(how we live out our beliefs and values)
Montana Bible College is a community of living, learning, and serving that extends far beyond the classroom. Although we are not a local church, we are part of Christ’s universal Church and an organization serving that Church. Therefore, while not replicating all functions or structures of a local church, we seek to live according to biblical standards that Jesus gave to His body, the Church. Through this covenant, we all strive together toward the common goals of Christian maturity and biblical wisdom in our personal conduct, behavior toward others, and exercise of Christian freedoms. This Community Covenant is to be interpreted and lived in light of MBC’s Statement of Faith and Core Values. It lives alongside and in harmonious relationship with MBC’s policies.
Affirming Biblical Standards
The foundation of our lives and our learning comes from the Word of God. Therefore, we are informed and shaped by the Scriptures.
- We affirm the Lordship of Christ over all of life. This involves our wholehearted obedience to Jesus and careful stewardship in all dimensions of life: our resources (time, money, possessions), our selves (bodies, minds, hearts, pasts, futures), and all our relationships.
- We affirm the importance of each Christian being in active fellowship with the local church, which forms the basic biblically mandated context for Christian living.
- We affirm God’s call for His people to live in an attitude and posture of growth and change, humbly allowing His Spirit to regularly realign our values and actions to more accurately align with the values and actions of the Kingdom of God.
Pursuit of Godly Living & Relationships
In dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us, we commit to growing in godliness in the following ways:
- We will pursue love for God that encompasses our whole being and includes loving our neighbor as ourselves. Christlike love should be the motive in all decisions, actions, and relationships.
- We will pursue the demonstration of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, integrity, academic and personal honesty, and supremely, love in our interactions with others.
- We will pursue, as much as it depends on us, peace with all people.
- We will pursue a growing holiness in every aspect of our thoughts, words, and behaviors. We will love and side with what is good in God’s eyes and abhor and oppose what is evil in God’s eyes.
- We will pursue honor in all relationships and even the treatment of our own bodies as the very temple of the Holy Spirit. Since humans are the unique image bearers of God, there is God-given worth in all human beings at all moments of their lives from conception to death.
- We will pursue the sanctity and purity of marriage as given by God between one man and one woman. All of us will work to maintain the integrity of each marriage relationship in our midst. All of us will pursue sexual purity – those married maintaining covenant faithfulness to their spouse alone; those unmarried living in abstinence.
Exercising Responsible Freedom
We recognize that within Biblical parameters there is limited latitude of conscience, belief, and practice. Responsible Christian Freedom is exercised in our social and cultural context, as well as within the particular authority structures with which we interact (i.e., family, college, employment, etc.) and requires a wise stewardship of mind, body, time, and resources on the part of every member of the community. Responsible freedom also requires thoughtful, biblically guided choices in matters of behavior, entertainment, and interpersonal relationships.
- We commit to exercise our Christian freedom responsibly within the framework of God’s Word, in the context of the family of God, and in the particular context of the MBC community, seeking what is best for personal holiness and for the strengthening of others in Christ.
- We commit to demonstrate civility and respect for those with whom we disagree, while exercising wisdom in evaluating the ideas and activities of others. Christians living in harmony share a deep concern for the Body of Christ, defer to one another, reason together, and express genuine Christian love, as outlined in Romans 14.
- We commit to uphold all legal mandates regarding the possession and use of alcohol, tobacco, and any other legal or illegal substance. No matter our personal convictions, we also commit to submit to and abide by the college policy of no alcohol, tobacco, or any other non-prescribed drugs on any MBC owned or leased property or at any college sponsored event.
- We commit to allowing our entertainment choices to be guided by the godly wisdom of Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (see applicable policies)
- We commit, as those under MBC’s authority as students, employees, or board members, to follow MBC policies put in place for the safety, harmony, and wellbeing of the campus community.
We, the Montana Bible College community, including myself personally, desire to be a covenant community of Christians who faithfully live out our beliefs and values so that our Lord Jesus is honored in all we do. This requires that each of us keeps his or her word by taking my commitment to this covenant seriously as a covenant keeper, whatever pressures I may face to do otherwise. Christian integrity means that when I place myself under MBC’s community covenant, I must make every effort to fulfill my commitment by living accordingly, and I realize that I need the enabling grace of God and power of His Spirit to succeed.
In recognition that we sometimes fail to live up to our aspirations, I agree that keeping my covenant may also on occasion require steps of accountability – others toward me and me toward others – confronting one another in love as we work together to live in faithfulness both to God’s Word and to our own word (see MBC grievance and disciplinary policies for more detail). Such loving acts of confrontation are at times difficult, but they serve to build godly character for both the individuals involved and the community as a whole. Only in this way, as we are willing to speak the truth in love, will we “grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Therefore, by signing my agreement, I embrace this covenant and accountability to it.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”