adopted by the General Board in 1998

One of the new technologies that have been introduced to society in recent years is known as the Internet. This innovation literally brings the entire spectrum of informa- tion available in the world into any computer screen. While much of this information is wholesome and useful, a great amount is lewd, pornographic, or dangerous. In addition, the Internet provides a forum for direct interpersonal relationships via “chat rooms” and “e-mail.” Many people have been unwittingly snared into corruption by participating in these forums.

The UPCI recognizes that the widespread use of the Internet among our people in the workplace and in the home may not be reversed. At the same time, the very real dangers presented must not be ignored. We, therefore, submit the following guide- lines to monitor the access and use of the Internet:

1. Placement of the computer. Any computer used for Internet access should be located in an area of the home that is used by the entire family. This discour- ages the wrong use by the operator because he or she knows that others will have knowledge of all sites visited on the Internet and what files or pictures aredownloaded.

2. Blocking software. A number of programs may now be purchased which prevent vulgar or sexually explicit material from appearing on the computer screen. We urge our people to protect themselves and their families by placing one or more of these programs on each computer used for Internet access.

3. Shared passwords. Unauthorized or unsupervised use of a computer by a minor or a person who is not a family member may be easily stopped by passwords. It is also possible for two people to compose the password with each knowing only a part, thus insuring that two are required to access or unlock a program or Internet site.

4. Log of visited sites. Nearly all Internet browsers include a function that records all sites a user accesses. This log may be reviewed at any time. We recommend that all users be apprised of this feature and a regular evaluation of sites visited be made.

5. Time-consuming. The interactive nature of the Internet lures many users into spending inordinate amounts of time exploring it. Not only does it waste time, it is addictive as well. We urge our people to exercise great caution and restraint in their use of this medium.

The word that best enables us to regulate the use of the Internet is accountability. Anyone who makes use of this technology ought to recognize the insidious nature of the Internet, and that it especially affects users who access the sites secretly or without the knowledge of others. There are few other areas where the biblical principle of accountability means more than Internet usage. We believe that every effort to estab- lish and maintain accountability is vital to our people who are involved in the Internet.




Adopted by the General Conference in 1964

My Code of Ethics

(Not laws to govern but principles to guide)

Striving to be a good minister of the Lord Jesus Christ,
I will constantly prepare myself in body, mind, and spirit.
I will safeguard the good name of the ministry; [I will] speak the truth in love,

live honestly, and avoid embarrassing debts.
I will hold as sacred all confidences shared with me.
I will exercise the authority of a spiritual leader rather than that of a dictator.
I will seek to minister rather than to be ministered unto, placing service above

salary and personal recognition, and the unity and welfare of the church above my own personal welfare.

I will seek to lead my church to accept its full responsibility for community and world service.

I will seek to build my church without discrediting other churches, soliciting members therefrom, or casting reflection on other ministers.

I will not compete with another minister for a call to a pastorate in an unethical manner.

I will, with my resignation, sever my pastoral relations with any former parish- ioner and will not make pastoral contacts in the field of another pastor without his or her knowledge and consent.

I will not accept the pastorate of a United Pentecostal Church unless I am in accord with the Articles of Faith and Constitution of the general church body.

Having accepted a pastorate, I will not use my influence to alienate the church or any portion thereof from the fellowship or support of the United Pentecostal Church International. If my convictions change, I will be honorable enough to withdraw.


Adopted by the General Board in 1994

Inasmuch as gambling is one of the greatest blights of our society and is an encroachment upon every segment of life, it becomes necessary for the General Board of the United Pentecostal Church International to address the issue of gambling.

The following is a position paper from the highest board of our church addressing this moral fungus that eats at the very core and fabric of our society.

Gambling has been defined as “to bet on an uncertain outcome, to stake some– thing on a contingency, playing the game of chance for stakes.”

There are those who do not feel the Bible clearly speaks out against this malady. Our consensus is that the Bible speaks to the gambling issue as it does to all the issues of life. The moral ideals of the Bible and the Bible’s insistence on obedience to the will of God are crucial for our examination and assessment of any issue involving human behavior, including the issues of gambling. Biblical faith with its emphasis on loyalty to God and its call to a life of trust tolerates no bowing of the knee to luck and no dependence on chance. Gambling appears to offer something for nothing when in reality it is nothing for something.

The first clear and direct reference to gambling occurs in Isaiah 65:11: “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.” The prophet’s protest was against those Israelites who trusted in the false gods of chance rather than in the living God.

Matthew 27:35 states they cast lots, or threw dice, for our Lord’s garments. Could it be that one of the last things our Lord beheld during His cross experience was gamblers at Golgotha.



James 5:1-6 speaks of rich men who defraud the less fortunate for their personal gain.

Proverbs 23:4-5 is also a strong indictment. It reads, “Labour not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

I Corinthians 6:8-10 teaches us contentment. Gambling, lottery, casinos create a spirit of covetousness which opposes the plain teaching of the Scriptures. Jesus further underscored this in Luke 12:15 when He warned, “Beware of covetousness.”

I Corinthians 10:21 declares you cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and eat at the devil’s table. Is a gambling table anything less than that of Satan?

Gambling violates the biblical principles of stewardship with regard to property, money, and its appropriate use. The Bible blesses the use of money or property which are in accord with the intention of God. Thus, money may be used to provide for our basic needs (II Thessalonians 3:10), support of one’s family (I Timothy 5:8), to contribute to the Lord’s work (I Corinthians 16:1-3), to meet human need (Ephesians 4:28, II Corinthians 9:6-15), to give to the poor (John 13:29), and to pay taxes (Matthew 22:21, Romans 13:7). Such conscientious handling of one’s resources precludes gambling. Giving to a game of chance with the blessings of God is not mentioned anywhere in the Holy Writ.

Gambling is greed and exploitation of others. It ignores the command to love our neighbor. We are enjoined to abstain from all appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22), to hate what is evil (Romans 12:9). The actions of the individual Christian are to be disciplined toward the moral and spiritual welfare of others (Romans 14:13- 21). Our influence as Christians is to be exerted in a positive, aggressive, and godly fashion for the building of a Christian influence in the community.

Gambling contributes nothing to the common good. It undermines values, mocks work, finances crime, robs children, enslaves its addicts, subverts government, and poisons whatever it touches. Biblical insights lead us to reject the false promise of gambling and to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.

There are those who state that the activity of gambling is no more than any other activity of life that involves risk. They will mention the purchasing of stock. They will mention the purchasing of property that may decline in value, insurance, or other investments. They say that since the outcome is unpredictable, loss can occur. This, they proclaim, is the same as gambling.

L. M. Starkey, Jr. made the following helpful observation: “Life does have its normal risk which one must accept with faith and courage. These normal risks are inno sense equivalent to the risk in a game of chance. Gambling devises artificial risks in the hope of excessive gain far beyond what the investment of time, money, or skill would justify. In gambling, the chance is unrelated to any creative effort called for by the farmer or stock broker in the responsible investment of mental, monetary, and physical funds.”

It has been well-stated that gambling is recognized as any activity in which wealth changes hands, mainly on the basis of chance and with risk to the gambler. Creative effort, useful skills, and responsible investments are not integral factors.

The General Board of the United Pentecostal Church International, on behalf of our constituency, does firmly affirm its conviction that gambling is both un-biblical and morally wrong. Politicians may tell us that it is the way to raise revenue for the needs of education, roads, etc. If something is morally wrong it cannot possibly be politically right.

Gambling is wrong because it is addictive. Gambling is wrong because it is not consistent with the scriptural work ethic. Gambling is wrong because it ignores valid stewardship. Gambling is wrong because it involves monetary gain to the hurt and suffering of the less fortunate.

In the light of biblical revelation, we cannot sit idly by while this plague rips our nation apart. Neutrality is impossible. There are certain responsibilities to speak


out. We cannot ignore them. We urge those who want to live in harmony with the Almighty and whose lives are dedicated to His pleasure to refrain from any form of gambling. We call upon our people everywhere to do all within their power to dis- courage the legalization of gambling.



Adopted by the General Board 2014

Swiftly changing cultural expectations have created pressures to compromise many biblical principles, but it is vital for the church to continue to firmly and faith– fully embrace and teach scriptural truths. Regardless of cultural changes or pressures, Bible principles should always be the final authority in governing how we reflect the gender distinction with which God has blessed us as individuals.

Gender distinction is of utmost importance to God because it relates to His most pre- cious creation and the object of His love: the people He created. We should celebrate the distinction and differences God made within the genders, which complement and complete us as His unique created beings, made in His image and after His likeness.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them “ (Genesis 1:27).

“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man “ (Genesis 2:22).

God first made a man and from that man He made a woman. This foundational truth is important at least three primary reasons:

1. A basic aspect of His beloved creation is their unique gender roles, rights, and responsibilities. The Scriptures outline the important roles that men and women have and how they relate in a harmonious family unit.

2. The procreative power of the human race depends on the union of those of the opposite sex: male and female. Gender identification then becomes central to the definition of the family, which in turn is the core of any healthy society. Jesus reaffirms this truth in Matthew 19:4-6 and furthermore regards it as the motivation to begin a marriage and family. To blend, confuse, or distort proper gender roles is to bring confusion to the heart of human society.

3. A social group or society that begins to blur clear gender representations also tends toward unhealthy sexual practices and follows a downward digression away from God and His fundamental plan for humankind. This degradation leads to the disintegration of the most basic roles of men and women (Romans 1:24-28).

In the beginning the enemy of humanity, in the form of a serpent, advanced his agenda of the destruction of God’s people and their paradise. Eve’s deception and Adam’s disobedience led to the complete loss of their innocence and paradise. In response to their shame and nakedness, the first man and woman clothed themselves, albeit improperly. The Lord graciously intervened. He mercifully covered and clothed them, forever answering the question of God’s involvement and interest in the apparel that men and women wear. In their fallen condition, they needed clothes to cover them, and they needed God’s guidance for proper clothing choices. In short, clothing mattered to God then, and it still matters to Him today. The Lord provides parameters and principles concerning our clothing: modesty, costliness , and distinc- tiveness (I Timothy 2:9; Deuteronomy 22:5) .

Gender Distinctions: The Mandate

Men and women are to maintain a visibility in their gender distinction. God cre- ated men and women to fulfill unique roles and to illustrate those roles in specificways. The Lord utilizes two primary symbols that provide a clear visible distinction between male and female: hair and clothing.

1. Hair. Paul wrote of definite distinctions between men and women in I



Corinthians 11 as is reflected by their hair: long, uncut hair for women and short hair for men. Paul affirmed the order of creation in Genesis (vs. 3, 8-9) and wrote that “even nature” innately teaches us this truth: “Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (I Corinthians 11:13-15).

2. Clothing. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, nei- ther shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5).

Attire should be distinctive to one’s own sex. Scripture is clear that God requires a definite distinction between the sexes. In virtually every ethnic group there is clothing that is perceived to be feminine and clothing that is perceived to be masculine. While the modern age has exerted tremendous pressures of influence upon basic gender dis– tinctions in dress, God has clearly stated that to fail to maintain distinction between the genders is an abomination to Him. An abomination is an extreme term that relates to a variety of evil practices and is something that is detestable and abhorrent to God.

God emphasized the distinction between men and women in the New Testament when Paul wrote that effeminate men would not inherit the kingdom of God. The obvious deduction is that God expects women to be feminine and men to be mascu- line, not effeminate.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

Gender Distinctions: The Application

Since God desires and expects humankind to maintain a distinction between the sexes, how are we to reflect that distinction?

First, our hair should reflect our gender. I Corinthians 11:5-6 teaches that it is a dishonor and a shame for a woman to cut her hair, but it is glory for her to keep her long hair, which is a gift from God to cover her (I Corinthians 11:15). Men should cut their hair and keep it short (I Corinthians 11:14).

Second, our attire should be distinctive to our gender and not reflective of the dress of the opposite sex.

Deuteronomy 22:5 defines in the strictest of terms God’s distaste and abhorrence of cross-dressing and the blurring of clear male and female distinctions. Men are to strive to be masculine in all they do, including their choices of clothing. Women are to strive to be feminine in their behavior and attire as well. God abhors the confusing of femininity and masculinity between the sexes. It is an abomination to God, wheth- er it is a man wearing feminine clothing or a woman wearing masculine clothing.

Reason would dictate there must be a clear application of biblical truth or truth ulti- mately becomes lost. How does a conscientious child of God apply this strong passage of God’s Word concerning clothing? For centuries the male-only garment has been pants in the majority of culture groups, particularly in Western society. The woman has distinguished herself from the man regardless of activity by wearing a skirt or dress, which she has accomplished with feminine grace and beauty. For example, when North American society began to change this norm, it was not out of a desire to further fulfill God’s commands for distinction, but rather for women’s perceived convenience and equivalence to men. When women began wearing pants it was seen as a violation of social norms and values that distinguished men and women. Whatever culture does, our aim is God’s pleasure. We want to please God and represent our gender clearly and practically. Therefore, in the modern Western culture, our men wear pants and do not wear skirts or dresses. Our women wear skirts or dresses and do not wear pants.

God’s people are given the redemptive responsibility to reflect the values of God

208 HOLINESS 2020 POSITION PAPERS and exemplify to an unsaved society God’s perfect will. May we, as God’s people,


ever be vigilant to fulfill this privileged and high calling (I Peter 2:9).


Adopted by the General Board in 1977

“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). Webster’s Dictionary defines holiness as “the quality or state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity.”

Since the Lord actually commands His people to become holy because He is holy, the question arises: How does a sinful person receive the holiness of God in order to become as holy as God?

In the Old Testament, God imputed His holiness to the priesthood, commanding them to engrave the words “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” upon a plate of pure gold and to place it upon the “forefront of the mitre” (Exodus 28:36-37). This sign of imputed holiness allowed the priest to come into the presence of God without dying.

Holiness in the New Testament Dispensation

II Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The word new is translated from a Greek word that means “sanctified,” carrying the meaning that the person become a spiritual creation of God.

This new creation is accomplished by the new birth of water and the Spirit as described in John 3:5-6: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Thus in the New Testament, man’s holiness is God’s character inborn into his or her nature by the infilling presence of the Spirit of God.

The birth of the Spirit makes a person a new creature. His old life is exterminated, obliterated, and buried; the power of sin in the flesh is destroyed. In the Old Testament, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” was written across the priest’s mitre; in the New Testament, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” is written on the heart of the “new creature.”

The baptism of the Spirit makes God’s love a blessed reality to the soul, out of which come hope and peace and joy and all other foretastes of heaven. His coming into the heart brings such disclosures of the divine nature, such revelations of mercy and grace, and such exhibitions of infinite affections that the heart feels itself sur– rounded and bathed in the love of God.

Holiness Demonstrated and Typified in the Personal Life

Old Testament Separation

Holiness is not only an inward presence of God, but it is also reflected in the outward life of the Christian in his or her conduct in this world. Holiness was a demand placed upon the Israelites that had to do with almost every act of their daily performance. For example, an Israelite could not sow different seeds in his vineyard, for to do so was an act of defilement against Almighty God. (See Deuteronomy 22:9-11.) This command reminded the Israelites that they were different from other people in the world.

The principle of separation unto God was almost a continuous experience for the Israelites: in their working, dressing, eating, and fellowship, they were not to mix with the heathen or to indulge in the customs of heathenistic nations. This command from God was for the purpose of holiness: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

New Testament Teaching

The New Testament is clear and certain about the necessity of holiness. The apos-



tle Paul wrote, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication” (I Thessalonians 4:3). A Christian who commits an act of fornication or adultery loses his or her sanctification. Thus Paul explained that every Christian “should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence,” which means unbridled sexual desires. It is the Holy Spirit within a human heart that gives a person the assistance he or she needs in restraining the forces of lust.

Another thing taught in this passage is that Christians are to be honest in matters of busi- ness and daily duties. Christians are so to practice the highest ideals of principle in monetary matters and social relationships that they will not be a reproach to God or the church.

Holiness in the Character of Man

Scripture references:
(I Samuel 16, 17; Philippians 4:1-9; Romans 12:1-2)

Inward and Outward Holiness

Jesus spoke of the need of both inward and outward holiness when he scourged the scribes and Pharisees: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess” (Matthew 23:25).

The apostle Paul wrote, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1). This verse reveals the importance of both inner and outward holiness before God.

The apostle Peter also wrote of the need for inner sanctification: “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:4). This is the “inner parts” of holiness about which David wrote in Psalm 51:6; it refers to the real person (motives and secretive thoughts) that nobody else sees.

Jesus taught that evil and goodness both emerge from the heart, which is the center of a person’s life. Concerning evil, He said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wicked- ness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23). Thus true holiness is not possible without an inner sanctification of the heart by the Holy Spirit.

Holiness and Modesty

One area of outward holiness is the matter of modesty. Modesty is not confined to dress alone. It also includes conversation and manners. The Bible teaches us, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).

The apostle Peter admonished wives about both their behavior and appearance: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:1-4).

The Word of God teaches a distinction between the dress of a woman and a man: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5). The word abomination used by God in this verse indicates that this rule will not change through all generations. Christian men are not to wear women’s clothing, and Christian women are not to wear men’s clothing.




Holiness and Make-Up

The prophet Jeremiah condemned the actions of Israel by describing the nation as a lewd woman: “And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life” (Jeremiah 4:30).

Today’s Western society reveals a desire for a synthetic appearance; dye for the hair, paint for the face, mascara and liner for the eyes, and other forms of make-upcreate artificiality rather than reality. These practices of using make-up are not new, for Queen Jezebel, whose very image speaks of rebellion and opposition to all that is godly and Christ-like, used facial paint and other make-up in her vanity to attract the attention of men: “And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out a window” (II Kings 9:30).

The prophet Ezekiel wrote along the same lines: “And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with orna- ments” (Ezekiel 23:40).

The New Testament also addresses this matter: “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (I Timothy 2:8-9).

Holiness and Jewelry

The Scriptures teach us that the wearing of ornamental jewelry and expensive, showy clothing is not in harmony with the Christian lifestyle. Paul wrote, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (I Timothy 2:9). Peter’s writings agree: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” (I Peter 3:3).

Holiness and Separation

The apostle John described the harlot in Revelation by her attire: “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication” (Revelation 17:4).

We are entrusted with living in a world made by God but into which mankind’s sinfulness has brought corruption to economic, political, religious, and social institu- tions. As pilgrims and strangers looking for a city whose builder and maker is God, the people of God are not to follow the fads and fashions of this world. On the contrary, they are to maintain holiness in their personal lifestyle even in a wicked and perverted generation. The Bible tells us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:15-16).

There is some good achieved in bodily exercise while participating in some physical games and activities, but it must be done in a godly atmosphere. For example, the evils associated with competitive sports prohibits Christians from participating in this area.

Separation from worldliness also involves the length of hair for men and women. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for


that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman is of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (I Corinthians 11:1-15).

It is very evident that spirituality and holiness are deeply entwined together. The Scriptures teach that carnality is enmity toward God. The use of media must therefore be carefully considered so that we do not take the beautiful truths of God unto areas that will contribute to the downfall of a child of God.

Holiness and Morality


Holiness and Television Programs

The use of television in the home has become a serious concern to parents, teachers, sociologists, politicians, and religious leaders. Statistically, evidence indicates that the increase in violence, sexual immorality, and destruction of the family is in part caused by the display of these evils on television. We must strive always for a spiritual posi- tion in our living, and wisely, the United Pentecostal Church International has warned its members of the evils displayed on television programs and admonished them not to have television sets in their homes for the sake of their spiritual welfare.

The Bible teaches us that people are saved out of all kinds of sinful backgrounds, but they are not to continue to practice these sins after they become Christians: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abus- ers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revil- ers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

In this verse, the permissive, promiscuous, degenerative sins are clearly outlined as transgressions of the past life of Christians. The born-again person has been washed, sanctified, and justified, and no longer commits fornication, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, and all other sins.

We oppose the drinking of alcoholic beverages, either moderately or otherwise. Moreover, since the homosexual lifestyle is condemned in the Bible, we teach and preach against this sin just as we do other sins. Furthermore, the practice of abort- ing life is a serious violation of the sanctity of life, and the church therefore cannot condone the abortion of children.

Holiness and Physical Education

We are not opposed to physical education; we do not disqualify the possible good of physical exercise. However, since scriptural modesty is commanded in I Timothy 2:9, we stand against unduly exposing the body in public as an impor- tant matter to our Christian conscience. And since modesty in dress is taught and practiced in our churches, we cannot approve the integrating of male and female in physical education classes in which scanty clothing, on the gymnasium floor or in the swimming pool or in an outdoor stadium, is required.

When religious freedom is part of the Constitution of the United States and our people do their best to fulfill a scriptural role in behavior, we cannot accept the



authoritarian declaration from the federal government program called Title IX that places our moral and scriptural conscience in jeopardy. We therefore strongly advise our pastors, ministers, educators, leaders, members of local churches, and all related believers either to request their children be excused from the physical education pro– gram in the school or to insist that their children be allowed to wear modest clothing when participating in the activities in the physical education program. This important position of Christian behavior will help to staunch the flow of nudity, perversion, degeneracy, and immodesty that threatens not only the nation but also the spiritual life of the church.

Note: In accordance with the action of the General Board on October 10, 1995, this position paper on holiness has been condensed.


Adopted by the General Conference in 1977

Inasmuch as some segments of liberal Christianity have expressed a willingness to accept the so-called “gay rights” movement as a legitimate lifestyle, and

Whereas the inerrant, inspired Word of God emphatically declares, in Romans chapter 1, homosexuality to be vile, unclean, unnatural, unseemly, and an abomina- tion in the sight of God, and

Whereas the United Pentecostal Church International is a fundamental Bible- believing organism entrusted with a divine destiny to provide spiritual direction to a wayward world,

Let us therefore resolve that the United Pentecostal Church International go on public record as absolutely opposed to homosexuality and condemn it as a moral decadence and sin, and do hereby encourage prayer for the deliverance of those enslaved by that satanic snare.


Adopted by the General Board in 2014

Humanity was created in and exists as the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Humans were created to live eternally, though death entered the race as a result of the sin condition, which resulted from the Fall. (See Genesis 2:17; 3:3; Romans 5:12.) Accordingly, death is the ultimate and common foe of humanity. The redemptive work of Christ conquered death and brings hope of eternal life. The ultimate victory over sin will be the final abolishment of death. (See II Timothy 1:10; I Corinthians 15:26, 54-55; Revelation 21:4.) Since God is the giver of life, and since Jesus Christ came to redeem life, Christians are to be champions of life. (See Matthew 16:18; John 1:4; 10:10; I John 1:1-2; Genesis 2:7.) As Christians our highest allegiance is to God and to His kingdom. We are called to live a life that adheres to Kingdom principles, and these sometimes transcend the morality of our society and restrain us from fully engaging in things allowed by the laws of our secular governments.

We condemn the elective taking of human life whether by murder, abortion, infan- ticide, or euthanasia. Although there are circumstances that may require difficult choices in order to save the life of a pregnant woman, we wholeheartedly condemn elective abortions. (See Position Paper on Abortion.) And while there is no obligation to use artificial means to prolong the life of one who is terminally ill, we do not object to such measures so long as they are aiding in natural processes and are compassion- ate measures that minimize suffering. However, we wholeheartedly disapprove of assisted suicide, euthanasia, or any elective procedures intended to terminate a life prematurely.

In situations of self-defense and defense of the innocent and helpless, we urge restraint. The goal should be to use the minimal force necessary to stop the aggressor



without the intention of causing death.
While many view capital punishment as divinely ordained justice, we recognize

that a diversity of opinions exists in our movement. We urge that opinions be rooted in justice, not revenge.

We recognize a state’s right and obligation to maintain law and order, to mete out justice, and to protect its citizens from aggression. Human government is ultimately derived from God (Romans 13:1-4), and God requires justice. We urge those who serve as officers of the peace to carry out their duties on behalf of society with respect for life and to exercise restraint when the use of force is required.

We further recognize that due to sin and the hardness of people’s hearts, war may be necessary, and circumstances may lead Christians to conclude that a particular war is just. The world community must band together to defend against unprovoked acts of aggression, genocide, and slaughter of innocents. However, due to the complexity of the political process and countless details that are unavailable to the public, the true motivations and reasons for war are often concealed from soldiers on all sides. Accordingly, military personnel are often placed in a position to take human life based on reasons unknowable to them or even reasons that do not promote justice. This potentially places Christians in the armed services in the precarious predicament of following an order for which there may not be moral justification to take human life on the behalf of a human government. With the spread of Christianity around the world, Christian soldiers on all sides could be in the tragic position of taking the lives of other Christians. We recognize there are diverse opinions on these matters among our constituents, and we also recognize a strong tradition of conscientious objection that has been part of the Oneness Pentecostal movement. While we support this tra- dition, we urge those who believe it is consistent with their Christian conviction to serve in the armed services to do so only after thoughtful and prayerful reflection, to carry out their duties with respect for life, to exercise restraint when the use of force is required, and to comply with all pertinent laws, at the same time recognizing that the laws of God transcend the laws of secular governments.


Adopted by the General Board in 1992

From the inception of the judicial procedure, neither the General Board nor the General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church International intended for the judicial procedure to supersede the Word of God. It was always the intent that griev- ances, complaints, charges, and other matters brought against a minister be handled with the utmost integrity and discretion within the bounds of the Bible. The judicial procedure is not intended to be the stream but merely the channel through which posi- tive spiritual scriptural flow can be given to negative situations.

In both the older version of the judicial procedure as embodied in the 1989 Manual and the current version embodied in the 1992 Manual, provisions are made for the resolu- tion of grievances before they erupt into complaints and charges. All parties are enjoined to follow the mandates of Matthew 18:15-16: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”

The 1989 Manual, Article II, Section 2 stated: “In the event the differences are not resolved in the above suggested manner, the two or three witnesses should consult with the District Superintendent and give him an opportunity to settle the matter.” It is quite apparent that the District Superintendent has always been enjoined to settle matters before they are locked into a full judicial procedure.

The 1992 Judicial Procedure further states: “This Judicial Procedure seeks a simple means of resolving ministerial problems in an orderly and Christian atmo-



sphere without regard to any legal training. No person should attempt to use its provisions to evade guilt or to bend its authority to create confusion. We are further enjoined by this Procedure, “since the Bible instructs us to resolve ministerial and church problems within the church (I Corinthians 6:1-8), the United Pentecostal Church International does not approve of any minister in this organization resorting to the civil courts to seek resolutions of conflicts that arise with the structure of the organization.”

The 1992 Judicial Procedure, Article V, Section 1, plainly states: “The District Superintendent is encouraged to communicate and counsel privately with the minister about whom any question has surfaced in an attempt to resolve the problem.” It fully empowers the District Superintendent to try to resolve a matter before further action is taken.

The Judicial Procedure was never intended to supersede the obligations of the min- istry as found in Article VII, Section 7 of our General Constitution. There are numerous challenges in this article that are left to arbitration by the District Superintendent or the District Board, such as the holding of a meeting in a town or community where there is an affiliated church or pastor, the starting of a new work in a specific area, the moving of a church from an existing location to a different neighborhood, and the accepting of an invitation to minister in a church that is held in question. It would appear from these that there is a spirit of brotherhood that would transcend any judicial procedure that should be adhered to by all parties involved. The District Superintendent or his designee does have the right to counsel with, assist, and even make preliminary judg- ment in obvious cases. Why would a District Superintendent want to subject a brother to the trauma of a full investigation and trial when it is obvious at the outset that there is insufficient evidence? One of the main criteria should be, “What would Jesus Christ do in this case?” Jesus individually told the woman caught in adultery, “Go, and sin no more.” The strictures of the judicial structure must not take precedent over a District Superintendent or any official or any brother who is seeking to amicably before God settle a matter in the fear and love of the Lord.

This concern is redemptive in nature and protective of the rights and privileges of all persons accused of violations as well as those who file complaints in compliance with the judicial procedure.

Any effort to justify the guilty or to condemn the innocent is viewed with abhor- rence. In view of these facts, we urge all officials involved in the judicial procedure to utilize any means proper and just to both protect the rights of the innocent and bring about the just judgment of the guilty.

The purpose of this position paper is to allow an amicable and mutually agreed settlement of any and all disagreements, complaints, and/or charges without initiation or furtherance of any judicial process. It is not intended to circumvent, obstruct, or deny any minister due process by judicial action.


Adopted by the General Conference in 2013

Our elders took an important, principled, and correct stand against the evils of television in 1954 when they adopted the fourth paragraph on holiness in our Articles of Faith in response to the invention of television and other changes in society. It fol- lows that we need to enunciate the principles upon which our elders acted and apply them in light of technological changes and more complex choices today. Specifically traditional television is now merging with other technologies that we have accepted, such as computers, online media, satellite and cable deliveries, media players, smart phones, tablets, and game consoles.

Therefore we must give appropriate guidance to a new generation of believers with regard to all use of communications technology in language that is understand- able and meaningful to them so we can continue to uphold our position on holiness of



life and holiness in the use of all communications technology. In view of the nature of media and our movement, we must be careful not to signal any compromise of belief or lifestyle.

The United Pentecostal Church International accepts only the Bible and the Holy Spirit as its guides to determine the correct standards of conduct in this world, and it recognizes the responsibility to apply biblical principles in a changing world. Neither the Bible nor the United Pentecostal Church International teaches that salvation can be earned by good works, but both contend that holiness in behavior results from a trans- forming experience of the Holy Ghost, and is therefore incumbent upon each Christian. The church has an obligation to establish standards of conduct when necessary, but it refuses to make rules for every aspect of daily living. Each Christian is responsible to God to maintain holiness in his or her life, for God alone is the judge, but the church is also responsible to teach biblical standards of holiness. Holiness as a spiritual expe- rience and a way of life is not an option for a Christian, but a biblical injunction (II Corinthians 7:1; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:14-16; I John 2:15-16; Ephesians 5:11).

It is very evident that spirituality and holiness are deeply entwined together. The Scriptures teach that carnality is enmity toward God. The use of media must therefore be carefully considered so that we do not take the beautiful truths of God unto areas that will contribute to the downfall of a child of God. The influence of sinful media programming is so grave and damaging to Christian living that conscience demands it be battled in a principled way. The biblical safeguard against rapid cultural or tech- nological change is to build upon timeless principles. Scripture elegantly solves the proper management of media technology with a single verse: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eye…” (Psalm 101:3). A consistent and principled position on media programming does not constitute a threat to our core stand on issues of sepa- ration from the world, but only strengthens our position by casting in principle the manner in which we are already solving this issue in practice.

Historic guidelines regarding television and video were written in light of the tech- nology of the 1950s and 1980s, demonstrating a common desire for the homes of our families to be sanctuaries governed by Godly principles. In today’s world, we apply these guidelines as follows. We recognize that similar content is available through mediums such as computers, online media, media players, tablets, smart phones, and game consoles. What we have traditionally called television is merging with other devices that are commonly used. Therefore in these cases and with all other communi- cations technology, we teach responsible use that is strictly in accord with wholesome Christian principles. As new media appear in the marketplace, the Christian must not accept their usage without evaluation of their impact on his or her spiritual walk with God. We are to “walk circumspectly [looking around us], not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).


Adopted by the General Board in 2008

Inasmuch as we are commanded to make disciples of every nation, and

Inasmuch as the Scriptures declare that “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), and

Inasmuch as the stated mission of the United Pentecostal Church International is to take the “Whole Gospel to The Whole World”

We earnestly contend that the following is true: the United Pentecostal Church International practices and teaches racial equality and our fundamental conviction isthat the “Whole Gospel” is to be preached to “every creature.”

In support of this earnest contention, we submit the following:
1. The Word of God assures us that racial and cultural differences have no bearing




on an individual’s worth to God. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Romans 10:12).

2. Racial prejudice, bigotry, and/or discrimination are inconsistent with the truth of the Gospel. These do not represent God’s design for the Apostolic church and must be boldly and lovingly confronted and universally denounced as unrighteous living, in the same manner as was declared by the apostle Paul when he observed Peter’s behavior toward the Gentiles. “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14).

3. No person should be denied entry or membership, nor discouraged from attending churches or schools on the grounds of race, color, or ethnicity where there is a pastor licensed with the United Pentecostal Church International. “God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35).

4. The use of racial slurs and other negative pejoratives used to describe people of a different race, color, or ethnicity is not conversation becoming of a Christian and undermines the holiness message and testimony of the United Pentecostal Church International. “But now ye also put off all these … filthy communication out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

5. Because acts of racial prejudice are a sin against both our brother and the body of Christ, we declare such behavior worthy of correction and rebuke. These things are to be observed without partiality. “But if ye show partiality, ye com- mit sin” (James 2:9 NKJV) and “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” (1 Timothy 5:20-21).

6. Because we are a body of Apostolic believers, the United Pentecostal Church International must continue to take deliberate, intentional steps toward inclu- sion in all areas of the fellowship and at all levels of the organization. We recognize that the need for inclusion is a basic human need that must not be ignored so that unity and harmony can be maintained as we see the numbers of disciples of diverse ethnic backgrounds being added to the church.

7. The United Pentecostal Church International is committed to making sure that it operates in harmony with its true passion and purpose by attempting within all reasonableness to ensure inclusion of all special events and other non- elected functions to reflect the unity and diversity of the United Pentecostal Church International.

8. As the largest and leading Apostolic holiness movement in the world, the United Pentecostal Church International is dedicated to overcoming any appearance of racism within the church by making a deliberate effort toward inclusion and a firm open stand against racial bigotry and segregation. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).

9. Finally we declare that as children of God it is not enough to avoid evil. We must proactively take advantage of every opportunity to do what is right espe- cially to those who are of the house hold of faith. (See 1 John 3:10, Galatians 6:9-10, James 4:17.) To do otherwise is sin.


Adopted by the General Conference in 1990

From the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem, the Bible traces God’s plan to restore fallen man to Himself. The focus of the plan is Jesus Christ, who as Godmanifest in flesh was the substitutionary sacrifice that opened the door to forgiveness, justification, regeneration, sanctification, and reconciliation. “To wit, that God was in



Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Corinthians 5:19).
The parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son illustrate that God wants to restore to Himself that which was lost by man’s sin. All three parables emphasize
the recovery of something lost, and while they may merely reflect God’s desire to save lost humanity, they may equally reveal God’s desire to restore backsliddenChristians. This is especially true in the parable of the lost son, who left home, lived sinfully, repented, and returned to ask forgiveness and to be a servant. Of course, the father restored him to be his son, illustrating that restored backsliders have the same

status as before they backslid.
John wrote, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And

if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1-2). In this passage, he stated that the same “propitiation” takes away the sins committed by both Christians and sinners who are coming to God for the first time.

John also wrote that Christians are to pray that a brother who sins be forgiven: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” Since Jesus said that there was only one sin that cannot be forgiven, the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:28-29), almost all fallen Christians can be restored.

Galatians 6:1 specifically instructs “spiritual” Christians to restore brethren who have been “overtaken in a fault.” Prayer, perhaps the first and most important step in restoring a fallen brother, should be followed by other steps to help the fallen person regain his standing with God and the church.

In I Corinthians 5:1-13, Paul addressed a problem in the church that concerned a brother who committed fornication with his father’s wife. Apparently the church did not condemn the sin or remove the sinning brother from the church membership. Therefore Paul reproved them harshly and instructed them to “deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh . . . [to] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump . . . [and] not to company with fornicators: yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world . . . But now have I written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” The church was to sever its relationship with the brother who fell into the sin of fornication.

The question arises: Should a fornicator be restored to the church if he or she repents? It appears that Paul’s stern rebuke caused the church to shun the fornicator even after he or she repented. Thus Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth instructed the church to restore the repentant fornicator to the church as a fellow Christian: “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him” (II Corinthians 2:6-8).

Jesus told us that the forgiveness of our trespasses depends upon our forgiving others their trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15). The Bible admonishes us to be kind “one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Only in a climate of kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness can restoration be accomplished; a harsh, judgmental climate acts contrary to the love and mercy of God.

The Bible clearly teaches that every Christian who fails God, except those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, can be restored to salvation (Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:28-29). Restoration therefore includes both laypeople and ministers, even if they commit fornication, fall prey to greed, become a drunkard, lose self-control, or



turn to the worship of idols. Moreover, all who are restored become free from con- demnation before God and should be welcomed and trusted by the church.

The Bible is not so clear about restoring a person to a place of leadership in the church. Although the word restore indicates a return to the original position, favor, and acceptance, its use in Galatians 6:1 deals with the restoration to salvation and not with a restoration to a position in the church. To use this verse to teach more than a restoration to salvation extends it beyond its scriptural context.

Restoration of a fallen minister to his or her ministry finds at best weak support in the Old Testament. It is true that King David was restored to God after his sin with Bathsheba, including both adultery and murder, and that he was not removed from his role as king of the nation. But the position of king is not a type of the New Testament ministry, which is patterned more after the priests and the prophets. Although David prophesied and wrote prophetic Scripture after his restoration, even his psalm of repentance, David was not recognized as a prophet as was Nathan. He did not occupy the office of a prophet. In other words, during his life, David was known as a king, not as a prophet. Perhaps his prophetic writings can be compared with the spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12 and 14, but it is doubtful that his life can serve as a type for the New Testament ministry.

One looks in vain for a prophet who backslid and was restored to his office or a priest who became corrupt and was restored to his priesthood. While some restora- tion of these religious leaders may have occurred, the Old Testament is silent on the restoration of prophets and priests.

The same silence prevails in the New Testament, for there is no example of a minister who backslid away from God and the church being restored to his or her ministry. This does not mean that ministers did not fail, for all the disciples failed Jesus in some way during the time of His trial and crucifixion. John Mark left the mission field apparently because of a character flaw, and Peter showed prejudice against the Gentiles in order to appease Jewish Christians.

At the time of the Crucifixion, the failure of two disciples stands out, Judas’ betrayal of Christ and Peter’s denial of Him. To both of these men, Jesus appar- ently offered the opportunity to be restored, but only Peter found restoration. Judas tried to undo his deed and, having failed, he committed suicide. On the other hand, Peter wept bitter tears of sorrow and regret over his sin and was restored to God’s favor and even to his apostleship. The restoration of Peter is the nearest example of a restored minister in the New Testament, but the example is not perfect since the sin and restoration predate the Day of Pentecost, the birth date of the church.

What can we infer from the silence of the Bible on the subject of restoring minis- ters? At least three answers are possible: (1) The silence indicates that ministers are to be restored to salvation in the same manner as other backsliders, and this restoration means to their ministry in the church. (2) The silence indicates that restoration of a fallen minister to the ministry is not possible. (3) The silence indicates that God has delegated authority to the church to set the limits and develop the process of restor- ing fallen ministers to the ministry. The United Pentecostal Church International has followed the third interpretation.

Several questions confront an organization in deciding who can be restored to the ministry: (1) Can a minister who commits a sexual sin such as fornication and adultery be restored to the ministry? In other words, are sexual sins so different from other sins that they forever disqualify a person from being restored to the ministry? Further, if a sexual sin committed by a minister forever disqualifies him or her from the ministry, does committing a sexual sin disqualify a sinner from becoming a min– ister? (2) Are all sexual sins to be treated the same? (3) Can a minister who commits a serious violent sin such as murder or attempted murder be restored to the ministry? (4) Can a minister who commits a serious crime against society be restored to the



ministry? (5) Can a minister who turns from the faith to a false religion such as idola- try be restored to the ministry?

The New Testament lists several qualifications for ministers in I Timothy 3:1-7; 6:11, II Timothy 2:22-25, Titus 1:5-9, and various other places. These biblical qualifications serve as guidelines for issuing licenses and restoring a fallen minister to the ministry. Moreover, New Testament ministers serve as examples for us to follow. One minister, Demas, who forsook Paul and returned to worldly pursuits, serves as a warning against loving this present world. With these qualifications and examples, and with the guidance of the Holy Ghost, a church governing body can establish qualifications for the ministry and set limits and procedure for restoring fallen preach– ers to the ministry.

One of the qualifications for the office of bishop is that he “must have a good report of them which are without” (I Timothy 3:7), indicating the importance of the reputation of a minister. The committee noted that according to Proverbs 6:32-33 adultery brings a reproach that can never be erased: “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”

If a comparison of I Timothy 3:7 and Proverbs 6:32-33 is interpreted to disqualify a fallen minister from being restored to the ministry, the same interpretation would also exclude any person who commits adultery before entering the ministry, even if the sin is committed before salvation. To interpret the phrase in I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God,” to mean that the reproach of adultery is removed by the blood of Jesus when a person comes into the church but the same blood cannot cleanse the reproach of a Christian who commits adultery fails to correctly interpret the verse. While the new convert begins a new life with his or her sins washed away, it is equally true that a Christian who sins and repents also has his or her sins washed away.

In the United Pentecostal Church International, restoration of a fallen minister is limited to those who do not commit sexual sins: “Any minister affiliated with ourorganization proven guilty of adultery or fornication, or committing any other immor- al offense shall forfeit his or her papers immediately. . . . Such minister shall never be qualified for reinstatement into the ministry of the United Pentecostal Church International” (Article VII, Section 9, Paragraphs 2-3, UPCI Manual).

A fallen minister may be used in his or her local church under the direction of the pastor. Although he or she may never again hold ministerial credentials, he or she can feel restored not only to God but also to an active role in the church.

All ministers should extend a hand of mercy, compassion, and love in an effort to restore fallen ministers. We are to restore them not with harsh judgment but in a spirit of meekness and love, taking heed that we will not fail God ourselves. This is the admonition of the Bible.

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. But if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:1-10).



Adopted by the General Conference in 1953

Inasmuch as the United Pentecostal Church International believes in the inspira- tion of the holy Scriptures, given to us by holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and

[Inasmuch as] we believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God given to us by divine authority,

We hereby declare our position regarding the new translation of the Bible in modern speech known as the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted by the National Council of Churches in America:

Whereas upon examining the Revised Standard Version of the Bible we find [that] many [passages concerning] the fundamentals of our Christian faith and doctrine have been changed and are very misleading, namely, the virgin birth of Christ, remission of sins as taught in the New Testament, the deity of Christ, and other truths, and

Whereas a majority of the committee of translators themselves, according to their associations, connections and records, are [shown] to be modernist and liberal schol- ars who do not believe or embrace the revealed truths of God’s holy Word, including the plan of God’s salvation, . . .

Be it therefore resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International declare its disapproval of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Be it further resolved that we continue to accept the King James Version of the Bible as the most accurate translation of the Scriptures to be used in our churches and among our people.


Adopted by the General Board in 2017

The UPCI is committed to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world by the whole church. Christians, and particularly ministers of the gospel, must demonstrate Christian love, respect, kindness, gentleness, peace, mercy, fairness, and authenticity. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
Social media presents the church with new and unique opportunities to spread the gospel, connect with and edify family and friends, and engage in public discourse. As with most technology, the potential also exists for damage to our Christian character, witness, and influence. James warned of the evil potential of the tongue, the oldest tool for transmitting thoughts between minds (James 3:1–12). Social media platforms are merely extensions of this powerful member of our body, and due to their impersonal nature, they can bring out the worst in us. As with every other aspect of our lives, our communication—both what we allow to enter our own eyes and ears and what we transmit to others—should be governed and guided by the Word of God. Christian communications should be different from non-Christian communications, especially the communication expressed by ministers. (See I Timothy 3:1–13; 4:12; II Timothy 2:24–26.)

The UPCI encourages all ministers to consider that the tone and language of all communications, including social media, should reflect Christian decorum, civility, and integrity. Moreover, one should never assume anonymity, privacy, or confidentiality of anything posted on social media. Because any post can easily bereposted, in whole or in part, to an open forum, posts to social media hold the potential to damage our public Christian witness. For this reason and in light of biblical principles, posts made to any social forum should not be demeaning, defamatory, divisive, or derogatory. Nor should they contain gossip, ethnic slurs, coarse language, or other such communication. The apostle Paul clearly asserted that communication



becoming to saints does not include “filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4).
Additionally, although spirited discussions and dialogue can bring greater understanding of varying beliefs and convictions, our ministers should be careful not to contend for their own beliefs in ways that bring disunity to the body or slander or insult others. We encourage our ministers to address disagreements and grievances in a biblical fashion. (See Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:1, 5; II Thessalonians 3:14-15.). In light of the divisive social and political climate of our society we must be careful that our social media communication is not spoiled by “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8), by the tone and context of what we communicate.

Social media is often used to propagate unconfirmed, erroneous, or fabricated information. Such information should not be shared or forwarded as if it were verified and accurate. Even when sharing true information, one should consider whether it is constructive and edifying. We should convey love and respect for all through our communications since every human is created in the image of God and because Jesus’ sacrifice was offered for everyone without exception. Paul highlighted the value of clear, pleasant, and redemptive speech (Colossians 4:2–6). Additionally, a commitment to truth spoken in love separates those in the church from those in the world. (See I John 2:24; 4:1–3, 15.)

We stand out as witnesses to God’s transforming power in an evil world by living righteous lives, which includes portraying such on social media and everywhere else. (See I John 1:8–2:6, 28–29; 3:2–10.) Paul described believers as living epistles “known and read of all men” (II Corinthians 3:1–3). Jesus also taught that our good works should cause people to glorify God (Matthew 5:16). Presenting our lives to others through social media gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the blessed life made available through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything that we say and do should be characterized by love for the world Jesus came to save. (See John 3:15–17.) In conclusion, Proverbs 15:1–3 gives sound advice that should inform our contributions on social media: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” This passage of Scripture teaches us the following principles that apply to social media:

  • Respond with a soft answer. We should not allow ourselves to be provoked and respond harshly to others.

  • Grievous words bring anger. We should not use harsh or incendiary words to provoke others or escalate anger.

  • Wisely use knowledge. We should wisely use our words to proclaim the gospel and to influence others for good.

  • Folly pours out of foolish people. We will be identified by what we say or post.

• The eyes of the Lord are watching. God holds us responsible for what and how we communicate.

The UPCI encourages our ministers to communicate in light of and in submission to these sound biblical principles.






Adopted by the General Board and presented to the General Conference in the form of
a recommendation
in 1984

Whereas organized sports as the world knows it has an attitude and appearance that oppose Pentecostal principles, teachings, and standards, and

Whereas the General Board has carefully and prayerfully considered the matter of organized sports and the effects it could have upon our churches, and

Whereas we would be entering into an area that could adversely affect our doc- trine of separation, and

Whereas in the interest of preserving the beautiful things of holiness and dedica- tion given to us by prayerful, godly men who sacrificed and suffered for the greatcause we represent,

The General Board recommends that United Pentecostals refrain from participat- ing in organized sports. This recommendation is not to restrict the local church in its recreational activities which offer good wholesome exercise and Christian fellowship.


Adopted by the General Conference in 1976

Whereas the United States Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state, and

Whereas the program of Transcendental Meditation and the Science of Creative Intelligence is a religious system embracing Hindu principles and rituals, and

Whereas this religious system is detrimental to the Christian fundamentals of our American heritage, and

Whereas Transcendental Meditation promoted as only a system of mind relax- ation has been funded by several thousand dollars from various federal agencies to be taught as a course of study in colleges, public schools, and armed forces, and

Whereas several Congressmen are promoting the further use of this subject in our nation’s educational system,

Be it therefore resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International go on record as strongly objecting to the further funding, promotion, or teaching of this subject in the classrooms and institutions of America.


Adopted by the General Board in 2004


Uncompromising monotheism is one of the clearest themes of Scripture. Simply stated, God is absolutely and indivisibly one. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). There are no essential distinctions in His eternal nature. All names and titles of the Deity—such as God (Elohim), Jehovah (Yahweh), Lord, Father, Word, and Holy Spirit—refer to one and the same being. Any plurality associated with God merely relates to attributes, titles, roles, manifestations, or aspects of God’s self-revelation to humans.

God is holy—pure, perfect, undefiled by sin or evil (Leviticus 11:45). Therefore, God cannot be defiled by matter or flesh. He is absolute, incorruptible, immutable, unchanging. (See Psalm 102:27; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; 6:17-18; James 1:17.)

Jesus Christ is the one God “manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16). “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Corinthians 5:19). “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

“Manifest in the flesh” means much more than “inhabiting flesh.” The use of the



word bodily in Colossians 2:9 eliminates the idea of God merely dwelling in a fleshly container. Rather, all the fullness dwelt “in him” and “in him . . . bodily.” “In him” is a reference to Christ in all the scriptural significance of the title and person. For this reason, we should avoid terminology that does not fit scriptural usage or reflect the full meaning. For example, it is erroneous to say that God dwells in flesh like water in a glass. The glass is merely a container, but when God came in flesh, deity and humanity were joined together in the one person of Jesus Christ. Christ was the Word become flesh (John 1:14). He was “conceived” by a virgin (Luke 1:31; 2:21), gestated in her womb (Luke 2:5-6), and born of her (Luke 1:35; 2:7; Matthew 1:16-25).

Jesus is God in the Old Testament sense; that is what New Testament writers meant when they called Jesus God. Jesus accepted Thomas’s confession of Him as “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28-29). Many other scriptural passages reveal the identity of Jesus as God. (See Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 35:4-6; 45:21-23; John 1:1-14; 8:56-58; 10:30-38; 14:9-11; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; II Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15-19; Titus 2:13.) Some people maintain that only one of three divine persons, a second person who is called “God the Son,” came in flesh, but the Bible does not make such a claim; it simply says that God was manifest in the flesh. Jesus is not the incarnation of one person of a trinity but the incarnation of all the identity, character, and personality of the one God.

When God came in the flesh, God did not become defiled, for He is unchanging in holiness and incorruptible (Romans 1:23). Instead, He made it possible for sinners to become pure, and indeed our salvation rests upon this truth. Therefore, when Jesus was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, He was not tainted by the nature of sin. Instead, the Spirit of God caused the child to be holy (Luke 1:35).

Jesus is unchanging as to His deity and holiness (Hebrews 13:8). He cannot be defiled by sin, flesh, or matter: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). When humans touch something unclean, it does not become holy; rather, they become unclean. (See Haggai 2:11-14.) For example, under Old Testament law, peo- ple became unclean when they touched a corpse, a leper, or someone with a discharge of bodily fluid (Numbers 5:1-3). Because Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, however, when He touched something unclean, He did not become unclean: instead the unclean thing became clean. When Jesus touched a leper, the leper was healed. When He touched the bier of a dead man, the man was raised from the dead. When a woman with an issue of blood touched Jesus, He was not defiled, but the woman was healed. When Jesus took a dead girl by the hand, the girl came back to life. (See Luke 5:12-14; 7:14-15; 8:43-44, 53-55.) Thus Jesus could come “in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin” in order to become the sacrifice for sin, yet without being tainted by sin; instead He “condemned sin in the flesh” and “taste[d] death for every man.” (See Romans 8:3; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:9.) Although Jesus can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, He is without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

The Scriptures proclaim the genuine and complete humanity of Jesus. (See Romans 1:3; Hebrews 2:14-17; 5:7-8.) “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). Here, “flesh” does not merely mean a physical body but true and complete human identity. In whatever way that we define the essential components of humanity, Christhad them. He was human in body, soul, spirit, mind, and will. (See Matthew 26:38- 39; Luke 23:46; Acts 2:27-31.) Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of man (Son of humanity). God’s Spirit caused a virgin to conceive; therefore, the holy child to whom she gave birth is the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Because “that holy thing” which was born of her was God manifest in the flesh, He is also the Son of man.

“Son of” also means “having the nature or character of,” as in “sons of thunder,” “sons of Belial,” and “son of consolation.” Jesus had the very character of God aswell as that of perfect humanity, for no one can be like God in every way, be equal with God, or have God’s complete character without being the one God Himself.



(See Isaiah 46:9; 48:11; John 5:18.) The identification of Jesus as the unique Son of God signifies that He is God in flesh. Jesus was a perfect human. He was more than a visible appearance of God, and He was more than God animating a human body. He was actually God incarnate—God dwelling and manifesting Himself as a true human, with everything humanity includes except for sin. If He had anything less than full humanity, the Incarnation would not be genuine and the Atonement would not be complete.

Christ’s true humanity does not mean He had a sinful nature, for sin cannot attach itself to deity. Moreover, a sinful nature was not originally part of the human race. (See Genesis 1:27, 31.) Christ was subject to all human temptations and infirmities, but He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He committed no sin, and sin was not in Him (I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5).

The Union of Deity and Humanity in Christ

A true Christology must distinguish between God in His transcendence and God as manifested in the flesh. Otherwise, there is no way to explain the prayers ofChrist, His submission to the Father’s will, the Son’s lack of independent knowledge and power, and so on. Oneness theology stresses that these examples and others like them do not prove a plurality of divine persons but simply demonstrate and arise from the authentic humanity of Jesus Christ. He was a real man in every way, and He underwent everything in the human experience, except for sin. His humanity, as well as His deity, was full and complete. In every way that we humans can speak of our humanity and our relationship to God, so could Jesus, except for sin. Yet He could also speak and act as God, for He was simultaneously God and man.

Sometimes He acted and spoke from the human perspective, as when He hun- gered; and sometimes He acted and spoke from the divine perspective, as when Hefed a multitude from five loaves of bread and two fish. On the cross, He cried from the depths of His humanity, “I thirst,” “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Yet on the cross He also exercised the prerogative of God alone when He promised the repentant thief, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (See Matthew 27:46; Luke 23:43, 46; John 19:28.)

When the Bible says Christ died, it refers to the death of the human manifestation, for deity cannot die. When it says Christ dwells in the hearts of believers, it refers to His divine Spirit. Only as a human could Jesus be born, grow, be tempted by the devil, hunger, thirst, become weary, sleep, pray, be beaten, die, not know all things, not have all power, be inferior to God, and be a servant. Yet because He was also God, He could exist from eternity, be unchanging, cast out demons by His own authority, be the Bread of Life, give living water, give spiritual rest, calm the storm, answer prayer, heal the sick, raise His body from death, forgive sin, know all things, have all power, be identi- fied as God, and be King of kings. In an ordinary person, these two contrasting lists would be mutually exclusive, yet the Scriptures attribute both to Jesus.

This distinguishing between deity and humanity explains the biblical difference in the use of the titles “Father” and “Son.” Any attempt to identify two persons from these two titles falls into either the error of ditheism or the error of subordinationism.

Although we can recognize both deity and humanity, it is impossible to separate the two in Christ. It is apparent that Jesus was human in every way, but it is equally apparent that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Humanity and deity were inseparably joined in His one Spirit. (See John 1:1, 14; 10:30, 38; 14:10- 11.) While there was a distinction between the divine will and His human will, He always submitted His human will to the divine will. (See John 5:19, 30; 8:28; 12:49- 50; 14:10.)

There is no way to glorify God except through this union of deity and humanity we know as Jesus Christ, for He is God’s permanent self-revelation (Romans 16:27). He will never cease to be God and man united. (See Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 22:3-4.)

While on earth Jesus was fully God, not merely an anointed man. At the same



time, He was fully human, not just in the appearance of a human. He was God by nature, by right, by identity; He was not merely deified by an anointing or indwelling. (See John 3:34.) The humanity of Jesus was inextricably joined with all the fullness of God’s Spirit. (See Colossians 1:19.)

Christ did not have two personalities. He had a unique personality that was the perfect union of deity and humanity. The divine personality permeated and colored every aspect of the humanity.

Scriptural Truths about Christ’s Humanity

From Scripture we discover the following truths about Christ’s humanity.

1. Jesus did not inherit sin, for deity cannot be tainted by sin. Instead, sinful flesh is made pure by the touch of deity. (See Isaiah 6:5-7.) The child Jesus was born holy because He was the Word become flesh and because His conception was the result of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

2. Jesus was the biological descendant of Adam and Eve, Abraham, and David. He was born with the same kind of human identity that Adam and Eve had whenthey were first created. (See John 1:14; I John 4:2; I Timothy 3:16.) He was the seed of the woman, “the seed of Abraham,” “the seed of David,” and “the offspring of David.” (See Genesis 3:15; John 7:42; Acts 13:23; Romans 1:3; Galatians 3:16; II Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 2:16; Revelation 22:16.) Jesus was a natural Israelite in the same way as Paul. (See Romans 9:3-5.) The Messiah was “of the fruit of his [David’s] loins, according to the flesh” (Acts 2:30).

In the New Testament passages that say Jesus is the “seed” of Abraham and of David, the Greek word sperma is used, meaning biological offspring. It is erroneous to say that the word seed refers metaphorically to Jesus Christ without reference to physical descent. God gave promises to Abraham’s seed, who are identified first and foremost as his physical descendants (plural). (See Genesis 17:7-13.) Galatians 3:16 points out that Jesus is the supreme descendant (singular) of Abraham through whom these promises would be fulfilled in the ultimate sense and made available all who have faith in Christ.

From a study of many passages, we see that both the Hebrew and Greek words translated “seed” in the Bible refer primarily to biological offspring of men and women and only secondarily serve as a metaphor for spiritual offspring. Jesus Himself identified the Jews, even those who sought to kill Him, as being Abraham’s seed (John 8:37). Mary understood Abraham’s seed to include “the fathers,” to whom God’s promises were made (Luke 1:55). Stephen, the church’s first martyr, identified Abraham’s child Isaac and his offspring as Abraham’s seed (Acts 7:5-6). Peter understood that the “men of Israel” were the covenant seed (Acts 3:12, 25). Paul wrote of “all the seed,” demonstrating that the word applies to all believers as well as all of Abraham’s physical offspring (Romans 4:16; 9:29). Paul included the many nations that came from Abraham’s offspring in the seed of which God spoke (Romans 4:18; 11:1; II Corinthians 11:22). Moreover, Paul extended the scope of the word seed to include all who would become believers in Christ as the spiritual offspring of Abraham and the children of God (Romans 9:7-8; Galatians 3:29).

Finally, God’s Word specifically uses the word sperma as a reference to the sex cell of a woman as well as that of men. In fact, the Bible uses no other word to refer to the female sex cell. “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed [sperma], and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11). Sara “conceived seed.”



While it is true that women do not have sperm, the meanings of the Hebrew word (zera) and the Greek word (sperma) are not limited to the male sex cell, or to Christ. Thus, Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus Christ was biologically and genetically related to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David through Eve and the virgin Mary, His mother.

3. Jesus was the biological descendant of Mary. Mary was not an “incubator” for “divine flesh.” She did not merely bear Christ, but she “conceive[d]” Christ in her womb (Luke 1:31). The Scriptures identify Mary as the mother of Jesus (Matthew 1:18; 2:11; Luke 2:34, 43, 48, 51). The angels specifically identified her as the true mother of Jesus (Matthew 2:13, 19-20). The word mother cannot be applied to a mere incubator. It demands a biological relationship. Jesus was “made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4).

4. It was necessary for Jesus to come as one of us, to be genetically part of the human race, with human flesh and blood, and yet without sin, in order to be our High Priest and to reconcile us to God. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:14-18). “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-15).

5. As a human, Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:7-9).

6. There was a change in Christ’s body at His resurrection. Before His resurrec- tion, Jesus had a flesh-and-blood body capable of suffering, death, and decay, but in His resurrection His body was changed to be incorruptible (incapable of decay) and immortal (incapable of death). “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him” (Romans 6:9). David prophesied of Christ, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27). Peter explained that this prophecy was fulfilled by the resurrection of Christ: “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption” (Acts 2:31). Likewise, Paul quoted the same verse from Psalms, stating that Christ was resurrected from the dead “now no more to return to corruption” (Acts 13:34-35). According to this prophecy, as applied by both Peter and Paul, the body of Christ would have decayed except for the miracle of His resurrection.

In His resurrection, Christ is “the firstfruits of them that slept” (I Corinthians 15:20). Through Christ came “the resurrection of the dead” (I Corinthians 15:21). I Corinthians 15:42-44 explains what happens at “the resurrection of the dead”: “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

Our resurrection will be the same as His and will give us a body like His. In both



cases, “resurrection” refers to the same process, so that Christ’s resurrection made Him the “firstfruits” of believers. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and bloodcannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corrupt- ible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:50-53). “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).

In short, the Bible reveals that the humanity of Christ had to qualify for exaltation and glorification, which occurred by His death, resurrection, and ascension. (SeePsalm 2:7 with Acts 13:32-34; Psalm 110:1-3 with Ephesians 1:19-23; Psalm 110:4 with Hebrews 5:1-11; Isaiah 28:16 with I Peter 2:6-8; John 7:39; 17:1; Acts 2:33; 3:13; 4:10-12; 5:31; Romans 1:3-4; Philippians 2:5-11.) If Jesus Christ were not truly human with full human potential for suffering, experience, obedience, growth, and transformation, then these texts would be meaningless when they speak of Him as becoming perfect through suffering and being exalted by resurrection. If His body had no biological or genetic relationship to other human beings, if He were “divine flesh” or otherwise exempt from human frailty, such qualifications would be meaningless, because deity does not need to qualify for glorification, exaltation, or any role He chooses to take in the affairs of His creation.

Only when we acknowledge Jesus was a true human being descended through the human race can we understand these statements. The man Christ Jesus had to dem- onstrate Himself worthy of the task and titles He was sent to fulfill. “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:1-5). In this regard, Hebrews 5:5-9 explains, “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”


In denominational Christendom, Christology, or the doctrine of Christ, was defined by the Council of Chalcedon (a.d. 451) as follows: Christ has two natures in one person. The technical terms nature and person, however, are not suitable under all circumstances. Derived from Greek philosophy and colored by trinitarian usage,they are inadequate to convey the full biblical concept of the Incarnation. For exam– ple, it is inaccurate to say one nature prayed to another or one nature loved another. It is more accurate to say simply that Christ prayed as an authentic human and that the Son loved the Father as all humans are to love God. We cannot speak of persons in the Godhead, but we can say Christ is a person who lived on earth.

In short, we cannot accept the trinitarian presuppositions and concepts of Chalcedon, nor do we endorse Chalcedon’s designation of Mary as the mother of God. Neither can we accept any doctrine that espouses a corruptible deity or that divorces Jesus Christ from a biological and genetic relationship to humanity. But we do accept the basic idea that humanity and deity are inseparably united in the one person of Christ.


In the final analysis, rather than debating Christology in historical and philosophi– cal terms, from the Oneness perspective it is preferable to pass over the ancient creeds and councils and go back to Scripture. Based on Scripture we can make five important affirmations regarding the doctrine of Christ:


  1. Christ is full and perfect God, the one true God incarnate.

  2. Christ is full and perfect human, without sin.

  3. There is a distinction between the transcendent, eternal Deity and His mani-

festation in flesh as the man Christ Jesus. The Gospels reveal that Christ is both human and divine. Some scenes and sayings primarily demonstrate His humanity and some His deity. None of the demonstrations of His humanity deny His deity, and none of the demonstrations of His deity deny His human- ity. His humanity did not exist separately from His deity, and His deity was not fully revealed without His humanity.

4. Deity and humanity are inseparably united in Christ. Christ is not a Spirit- filled person as we are, capable of living as a human apart from the Spirit. Rather, while we can recognize both deity and humanity in Christ, they are so united that Christ is one person in every way. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh—not God by an indwelling, but by incarnation, identity, and essence.

5. The genetic relationship of Christ to humanity was inherited through His mother, Mary. He is thereby part of the human race; the biological descendant of Adam and Eve, Abraham, and David; and qualified to reconcile sinful humans to God. Because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, Jesus was the unique, holy union of the Word of God and true genetic humanity. The doctrine of the “divine flesh” or “heavenly flesh” of Christ—defined as the denial that Jesus Christ was biologically or genetically related to humanity through His mother Mary—is scripturally false. Moreover, the denial of the biological or genetic relationship of Jesus Christ to other human beings is contrary to both the Articles of Faith and the International Articles of Faith of the United Pentecostal Church International, which state, “Jesus on His Father’s side was divine, on His mother’s side, human; thus, He was known as the Son of God and also the Son of man, or the God-man.”

Jesus Christ is the fullness of God dwelling as perfect humanity; God manifested Himself as a perfect human being. Jesus Christ is not a mere man, a demigod, a second person “in” the Godhead, a divine person temporarily stripped of some divine attributes, the transmutation of God into flesh, the manifestation of a portion of God, the animation of a human body by God, God manifesting Himself in an incomplete humanity, God coming in a “human” identity that is not biologically related to Adam and Eve, or God temporarily dwelling in a separate human person. Jesus Christ is the incarnation, the embodiment, the human personification and manifestation of the one God.


Adopted by the General Conference in 1975

Inasmuch as the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is so near at hand and the church called by His name who are the elect of Christ, known as His bride, shall all, both the dead in Christ and those who remain and are alive, be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air and shall forever be with Him, and

Inasmuch as the Lord Himself prayed that we all be one (John 17:11, 15, 20-23), and the apostle Paul emphatically told us [that] the body is one and further [that] “there should be no schism [division] in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (I Corinthians 12:12-13, 25), and in I Corinthians 1:13 he asked, “Is Christ divided?” thus admonishing us that as Christ prayed we be one and that we are one in spirit and body, and God is not the author of confusion and division, and we have knowledge of forty, fifty, or more different factions, organiza



tions, and/or groups who believe the same gospel; also realizing [that] we the United Pentecostal Church International are one of these and probably the largest group of this number, thus making our position the “big brother” in the family and thus lay- ing upon us the burden and responsibility of concern about this ill which violates the prayer, plan, and purpose of our Lord and the teachings of the apostle Paul and all of heaven and the Bible, our eternal road map, and

Inasmuch as we are taught to “do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10), and “if any provide not for his own, and spe- cially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8); and be it further acknowledged that there does exist among the people of God such ills as jealousy, pride, lack of brotherly love, disrespect, undue criticism, possibly hatred, slander, and numerous other such ills which should have no place in the body of true Christian believers, and which shall have no place in heaven,

Be it resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International in this confer- ence take steps to endeavor to eliminate the division that is among brethren of likeprecious faith: first by humbling our hearts before God asking His forgiveness and mercy and help that we might have the right attitude toward all clean, holy Oneness people of God; [and second] by extending an open-door invitation to any who desire to meet any of our boards, officials, or ministers to discuss and consider grounds of fellowship; [and third] in the event of mutual agreement for basis of fellowship with the consent of the District Board each fellowship be approved.

Be it further resolved that we request our General Board to call a General Conference of Oneness Pentecostal ministers regardless of organization or independent persuasion for the purpose of striving together for true Christian fellowship with closer and more peaceful relationship, and if possible a reunion of oneness in body and effort toward preaching the gospel to the whole world as one united people with the same spirit [so] that we might wipe away the reproach of division and all its ills which our Lord is not pleased with and which brings due criticism from the world and religious denominations and which shall have no place in heaven; thus with one accord, one mind, and one spirit, [and] with boldness and real love, present one solid front against the devil and sin, and with the power of God and strength of unity reach arms around the world to help save the lost before the soon and certain coming of our Lord.