The Council of Brethren Elders (CBE) is an association of likeminded congregations committed to living out the New Testament model of the church. We believe, as did the early Brethren, that the New Testament model for the church shows individual congregations associating together under a common organizational structure. We believe that this structure in Scripture exemplifies cooperation in evangelistic and humanitarian efforts, church planting, mutual encouragement, and doctrinal unity. We desire to be faithful to the New Testament in living out this model with other likeminded congregations who willingly choose to join together in CBE.
It is not the intent or desire of CBE to introduce a new system of beliefs or practices to our denomination, but rather to rebuild the historic Brethren model by closely following the New Testament pattern. We have sensed the need to form this association because the denomination at large has departed from many of our historic beliefs, practices, and church polity. It is our desire to follow without compromise the scriptural model for the church within the denomination. The denomination is at a critical juncture in history, not only in deciding whether they will continue to move away from a biblical Brethren church polity, but also whether they will recognize the right of congregations to practice the historic biblical Brethren polity within the denomination.
The primary purposes of CBE are to:
- Uphold the Brethren Card as the basis for a brief unifying confession of faith
- Join with likeminded congregations to better coordinate our efforts and pool our resources
- Promote and implement the Biblical requirements for the ministry of the Word
- Live out the New Testament model for the elders office among associating congregations
- Prepare our congregations to face future challenges together