What We Believe
The Bible is the basis of all our beliefs. It’s the inspired Word of God, and it’s the grid through which we view everything else. Through the Bible we can know the truth about God and how we should live and worship him.
God and Us: The Bible teaches that every human being is responsible to God, because he has made us. It also teaches that we have been born with a nature in rebellion against God. We want to be our own masters, but our desire for autonomy has put us on a collision course with God's might and justice. Naturally we are headed for judgment. But God the Father, in love, sent Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son of God, to reconcile us to himself. True life - right now and forever - is only found in knowing Jesus through living faith. This living faith and personal knowledge of Christ is the gift of God by his Holy Spirit. We want everyone to know the love of the Father, in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we they might love him in return and enter into his joy forever.
Our theology (what we believe about God, human beings, this world etc.) is summarised by the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Unlike the Bible, these documents were written by men, but we believe they provide an accurate summary of biblical teaching. They were written over 400 years ago in London and have been the doctrinal statements of many churches in the UK and abroad since then.
Our congregation is shaped by the priorities of Worship, Discipleship and fellowship.
The following quote describes Jesus' followers not long after his ascension, once they had been sent the Holy Spirit. Each of these priorities is represented in this description.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house,
they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
praising God and having favor with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Worship is at the centre of all we do. What we mean by 'worship' isn't just a ritual - though that is sometimes its outward form. Jesus said that His Father is seeking worshipers and that, "those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24). God made us to display his glory and enjoy him personally. We do this in everything we do - in our work, in our play, through our relationships, privately each day, but above all when we gather to meet with God as his people, his house or temple. He is with us by his Spirit, we hear from him through his written word and we worship, him not according to man made traditions or even our good ideas, but according to the instructions he has given us, again in his Word.
God tells us in his word to prioritize 'fervent love for one another', to share our lives with one another, develop deep relationships and to serve one another and the community of the church (1 Peter 4:8). The New Testament calls the church the 'Family of God'. In the Northeast family and extended families are important. You can think about the church a bit like loving, healthy spiritual family (1 Timothy 3:15). So at All Saints we priorities fellowship together. We we desire to build, by God's grace a deep community that is built on God's Word and practically expresses itself in love, relationship and service.
Being a Christian means being a follower of Christ. This means a lifestyle that is ruled by Christ through His Word and worked into us by His Spirit. The Spirit uses the community of the church to lead us, teach us and train us in this lifestyle. This happens formally and informally, through the leaders of the church and through ordinary members caring for each others. Discipleship also means proclaiming the truth about Christ and salvation in Him so that more men, women, boys and girls might become disciples of Christ.