Code of Conduct
It is our experience that far too often Christian leaders have failed to practice what they have preached, leading to much disillusionment, pain, and broken relationships. In fact, too much of their behavior was the opposite of those things set forth in the following Code of Conduct. It is such ungodly behavior among leaders in the Church that has prompted us to clarify the issues that we deem crucial to establishing and maintaining a healthy Christian community. Though a Code of Conduct may seem unnecessary to those with a different experience, these biblical guidelines will help us be "on the same page" morally and ethically.
The attitudes and behaviors listed are the goals that we of Patria Ministries have set for ourselves, in conjunction with the standards of the leadership epistles of Timothy and Titus. We want everyone involved with our ministry to know just how they can expect those who represent Patria Ministries to live, and to speak up if they fail to do so. The goal of this Code of Conduct is not that we expect perfection, but to show our commitment to a healthy Christian community.
We trust you will agree that the standards we have set forth in the Code of Conduct are no more than what God asks of us in His Word, for our personal and communal benefit. To live up to these standards, we will need to rely on the help of God and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the gift of Holy Spirit that gives us power to overcome the tyranny of sin.
Code of Conduct
1. I will love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; seeking to make the most of the talents and abilities, He has given me. I will acknowledge that what He has given me is His gift to me; what I do with it is my gift to Him. I will seek His Word for guidance as to His will for my life, and consider worshipping and obeying Him my first priority. I will shun all idols, or false "gods" that would appear to be able to supply my needs if I were to compromise my commitment to the one true God and my Lord Jesus Christ.
2. I will love my neighbor as myself, considering the effect of my words and my actions on my neighbor's well-being. I will acknowledge that my "neighbor" is the one near me, at various times geographical, familial or preferential. I will avoid the human tendency to stereotype, be prejudiced toward others of different faiths, races, nationalities, genders, etc., and relate to individuals on the basis of their own words and deeds. I will follow God's example, loving every individual and seeking to bring him or her to a knowledge of the truth.
3. I will not gossip about others (passing on destructive rumors) but will lovingly speak the truth as I have personally experienced it, with a goal of edifying others. I will speak words that minister grace and a good reputation for others to live up to. I will not be party to character assassination or the judgment of another's heart without direct experience of the person. If I believe that I have been trespassed, against I will follow the pattern of Matthew 18:15-17, and go to them first before discussing the offense with others (pastoral counseling excepted).
4. I will maintain holiness in my sexual life, whether in or out of marriage, acknowledging that sexuality is profoundly spiritual and will strengthen the bonds of either matrimony or iniquity. I will shun pornography and all illicit sexual activities as demeaning of God's design for marital sexuality that testifies to His goodness and love for mankind.
5. I will acknowledge the spiritual battle raging that the Devil wages against God and His people, and never knowingly give Satan an opportunity to lure me to sin against God, self or neighbor. I will stand against his wiles with the written Word of God, and seek every opportunity to free others who are held captive by him at his will.
6. I will recognize the authority of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and submit to all godly authority derived from them to the limits of my conscience as it is educated by the Word of God. I will renounce rebellion and self-will and seek to serve and not to rule or be a master over others. I will choose behaviors that will encourage godliness, peace and reconciliation. I will live in such a way that if everyone followed my example there would be peace and good will among men.
7. I will be a giver and not a taker. I will not covet or steal that which belongs to another, but will work with my own hands that I may have to give to others. I will make every effort to return lost items to their rightful owner, and seek to be a lender more than a borrower. Anything I do borrow I will return in better shape than I found it, or replace it. I will not be a slave to the acquisition and preservation of money, but will see it as a means to bless and provide for those I love. I will shun addictive and dependent behaviors that would enslave me and render me self-centered and unproductive, especially those associated with destructive chemical substances.
8. I will not seek vengeance against those who wrong me, but will forgive them and seek reconciliation according to the principles of God's Word. I will reject small-minded and petty attitudes that demand of others what I am unwilling to give. I will acknowledge the evils of misjudgment and recognize that what I detest in others' lives in me as well. I will acknowledge that identifying the root of sin in my own life is a more compelling project than presuming to correct others without first correcting myself.
9. I will actively work to manifest the fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22 and 23) as the basic godly attitudes and character traits that ought to govern my life, and give particular attention to those traits that are most difficult for me to evidence. I will not follow my "nature" into sin, making excuses and rationalizing my inappropriate behavior, but will live by the power of the spirit to obey the Word of God.
10. I will do good to all men, seeking opportunities to be of service and show the love of God that dwells in me. But I will be especially good to my fellow Christians, recognizing that they are God's people whom He has graced as my equals. I will do my personal best to be united with them against our common foe, in accordance with the common standard of God's Word and the one spirit that empowers us all.