The Way

A First Century Church for the 21st Century

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35

Are you a serious Christian who despairs—groans in the Spirit—at the thought of the fragmented, contentious, self-righteous, judgmental state of the Church today?

Are you a mature Christian who longs for a community that does not cast out members for doctrinal disputes or power struggles or personality clashes? (we don’t have them)

Are you longing to love Jesus and each other as fervently, authentically as the first Christians?

Who are we?
What’s different about us?

• We model our service based on 1st century traditions.
• We greet each other by making a Sign of the Cross on our hearts
• We love one another
• We do not have a Pastor. Or a Board. Or Synod or See.
• We don’t tithe
• We love one another
• We do not have a Church hierarchy, but an equal fellowship before Christ.
• We are a family of brothers and sisters in Christ. In every circumstance.
• We make a commitment to speak the truth. In every circumstance.
• No politics, no drama, no gossip.
• We love one another

What do we believe?

• We believe in the literal Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
• We believe in the Trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit
• We believe that the Bible is the Holy Word of God. Perfect True Transcendent not Literal
• We believe in the Atoning Death of Jesus Christ and in the Power of His Cross
• We believe Jesus established the Kingdom of God with his death and that the Kingdom of God is here now, a reality hidden by unbelief.
• We believe in the Power of God to heal and restore on Earth as in Heaven.
• We believe it is possible to obey His new commandment that Christians love each other. We believe our service reflects that Love practically.
We follow a 1st Century model of Christian Worship.

• The Cross is at the center the Altar
• All face the Cross in Worship
• Service begins with by ringing a small bell and begins with five minutes of silent meditation of the Cross.
• Scriptural Meditation: After meditation of the Cross, a Brother or Sister will read a passage of scripture. The faithful reflect on the passage in silence.
• Eleven more times, another passage is read, and reflected upon in silence
• Holy Communion is distributed among the faithful.

Silent reflection is the core of this liturgy.  We spend most of the service as a group in Silence.

After Holy Communion, the service is ended.Brothers and Sisters now share their time with each other over a  meal.

Why do you wear a cross?

• We wear a cross because we are slaves to Christ and the Cross signifies our bondage.
• We wear a cross because we read Matt 10:38 & 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23 & 14:27 and 1 Cor 2:2
• We identify ourselves as Christians whenever we go out in public by wearing the cross and we take the added public scrutiny of our behavior as a blessing.

• Martin Luther’s 92nd and 93rd theses:
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace!
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Cross, cross,” and there is no cross!

***

Found the pages above while clearing out my projects folder. The idea for this Cross centered service came to me one day when thinking about the kind of church I would like to belong to.

It shares, I think, some of the advantages of a house church–small group intimacy, deep prayer–without the almost inevitable personal conflicts and doctrinal squabbles. It shares with High Church an expression of God in authentic liturgy without two thousand years of corruption making its way into the Body. Eastern, Western and Reform and Evangelical all have the beam in the eye that marks a hypocrite.

All those expressions of Christ have also, of course,  produced great, saintly Christians each in their own traditions. We wish to have a community of Christians that produces true Christian love with the essential doctrine as the exclusive doctrine. All you need believe is that Christ died for the sins of the world and was resurrected in a new body three days later in fulfillment of God’s promise.That is the doctrine in its entirety according to the venerable C S Lewis.

The uncountable books and spoken words amassed in exegesis–billions on Justification alone–through two thousand years, some directed by the Holy Spirit, some clearly not, all those have had their place in the unfolding of the Gospel. But it is very late brothers and sisters. Very late. Isn’t now the time to reduct our witness to His Love?

Isn’t keeping doctrine to essentials crucial to becoming and then enacting the Love of Christ to the world?

The Cross is the living symbol of the Living God.

The word Love should leap into our minds when we see the Cross.

That is our job now, isn’t it? To prove Love and the Cross synonymous to the unbelieving world.

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