In our contemporary culture it is easy to be overly absorbed with our own personal experience, preferences, history, beliefs and church background. When we do this we are in danger of putting God on the sideline and approaching life with ourselves in the driver’s seat. Moreover, we often tend to promote our own individualized viewpoint and fail to join hands with all who love and follow Jesus Christ and embrace the truth that is found in him.
As a church, we want to ensure that this does not happen by seeking to understand together who God is, how he has acted in our world and what he is doing now. We need to learn to listen to God and interact with him as well as with one another. In other words it is very important, especially for those who claim to know and follow Jesus Christ, to become more theologically aware. Theology can become an undervalued and neglected discipline in any church and time. The word itself simply means “a word or instruction about God”. When we use the term to describe our belief structure we are referring to a systematic outline of the truth about God, humanity and the world that has been revealed to us in Scripture and preserved through the ages in Christian Tradition. ACC is founded upon and remains committed to such truth as expressed in historic, orthodox Christianity. Read more
As a Christian community, we will ultimately be strengthened by aligning ourselves with God and his Word as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and in the Bible. If we do this, we will find a common place of unity and a deep sense of oneness. As we seek to grow together, we pray that God grants us the grace to do just this.
The following caution of the Apostle John is very fitting in regard to this when he says:
“Anyone who gets so progressive in their thinking that they walk out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9, The Message)
Having said this we want to recognise two other important supplementary points:
- That theology (or belief) without love and action is lifeless, cold and potentially divisive (cf. James 2:14-26). God speaks to us in Scripture not merely to educate our minds, but rather to shape our characters, our attitudes, our behaviours and ultimately to change our lives. The vital doctrines listed here must be ignited by the Holy Spirit. Only he can enlighten our minds to understand and receive these truths and empower us to live by them.
- What you will find here is what we would term our Core Beliefs. The Bible does not provide us with a blueprint for every belief. God is not after uniformity and certainly does not want to clone us either by how we look or how we think. We recognise there are many areas of biblical teaching on which believers hold divergent views. Our ultimate unity is based on our common life in Christ, not on sharing common light (ie. understanding) on every point of doctrine. This should not lead to despair, division or confusion, but rather enhance our beautiful diversity as God’s people.
We believe that the following statement is a wise motto that we should strive to live by:
“In essentials – unity. In non-essentials – liberty. In all things – charity.”
OUR CORE BELIEFS
Statement of Belief
This has been adapted from what is known as The Apostles Creed – an ancient statement of belief, probably constructed sometime in the 2nd century, which all Christians around the world, and in all times, agree expresses the core essentials of their faith. Over the years various groups of Christians have tried to add to this and expand it in many details but everytime they have tried to do so it has ultimately led to further divisions (and denominations) within Christianity. We believe that this creed is still the best summary of Christian beliefs and can be a powerful tool to bring unity among the Christian Church around the world today. The section at the bottom about the Bible is not taken from this creed, but is our summary of what we believe about Scripture.
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of all things, who eternally exists as a community of three persons sharing one essence.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
…that he came into our world as the promised Saviour and King of Israel
…that he lived a life of perfect obedience to God and love towards others
…that he was buried, and descended into the place of the dead, but on the third day he rose again – having conquered death, sin and all the powers of evil
…that he was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary
…that he suffered and died on the cross for the sins of all humanity
…that he ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God his Father, at the place of all authority, where he prays for and represents us before God
…that he has established his Kingdom on earth and will come again to fully consummate this Kingdom and to judge all who are alive as well as those who have died
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Author and Giver of life;
…who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
…who is given freely to all who believe in Jesus Christ,
…who enables and equips us fully for life and service
We believe in one, holy, apostolic and universal Church, the fellowship of all Christians both now and through all ages;
…in the gift of the forgiveness of sins,
…in the promise of the resurrection of the body,
…in the gift and promise of eternal life
We also believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, used human agents to record and preserve the integrity of the contents of the 66 books which we call the Holy Bible. We believe that, because the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is the written Word of God, is without error in all that it affirms and is therefore authoritative, trustworthy, complete and relevant for life in every generation and age. God, who gave us these Scriptures, still speaks powerfully and directly through them today, as they witness to Jesus Christ who is the living Word of God, and through whose life and teaching we interpret and understand the rest of Scripture. The supreme reasons why these have been given are to reveal to us who God truly is, to teach us about his purpose in human history, and to instruct us how we may know him and show us how we should live.