Conservative Australian Anabaptist Mennonites
Our Beliefs
SUMMARY OF BELIEFS Statement of Faith, Practise & Intent. We hold to the principle that Christians are to be noticeably separate and distinct members of our larger society and that personal Christianity in every area of life and conduct will be a telling element in that separation. In order that our lives may be rooted and grounded on a solid doctrinal basis and not tossed about by the whims of personal experience, we set forth herewith our common confession of faith. We also have an appreciation for the Mennonite Confession of Faith as published in 1964. Our intention is to uphold and obey biblical standards in personal and corporate life. We would desire to live out the concept of the Church as a Fellowship of believers mutually dependent on and responsible to one another. Article 1. GOD AND HIS ATTRIBUTES. We believe in the Almighty God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and unchanging, the Eternal Spirit who is infinite in His Holiness, love, righteousness, truth, goodness and mercy. This One and only God has revealed Himself as existing eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father. We believe that God is the creator of all things visible and invisible, a God of providence and sovereignty, the Author of our salvation through Jesus Christ. Although He is too high and holy to be totally comprehended by the human mind, through Christ we can truly know Him. In redeeming love He entered into a covenant relationship with Abraham, then later with the people of Israel, and now through Jesus Christ has made an eternal covenant in which He offers to the human race the forgiveness of sins and the blessing of divine sonship to all those who will repent and believe. The Son. We believe in Jesus Christ the divine Son of God who was with the Father from all eternity, who for our salvation took upon Himself unfallen human nature and who by His sacrificial death and the subsequent resurrection conquered the forces of sin and Satan and atoned for the sins of mankind. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and in the shedding of His blood on the cross fulfilled God's redemptive purpose. He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now as High Priest is seated at the right hand of the Father, intercedes for the saints. He is now the Lord and Saviour of all true believers, and after His return He will be the judge of the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. We believe in His full deity and full humanity according to the scriptures. The Holy Spirit We believe in the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; indwells and comforts believers who obey God, guides them into all truth, empowers them, bestows certain gifts upon them for service as He wills, and enables them to live lives of righteousness. Psalm 139: 7-12; John 1:18; 3:16; 14:26; 16:8, Acts 5:32; Romans 8: 1-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14: 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Peter 1:2. Article 2. DIVINE REVELATION. We believe that the God of creation and redemption has revealed Himself and His will for men of all time in the Holy Scriptures. His supreme and final revelation is in His Incarnate Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the complete and word-for-word inspiration of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament as the Word of God, that the Bible is authentic in its matter, authoritative in its counsels, inerrant in its original writings, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit recorded divine truth without any error. We believe in the unity of both covenants and that the New Covenant is the culmination and climax of all revelation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the central message of the covenants. He is the key to the proper understanding of the entire Bible. Deuteronomy 18:18; Psalm 19; Luke 24:27, 44; John 1: 1-16; 14:10,16:13, 17:8, 20:31, Romans 1:19-20, 2Timothy 3:15 -16, Hebrews 1:1-2, 8:6-7, 1 John 1:1-5. Article 3. GOD’S CREATION AND PROVIDENCE. We believe the Genesis account of creation is a historic fact and literally true, that in the beginning God created all things by His Son, that God upholds all things, and that all things were created for His pleasure. We believe God created man in His own image with a free will, moral character, a superior intellect, and a spiritual nature that sets him apart from the animal creation. We believe that God, by His providence, is concerned with the lives of His children, and continually works for their eternal welfare by hearing and answering their prayers. Though God is sovereign over all things, He is not the author of sin. God holds man as a creature of free will and responsible for his moral choices. Genesis 1:1, 26-27, Psalm 91:1, 139: 7-12, Isaiah 41:10, 51:16, Matthew 10:29, John 1:3, Romans 8:28, Colossians 1:16-17, James 5:16. Article 4. MAN AND HIS SIN. We believe that God created man and woman, sinless and holy, by an immediate act. Then He subjected them to a moral test. They yielded to the temptation of Satan, and by wilful disobedience to God, failed to maintain that holy condition in which they were created. By this act of disobedience, depravity and death were brought upon the entire human race. Although all have inherited a sinful nature because of the sin of Adam and Eve, yet not all are guilty of their original act of disobedience. Those who perish eternally do so only because of their own sin. A most grievous sin is the refusal to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Man as a fallen creature is self-centred, self-willed, rebellious toward God, unwilling to yield to Christ, unable to break the bondage of sin, and is, therefore under divine judgment. We believe that as children mature, their sinful nature will be manifest. When they come to know themselves to be responsible to God, they then must repent and believe in Christ in order to be saved. During the age of innocence, children are acceptable to God. Jesus Christ Himself assured us that children are in the Kingdom of God. Genesis 1:27, 31, 3:1-19, Matthew 18:1-14, Luke: 18:16, Romans 5:12 -21, Ephesians: 2: 1-3, 1 Timothy 4:10. Article 5. CHRIST, THE SAVIOUR FROM SIN. We believe that there is only one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. The purpose of the incarnation of God's eternal Son is to redeem mankind from sin and death, to reconcile all people to God and to destroy the power and works of the devil. As Prophet, the Lord Jesus not only proclaimed God's word, but He was also in His very person the eternal Word of God. As a Saviour, He Himself became the final sacrifice for sin. And now as High Priest He makes intercession before the Father on behalf of all true believers. As our risen Lord and coming King, He is vested with all authority in heaven and on earth. During His earthly life, the Lord Jesus demonstrated the will of God. While being tempted in all points as we are, He was without sin. Through the shedding of His blood He provided an acceptable sacrifice for sin and inaugurated the New Covenant. By His death, He triumphed over Satan and broke the power and bondage of sin for those who exercise faith in Him. By His resurrection from the dead, Christ made possible victory over sin in this life and gave hope of future glory to all those who truly believe in Him. By faith, each believer is kept united with the risen and glorified Christ, who is the Lord of glory. Luke 19:10, John 1:1, 7:40, Acts 2:33, 3:22, Romans 5:11, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Colossians 2:15, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 2:14-15, 4:15, 7:11, 9:11. Article 6. SALVATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH. We believe that one is saved by the grace of God and not by character, law, good works, or ceremonies. The merits of the death and the resurrection of Christ are adequate for the salvation of all, offered to all, and intended for all. Man receives salvation only by faith in Christ. Those who repent and believe in Christ as Saviour and Lord are born again, adopted into the family of God, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith involves a full surrender of the will, a confident trust in Christ, the giving of self to Him and joyful obedience to His word as a faithful disciple, and an attitude of love to all people. It is the privilege of every believer to have the full assurance of salvation through the keeping power of God. As long as the believer lives, he stands in constant need of forgiveness, cleansing, and the grace of Christ. However, we believe God's mercy and grace does not pardon repeated wilful sin until it is repented of and forsaken. John 3:16, 10:27-29, Romans 4, Ephesians 2:8-10, Hebrews 10:26, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 John 1:8-10, 5:13, Jude 24. Article 7. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. We believe a ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin and lead to salvation through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit transforms believers into the spiritual image of Jesus Christ if they yield to Him and obey His word. The Spirit enables believers to persevere in faith and holiness, empowers them to be effective witnesses to Christ, fills their hearts with love for all men, and leads them in Christian discipleship. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is God's seal of His ownership of the believer. John 16:7-15, Acts 1:8, 2:1-21, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19, 12:11-13, Galatians 5:22-24, Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:30. Article 8. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. We believe that Christ established His Church when He poured out His spirit on the day of Pentecost. We believe that the Church is the body of Christ. It is composed of all those who through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have been born again and have been baptised by one Spirit into one body. We believe that it is the Church’s divinely appointed mission to preach the gospel of Christ to every creature, teaching obedience to all of Christ's commands. The Church is corporately the dwelling place of God and His holy temple. Membership in the Church is conditional upon a voluntary response to God's offer of salvation in Christ Jesus. We believe the individual believer is accountable to God and for his deeds. The collective church has no power to bind or loose beyond what is already bound or loosed in heaven. The primary worshipping and working unit of the Church is a local assembly of believers for teaching, witnessing and discipling. General Function. We believe the Church is a body of believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is also a loving Fellowship concerned for the spiritual and material welfare of one another. This means helping the erring one, sharing generously, and being willing to give and receive counsel. The Church as the body of Christ gathers for worship, for fellowship, for the observance of the ordinances and the building up of the body. Having heard and obeyed the word of God, the Church has the duty to speak authoritatively regarding moral and spiritual issues. Discipline. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ has given authority to His Church to exercise discipline. The purposes of discipline are to clarify for all members the meaning of following Christ, to lead each member to full stature in Christ, to promote the purity of the Church, to warn the weak and immature of the serious character of disobedience to God's word, to restore to full fellowship repentant members who fell into sin, and to maintain the good name and witness of the Church before the world. In its efforts to maintain a disciplined Church, the Church employs public teaching, private counseling, intercessory prayer, sympathetic encouragement, earnest warning, and rebuke. Any member who persists in sin and maintains an unrepentant attitude shall be excluded from the Lord's Table. The body of Christ, the Church, senses a deep loss when anyone continues in sin without repentance and thereby forfeits his relationship with Christ and His body. The word of God is the standard for the Church discipline. Ceremonies and Practices. We believe the Lord Jesus and his Apostles instituted ordinances for the Church of all time to observe as expressions of divine truth. The apostolic Church literally observed these ordinances. We believe these ordinances are: baptism with water, the Lord's Supper, the washing of the saints’ feet, the holy kiss, the laying on of hands in ordination, rest on the Sabbath day, the veiling of Christian women, the anointing of the sick with oil and Christian marriage. Ever since the Lord Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week, the Christian community has observed the first day of the week in appropriate worship, rest, and Christian service. Matthew 5:13-14, 23-24, 16:19, 18:15-18, 28:19-20, Acts 6:6, 15:1-29, Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 5:11-13, 2 Corinthians 2: 6-11, 3:12, 12:9, Galatians 3:6-9, 6:1, Ephesians 2:11-22, 4:13, 1 Timothy 4:14, 5:20, 6:6, James 2:14-17, 5:14-16, 1 Peter 2:9. Article 9. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD. We believe Jesus entrusted the Church with the stewardship of the gospel and promised the power of the Holy Spirit for the work of missions and evangelism. While the Church's primary interest is in the salvation and spiritual welfare of men, she should also minister to those who are in physical, social and emotional need. The Church should witness against all forms of sin, avoiding coercive tactics, political pressure and planned civil disobedience, as inappropriate to the body of Christ. Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 6:56, Romans 1:16, 8:23, 1Corinthians 16:15-16, Philippians 4: 3. Article 10. THE MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH. We believe Christ authorised the appointment of men as Elders for the congregations, to expound the word of God, to feed the flock, to serve as leaders, to see that the ordinances are observed, to exercise scriptural Church discipline, and to function as servant-leaders of the Church. These leaders are to be accountable both to God and to the people whom they serve. These men lead by the force of exemplary life and the exercise of the spiritual gifts God has given them. The office of a Church leader gives him no authority to bind or loose God's eternal law. All Church leaders will be individually accountable to God only for what they themselves have done, never for the sins of others. Ordination includes the Church’s setting men apart for a particular responsibility through the laying on of hands, and the invocation of divine strength for the assignment. We believe the New Testament provides us with the pattern of leadership for the continuing life of the Church. Since the Church is a brotherhood, the organisational structure shall ensure the full participation of the members with their spiritual gifts. It is the scriptural duty of the Church to give financial support to those whom it asks to serve as evangelists, pastors, and teachers. We believe that there is room in the Church for both men and women, in their respective roles, to exercise their individual gifts; however, men are to exercise the dominant role in the life of the Church and in positions of leadership. Matthew 23:8, 28:19, Acts15:6, 20:28, 1Corinthians 5:4-5, 9:14, Ephesians 4:11-12, Philippians1:1, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:14, Titus 1:5-9, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:2-3. Article 11. CHRISTIAN BAPTISM. We believe water baptism to be an ordinance of Christ which symbolises the divine cleansing from sin and its guilt, identification with Christ in death and resurrection, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and a commitment to follow Christ in a life of faithful discipleship. Water baptism is a public testimony of the repentant sinner’s change of standing before God and a means of identifying himself both as a follower of Christ and as one with the people of God. Only believers (not infants) are to be baptised with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Since we consider baptism to be a symbol of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we would also consider pouring to be a scriptural mode of baptism. Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:16-21, 22:16, Romans 6:4-6, 1Corinthians 12:13, 1 Peter 3:21. Article 12. THE LORD'S SUPPER. We believe the Lord's Supper is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ to establish the new covenant. We recognise the bread and the cup as symbols that remind us of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Those who partake of these emblems remember the suffering of Christ, show a readiness for Christ's return, and demonstrate the fellowship and unity of the brotherhood. Because people who commune carelessly stand under the judgment of God, believers shall examine their own spiritual condition and give public testimony of peace with God and with their fellow men before each communion service. We believe in close communion with those who are united in faith with us. Only baptised believers who live in harmony with biblical standards should participate in the communion service. The Lord's Supper should be regularly and faithfully observed until the Lord returns. Luke 22:19-20,1Corinthians 5:13, 10:16-17, 11:24, 26, Hebrews 10:26. Article 13. SYMBOLS OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERHOOD. We believe the washing of the saints’ feet is an ordinance instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ to be observed by His follower with the same regularity as the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christ’s blessings rest on those who literally wash one another's feet, and that by observing this ordinance in conjunction with The Lord’s Supper we are reminded of our mutual duty to love and served one another The holy kiss and the right hand of fellowship are also New Testament symbols of Christian love and acceptance in the Church of Christ. Luke 22:24, John 13:1-17, Romans 16:16, Galatians 2: 9, 1 Timothy 5:10. Article 14. SYMBOLS OF CHRISTIAN ORDER. We believe that in the creation God fitted man and woman for different functions. Man has been given a role as leader and provider; woman is especially fitted for nurture and service. We believe that, in their relation to the Lord, men and women are equal, for in Christ there is neither male nor female. Being in Christ does not nullify the natural endowments, even in the home or in the Church. The New Testament symbols of man's headship are his short hair and uncovered head while praying or prophesying, and the symbol of the woman's role are her naturally long hair and her veiled (covered) head. The acceptance by both men and women of God's order ensures their finding their respective roles in which they can most fruitfully and happily serve the Lord. Genesis 2:18-25, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Galatians 3:28. Article 15. MARRIAGE AND THE HOME. We believe that at the creation God instituted the marriage of one man with one woman. It is God's will the marriage be monogamous, holy and indissoluble, except by death. Christians should marry only in the Lord. We further believe that God forbids divorce or marriages with divorce persons having former companions still living. For the sake of spiritual unity in the home, both partners should become members of the same congregation. Marriage was instituted for the happiness of the husband and wife and for the procreation and Christian nurture of children. The Christian family ought to have family worship regularly, ought to live faithfully according to the teaching of the word of God, and ought to support the Church in her mission. It is essential for parents to commit themselves to the faithful Christian nurture of their children. The married and the unmarried can serve Christ acceptably. We believe that all sexual practices between opposite sexes outside of the marriage bond are in direct violation of the word of God. We also believe that all sexual practices between persons of the same gender are also in direct violation of the word of God. Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24, Matthew 19:3-9, Mark 10:1-12, Ephesians 6:1, 4. Article 16. DISCIPLESHIP AND NON-CONFORMITY. We believe that all followers of Christ are called with a holy calling to a life of separation from the world and its follies, its sinful practices and methods. Followers of Christ recognise the Lordship of Christ. They seek for holiness of heart, life, and speech, and refuse any unequal yoke with unbelievers. They regard their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts. Therefore, they will avoid such things as harmful drugs, beverage alcohol, and tobacco. The adornment of Christians should be a beauty of spirit, expressed in attire that is modest, economical, simple, and becoming to those professing Christian faith. Christians will avoid the wearing of makeup or jewellery and the blurring of sex distinction in attire and hairstyles. They will follow the biblical principles in their stewardship of money and possessions. They will avoid the excesses of the unbelieving world in the areas of leisure, entertainment, and recreation, especially professional sports. Followers of Christ also believe there are two opposing kingdoms to which one may give allegiance, that of Christ or that of Satan. Those who belong to Satan's kingdom live for sin and self, refusing obedience to Christ, instead giving expression to the works of the flesh. Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 9:23-26, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 6: 12, 19, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Galatians 5:22-24, Ephesians 4: 20-32, Colossians 1:13, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:3-4. Article 17. CHRISTIAN INTEGRITY. We believe that it is a major Christian obligation to be strictly truthful and transparent in life and doctrine with no secrecy or hypocrisy. Because of the limitations of human beings and the obligations to always speak the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ has forbidden His followers the use of any and all oaths. In legal matters, we therefore simply affirm the truth. We are opposed to membership in secret societies or lodges, because such membership often involves an unequal yoke with unbelievers, employs hierarchical titles, requires oaths, stands for organised secrecy, and harbours other sinful practices directly contradictory to the will of God. We believe it is in the Church that believers should find love, fellowship, and security. Matthew 5:33-37, 23:7-10, 16-22, John 18:20, Acts 4:12, 2 Corinthians 6:14- 7:1, James 5:12. Article 18. LOVE AND NON-RESISTANCE. We believe it is the will of God for His children to express divine love in all human relationships. God pours His love into the hearts of Christians so that they desire the welfare of all and express only love toward those of other races, cultures, and various economic levels. Such a life of love excludes retaliation, revenge, and prejudice. Jesus Christ in His earthly life was the supreme example of love and non-resistance. The teaching of Jesus requires His disciples to renounce all violence in human relations. We believe this applies to every area of life, to personal injustices, to situations in which people commonly resort to litigation, to industrial strife, and to international tensions and wars. As non-resistant Christians we cannot become involved in any situation or office which violates the New Testament principles of peace and non-resistance. Therefore, we cannot participate in military service, in military training, or in the voluntary financial support of war. On the other hand, consistent with the teachings of Jesus and at the risk of life itself, we must do whatever we can for the alleviation of human distress and suffering. We must remember that the basic human problem is spiritual alienation from God because of sin, consequently, we should devote our resolute energies to reconciling people to God. Matthew 5:38-48, John 18:36, Romans 5:5, 12:18-21, 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, James 2:8, 1 Peter 2:23, 4:1. Article 19. THE CHRISTIAN AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT. We believe that the civil government is ordained of God to maintain law and order in society. We seek to obey the New Testament commands to render honour to the civil authorities, to pay our taxes, to obey all the laws which do not come into conflict with the higher law of God, and to pray for our rulers. The Church should also witness to the civil authorities about doing right, about self-control and about judgment to come. However, witnessing to the State concerning matters affecting domestic or foreign policy is not within the realm of the Church’s responsibility. Individual Christians are, however, permitted to speak to civil authorities in the form of pleas for consideration and clemency. We believe there are more consistent ways of witnessing against public evil than participating in organised marches and coercive public demonstrations directed against actions, laws, or people considered being out of harmony with Christian ethics We are in proper order to accept protection from the government. We should not initiate court proceedings of a vindictive nature to avenge personal loss. Noting the character of the two kingdoms, Church and state we recognise that the state does not and cannot operate according to the teaching of Christ regarding non resistance. Non-resistant Christians cannot undertake any work for the state which would violate the principles of love and holiness as taught by Christ and His Apostles. Acts 4:19, 5:29, Romans 13:1-7, Ephesians 1:20-22, 5:23, 1Timothy 2:1-2. Article 20. THE FINAL CONSUMMATION. We believe that the eternal sovereign God, who created all things and upholds all things by the word of His power, in the fullness of time, will gather together all things in Christ. As commanded by Christ and His Apostles we believe the true Church in the present age is to witness to the hope of the coming age ushered in by the glorious personal return of Jesus Christ. We believe, according to the scriptures, that as the consummation draws nearer, evil men and seducers will become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, iniquity will abound, false prophets and false Christ's will arise, and the love of many will grow cold, resulting in widespread apostasy among many churches. With confidence in the promise of Jesus we believe he that endures to the end shall be saved. We believe that at the glorious appearing of the great God, even our Saviour, Jesus Christ, He will put down all enemies and take His appointed place as King of kings and Lord of lords, to rule the nations with a rod of iron until He will deliver the kingdom unto God the Father, that God may be all in all. We believe that enduring to the end means living a pure and holy life in constant readiness for the return of Christ. We believe that at death the righteous enter at once into conscious joy and fellowship with Christ, while the wicked are in a state of conscious suffering. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead: the just unto life eternal in the presence of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to enjoy the riches of His grace, and the unjust to eternal death where they will suffer the righteous wrath of God in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. We believe that in the consummation God will destroy the present cosmos by fire; He will create a new heaven and a new earth which will be the eternal habitation of the righteous. God Himself will dwell among them. All sorrow, pain and death will have passed away. Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:34, 41, Mark 9:43,48, Luke 16:22-23, John 5:22, 1 Corinthians 15:24, 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 2 Corinthians 5:1-4, Philippians 1:23, 1Thessalonians 5:3-4, 1 Peter 1: 4, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Revelation 15:3, 21: 4, 22:3.