Frequently Asked Questions
I don't want to read so much text, can you sum it all up in one paragraph?
What I usually do is take the components of a mobile phone in my hand and ask 'is this a mobile phone?' The answer is 'no' because in its present state you can't make or receive calls. The component parts are there but they are not able to be used for what they are made for. Historical church has some of the parts but unless it is put together the Lord's way, it will not be functional the way Jesus wants it to be. Aspiring to obey Jesus' instructions for ekklesia places believers in the Lord's hands should He wish to issue forth into this world. We want to see that happen, hence returning to biblical practices.
Are you suggesting all churches should be in homes and around food and drink?
A way of explaining the issue is by looking at the Last Supper as a meeting that we couldn't be at. Those who were there took Jesus' words to mean 'meeting in homes around food and drink as a covenant meal'. They wrote down what they were doing and how they were led by the Lord to 'this do...' The Gospels and Paul tell us about 'this do...' and it is like the 'agenda.' Now when we read the agenda, we must consider what those who were at the meeting did about this instruction. The disciples met in homes around food and drink and Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians that this was 'ekklesia' the word we translate as 'church.' So it really isn't my suggestion, it is the suggestion of those who were at the Last Supper to hear Jesus instructions. We are just trying to be true to the instructions of Jesus to the disciples, an instruction that Paul says 'do until the Lord comes.'
There are massive churches who don't prioritise this... aren't they the ones with a story to tell?
Anyone who feels led to lead in a Church needs to have a couple of things very clear to themselves. Firstly, are they really called to do it and secondly, if they are called to do it, does it meet Jesus' specifications. My concern for those who do the historical church model of seats in rows, public building, tithes, up front leadership etc is that it is following a historical pattern of practice that is a hangover from the Roman Catholic church. Because this is not what Jesus instructed there must be an anomaly within this system. What we find is believers who know how to get people to church but can't display the overflow of love, joy and peace that comes from having been met at heart level. There's a place for winning souls to the Lord but this is only one side of the coin. There must be an environment where new believers can grow and this is where Mega church stops being useful. The real crux of the issue is 'whose running your church?' If you answer that question with 'Jesus' then it stands to reason He wants it His way.
Is Jesus just leaving churches to it who don't meet biblically?
Absolutely not! The Lord works lovingly with all His children no matter how we find our church practice. But as with everything in and around a believers life, where we can, we are calibrating self to the Lords will and purpose. So those who are walking in the practices, systems and structures of historical church are needing to get on board with the Lord's instructions. Then maybe, like the Apostolic church times, the Lord can have His will and works break forth into this dark world. The Lord works with historical churches and good things can happen. It's a bit like the days of creation, God said it was good, but it isn't complete until day 7. Ephesians tells us that all things are being brought under Christ and that includes our church practice.
Are you hanging your whole idea on one thing Jesus said?
Not at all! The New Testament tells us churches were in homes. Paul tells us there was enough food and drink at 'church' to get drunk and gorge yourself! The Apostles went from house to house breaking bread which is a Jewish idiom for eating a meal. Jude tells us the imposers infiltrating the love feasts are 'stains.' Of all things Jesus would tell Paul, he focused upon the meal: 'this do unto my remembrance' and Paul passed on this pattern to the churches. All the experts who have written about the early church agree that the meal was central and that was 'church.' God set up most events and covenants to involve food and drink. When Jesus was resurrected his hanging out with the disciples was mostly around food.
Can you give an overview of what you believe?
We are a group of people who believe Jesus Christ was God in flesh and is the Messiah who was promised through Israel’s Prophets. We believe that people can 'come as you are' to Jesus and, having recognised our shortfall, turning to God for forgiveness, we can accept the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Once truly rescued, we begin a life of calibrating self to the ways of the Lord. Jesus will return to continue the saving plan of God as revealed in the Scriptures. Meanwhile we want to meet together as 'church,' in a biblical way, taking seriously what the Apostles did with Jesus' instructions as He introduced the New Covenant:
'This do... '(Luke 22:19)
We aim to gather together for ‘church’ as practised by the Apostles on Jesus instructions, ‘this do... unto my remembrance’ Those who were there to hear Jesus instructions subsequently met in family homes around the Lord's Supper - a full meal. They did what they had just done... ate a full meal together which had bread and wine as part of it. They called this ‘ekklesia’ the word we translate as ‘church.’ There's no doubt bread and wine were used to represent the New Covenant but Paul's correction to the Corinthians reveals there was plenty of food and drink at the gathering... not just a cracker and a sip! In short, 'ekklesia,' or 'church,' was a meal eaten together by believers who were lifting Jesus up as Lord and King. Historical events have blurred these definitions but this instruction given to the disciples has never changed.
Everyone’s included (1 Cor 14:26)
On Sunday evenings brothers and sisters share to encourage and build up the church (ekklesia). Think, 'Jesus show and tell!' It would be more like a short contribution on Sunday, our Bible Teaching is on Tuesday nights. It usually takes a while to feel comfortable doing this. No sweat! Then we have the Lord's Supper, food that regular attenders contribute to. Each person would take some bread and a drink with their meal but there is no ritual around this. Eating the meal together, as instructed, was and is a sign of the New Covenant. This was ‘ekklesia’ (church) according to the scriptures! We would like to be calibrating towards the scriptures in all aspects of faith and practice... including the difficult bits like church discipline.
Believing the Scriptures...
We believe in the gifts of the Spirit are still present within the body and urge regular brothers and sisters to freely express them. We believe Israel will be restored during the Tribulation and we look forward to a literal millennial reign of Christ on Earth. We believe the 'Rapture' is imminent and that would probably be pre-tribulation according to the Biblical models we are observing from the Scriptures. We welcome discussions about the grey areas that lie within sound Biblical doctrine. As with 'beginnings,' end times is always a vibrant theme of the discussion.
Giving (2 Cor 9:6-8)
Some churches have a 'tithe' as the way to give money to the church. While giving is entirely biblical, it must be led solely by the Holy Spirit, not an Old Testament law aimed exclusively at Israel. Many don’t know why they give to churches, it’s just what they have always done! Hold on to your money! Allow the Lord to move you to give to what He wants you to give, and what to! It’s entirely between yourself and the Lord. Seeing every need in this world can soon empty your wallet so we urge believers to be sensitive to the voice of the Lord in this. Do what He says with joy! If your conviction is to give weekly then we can talk about how this can be done.
We teach origins as six single 24 hour days of God’s Creation and would say the Earth is about seven thousand years old. We completely reject Evolution / Biogenesis as foolishness or at best, a ploy of the enemy to create a religion for Atheists. Adam and Eve were the first couple and all human life stems from them. We have resources that confirm scientifically that the Bible can be trusted on its Creation account. That said, belief is a matter of faith! Arguing is fruitless but healthy exploration together on these things is encouraged.
The Biblical text
We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God in the original languages. Teaching is pro-Israel, Greek / Hebrew and does not follow an established system made by man. We are able, by the grace of God, to have a Hebraic appreciation of the text which set the Bible back in its original context as a Jewish book. This sees prophecy as ‘pattern,’ not just ‘prediction’ as we teach from Genesis to Revelation.
Leadership is Biblical, so not resembling the usual Pastor / Leader / Vicar / Charismatic form. We have leadership among the group but would not support the up front minister model. The form of leadership would be Eldership as the Bible supports no other form or title for a local body. The gathered believers would be the ones who decide upon most matters including the setting apart of Elders. There's no rank in church! We do practice church discipline within the parenthesis of Mathhew Ch 18.
A small sample of our Ecclesiology:
Having been around the block a few times with historical church and good intentioned church missions, we have concluded that 'church' is best defined as 'God's extended family.' The return to brothers and sisters relating together as family, rather than ‘fellow servants,’ is a key to rediscovering the core values of faith. We observe that our Western mindsets, upbringing and nurturing makes us comfortable with the historical church format but it compromises the aims and objectives of the Lord's will for His people. We do not trust the developments of Church history beyond the Apostles and thus aim to walk, talk and practice their instructions as they followed Christ’s.
If this is resonating with you the best thing to do is to contact us and we can have a coffee and a chat. Many believers are ‘over’ church and feel burned out by their experiences. Why not give us a chance to show how ‘Biblical church’ is designed by God and works towards your building up, encouragement and growth and would never ‘make merchandise out of you.’ (2 Pet 2:1-3).
Blessings in Jesus