We, as a board, thought it would be wise to share some details about our ministry in order to answer some of the questions that have been coming in regards to who we are and the purposes and goals we are trying to accomplish with this magazine and through our ministry as a whole.
For a number of years several brothers from our local church, Faith Christian Fellowship, have been giving care, assistance, and discipleship to individuals struggling with emotional and mental health issues of varying degrees. The longer we have been interacting with individuals about these issues, we have become increasingly aware that much of the so-called, help, which is offered to our conservative, Anabaptist churches is questionable at best and definitely not from God in some of the worst cases. We have discovered that much of this help is actually coming out of the world’s philosophies as they endeavor to respond to man’s problems of the soul.
We understand the New Testament teachings to show the church to be primarily functioning at a local level, rather than being universal or global in its day-to-day operations. We also understand God’s Word to teach that the proper outworking of the church should be as a body, with godly leaders giving guidance and oversight. With this in mind we have been sharing our concerns about the above mentioned influence of worldly ideas and methods, primarily with church leaders.
More recently, this dialogue has been shifting from mostly a private matter, to more and more of a public discussion. Due to this more public interaction, our church decided to create a ministry arm of the church to give more structure to the different aspects of outreach which were developing. It was with this in mind that “The Berean Voice” (TBV) was started in the Spring of 2015. After putting the ministry arm into place and giving it a name, there was a board of directors selected from our church body and from our sister church, “Shining Light Christian Fellowship”, which is also from Holmes County, Ohio. This board is responsible for the direction, oversight, and all day-to-day operations of the ministry.
One of our goals was to develop a doctrinal newsletter or magazine in order to address numerous subjects that seem to cause question, contention, and confusion. Therefore, we will endeavor to print articles that are relevant to current issues which are facing the church today, using the New Testament of God’s Word as our primary resource. While we do not plan to focus on, or emphasize any specific group from history, as having all the answers, we do plan to publish articles which are written from a traditional Anabaptist worldview, since we recognize that perspective to be the most consistently accurate, common-sense understanding and literal application of the Scriptures.
Our goal is that most of the articles would be originally-written for our magazine, but if we end up not having enough content to fill any given issue, we will look for other material which has already been published elsewhere.
In order to help us with organizing the articles and to help the reader better understand the focal point of each one, we plan to use a category system in which will place each article under a specific category. While this is the system we will be using, we will not be using all categories in every issue. We will use them on an as-needed basis per publication.
In an effort to reach more people around the world, we have developed a website for our ministry: www.bereanvoice.org. This allows us to place recorded audio messages online for individuals to listen to or download, according to their needs. This site is still in its infancy with a lot of work still needing to be done. We appreciate your patience with us regarding this matter.
Another one of our goals is to develop a growing list of recommended resources—books, booklets, CD sets, etc. These products will be topic specific for a number of key subjects which are relevant to current struggles of the church. We plan to make this material known through our website and magazine as it becomes available.