Following in the footprints of Jesus


What do you teach?

Following the exhortation of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ", we teach only the Word of God, the Bible.

We have no "creed" other than the Word of God.  We have no "latter day prophecies" to add to or take away from the teachings of Jesus' apostles.  Our message is simply the Scriptures themselves.

Why doesn't your group use a denominational name?

The apostles baptised for the forgiveness of sins, but they never called themselves "Baptists".  The early church was led by older, mature men, or "presbyters" (from the Greek word πρεσβύτερος), but they never called themselves "Presbyterians".  The apostle Paul extended the greetings of his brethren in Rome meeting in various groups around the city (Romans 16:16) but the church was never called the "Churches of Christ" as a denominational name.

The early church was known by various descriptions, but never by a denominational name like modern churches.  They were simply called "Christians" (literally "Christ-ones") because they were followers of Christ Jesus.  Acts 11:26.

They were not followers of learned men or famous teachers.  They were not, for example, followers of the rebel Catholic priest Martin Luther (Lutherans).  They were not followers of Charles Taze Russell (Russellites or Jehovah's Witnesses).  They were not followers of John and Charles Wesley (Wesleyan Methodists).  They were simply Christians, followers of Jesus Christ.

Likewise, we are happy to call ourselves "Christians" and not take any denominational name which might be a stumbling block to others seeking just to be Christians in a world filled with religious division, confusion and questionable doctrines and practices.

What baptism do you practice?

Early in 2017, in our Friday evening Bible study group, a young woman stated that she believed in the "born-again baptism of the New Testament".  She was upset that we did not seem to "believe in the same baptism".

It is interesting that though the Bible – or more specifically, the New Testament – mentions eight different baptisms, not one is directly identified or referred to as a "born-again baptism".  Indeed the term "born again" is only mentioned in two chapters of the Bible, the third chapter of John's gospel and the first chapter of 1 Peter.

The first of these is in the context of the Jewish ruler Nicodemus approaching Jesus by night, John 3:1-21.  Jesus teaches him about the spiritual birth required for someone to enter into the kingdom of God, but He does not give specifics of how that birth might take place.

The second reference, 1 Peter 1:3-23, relates to how we are "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever".  Though there is again no clear description here of how this happens, Peter later tells us that baptism – from the Greek word βάπτισμα (baptisma, "an immersion or submersion") – saves us through "the answer of a good conscience toward God".

We practice the same baptism (full immersion in water) that the apostles used to baptise (for example, the 3000 believers on the day of Pentecost after the death and resurrection of Jesus in Acts 2:37-47), the same baptism that Philip administered to the Ethiopian eunuch travelling on the road to Gaza in Acts 8:26-39, and the same baptism that Ananias preached to Saul (later known as Paul) in Acts 22:16 when he commanded him to "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord".

Having heard and believed the gospel message, turned to God repenting of past wrongs, and confessed or proclaimed publicly the deity and Sonship of Jesus, a believer is baptised for the forgiveness of his or her sins.  Leaving the old life of sin in the waters of baptism, he or she then rises to "walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:1-13), as a person who has been "born again" and is "added to the church" by Christ Himself (Acts 2:47).

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?


"Many Christians accept the Muslim claim that we both worship the same God.  They claim that they call him Allah, while we call him God.  It is not unusual to hear Christian leaders make such statements.  Bible societies have even gone so far as to use the name Allah in the Bibles they produce for Arab Christians.

The problem with this is two-fold.

First, history and archeology show clearly that Allah was worshipped as a pagan moon god long before Mohammed came on the scene.  Robert Morey, author of The Islamic Invasion, explains:

'Islam's origins have been traced back by scholars to the ancient fertility religion of the worship of the moon god which was always the dominant religion of Arabia.  The moon god was worshipped by praying toward Mecca several times a day, making an annual pilgrimage to the Kabah which was a temple of the moon god, running around the Kabah seven times, caressing an idol of a black stone set in the wall of the Kabah, running between two hills, making animal sacrifices, gathering on Fridays for prayers, giving alms to the poor, etc.  These were pagan rites practiced by the Arabs long before Muhammad was born.'

'What religion today practices the pagan rites of the moon god?  Islam!  This explains why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam.  It is placed on top of mosques and minarets and displayed on hats, flags, rugs, amulets and even jewelry.  Every time you see the Muslim symbol of a crescent moon, you are seeing the ancient symbol of the moon god.'

Second, if you read the Qur'an's description of Allah, and read the Bible's description of God, it becomes obvious you are reading about two different persons.  Allah orders his followers to kill those who deny Islam, while God instructs us to love our enemies.  Allah had no son while God sent His Son to die for sinful men.  Allah is "unknowable" while God seeks a personal relationship with His creation, man.

The spirit behind Islam is an entirely different spirit... a spirit that denies the deity of Jesus Christ.  Any Christian who accepts the notion that Allah is God creates an impossible situation.  Since the Qur'an contains our only revelation about Allah, they will be forced to look there as their authority.  The Qur'an specifically denies the deity of Christ!  All Christian witness ends right there.


ACTS 11:26

"And the disciples of Jesus were called Christians first in Antioch."