Christian Simplicity

There is in this city a company of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who do not recognize denominational boundaries or sectarian limitations. They try to avoid the non-essential questions that cause division and controversy.

They refuse as unscriptural all denominational names and systems for church order. Believing that the church is one body, composed of all believers, they refuse to take any name that is not common to all Christians. They meet regularly to study the Scriptures, to fellowship together, to break bread in remembrance of their Lord, and to pray (Acts 2:42).

They seek to gather in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and to maintain the apostolic pattern and simplicity which marked the churches in the days of the apostles (Romans Chapter 12 4-8). They seek by God's grace to honor the Lord Jesus and worship God "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:23, 24). They assemble every "first day in the week" to "break bread" (Acts 20:7). They desire to eliminate ritual and a stated order of service, however they want to be led entirely by the Holy Spirit in the order of worship and ministry. They do not wish to silence any of the brethren present who may be led by the Spirit to pray and offer praise, to give out a hymn, to read or minister the Word, to exhort or to pass the elements of the Lord's Table. No man presides-only the LORD "in the midst" (Matt. 18:20). They seek to carry out a scriptural order of meeting, worship and discipline.

Anyone who is a child of God through faith in Christ's atoning work on the cross for sin and reception of Him as his own personal Saviour, has a right to eat at the Lord's Table, provided, he is not living in sin and deliberate disobedience to God's Word (Rom. 15:7; lst Cor. 5:11; 2nd John 9-11).

They adhere to the Scriptures in "not giving flattering titles to men," as "Reverend" and "Father" (Psa. 111:9; Matt. 23:8). Distinction between "clergy" and "laity" is not recognized (Rev. 2:6 and 10). But they recognize that God bestows gifts to men in the Body as He wills. They aim to do away with the traditional custom of a one-man-ministry. They refuse all thought of a stipulated remuneration for preaching the Gospel, but hold themselves responsible to help those who are in the Lord's work (3rd John 7). They take no collections at public meetings.

The Bible being a record of what "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," there is consequently "no private interpretation" of the Bible. They are concerned with having the mind of the Spirit in matters of interpretation because the Spirit has only one interpretation of Holy Writ. Hence they consider human creeds as unnecessary.

However, they have no uncertain belief in the doctrines as unfolded in the Scriptures: man's fall and total depravity; his guilty, lost and hopeless condition; the amazing love of God in providing a Saviour in His Only Son; the perfection of Christ in His divine and human nature; reconciliation to God through Christ's shed blood, by which alone man is redeemed and not by works, law-keeping, or reformation; Christ's resurrection as proof that God accepted His atonement.

They believe that the Christian should have full assurance of his eternal salvation, and that this assurance comes not through feelings or experiences but by the Word of God. They see that being saved by Christ's work once for all, a believer can never be lost, but is as safe as though he were in heaven already (lst John 3:2). They see, however, that Scripture guards against an abuse of this teaching, because it insists on good works as the fruit of being saved; it teaches the believer to reckon himself dead to sin and alive to God; it clearly shows that the Christian life should be one of devotedness to Christ, and of separation from the way of the world.

They see the hope of Christians is not the betterment of this world system, but the coming of Christ for His own. He will raise the dead and change the living who will then be caught up to meet Him in the air. Then God will cleanse the world by judgement preparatory to Christ's millennial reign on earth when He will "rule the nations with a rod of iron." But His church will always be with Him (lst Thess. 4:17).

These Christians believe, according to Scripture that those who do not obey the Gospel will have their part "in the lake of fire," which is the "second death," eternal punishment, not extinction or restoration. Therefore, they believe in the earnest and loving dissemination of the Gospel of God's Grace.