“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
Far from isolating ourselves from the rest of the Body of Christ, we highly value and believe in the support, accountability, and example of other Biblically-minded churches as we pursue the glory of God together. In an age of increasing independent self-stylized leaders and rogue church movements, Lighthouse Bible Church Orange County understands its need of other brothers and sisters who serve the same Master united in obeying His Great Commission. We believe God designed the local churches to need other local churches, and that we can do more together than on our own. Therefore, while not limited to these gospel partnerships alone, we have chosen to affiliate and partner with the following for the sake of missions and ministry:
I. Lighthouse Alliance
The Lighthouse Alliance is a fellowship of like-minded churches partnering together in the service of the gospel by providing support for each local congregation and opportunities for cooperative ministry to the glory of God.
We exist to promote the MVP Statement, the Peacemaker Pledge, and doctrinal convictions of Lighthouse Bible Church.
There are currently 4 locally autonomous churches united in active gospel partnership, support, and accountability:
LBC San Diego (1999)
LBC San Jose (2011)
LBC Los Angeles (2013)
LBC Orange County (2014)
II. Southern Baptist Convention
A. Local Church Autonomy: A Southern Baptist church is a local church that has voluntarily chosen to be, “in friendly cooperation with, and contributing towards the causes of the Southern Baptist Convention.” The SBC is not a church, but a parachurch organization uniting local churches for a larger cause. Each local congregation is the final authority under God for matters of discipline and doctrine, not a bishop, presbytery, national assembly, convention president, or association. The final court of appeal in a matter of the life of the local church is the church itself.
B. Strategic Gospel Partnership: Shared basic theology and vision for the sake of missions and evangelism – not all SBC churches agree on every point of church doctrine, philosophy of ministry, or ministry direction. In any given area and by local church cooperation, each church can cooperate on 3 levels: local association (county), state associations, national association. Each is an independent body, not a hierarchy controlled by the others. If the SBC were to dissolve tomorrow, it would have very little effect on our church. If the SBC were to deny a central doctrine like the bodily resurrection of Christ, we could simply dissociate and it wouldn’t affect our meetings, building, unlike in Episcopalian, Methodist, or Presbyterian churches. In a sense, it is a very undenominational denomination. We can choose to give to the SBC at one or all the 3 levels of cooperation. Financial cooperation is to the “Cooperative Program” pooling our resources for churches, large and small, which is roughly IMB (50%), NAMB (22.8%), Seminaries (21.6%), Annuity Board (.76%). Why support missions through the Cooperative Program? Independent missionaries typically have to raise their own support, which usually means 20% of their time is spent in the United States for fundraising, while SBC missionaries are fully funded. They can focus on ministry, spend their furlough on actual rest, training, and recouping, not raising money. So it’s good for missionaries, and gives them oversight and accountability.
3. Conservative Resurgence: Historically, the SBC has stood faithfully despite challenges.
1814 – independent Baptist churches from South Carolina to Massachusetts came together to form the first national Baptist organization in America, called the Baptist General Missionary Convention, later becoming the Triennial Convention (because it met every 3 years). It’s main purpose was to coordinate the funding of international missionaries like Adoniram Judson, famous missionary to Burma. It was a mission sending agency.
1845 – these churches split over 2 main issues (1) central or local sending boards of missionaries, for which southern churches felt Convention didn’t have authority to decide, but to leave to each local church (2) Sadly, most churches in the South of every stripe, including the SBC, didn’t believe slavery was wrong and defended it on supposedly biblical grounds (Col 3). The North felt slavery was an abomination and antithetical to the Gospel. Major denominations split on north/south lines, with Southern churches forming the Southern Baptist Convention. Later, the SBC publicly repented and apologized for its past position and denounced racism as a “deplorable sin.”
1845 – SBC officially formed from split, founding at the same time two central missionary sending boards, known today as the International Mission Board (IMB) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
1859 – SBC began to coordinate funding of theological education, with founding of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
1891 – Sunday School Board was established, now known as Lifeway Christian Resources – the largest Protestant publishing house in the world.
1993 – Albert Mohler appointed 9th SBTS President enforced The Abstract of Principles on faculty and seminary.
4. Mutual Benefit: Together we can accomplish more than we can on our own. SBC churches pool their resources to benefit the members of the denomination in ways that would be difficult or impossible for individual local churches, whether it’s missions, education, publishing, insurance, etc.
IMB (International Mission Board) – currently led by David Platt, has over 5,500 foreign missionaries spread out over 150 countries across the globe with budget over $260 million a year. Southern Baptist send and support more active overseas missionaries than any other denomination in north America.
NAMB (North American mission Board) – missionaries and church planters in North America
Six Seminaries – Gateway (Ontario, Fremont), New Orleans, Southwestern (Dallas), Southeastern (Wake Forest, NC), Midwestern (Kansas City, MO), Southern (Louisville, KY)
Baptist Press, Broadman & Holman, LifeWay Bookstores
4. Theological Agreement: SBC churches, while diverse, are also distinct and united in its basic doctrinal commitments such as Inerrancy, Biblical Authority, Believer Baptism, Local Church Autonomy, Religious Liberty, Importance of the Family, and Evangelism/Missions.
III. 9Marks Churches
9Marks rejoices that most Christians want strong, God-glorifying churches that build up believers and reach unbelieving communities. And 9Marks trusts that most church leaders desire the Scriptures to guide them in shaping, structuring, and growing their churches. We are grateful to be part of the same team. However, 9Marks has observed that many well-intentioned leaders frequently supplement the Bible in one of three ways – with an “accommodation approach,” a “pragmatic approach,” or an “optional approach.”
“If It Feels Right, Believe It.” – An Accommodation Approach Leads to a Marginalized Church
“If It Works, Do It.” – A Pragmatic Approach Leads to a Compromised Church
“If It’s Good For You, Join It.” – An Optional Approach Leads to an Unnecessary Church
These market-driven approaches have unintended long-term consequences that can hurt the health of local churches and their ministry to the nations. 9Marks seeks to call all church leaders back to the sufficiency of the Bible as the best approach for growing healthy churches.
9Marks believes the local church is the focal point of God’s plan for displaying His glory to the nations. Our vision is simple: Churches that reflect the character of God. Our mission is to cultivate and encourage churches characterized by these nine marks:
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church:
1. Expositional Preaching
2. Biblical Theology
3. Biblical Understanding of the Good News
4. Biblical Understanding of Conversion
5. Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
6. Biblical Understanding of Church Membership
7. Biblical Church Discipline
8. Concern for Promoting Christian Discipleship & Growth
9. Biblical Church Leadership
For more information: go to www.9marks.org
IV. Other Affiliations
- The Master’s College & Seminary
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Together for the Gospel
- CBMW – Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
- ACBC – Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (formerly NANC)
- Shepherds Fellowship of Churches