So what do we believe?

A detailed answer to this question is always tricky, because of the breadth of the Christian Church and Christian theology. Neither are we helped when ecumenical projects such as this are sometimes accused of ‘dumbing down’ to some lowest common denominator. Sometimes, in order to achieve the unity which is Christ's call and command we have to accept and live with an element of difference between us.

Having said that, there are certain core beliefs that are integral to the Christian faith.

1.

We believe in the one true and living God – the God of Abraham – who is revealed to us and known to us in the three Persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who is eternal and everlasting; the beginning and end of all things.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” [Revelation 22:13]

2.

The Orion NebulaWe believe that the universe, our world and we are created by God and that God is - and always has been - active in His creation.

Oh! And to get a debate going, we believe that science has not disproved the existence of God but has merely shown us ever more of the wonder of God's ongoing creativity over billions of years; from the majesty and perfect balance of the cosmos to the wonderful intricacy of our human DNA.

 

3.

We believe that God has revealed himself to his creation in the life and work of his Son, Jesus Christ; who is, in the words of John's Gospel, "the Word made flesh;" and, as Jesus himself once said to his followers when he was asked to 'show them the father': "I and the Father are one...  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."

4.

We believe in the reality of sin in our world; that the human tendancy toward The Cross - the central symbol of the Christian faithselfishness and greed has despoiled the beauty of God's creation and that as sin entered the world, the relationship between God and humankind – creator and creation – was broken.

Although the first century Jewish understanding of sin and sacrifice is sometimes hard for us to comprehend fully, we also believe that, as Jesus died on the cross, his death was sacrificial; that he took the punishment for all human sin, for all time; so that humankind might be reconciled to God; made "at one" with God.

This is the heart of Christian doctrine of Atonement.                        

In the words of John the Baptist  "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". [John 1:29]

5.

We believe in the presence and the power of God the Holy Spirit – at work in the world from the beginning of time; bringing the church to birth at Pentecost; and still at work in the world today, inspiring and empowering the work and witness of the whole Church.

6.

The BibleWe believe that the Bible, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, are God's written word to us; that in them the truth of God is revealed; that God has spoken and still speaks through them; and that they remain authoritative and trustworthy in matters of human life and conduct.

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” [2 Timothy 3:16]

7.

We believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in the first Easter, as the first in a much greater resurrection that leads to the promise of eternal life and the fulfilment of God's kingdom.

"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is in vain and our faith is futile". [1 Corinthians 15:13 – 14]

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There are many other things that could be said about Christian belief and doctrine; but, as ever, they are open to debate and discussion; and space prevents us continuing here.

But we do look forward to opportunities to meet up with people from a wide spectrum of Christian faith - and from other faiths -  and to have those discussions and to grow in faith and respect for one another. To borrow words from the Apostle Paul; "growing and building one another up in love." [Ephesians 4: 16].