that have developed in the life of this Church.
Distinctives that have developed in the life
of these Churches.
The following list is not
exclusive but it is a summary of the disciplines and distinctives
which have emerged in our life and which have also been important in the
developing life of the Branches.
- Christ: The
Scriptures attest that Christ is the First and Last, the Alpha and Omega,
The Amen. We receive the Biblical testimony to the Deity of Christ. The
Apostles and Nicene Creed attest the Biblical teaching of the person of
Christ. Christ defines everything for us and gives to us all that we need
to know. He is the inexhaustible object of our study and affections. We
Foundations: We hold to unity in primaries and
liberty in secondaries. The creeds disregard
such things as baptisms, church government, and style of church meetings,
from primary doctrine. We will seek to make applications into our daiy lives and culture from the primary doctrines of
Scripture and respect the varying traditions expressed in our church,
which show differences in understanding and interpretation of secondary
Grace of God: This means that the organization of a
church is different from all other clubs, societies and associations, in
that the response to its laws and its Head, is a
response of the heart evoked by the love of God. The actions of the people in the church are a voluntary response
to this grace. This means that we must wait for God to work in His
people and refuse to be quarrelsome, complaining, or impatient.
First the Kingdom: Jesus told us to orient our lives to His
Kingdom and his righteousness. He promised He would ensure adequate food,
clothing and to care for all our earthly needs; those things which
generate such anxiety in people’s hearts: health, guaranteed income,
security, “getting on” and such like. We will leave such to Him and
instead learn about and be preoccupied with the better things of His great
Communion of Saints: We, His church are a part of the
Communion of Saints which is called in every generation. It existed
through the generations both in heaven and earth. This means that we
deliberately reject distinctions based on worldly status, encouraging in
our young people a resistance to being awed by those positions, presenting
false values of our humanhood. The Communion of
Saints, based in the call of Christ, describes our worth.
and Daily Dependence on God:
Jesus frequently sought
solace to commune with His Father. At times, He cried out loudly. We too,
will “go to water” (Psalm 62:8) to our God with matters too big for us
both within us and without us. In this we desire to pray without ceasing,
to be always aware of the company of Christ.
Priesthood of all Believers:
Each person has a role and
ministry to be used for the up-building of the church in truth and love.
There are some things that God seems to choose only to do for a person
through the service and grace of another believer.
- Speech: The
Bible speaks very clearly and strongly about speech as an instrument that
can bless, or curse. We seek to practice a discipline that excludes
gossip, or any comment which would bring down the dignity of another in
the eyes of those with whom we are talking. We accept the discipline of
not using the name of God to strengthen or endorse what we say, leaving
such judgments to be made by our hearers instead.
judgment: We will seek to practice the discipline
of not ‘jumping to conclusions’ and thus we reject prejudice. We will be
critical of our own intuitions and hunches, and will accept the labour of assessing evidence before we allow our minds
to form definite conclusions about people, events and happenings in the
church. We will seek to think of others with mercy.
- Law: This we
believe is to be exampled and to be patiently and purposefully worked into
the lives of our people, through earnest prayer. Unexampled and prayerless declarations of law quickly produce a
legalistic style. We value inter-dependability and seek to grow deeper in
such blessings with each other.
boldness: By praying for each other and honouring Christ in our daily lives and personal
to the world. As our world environment becomes more
idolatrous, we must see ourselves more distinctly as aliens and pilgrims
engaging only lightly with the things that pass away, not to be obsessed
or mastered by such things. Not being anxious for them or for our security
in the world. We are not consumers, we are worshippers, not numbers, we are names. We belong not to the earth, but to the
one who is from Heaven. We trust the Lord who promised to take care of all
those things over which we will be tempted to be anxious and instead we
would seek first His kingdom and righteousness.