What we believe as Christians & How to become one
The Christian faith is a rich faith which, like a rope, is made up of many separate strands of material which are bound together into a much stronger unity. The Christian faith, however, is based not on a set of intellectual propositions but upon an experience of God in the person of Jesus.
Since the earliest days of the Church, Christians who have had the experience of being loved by God and having their lives turned upside down by Jesus have tried to explain what it is they believe. St Anselm said that theology is "faith seeking understanding". Christians have used the Bible as the starting place to try and understand their faith.
Creeds, or written statements of faith, were developed by the Church at Councils of Bishops called to discuss different theological issues. By the 3rd century Christians had reflected more and more upon their experience and had come up with two main statements of faith, or Creeds, that are with us today.
The Apostles' Creed is a short statement of faith so called because it was, erroneously, thought that each apostle had dictated a different clause of it. The Nicene Creed is a longer statement of faith which was defined at the Church Council of Nicaea in the year 325. Both of these creeds are affirmed by all major branches of the Christian Church and the modern Statement of Faith in MCC's Bylaws is explicitly based upon them. The Apostles' and Nicene Creed as well as MCC's own Statement of Faith are given below.
Our Creeds and Statement of Faith
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God,
the Maker almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Maker,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Maker, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Maker,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Maker.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made a man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Maker.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Maker.
With the Maker and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
MCC's Statement of Faith
Christianity is the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and is the religion set forth in the Scriptures. Jesus Christ is foretold in the Old Testament, presented in the New Testament, and proclaimed by the Christian Church in every age and in every land. Founded in the interest of offering a church home to all who confess and believe, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches moves in the mainstream of Christianity. Our faith is based upon the principles outlined in the historic creeds: Apostles' and Nicene.
1. In one triune God, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, of one substance and of three persons: God, our Parent-Creator; Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, God in flesh, human; and the Holy Spirit, God as our Sustainer.
2. That the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, showing forth God to every person through the law and the prophets, and finally, completely and ultimately on earth in the being of Jesus Christ.
3. That Jesus...the Christ...historically recorded as living some 2,000 years before this writing, is God incarnate, of human birth, fully God and fully human, and that by being one with God, Jesus has demonstrated once and forever that all people are likewise Children of God, being spiritually made in God’s image.
4. That the Holy Spirit is God making known God’s love and interest to all people. The Holy Spirit is God, available to and working through all who are willing to place their welfare in God’s keeping.
5. Every person is justified by grace to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
6. We are saved from loneliness, despair and degradation through God’s gift of grace, as was declared by our Saviour. Such grace is not earned, but is a pure gift from a God of pure love. We further commend the community of the faithful to a life of prayer; to seek genuine forgiveness for unkind, thoughtless and unloving acts; and to a committed life of Christian service.
7. The Church serves to bring all people to God through Christ. To this end, it shall arrange for regular services of worship, prayer, interpretation of the Scriptures, and edification through the teaching and preaching of the Word.
Becoming a Christian
Becoming a Christian is a journey. You may have been interested in Christianity for years, you may have attended services occasionally at a church or been to a Christian wedding, baptism or funeral. You may remember some Biblical stories from your childhood but want something more. You may feel that you lack meaning and purpose in your life and that you want to explore Christianity.
Becoming a Christian is a journey. For whatever reasons you have been drawn to explore faith you need to get involved in the life of a local church. For lgbt people this can be more of a challenge as there is always the risk that you we maybe rejected simply for who we are. In MCC, and in many other churches, you will be accepted and loved for who you are.
Faith is found in community where we learn to love God and each other at the same time. We are taught through the sermons and small groups as well as in preparation classes for baptism and membership. We learn to pray through the worship and through the weekly devotional booklets we produce. We learn to love each other by learning to get along with each and appreciate the diversity we bring to our congregation.
Growing As a Disciple
Becoming, and remaining, a Christian is a journey. It may start with a decision to follow Jesus but it continues with a determination to worship each week, to pray each day, to serve God through others and to make our world a better place. These things take time and are easier to do in the context of a local church community. For more information please contact our pastor.