Forward to Basics


A church is a self regulating, consensual body of people who agree to abide by a defined set of principles. People talk about the Labour Party as "A broad church" and the Church of England, spanning Evangelicals and Catholics is certainly a broad church.

What makes us a church is our voluntary agreement, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to:

To be in God's church is not an option for Christians; the Christian way is corporate. Going to church expresses the essence of what we are as creatures, created to worship, thank, repent and put ourselves in the hands of our creator.

The Church of God, promised by Jesus and governed by the Holy Spirit, is founded upon two major pillars:

The Word of God in Scripture. Our Bible is made up of two parts:

Some Christians regard the Bible as the direct expression of God unmediated by man, and, therefore:

This approach elevates code above ethic. It says that interpretation is separate from:

It says that the Holy Spirit has ceased to function.

We might expect the Bible as the Word of God to be about God rather than about human concerns, about theology rather than anthropology. We might better describe Scripture as:

From our own experience, what kind of help  do we receive from the Bible? Does it help us to:

The Sacraments of God. In our first discussion we talked about 'mystery' and the gap between God and human beings. One way of bridging that gap is the study of God's Word in the Bible which draws us towards an understanding of God's purposes for us; but a much more tangible bridge is provided by Sacraments.

A sacrament is simultaneously a sign which we can experience through our senses and the occasion for receiving God's special support (what theologians call "Grace'). Like an icon on a computer, it does what it says it does; it both signifies and performs.

Although Sacraments have mysterious kernels - we know what happens but not how - they are the nearest thing we have as creatures to sharing the being of the Creator.

Most Sacraments are landmarks in our relationship with our Creator:

There are two Sacraments which are life sustaining:

Imagine trying to understand the mystery of God without the bridging elements of the Sacraments to mark life events and to sustain us.