Freedom of Belief. Disciples are called together around one essential of faith: belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Persons are free to follow their consciences guided by the Bible, the Holy Spirit, study, and prayer; and are expected to extend that freedom to others.
Belief in the Oneness of The Church. All Christians are called to be one in Christ and to seek opportunities for common witness and service. One of our early slogans was, “We are not the only Christians, just Christians only.”
Open Communion. The Lord’s Supper, or communion is celebrated in weekly worship. It is open to all who believe in Jesus Christ, to remind us of His love for us.
Baptism by Immersion. Baptism is a way of responding in a tangible and symbolic way to the spiritual change that faith in Jesus brings to our lives. It is like a rite of passage. Although Disciples practice baptism by immersion, other baptism traditions are honored.
The Ministry of Believers. Both ministers and lay persons lead in worship, service, and spiritual growth. We are motivated by the vision that Apostle Paul shares; “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” We value each person for the gifts that God has given them and therefore you will find that we have no barriers for leadership regarding gender or ethnicity.
The Bible. The emphasis for the Disciples of Christ, is not so much on what the Bible is, but on the greater reality of how it reveals God in Jesus Christ, and thus shapes us to be faithful in our living. For us the biblical mind has several dimensions. We believe in a reasoned approach to the Bible in that it should be accountable to both traditional interpretations and to common sense. We are empirical in that we read the Bible in light of the knowledge that comes from the sciences. We are pragmatic in that we are willing to test in our living the teachings of the scriptures and corresponding religious notions. Finally, we are ecumenical in that we rely on the collective and common mind of the whole Church to understand how scripture has been utilized and applied down through the ages and therefore how it should be utilized in our time.
The chalice symbolizes the central place that communion holds in the worship of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The X-shaped cross of the disciple Andrew is a reminder of the ministry of each person and the importance of sharing our faith experiences. Just as Andrew met Jesus, was moved by his encounter, and invited his brother Peter to meet Christ; we too are motivated invite others to meet and follow Jesus as their Savior and Lord.