General Principles and Practices for ECPA Members
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Luke 6:31). In a much simpler world, this would be all the statement we need to provide us with good principles and practices. Even in a complex world like ours it should be enough. But sometimes we need to be reminded of the daytoday implications of the Golden Rule.
This document lays out in brief some basic principles which, if followed, we believe will insure a harmonious spirit throughout the Christian Publishing family. For the most part this spirit already exists, but there will always be room for improvement.
1. Proclaim the Truth in Love
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful
for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
(Ephesians 4:29 NIV)
As members of ECPA, it is our call to proclaim the truth in love. Every word we speak or write will serve to uphold the truth. In all our dealings, we will work to strengthen and support one another, acting charitably toward all, and never intentionally seek to damage another's reputation. Our communication should seek to benefit others, show mutual respect, and reflect Christ's love.
2. Communicate the Truth Faithfully
"So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbor the truth because we belong to each
other." (Ephesians 4:25 NLT)
As members of ECPA, we will seek to document all sources and validate all research. It is our intention to comply with all international copyright and trademark laws, and will obtain permission prior to using copyrighted sources. Members will not knowingly engage in plagiarism or fabrication of people, events, and quotations.
Great care should be taken to present accurate sales numbers on products and in advertising. Co-writers or collaboration should be clearly identified as such.
Members will not knowingly publish works that contradict the ECPA statement of faith.
3. Encourage Christian Unity and Reconciliation
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3 NIV)
If one or more members of ECPA believes that another member has violated this ethics
statement, they should first go to that member for the purpose of discerning if there was
a violation, and if so, restoration. This meeting should be held in light of the biblical
patterns of discipline and confrontation discussed in Matthew 18:1519;
1 Thessalonians 5:12-15; Titus 3:9-11.
We will endeavor never wrongly to assume or attribute improper motives to others. Theological debate has been a tradition in Christianity, and should be encouraged. When different points of view are discussed, there will be honest disagreement over interpretations. When disagreeing, we will listen to the positions of those involved, and strive for a resolution without criticizing the people involved.
Resolution and reconciliation should be sought first, before condemnation. Every effort should be made to give the errant member an opportunity to rectify the situation.
When disagreements arise, members should first seek resolution according to the principles defined in Scripture. Where differences among members cannot be settled by the individual parties, members should seek resolution through the process available through ECPA or, through other means of Christian arbitration before seeking arbitration through secular means or turning to litigation and the civil courts.
4. Maintain Financial Integrity
"Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus."
(Colossians 3:17 NLT)
As good stewards, we will conduct our business with high standards of financial and legal integrity. This includes paying bills on time, generating timely and accurate royalty statements, and paying royalties on time.
We will be fair, equitable, and considerate in dealing with vendors, authors, and customers.