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FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS1. Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch together create a community of caring Christians dedicated to helping one another grow toward Christian maturity. We are a part of the larger Christian community, and we represent an institution committed to the local church in its evangelism efforts and leadership development, as well as the general training of Christian workers and the spreading of the Word of God.2. Our community and witness require mutual understanding. Our voluntary association involves mutual submission and consideration.3. The Scriptures encourage us to pursue a course of conduct that is free from both lawlessness and legalism. Rules are not in themselves a test of spirituality.4. A spiritual person will submit to God's Word and to God's established authority. He will live in love and self-control in the community in which God allows him to live and serve.5. The Bible clearly states some precepts and principles as absolutes in moral and ethical behavior. In other areas where legitimate differences of opinion exist, that Bible provides guidelines for behavior. As members of the Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch Christian community, we each commit ourselves to live Christ-honoring lives. Being on staff at Silver Birch Ranch or a student at Nicolet Bible Institute presupposes that each person has committed his/her life to Jesus Christ for salvation and for Christian service. A lifestyle in accordance with Biblical principles is essential to demonstrate that commitment to fellow staff, students, and the outside world. Scripture clearly indicates "that whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17).
BIBLICAL ABSOLUTESIncluded in the absolutes are certain commands or requirements of the Bible about moral living. Because we desire that the life of Christ be manifested in the Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch community, it is expected that every direct command of God for the believer will be obeyed. To love other Christians, do good to all men, be filled with the Holy Spirit, obey the Word of God, and trust God for personal needs are illustrative of some of the positive commands of Scriptures (Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 5:18-21; Col. 3:3, 5-17; I Thess. 5:12-22). The Bible also forbids practices such as stealing, drunkenness, gossip, gluttony, dishonesty, lying, occult involvement, murder, profanity, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual behavior. In addition, attitudes such as lust, thanklessness, pride, hatred, rebelliousness, and jealousy are equally displeasing to God and harmful to man. These Biblical precepts are to govern our lives at and away from the work place, manifesting the life of Christ in our conduct and attitudes, expressing joy and abundant living. Jesus Christ said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
COMMUNITY STANDARDSAt Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch, we are committed to maintaining a lifestyle based on Biblical principles. These principles are abiding general truths deduced from the Scripture that guide us in our thoughts and actions. We have therefore established some moderate standards to govern the lifestyle of our community. While we realize that these may not totally reflect the personal preferences of each member of the community, they enable our community to function in harmony and under the Lordship of Christ. Therefore, we prohibit gambling, the use of non-medicinal drugs, sexually suggestive dancing, tobacco in any form, consumption of alcoholic beverages, sexually explicit material and similar practices which are not consistent with Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch community standards. We should apply the principles of modesty and appropriateness even to the way we dress. We expect community members to regularly attend worship services of an evangelical local church. In all things, we desire to live balanced Christian lives, avoiding that which is offensive, divisive, or legalistic, not flaunting our liberty in Christ.
INDIVIDUAL DISCRETIONBy individual discretion we mean that each believer, though free to follow a Biblically-informed conscience in some practices, must in love and consideration adapt behavior to benefit others and the community. The application of some Biblical principles governing Christians living in community is an administrative prerogative at Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch, and others are left for individual application. For instance, while the principle stands that we all need fellowship with God in Bible study and prayer, the specific time, place, and method for personal devotions are an individual choice. Staff and students have the responsibility to apply these principles to their own life situations, such as choosing a church to attend or developing friendships. The entertainment industry often promotes values and products which are contrary to Scripture. Profanity, excessive violence, illicit sex, inappropriate lifestyles, and other forms of aberrant behavior not only dominate entertainment themes, but are portrayed as desirable. On the other hand, God's Word instructs believers to be committed to whatever is "true...honorable...right...pure...lovely, and of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things" (Philippians 4:8). Therefore all members of Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch community should avoid any form of entertainment or activity which does not promote values consistent with Biblical principles of righteousness and personal purity. While on the grounds or in camp vehicles, members should avoid secular music, movies, and television programs. While at Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch, we expect personal behavior which is manifested in a consistent Christian testimony thereby furthering the effective witness of this Christian community. Each individual is responsible to exercise discretion with reference to reading materials, visual entertainment, choice of music, concerts, and attendance at places of entertainment. There is never justification for violating these standards for the sake of exposure to a particular form of media, even in the pursuit of so-called relevance. All individuals should be guided by the overriding principles that the freedom of the Christian goes hand-in-hand with individual responsibility to Christ and fellow believers. "For you were called to freedom, brothers; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Gal. 5:13).
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURESCertain rules and guidelines are necessary for the proper functioning of a community that may not apply to individuals. Since we are committed to honor Christ and to love one another, staff and students of Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch freely assume certain regulations governing personal behavior. Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch reserve the right to make interpretive application of all of the aforementioned guidelines, with respect to staff and students. In addition, the Administration may evaluate an individual's response to these standards and extend counsel where appropriate. In cases where conduct is determined to violate these guidelines, Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch may, at its sole discretion, elect to discipline or discharge an individual.