We Believe that Christian doctrine should be simple … period!
Complexity and long detailed belief statements effectively divide believers, dividing the acceptable (those who agree with us) from everyone else. If congregations cannot embrace diversity, the love of Jesus is not a living reality among them. Doctrinal diversity only indicates varying levels of growth in the apostles' doctrine, not error or heresy! This statement of beliefs is in an essay form, presenting an approach to the Christian Faith, not a dogmatic set of rules. It starts with a biblical principle, mostly ignored today:
Romans ll:28 As regards the gospel, they [Jews & Judaism] are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
The ancient Hebrew culture of the Jews' forefathers sets the worldview and belief structure common to all of the biblical writers. This worldview and belief structure is ascertained through a study of the Old Testament and Biblical Anthropology (not the religion of the Jews: Judaism). This cultural study produces a smooth symmetry in all the biblical records from the first entry to the last — no contradictions. The New Testament must be understood in this overriding context. Any statement of beliefs devoid of this Hebrew worldview and belief structure context contends against the biblical writers, removing them from their cultural context.
All believers in the One True God are in a relationship with the Creator as defined in Covenants (agreements or contracts). There are three major covenants God has made with men. They were enacted with Abraham, Moses and David. To Abraham was given a Promised Land for his multitudinous righteous descendants to dwell therein. To Moses was given the Path of Righteous living for those descendants. To David was given the Promise of Kingship over the Promised Land inhabited by Righteous Descendants. None of these covenants has ever been cancelled, annulled or abolished, not even in the New Testament.
Jesus the Redeemer:
Jesus Christ demonstrated how to live this Path of Righteousness and became the quintessential teacher of pure "Torah Observance". Jesus Christ completed God's portion of the Path of Righteousness Covenant (Mosaic Law) by his atoning work by sacrificing his life as an atonement for mankind's sin. He validated the Old Covenant and signed it with his blood. He sealed it with his resurrection and delivered an updated version of the Old Covenant, known as the New Covenant, on the day of Pentecost. The Christian Faith was originally defined as persons who manifested the power of holy spirit, which is the spirit of Christ IN you. By Jesus' atoning work, the Path of Righteousness is written into the hearts of men and continues to live in the spirit rather than as the letter. Jesus Christ thus redeemed man from his separation from God, opening the path to a relationship with the Father like he had in his ministry.
Jesus the King:
Jesus Christ is the promised King of the Promised Land which he taught as the Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven. Establishing the Promised Kingdom on earth is still future and therefore Jesus reign as King over the Kingdom is still future. But when it happens, he will be its King.
Body of Christ:
Until the Kingdom is established on earth, God is assembling a royal family. This is known in the New Testament as the Body of Christ of which Jesus is the head. This family, like Jesus was, are representatives of the Father in this world. God's family functions as "Family Agents" in the family business of loving people and forgiving sin. By such actions, God may be seen through His family. He who has seen the love and power of God's children has seen the Father.
This family is guaranteed an inheritance in the Kingdom and are therefore very near to the Kingdom, already having a place in it. This family, together with all believers who have lived before, will someday be the multitude of righteous descendants of Abraham who will dwell in the Promised Land, the Kingdom of God, with Jesus reigning as its King. Since the family's inheritance is secured by Jesus' blood, this Kingdom and inheritance may be spoken of in the present tense or even the past tense in the Hebrew manner of speaking.
The Popular Roman-Byzantine Christian Faith:
We do not believe in validity of this form of the Christian Faith for several reasons. The developed doctrines of the Christian church from the 3rd and 4th centuries are based upon Greek speculative philosophy. The Greek philosopher-bishops sought to redefine spiritual reality by philosophical argument that which had been previously set by the Hebrew culture and the Hebrew prophets. The doctrines and institutions developed in these later centuries has given rise to a Roman-Byzantine form of Christianity, the common and popular form today.
To establish the philosophically based Christian worldview and belief structure, the Hebrew worldview and belief structure must be ignored since it conflicts with it. This new western worldview and belief structure was defined by argument against several versions, for a century until eventually one view prevailed. This view, known today as "orthodox", was codified in the 4th century as church creeds. These creeds originally functioned like laws for Christians to control them like civil Roman laws controlled the Empire's pagan citizens. Control was enforced by demanding conformity to church creeds.
Today, the older historical form of the Faith is seeing a come back in the popular mind as the Hebrew Roots movement becomes more popular. The Christian believer today now has a choice between a Philosophical Faith versus an Historical Faith. However, choosing is not easy or clear for several reasons.
Firstly, most Christians are not even aware of the choice. The Historical Faith has been consistently attacked and vilified since Constantine forced upon the church his personal disdain of the Jews and their religion in the early 4th century. He is famously quoted as demanding of the church leaders to eradicate all aspects of "Jewishness" from Christianity thus deleting from the Faith, all influences from the Hebrew prophets. This is the foundation of the popular (and totally false) idea that the Old Testament is for the Jews and the New Testament is for the Christians.
Secondly, most Christians who do wish to discover the Hebrew Roots of the Faith confuse their Hebrew Roots with Rabbinical-Phariseeism. The fact is that Jesus did not adhere to nor teachRabbinical-Phariseeism but lived and taught the heart of the Path of Righteousness which the Pharisees had corrupted with their reforms and additions. Judaism is in truth, Rabbinical-Phariseeism. It is similar to the ancient monotheistic faith of the ancient Hebrews but it is not the same and should be ignored by all those seeking the Christian Faith's Hebrew Roots.
Thirdly, even Christians who seek their Hebrew Roots with Biblical Anthropology, still miss the transforming power of Pentecost as any definition of the Faith. This view partially denies the blood of Jesus spilled to produce it. It denies the very foundation of the first century apostolic church.
There are only a small handful of believers who embrace the true Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith AND manifest the power of holy spirit given to all believers. Traditional bias and poor comprehension of scripture has obscured and suppressed this all important feature of the Faith. This blog and its associated projects seeks to restore the first century, holy spirit powered form of the Christian Faith. Additional Straightbible projects can be found in the blog roll in the right column.