There are many churches in Canada, many denominations. Which one is right? While we don’t claim to be the only Christians, we do try to be Christians Only. It is our purpose to bring ourselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ by submitting to His Word, the Bible.
We are not alone, nor are we the first to think this way. Below is a brief article adapted from the writings of James Garfield, 18th president of the United States. He summarises it pretty well. For a number of years, he was a preacher in the church. In fact, he was the only ordained minister to serve as president of the United States. The following is his summary of the teachings of the Christian Church.
We call ourselves Christians or Disciples.
We believe in God the Father.
We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and our Saviour. We regard the divinity of Christ as the fundamental truth of the Christian System.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, both as to His agency in conversion and as a dweller in the heart of the Christian.
We accept the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God.
We believe in the future punishment of the wicked and the future reward of the righteous.
We believe that Deity is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.
We observe the institution of the Lord’s Supper on every Lord’s Day. To the Table we neither invite nor debar. We say it is the Lord’s Table, for all the Lord’s children.
We plead for the union of God’s people.
The Bible is our only discipline.
We maintain that all ordinances should be observed as they were in the days of the apostles.
The following little statement (not a creed) is a summary of a larger document, penned in the early 19th century, called the “Declaration and Address”.
We affirm . . .
1. That the church of Christ is “essentially, intentionally and constitutionally one.”
2. That although this unity presupposes and permits the existence of separate congregations or societies, there should be perfect harmony and unity of spirit among all of them.
3. That the Bible is the only rule of faith and practice for Christians.
4. That the Old and New Testaments alone contain the authoritative constitution of the church of Christ.
5. That no human authority has power to amend or change the original constitution and laws of the church.
6. That inferences and deductions from the Scriptures, however valuable, can not be made binding upon the consciences of Christians.
7. That differences of opinion with regard to such inferences shall not be made tests of fellowship or communion.
8. That faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is a sufficient profession to entitle a man or woman to become a member of the church of Christ.
9. That all who have made such a profession, and who manifest their sincerity by their conduct, should love each other as brethren and as members of the same body and joint-heirs of the same inheritance.
10. That division among Christians is anti-Christian, anti-scriptural, unnatural and to be abhorred.
11. That neglect of the revealed will of God and the introduction of human innovations are and have been the cause of all the corruptions and divisions that have ever taken place in the church of God.
12. That all that is necessary to secure the highest state of purity and perfection in the church is to restore the original ordinances and constitution as exhibited in the New Testament.
13. That any additions to the New Testament program which circumstances may seem to require, shall be regarded as human expedients and shall not be given a place of higher authority in the church than is permitted by the fallible character of their origin.