The PastorGeorge Christian Bruns
Pastor Bruns is a native New Yorker. He was born in Roosevelt, L.I., New York on December 16, 1946. He graduated from Freeport High School in 1965. George then attended Lea College in Albert Lea, Minnesota where he met and married Twyla Marie Butenhoff. Pastor Bruns graduated in 1971 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While in Minnesota George and Twyla had two daughters, Michelle and Yevette.
In 1978 George was saved by the grace of God through the shed blood, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ while living in Halifax, Vermont where he and his family had moved earlier that same year. But it wasn't until 1987 that his wife and two daughters came to know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, too.
In 1988 George felt that the Lord was calling him to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He began attending Heritage Baptist Institute of the Bible, a teaching ministry of the Calvary Baptist Church of East Hampton, Massachusetts. For four years during this same time he pastored the Grace Church of Turners Falls, MA. part time. George graduated from HBI Summa Cum Laude with a diploma in Bible and Theology in May of 1993.
Back to Long Island
The Lord led him back to Long Island upon graduation and the Hendrickson Avenue Bible Church recognized that call of God on his life and in turn called George to take the pulpit there in September of 1993.
Pastor's Personal Testimony & Doctrinal Statement as given at his Ordination:
George Christian Bruns
The Ordination Council
The Hendrickson Avenue Bible Church
Lynbrook, New York
April 15, 2000
George Christian Bruns
Including Conversion, Baptism, Call to the Ministry, Priority of Life, and Prayer Life
My Conversion and Baptism
Church had always been a part of my life, but not always a big part. My mother made me go. Lutheran, Unitarian, and Christian Scientist churches were all a part of my youth. My mother finally found salvation through Jesus Christ at a Christian Missionary and Alliance church on Long Island. I, on the other hand, went to Minnesota to a liberal arts college and found godless liberalism.
While in Minnesota I met and married my wife. We were married in her Lutheran church in 1968 but we seldom attended it. I graduated college with a B. A. degree in English in 1971 and settled down into family life. It was only after five or six years of marriage that we decided that going to church was the "right thing to do", so we began attending Salem Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, MN. We attended that church for several years, but I can't ever recall hearing the gospel there.
Then in 1977 the place where I had worked for the past five years was reorganizing and it appeared that it would be closing in the not too distant future. Not knowing what to do or where to turn next I be-gan thinking of returning east. My parents had retired to Vermont from Long Island and my wife, children, and I had visited Vermont a couple of times and fell in love with it. We moved there in January of 1978.
As soon as we arrived in Vermont my mother began insisting that we should go to church. She kept talking about the Bible and Pastor Homer Smith. So in order to keep peace I went to the Halifax Bible Church and met Pastor Smith. It was through the simple preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ that I realized that I was a sinner in need of saving and that sin was affecting my relationship with God which in turn was affecting my relationship with my wife, family, and friends. I confessed my sins to God, repented of them and accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptized on September 2, 1979. My wife remained unconverted for another eight years. Although saved, I rebelled against God's Word as the Holy Spirit was convicting me of the sins I was still unwilling to give up (i.e., smoking, etc.), and I stopped attending church for awhile until another godly man took an interest in me, Pastor Alan Swanson.
My Call to the Ministry
I began attending church regularly again at the invitation of Pastor Swanson. He was patient with me, worked with me and began discipling me in earnest. He introduced me to personal evangelism in 1986. Under his ministry my wife, daughters, and then future son-in-law, Allan Harder, came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and were all baptized the same day - a day I will never forget. God is so good! One evening in the fall of 1987 I sat on the living room sofa after everyone else had gone to bed and wept uncontrollably in sorrow for wasting forty-two years of my life. It was then that I decided to give the rest of my life to serving the Lord in Christ-ian ministry. I remembered Heritage Baptist Institute of the Bible where Pastor Smith attended and applied there in September of 1988.
In that same month, God tested my resolve. The place where I had been working for the past eight years was changing its contract security force. I was the training supervisor for the outgoing security force and I was offered the opportunity to continue to work there for the new security force, and keep my high salaried job, or take a lay-off. However, if I stayed at that job my hours would not permit me to attend Heritage Baptist Institute to which I had just been accepted. So, with the majority of my friends against the idea, and my wife concerned, but supportive, I trusted God and took the lay-off. God continued to test my faith for it was seven months before God gave me the right job at the right time. It was a job that not only allowed me to continue Bible school, but also allowed me to take on the part-time pastorate at Grace Church, in Turners Falls, Massachusetts where I served until the Lord called me here to Long Island.
I truly believe that God was orchestrating my life as I graduated Suma Cum Laud from Heritage Baptist Institute of the Bible in May of 1993 with a Diploma in English Bible and Theology. It took five years of traveling fifty miles each way to and from school two nights per week, through the rain, snow, and ice to complete my studies. And, I had only missed two nights in that five year period while working a full time job twenty miles from my home in the opposite direction and Pastoring a church forty minutes from my home in another direction during this same period of time. Please understand that I am not bragging here, but only recounting these things to show how God was working in and guiding the affairs of my life. I truly thank God for getting me through all this and giving me an understanding wife who had to shovel snow and mow lawn and do all the other tasks that would normally have fallen on me so I could spend the little spare time I had studying.
My Priority of Life
God is my first priority in life, my wife is second and understands because God is first in her life. She has always been there for me and I know that I do not have a ministry without her. I am aware of my duty to love my wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25). I can only promise to continue to try and fulfill that command, as I fall short daily. My children are both grown and saved. They are married to fine Christian men and my grandchildren are my crown (Prov. 17:6). The flock that I undershepherd is my life's work to love, feed and protect from spiritual harm (Acts 20:28-30; Eph.4:11-12). Time and space do not permit me to tell you of all the doors that God has opened for me, and of all the blessings that He has bestowed on me and my family. Perhaps someday when time has no more meaning I can share all the glories of God that I have known with you.
My Prayer Life
Upon rising and after dressing, I usually start each day with a devotional reading and personal prayer time. Sometimes my wife joins me and we discuss the Scripture portion or devotional content or sometimes we have our devotions separately depending upon our personal schedules which vary from day to day. I try to start every new project or trip with a short prayer for safety, strength and guidance, and thank Him for every project completed. I have come to a point in my life where I usually no longer even think without knowing that God is in the thought process with me. It is hard for me to tell, concerning thinking to myself and praying to God where the one ends off and the other begins. I believe I know what Paul meant when he said we should "pray without ceasing", not that I'm there yet, but I understand the concept. I thank God for every meal regardless of where I am. And, I conclude each day on my knees before God, thanking Him and petitioning Him for my physical and spiritual family members, and for the day He just gave me. Yet, I know that my prayer life is still inadequate and needs improving.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
GEORGE CHRISTIAN BRUNS
GEORGE CHRISTIAN BRUNS
I. Of the Scriptures
I believe in the authority (1) and sufficency (2) of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament; that it was plenarily (every portion) (3) and verbally (every word) inspired (4) in the original languages and is the product of Spirit-controlled men (5), and therefore is infallible (unfailingly accurate) (6) and inerrant (containing no error of fact) in all matters of which it speaks (7).
I believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried (8).
I believe that the proper method of interpreting the Bible is by the literal, grammatical, historical and contextual method (9) which when followed will result in a dispensational hermeneutic (10).
I believe that God by His singular care and providence has preserved His Holy Scriptures (11); and that the Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text for the Old Testament and the Traditional Received Greek Text for the New Testament are the closest to the original autographs; and that the only faithful and accurate translation of these texts to be found in English today is the Authorized Version or better known as the King James Version of the Bible.
(1) Ezek. 13:2; 1 Cor. 14:37; (2) 2 Tim. 3:17; (3) 2 Tim. 3:16; (4) Matt. 5:17-18; (5) 2 Pet. 1:19-21; (6) Ps. 12:6; (7) Jn. 17:17; (8) Ps. 19:7-11; (9) 2 Tim. 2:15; (10) Eph. 1:10; (11) Ps. 12:6-7.
II. Of the True God
I believe there is one (12) and only one living and true God (13), an infinite (14) and intelligent (15) Spirit (16), the Maker (17) and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and Earth (18); in-expressibly glorious (19) in holiness (20), and worthy of all possible honor (21), confidence (22), and love (23); that in the unity of the Godhead (24) there are three persons (25), the Father (26), the Son (27), and the Holy Spirit (28), equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
(12) Deut. 6:4; (13) 1 Thess. 1:9; (14) Isa. 44:6; (15) Job 37:16; (16) Jn. 4:24; (17) Gen. 1:1; (18) Ps. 95:3-6; (19) Ps. 113:4-6; (20) Hab. 1:12-13; (21) 2 Sam. 22:4; 1 Tim. 1:17; (22) Prov. 14:26; (23) 1 Jn. 4:19; (24) Rom. 1:20; (25) 1 Jn. 5:7; (26) 1 Cor. 8:6; (27) Jn. 1:18; (28) Jn. 14:26.
III. Of the Father
I believe that God the Father revealed His position as Father in relation to the Son and Holy Spirit in the council of the Godhead before creation and time (29); that although equal in nature, the Son and Holy Spirit have been subordinate to the Father since the council, and will remain in that relationship until eternity future (30), and that such subordination is for the intent of executing the Divine purpose (31).
I believe that the Father is the ultimate source of all things (32); He sustains the Fatherhood relationship to spirit beings (33); He sent the Son into the world (34), and with the Son sent the Holy Spirit (35), but the Father is never the sent one. The Father enters a Fatherhood relation with men through their spiritual new birth (36), indwells believers (37), makes them partake of the Divine nature (38), calls them His born ones (39), forgives their sins (40), and answers their prayers (41).
(29) Ps. 2:7-12; (30) 1 Cor. 15:28; (31) Eph. 1:3-14; (32) 1 Cor. 8:6; (33) Job 1:6; (34) Jn. 3:16; (35) Jn. 14:26; (36) Jn. 1:12; (37) Jn. 14:23; (38) 2 Pet. 1:4; (39) 1 Jn. 3:9; (40) 1 Jn. 1:9; (41) Jn. 16:23.
IV. Of Jesus Christ
I believe in the absolute deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (42), that He was and is divine as no other man can be, being God in every respect, existing from all eternity past to all eternity future (43), co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit (44); that He never ceased to be God; that He volun-tarily took upon Himself man's nature, with all the essential properties and infirmities thereof, yet without sin (45).
I believe that the man Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner and that He was born to the virgin, Mary, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son (46).
I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified until dead and rose bodily the third day according to the Scriptures (47); that He ascended into heaven (48) where He is seated at the right hand of the Father (49); that He alone is our merciful and faith-ful High Priest (50).
(42) Heb. 1:1-8; (43) Rev. 1:8; (44) Matt. 28:19; (45) Phil. 2: 5-8; Heb. 2:14-17; (46) Luke 1:26-35; (47) 1 Cor. 15:3-4; (48) Acts 1:9-11 (49) Heb. 1:3; (50) Heb. 8:1.
V. Of the Holy Spirit
I believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same na-ture (51); that He was active in the creation (52); that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled (53); that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (54); that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony (55); that He is the agent in the new birth (56); that He seals (57), endues (58), guides (59), teaches (60), wit-nesses (61), sanctifies (62), and helps the believer (63).
(51) Jn. 14:16-17; Matt. 28:19; (52) Gen. 1:1-3; (53) 2 Thess 2:7; (54) Jn. 16:8-11; (55) Acts 5:30-32; (56) Jn. 3:5-6; (57) Eph. 1:13-14; (58) Mk. 1:8; Lk. 24:49; (59) Rom. 8:14; (60) 1 Jn. 2:27; (61) Rom. 8:16; (62) 1 Cor. 6:11; (63) Jn. 14:26.
VI. Of the Devil
I believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil (64); and that he was created by God as an angel (65), but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of His creator (66); that he became the unholy god of this age (67) and the ruler of all the powers of darkness (68) and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (69).
(64) Rev. 12:9; (65) Col. 1:16; Ezek. 28:12-16; (66) Isa. 14:12--15; Matt. 4:1-11; (67) 2 Cor. 4:4; (68) Eph. 6:11-12; (69) Rev. 20:10.
VII. Of Creation
I believe that the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels and man is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process (70); that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life (71); and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (72).
(70) Gen. 1; 2; Col. 1:16-17; Jn. 1:3; (71) 1 Cor. 15:39; (72) Matt. 19:4-5.
VIII. Of the Fall
I believe that man, in the person of Adam, was created in innocence under the law of his maker (73), but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state (74), in consequence of which all mankind is now sinful (75), not only by birth, but also by choice (76); and therefore under just condem-nation without defense or excuse (77).
(73) Gen. 2:7, 18-25; (74) Gen. 3:1-6; (75) Rom. 3:10-19; (76) Rom. 5:12, 19; (77) Rom. 1:18, 32.
IX. Of Salvation
I believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace (78) through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (79), Who, by the appointment of the Father (80), voluntarily took upon Himself our nature (81), yet without sin (82), and honored the divine law by His personal obedience (83), and that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin (84); that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitu-tion of Himself in the sinner's place (85), the Just for the unjust (86), Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree (87); that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be the suitable, the compassionate and the all sufficient Saviour.
I believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation (88). Repentance is a change of heart and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith (89).
(78) Eph. 2:8-10; (79) Acts 15:11; (80) Jn. 3:16; (81) Heb. 2:14-17; (82) 2 Cor. 5:21; (83) Phil. 2:7-8; (84) Rom. 3:24-25; (85) Isa.53: 4-7; 1 Cor. 15:3; (86) 1 Pet. 3:18; (87) 1 Pet. 2:24; (88) Jn. 3:17--18; (89) 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 Thess. 1:4-9.
X. Of the Atonement
I believe that Christ's atonement for sin is sufficient for the whole world (90), but is efficient only for those who trust fully in Jesus Christ alone (91). Jesus is the Saviour of all men potentially but of believers alone effectually (92).
(90) Jn. 1:29; 1 Jn. 2:2; (91) 1 Tim. 4:10; (92) Heb. 5:9.
XI. Of Grace and the New Birth
I believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again (93); that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus (94); that it is instantaneous and not a process (95); that in the new birth the one dead in tresspasses and in sins (96) is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life (97), the free gift of God (98), that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God is a manner above our compre-hension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (99); that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life (100).
(93) Jn. 3:3, 7; (94) 2 Cor. 5:17; (95) Jn. 1:12-13; 1 Jn. 5:1; (96) Eph. 2:1, 5; (97) 2 Pet. 1:4; (98) Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 3:5; (99) 2 Thess. 2:13-14; (100) 1 Jn. 5:1-4.
XII. Of Justification
I believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ (101); that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done (102), but solely through faith in the Redeemer's shed blood (103).
(101) Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1, 9; (102) Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9; (103) Rom. 3:24-25.
XIII. Of Sanctification
I believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ (104), establishing the believer in a position of holi-ness from the moment that the believer is chosen by Him, before the foundation of the world (105); second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the Life (106); third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord's return (107).
(104) Heb. 10:10-14; 3:1; (105) 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:4; 5:25-27; (106) 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 5:23-24 (107) 1 Jn. 3:2; Jude 24-25; Rev. 22:11.
XIV. Of the Security of the Saints
I believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (108).
(108) Phil. 1:6; Jn. 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1.
XV. Of the Church
I believe in the church universal; that is, that the unity of all New Testament "born again" believers, from Pentecost until the Rapture, are members one of another in the Church, which is the Body of Christ (109).
I believe that a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word (110); that its officers are pastors/elders/bishops and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures (111). I believe the true mission of the church is to worship God and to glorify Him on earth (112); to develop in each individual member a goal for attaining the fullness of the stature of Christ; to be a con-stant witness for Christ and His gospel to all men as we have opportunity (113). I hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the futherance of the gospel; that the local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final (114).
(109) 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5: 23; Col. 1:18; Acts 15:13-18; (110) Acts 2:41-42; Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; (111) Eph. 4:11; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9; (112) Eph. 3:14-21; (113) Mat. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15; Eph. 3:14-21; Col. 3:16-17; (114) Acts 13:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:15.
XVI. Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
I believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith with the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life (115); that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership (116).
I believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination, confession and repentance of sin (117).
I believe that the Biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord's Supper, and that participants in the Lord's Supper should be immersed believers (118).
(115) Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12; (116) Acts 2:41-42; (117) 1 Cor. 11:23-28; (118) Acts 2:41-42.
XVII. Of Civil Government
I believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only Lord of the con-science and the coming King of Kings (119).
(119) Rom. 13:1-7; 2 Sam. 23:3; Ex. 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19-20; Dan. 3:17-18.
XVIII. Of Israel
I believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ (120).
(120) Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezk. 37
XIX. Of the Rapture and Subsequent Events
I believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment, and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet The Lord in the air before the seven years of the Tribula-tion (121).
I believe that the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom (122).
(121) 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54; Phil. 3: 20-21; Rev. 3:10; (122) Dan. 9:25-27; Matt. 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Rev. 20:1-4, 6.
XX. Of the Righteous and the Wicked
I believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem (123); while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire (124).
(123) Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17-18; 1 Jn. 5:19; Rom. 7:6; 6:23; (124) Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matt. 25:34-41; Jn. 8:21; Rev. 20:14-5.
XXI. Of Separation
I believe that we are to obey the Biblical command to be holy (125) and separate ourselves unto God from worldliness (126), ecclesi-astical apostasy (127), and erring brethren (128). I believe that the progressive sanctification of the believer unto God requires that we are to love all men and to seek their salvation but that there are areas in which we cannot have fellowship with unbelievers; that it may be necessary at times to separate even from fellow believers in Christ if they are continuing in sin or are in fellowship with unbelief.
I believe that the following movements are out of harmony with the Word of God:
A. The Modern Ecumenical movement with such advocates as the National and World Council of Churches.
B. The Neo-Evangelical movement characterized with such advocates as the National Association of Evangelicals and the National Religious Broadcasters who maintain a cooperative spirit and dialogue with liberal theological systems.
C. The so-called Charismatic movement which is characterized by a strong emphasis on experience, either beyond the teaching of Scripture or contrary to Scripture; and a denial of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. "Baptism in the Spirit," "Speaking in tongues," and "Faith healing" are additional characteristics of this movement.
I believe that personalities, public relations, and proclamations mean nothing if an individual or organization is unstable in practice and principle. All individuals or organizations should be evaluated on what they believe and practice; support for them should be given or withheld in relation toward their convictions and adherence to the fundamentals of the faith and the practice of biblical separation (129).
(125) 1Pet. 1:16; (126) 1 Jn. 2:15; (127) 2 Cor. 6:14; 7:1; 2 Jn. 9-11; (128) Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Tit. 3:10-11; (129) 1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Jn. 4:1