Whereas it is the duty of all true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ to make a clear testimony to their faith in Him, especially in these darkening days of apostasy in many confessing churches, by which apostasy whole denominations in their official capacity as well as individual churches, have been swept into a paganizing stream of Modernism under various names and in varying degrees; and
Whereas, there has been a notable growth of autocratic denominations on the part especially of Modernistic leaders, by whom the rightful powers of true churches are often usurped and are now being usurped; and
Whereas, the commands of God to His people to be separate from all unbelief and corruption are clear and positive; and
Whereas, we believe the times demand the formation of a worldwide agency for fellowship and cooperation on the part of Bible-believing churches for the proclamation and defense of the Gospel, for the maintenance of a testimony pure, steadfast and worldwide to those great facts and revealed truths of historic Christianity and especially to the great doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, for the accomplishment of tasks which can better be done in cooperation than separately, and to facilitate the discharge of the obligations which inhere in the Commission of Christ to His Church to make known the Gospel of Christ to every kindred and tongue and tribe and nation;
Therefore, the bodies of various nationalities and languages forming this Council do now establish it as an agency, without compromise or evasion, unreservedly dedicated as a witness to “the faith once for all delivered unto the saints.”
The name of this organization shall be: The International Council of Christian Churches.
Among other equally Biblical truths, we believe and maintain the following:
a. The plenary Divine inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and, as the Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life;
b. The Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
c. The essential, absolute, eternal Deity, and the real and proper, but sinless, humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ;
d. His birth of the Virgin Mary;
e. His substitutionary, expiatory death in that He gave His life “a ransom for many”;
f. His resurrection from among the dead in the same body in which He was crucified and the second coming of this same Jesus in power and great glory;
g. The total depravity of man through the Fall;
h. Salvation, the effect of regeneration by the Spirit and the Word, not by works but by grace through faith;
i. The everlasting bliss of the saved, and the everlasting suffering of the lost;
j. The real spiritual unity in Christ of all the redeemed by His precious blood;
k. The necessity of maintaining, according to the Word of God, the purity of the Church in doctrine and life;
And, still believing the Apostles’ Creed to be a statement of Scriptural truth, we therefore incorporate it in these articles of faith.
Section 1. Constituent Membership
Constituent membership in this Council shall be open to all those denominations, associations of Bible-believing churches, the world over, and Bible-believing societies in Scandinavia of a definite church character, which, by official action, approve and accept the Preamble and the Doctrinal Statement of the Constitution and apply to the Council for membership. No denomination, association of churches or Bible-believing society of Scandinavia of a definite church character in, or represented by, the World Council of Churches or standing outside the stream of historic Christianity shall be received.
Applications, when received, shall be acted upon by the Council itself, the Executive Committee, or by any committee to which the Council may delegate this power. All actions by committee are subject to review by the subsequent World Congress. When voting upon applications, a two-thirds majority vote shall be necessary for election.
Section 2. Consultative Membership
A local church not belonging to a denomination, or any congregation belonging to a denomination not affiliated with the World Council of Churches, or with any of its cooperating agencies, and which stands in the stream of historic Christianity may become a Consultative Member of this Council by approving and accepting the Preamble and Doctrinal Statement of the Constitution and applying for membership. Consultative Members shall have the privileges of representation and of discussion, and shall be entitled to one vote per member body.
Section 3. Associate Membership
Organized bodies of churches or associations not coming under the category of Constituent or Consultative membership may, if in accord with the Preamble and Doctrinal Statement of the Council, upon application and acceptance by the Council, become Associate Members. Associate Members include such bodies as regional, national and local councils of Christian churches, mission boards, Bible leagues and unions, evangelistic leagues, theological seminaries, Bible colleges and institutes of Christian education, etc.
Section 4. Careful Acceptance of Members
The Council, or its designated Committee, shall make careful investigation of the doctrinal standards and spiritual condition of every body applying for membership. Every applicant for membership in the Council shall furnish its confessional statements and also statistics of the number of its churches, of its clergy, and of its lay membership.
For the purpose of conducting the business of the Council, there shall be:
a. A World Congress
b. An Executive Committee
Section 1. World Congress
The World Congress shall be the largest assembly of representatives of bodies holding membership in the Council. Representation in the Congress shall be on the following basis:
Each Constituent body shall be entitled to send four delegates with full voting power for the first five properly organized congregations, with a minimum of five ordained ministers. For each five additional congregations, one delegate more shall be allowed, subject to a maximum of 15 delegates for any denomination of churches in the Council.
In determining proper church representation, only congregations officially affiliated with but one of our constituent bodies shall be counted. No congregation shall be counted which by its affiliations in the local or world sphere is out of sympathy with the International Council of Christian Churches. The Council would suggest that, if possible, approximately one third of each delegation from member bodies be laymen. All Executive Committee members and delegates to World Congresses must be men in the leadership of their respective churches. Observers may participate in discussion, but shall not have the right to vote. All delegates must be furnished with proper credentials from the responsible officer of the body they represent, which credentials are to be submitted to the Credentials Committee of the Council, if possible, prior to the opening session of the Congress. Authorized delegates must be present to vote. In choosing delegates to the World Congress, each affiliated body should be careful to choose alternates, thereby to assure voting privileges.
Consultative and Associate Members shall be entitled to send as many representatives as desired, and shall have the privilege of participating in discussions, but only one certified member of each Consultative and Associate body shall have the right to vote. The Council assures those individuals and congregations still in World Council relationships, but who, nevertheless, show interest in the testimony of this Council, that this Council appreciates their interests, cordially invites their presence as observers at World Congresses, and hopes that they soon will be in such ecclesiastical relationship as will allow them to enter into membership in this Council.
The World Congress shall meet at least once every five years. The exact time and place may be determined by the Executive Committee of the Council, which shall notify all member bodies not less than one year prior to the World Congress, except in the most extraordinary circumstances.
Section 2. The Executive Committee
1. The Executive Committee shall consist of:
2. The President
3. The First Vice President
4. The Second Vice President
5. The Third Vice President
6. The General Secretary
7. The Treasurer
8. The Presidents of the ICCC major regional councils on the continental level
9. Any other members of member bodies of the ICCC who are nominated and elected.
The Executive Committee shall meet immediately before and during each World Congress for the purpose of taking adequate action upon such matters as fall within its province; and, where possible, it shall meet also during general assemblies of the regional bodies of the Council or at least once between the meetings of the world congresses.
A simple majority of the officers and one fifth of the number of members of the Executive Committee shall form the quorum for Executive Committee meetings. If no quorum has been reached, the meeting shall be delayed for one half hour. If a quorum still has not been reached, the meeting may proceed and all decisions made shall go into effect ad interim, but must be ratified at the next meeting of the Executive Committee.
With the tremendous cost of travel, decisions may be made by the Executive Committee between world congresses by phone conference, e-mail, etc., as long as attempts are made to contact every member of the Executive Committtee with the identical information. Such votes must only be taken with the knowledge of the President, the three Vice Presidents, the General Secretary and the Treasurer, with the concurrence of any four of these officers.
Such vote shall not be considered valid if objected to by more than one quarter of the Executive Committee members. The specific matter presented will be considered passed if more than a majority of the responses are in the affirmative by a specified date, not to be less than one week from the date the e-mail was sent. If some members fail to respond, it will be understood that they have no objection to the proposal at hand. In extreme cases, the one week requirement can be waived, if matters must be handled immediately.
No officer of the International Council of Christian Churches shall commit the Council on any matter except under the instruction of the Council or its Executive Committee, or as he possesses evidence of the Council’s position.
Section 3. Commissions and Committees
Commissions and committees shall be appointed by the Council, or by the Executive Committee, as shall be necessary from time to time. Commissions and committees shall report to each World Congress, when necessary, and at such other times as the Executive Committee may direct. All members of Committees and commissions shall be members of Constituent, Consultative or Associate member bodies.
The following committees and commissions may be elected:
1. Credentials Committee
2. Nominations Committee
3. Finance Committee
1. Missions — The Associated Missions (TAM)
3. Christian Relief — International Christian Relief (ICR)
4. Christian Education
5. International Accrediting Commission of Colleges and Schools (IACCS)
7. Youth — International Christian Youth
8. International Affairs
9. Biblical and Archaeological Research
10. Medical Commission
11. Theological Commission
Nominations and Elections
Section 1. Nominations
The Executive Committee, or a Committee chosen by it, shall present nominations to the World Congress, following which nominations from the floor shall be in order. Great care should be taken to nominate a wide representation of the Council membership as to denominational tradition, geographic location, membership in regional councils and age.
Section 2. Elections
Elections in the World Congress shall be held near the conclusion of the sessions, with officers and committees taking office immediately at the close of the World Congress.
Functions of the Council
The functions of the Council shall be:
1. To provide a worldwide fellowship of evangelical churches and people for mutual encouragement and help in the things of the Lord;
2. To encourage all member bodies to foster a loyal and aggressive revival of Bible Christianity over all the world;
3. To seek to awaken Christians everywhere to the insidious dangers of Modernism and call them to unity of mind and effort against all unbelief and compromise with Modernism of every kind, and against Roman Catholicism — in the hope that with the blessing of God this effort may result in a genuine 21st century Reformation, in the spirit of the 16th century Reformation.
4. To undertake to do for the bodies belonging to this Council the things which they can better do in cooperation than by themselves.
5. To maintain and defend by every proper means the rights of the member bodies and associated bodies against interference with their liberty to fulfill their God-given calling.
6. To arouse other Christian churches throughout the world to participate in this Council;
7. To acquaint governments and the public at large, when and where necessary, with the fact that this Council alone represents its member bodies in the matters which have been delegated to it by them, and that no other Council in the world sphere has any right to claim to be the voice of these bodies;
8. To seek by every proper means to facilitate the missionary work of member bodies;
9. To encourage all members of the Council to promote on every continent, as God enables, an educational system for all ages which shall be free from the blight of rationalism and in which the Bible shall be basic — to the end that education may again become the handmaid of the Church, rather than a foe to the whole Christian conception of God and the world;
10. To encourage the members of the Council to promote the use of such Sunday school lesson material as shall be found in harmony with the Word of God and the doctrinal statement of the International Council of Christian Churches;
11. To advocate steadfastly the Christian mode of life in society at large, in the hope that we may be able to do something to retard the progress of atheistic and pagan ideologies under any name, of loose morality, and of godlessness which have become such alarming threats to the Christian method of life in our times.
12. To assist member bodies of the Council with Christian relief and medical missions, as handmaids to their missionary and evangelistic efforts.
13. To encourage the training of younger leaders to take increasing leadership roles in the ICCC, both in their local churches and regional bodies as well as internationally.
Authority of the Council
The International Council of Christian Churches shall have no authority to act for any member in any matter that has not been delegated to the Council by that body. It may, however, offer counsel and advice to members and suggest opportunities for united action in matters of common interest. The Council does not seek organic union of its member bodies, nor will it trespass in any way upon their autonomy.
The Council may act on matters committed to it by any of the member bodies.
The World Congress and the ICCC Executive Committee shall have power to call world and regional conferences on any subject or occasion which in the judgment of either one is deemed sufficiently important to warrant such a conference.
The World Congress shall have the right to dismiss any member body belonging to it, for proved cause sufficient to itself. These causes can relate to infidelity to the ICCC Doctrinal Statement, lack of Scriptural standards of ethics and integrity, and associations which are deemed to be in violation of the requirement in our Preamble “to be separate from all unbelief and corruption,” in any of its many forms.
In case any question should arise as to the fitness of any body belonging to the Council, the Executive Committee, on its own initiative, or by request of any three constituent members, may cite such body to appear before the Executive Committee; and, if the charges be proved, such member shall be dismissed by a two-thirds majority, for the time being, pending formal ratification of the dismissal at the next World Congress of the Council.
All Executive Committee members, and members of the committees and commissions shall endeavor to uphold the good name and testimony of the Council. Any Executive Committee member, or committee or commission member proven to have been guilty of acting against the interests or Biblical stand of the Council may be subject to disciplinary action by the Executive Committee or the World Congress, through the Executive Committee, by way of counseling, warning or dismissal. For dismissal, a two-thirds majority decision shall be required and the action shall be submitted to the next World Congress of the Council for ratification.
Section 1. Finance Committee
The Council shall look to God to supply financial support of its work on a wholly voluntary basis, especially through the cooperating bodies
All officers, vice presidents and members of the ICCC Executive Committee, and of all committees and commissions of the Council shall serve in honorary capacities out of love and sacrifice for the Lord’s cause through the Council. Funds raised for the Council shall be used only for the work of the Council, as approved by the Executive Committee.
A full financial report, showing all such income and expenditures, and listing any and all assets of the Council, shall be presented in writing and made available to all delegates at every ICCC World Congress.
Amendments to the Constitution
Amendments to this Constitution may be made by the World Congress of the Council at the recommendation of the Executive Committee. The amendments may be made in the first instance by written referendum to all members of the ICCC Executive Committee. If agreed to by a majority vote, the amendments shall be submitted to a duly called Executive Committee meeting for approval. If approved by a two-thirds majority vote, the amendments shall then be presented to the World Congress for final approval and implementation. A two-thirds majority vote by the World Congress is also required.
Bylaws may be adopted by the Council, meeting in World Congress, or by its Executive Committee, as occasion may require. The bylaws may be amended by a majority at the World Congress; or, by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee — in which case the amendments shall go into effect ad interim, but must be submitted for approval to the next World Congress.