Who are we?
When you meet a religious group you’ve never met before it’s natural to ask, “Who are they? Are they some sort of weird cult? Just what do they believe and do?” Let’s try and answer some of these questions now.
Be assured that we are a perfectly orthodox group of Christians whose desire is to be Christians only, both in our personal lives and in how we worship God. You will find our members to be ordinary folk from all walks of life who are happy just to be a part of God’s family. Indeed ‘Family’ is the word we like to use when we think of ourselves. It is as a family that we approach our worship and all that we do.
As with all orthodox Christians, we believe in the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Three-in-One and One-in-Three and if you can’t follow that, neither can most people since it is something of a mystery, yet is a basic and essential Christian belief. We are therefore not Jehovah’s Witnesses but rather fall into the mainstream Protestant/Free Church tradition.
So why are we different? What makes us want to be a separate communion and invite others to share our aims and ambitions? Essentially we believe in getting rid of the religious baggage, which most denominations have accumulated over the centuries, and aim to get as close as we can to the practice and beliefs we read about in the New Testament. Our major aim is to restore New Testament Christianity, as opposed to reforming existing denominational practices, and thereby provide a platform from which all Christians can build to be united in Christ.
We recognize that we owe a great debt to reformers like Luther and Wesley, and that we would not be here thinking as we do without their courage and commitment. Nevertheless they tried to work from within their existing religious frameworks; Wesley, for example, died thinking he was still a good Anglican. We believe that this approach did not and does not work and that if Christians are to unite they can do so only by getting back to the spirit, practices and teaching of the New Testament. We do not ignore the Old Testament, honouring it also as God’s Word, however the Christian religion is found solely in the New Testament, which supersedes the Old in matters of faith and practice, where the two differ. (The Book of Hebrews makes this point many times.)
Consequently we do not follow the religious ideas of any one person whose life and teaching lie outside the pages of the New Testament. No matter how fine they were as Christian believers and exemplars of the faith in their lives, they were not divinely inspired in the way the New Testament writers were. As a result we reject all uninspired writing, including books claiming to be authoritative in matters of faith, Creeds, Articles or Confessions. We take Bible study very seriously and try to follow only its direction in all aspects of our lives and worship. We believe that God means what He says and says what He means.
Therefore you will find our attitude being something like this:
- In New Testament times, Christians met every Lord’s Day (Sunday) for communion, which was absolutely central to their worship – so do we.
- In the New Testament all who believed in Jesus and repented of their sins were baptized (i.e. submersed) into Him, thereby uniting publicly with His death and resurrection (Romans 6:1-5) and gaining eternal promises as a result – we teach and practise this too.
- In the New Testament all churches were solely under their own, congregational leadership – so are we. We recognize no authority beyond the Bible (Christ and the apostles) and the local congregation and have no earthly headquarters.
- The New Testament recognizes no separation of clergy and laity, there being one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5) and therefore teaches the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9) – so do we.
What you will find if you visit us
If you come to our services – and you are most welcome to do so – you will find that we do things a little differently than you might expect:
- In the New Testament, worship was completely under the leadership and headship of the men – so is ours.
- In the New Testament and for hundreds of years afterwards singing was unaccompanied (a cappella), no musical instrument being used – so is ours.
- We remember that in the New Testament services were usually conducted in homes or in the open air and not in formal settings in special buildings. We have no objection to church buildings but believe that ‘church’ means the people not the place where they meet.
- They had no need of altars nor special clothing for those conducting the worship in the New Testament – neither do we.
Moral and social matters
In matters of social conscience, in the New Testament there are areas where Christians could, and do, hold differing opinions – we honour that. There were also very strict instructions about what was and what was not acceptable moral conduct, (e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 4:25-32, Revelation 21:7-8). We refuse to bow to current social trends which try to pretend that wrong is now right and therefore acceptable to God. If something was considered to be wrong in the New Testament, we still believe that it is wrong in the eyes of God.
What we are doing
We are on a quest. It’s an exciting quest trying to restore the faith presented to us in the New Testament. We are not perfect, nor do we claim to have arrived. But it is well worth the effort of travelling!
We would love for you to join us for our worship service! If you would like to find out more about us and what we have to offer, please either contact us by clicking here, or visit us at The Buckingham Park Community Centre, Buckingham Park, Jubilee Square, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 9DZ on Sunday mornings to which you would be most welcome.
We look forward to meeting you.