What are our points of difference?
We appreciate that individual Christians may have different understandings of certain Bible verses; however, many members of our group share some understandings that differ from those of the established denominational churches. We believe that all truth-seekers should “prove all things” and “hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
- God is not a trinity.
- People do not have an “immortal soul”; when a person dies, he or she ceases to exist until the resurrection.
- Christians do not “go to heaven” when they die; they cease to exist until the resurrection day, like all other human beings.
- All human beings will be resurrected but only those who are faithful to Jesus now, during this life, are promised eternal life in the future kingdom of God. The rest of mankind must be tested before they can receive eternal life.
- Jesus is the only means of access to God’s love and forgiveness. No priest, pastor, preacher, teacher, church group or other human agency has the authority to forgive sins and bring people to God.
- God’s kingdom is not “heaven”; it will be established on the restored earth when Jesus returns.
- Satan is a real being and is responsible for the temptations and evils in the world.
- Eternal punishment in “hell” is not taught by the Bible. Any individuals who continue to do evil after they have been given a full knowledge of the truth in God’s future kingdom will be destroyed.
- The New Covenant is the agreement that God makes with us when we accept that Jesus has died to enable our sins to be forgiven. This is in operation now and will continue to operate into the future. We do not need to observe the Law Covenant any more.
- Although many miracles are recorded in the Bible, the miraculous gifts of the spirit recorded in the New Testament were to die out after the deaths of the Apostles.
- Jesus chooses the members of the church; Christians belong to Him, not to any man-made organisation. This is why we call ourselves a non-denominational Bible study group.
- We do not agree that infant baptism is taught by Scripture. We believe that each individual should make a reasoned, informed decision to follow Jesus, and this would usually be better made later in life.
- As a small study group, we have simple services that may include a talk, a group study or discussion led by a chairman, hymns, devotional or praise sessions and sessions for children and young people. These services are organised collaboratively; we do not have a minister or any paid administrators but come together to encourage one another and use our strengths to assist one another.
- We do not take “communion”. We observe the Lord’s Supper once a year on the same night that Jesus established this memorial, when he observed the Jewish Passover.
- We do not observe any creed, have any formulaic prayers or group readings and always ask God for His guidance through prayer.
- Members of the class are free to attend and contribute if they are willing to support our aims and do so in the spirit of co-operation and respect.
We are happy to discuss questions about our points of difference. You are very welcome to come and learn with us. We would love to share fellowship with you if you are interested in learning more about God and His purposes.
If you have any questions about any of these points please contact us.