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What does the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) believe?

 

The Bible is a guide for Christian living and faith and truly reveals God’s purpose in the world. The witness of early Disciples was “where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.” It was out of the commitment to the concept of restoring the unity of the church, based on the New Testament, that many traditional beliefs and practices took shape and continue to be a part of our identity as a church today, including weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper, baptism of believers by immersion; and the right of self-government by congregations.

 

Doctrines and human differences should not be allowed to divide believers from each other. God is revealed in many ways, mainly through Jesus. There are no set beliefs about God—all experience the deity differently. There is a unity of all Christians in the love of Christ.

 

There is an Inclusive Ministry in the life and work of the church. All members are “ministers“ and are entitled to interpret the Scriptures and perform church functions.

 

Baptism is for individuals mature enough to make their own decisions. Just as the baptism represents the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it symbolizes the death and burial of the old self, and the joyous birth of a brand new being in Christ. Those who founded the Disciples movement taught baptism by immersion as the accepted form. Baptism, as a gift of grace, received by faith, expresses its meaning in a variety of images: new birth; a washing with water; a cleansing from sin; a sign of God’s forgiving grace; the power of new life now and the pledge of life in the age to come. The meaning of baptism is grounded in God’s redemptive action in Christ, it incorporates the believer in the community in the body of Christ, and it anticipates life in the coming age when the powers of the old world will be overcome, and the purposes of God will triumph.

The Lord’s Supper is the heart of our worship. It is celebrated in remembrance of Christ and His life on earth; it draws the congregation closer together; it is an act of thanksgiving for the forgiveness of our sins and the renewal of our life; and it is a rededication to Christ’s way. The Lord's Supper or Communion is celebrated in weekly worship. It is open to all who are followers of Jesus Christ. The practice of Holy Communion has become the central element of worship within the Disciples tradition.

 

Disciples' observance of the Lord's Supper emanates from the upper room, where Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the living Christ is met and received in the sharing of the bread and the cup, representative of the body and blood of Jesus. The presence of the living Lord is affirmed and he is proclaimed to be the dominant power in our lives.

 

Membership in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) means freedom and diversity.

 

In Worship - Prayer and devotion are a Christian’s greatest source of strength. We have no set doctrines or uniform rules. Each person can find the methods that suit him/her the best.

 

In Service –God has given each of us unique gifts and talents. The church offers many and varied opportunities to put them to use.

 

In Fellowship – Church members join together in many ways, sharing each other’s joys and sorrows and helping each other follow Christ’s way in our daily lives.

 

The Mission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

 

To be and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, witnessing, loving and serving from our doorsteps “to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

 

The Vision of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

 

To be a faithful growing church, that demonstrates true community, deep Christian spirituality and a passion for justice. (Micah 6:8)