Christ the Reconciler affirms the traditional Christian faith as expressed in the Nicene* Creed.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]**.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic*** and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
* We have found very helpful the Messianic Jewish perspective on the Creed and Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. See Appendix 4 of Mark Kinzer's book Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate, the Jewish People, and the Identity of the Church.
** We have placed this phrase in brackets to recognize our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Churches, who usually do not include the phrase "and the Son" in their version of the Nicene Creed.
*** The word “catholic” in the creed does not refer to the Roman Catholic church, but means “universal”.
We also have values that we believe are essential for us to walk out our calling in the ministry of reconciliation. We honor other ministries that might not see these values as core, and instead have other core values related to their specific callings.
1) Knowing the Love of God
It is necessary to verbally and mentally assent to the truth that we are loved by God. But it is not enough. The knowledge of God’s love must sink down from our heads, into our hearts. Our only solid identity is as “His Beloved” – otherwise we will create our own identities of self-protective intellectualism, or wander about confused by the many identities that our culture tries to assign. We commit ourselves to pressing into the deep, deep love of God.
See Mark 3:13, John 17:24, 1 John, Song of Songs 1:5
2) Living in Humility
We must not forget the “dark” part of, “I am dark but lovely” (Song of Songs 1:5). Our dear friend George Miley defines humility as living according to the truth. The truth is that we are beautiful, because Jesus lives in us. But the truth is also that we are broken, because we continually leave His presence and ways to follow our own ideas about what is best – which never turns out well. For us, to live in humility is to voluntarily embrace pain and suffering, not in a masochistic manner but from a desire to be with Jesus.
See Phillipians 2 & 3, James 4, John 13
3) Praying & Obeying
In Mark 3:13, Jesus calls to Himself those he wants, that they might (a) be with Him, and (b) be sent out on mission with power. This encapsulates how we want to follow Jesus. Prayer, which in its simplest and deepest form is to be with Jesus, is the first thing for us to do. The second is to obey Him when He sends us - whenever, wherever, with whomever, and in whatever manner. Life with Jesus is pretty simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy ... and we certainly aren't bored.
See Mark 3:13, Mark 12:28-34, John 14:23-24
4) Desiring Unity As Much As Jesus Does
Before He goes to the cross, Jesus prays for all believers in Him - including you and me! It's the Son of God's longest recorded prayer, by far. What does He pray? What would you have prayed for in this pivotal moment? For the church to spread the gospel effectively? ... or for doctrinal correctness? ... or for service to the poor? ... or for any of a number of other good and Biblical priorities? Amazingly, Jesus prays for none of these things. He prays for unity ... first among his rag-tag band of followers, then among "all who will believe after them." Even more shocking is the bar he sets for unity - namely, the love of the Trinity (see #7 below). Well, we strive to desire as much unity as Jesus wants ... and to desire it as strongly as He does.
See John 17:9-26
5) Honoring the Jews
One area that we have found common ground between Roman Catholics and Protestants, is that both of our streams have been guilty of hostility against the Jewish people. This hostility has taken many forms, from outright violence to more subtle replacement theology. This provides the opportunity to stand side-by-side before our Jewish brothers and sisters and repent. We also can rejoice in the recent re-emergence of an authentic Messianic Jewish stream in the body of Christ - as if a strong river that went underground in the 3rd & 4th centuries, has suddenly emerged again! - with profound implications for all of us.
See Exodus 20:12, Malachi 4:5-6, Acts 15:1-35, Romans 11, Ephesians 2
6) Longing for the Return of Jesus
How would you feel if you had left a loved one, promising to return after a long trip ... but as you drew near, you learned that your loved one was no longer interested in your return, even perhaps hoping that it would not happen? We do not want Jesus to experience those feelings. So out of love for Him, we fan the flames of longing for His return, and pray during every Bridge Prayer:
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!"
"Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus."
See Revelation 22, Matthew 24:45-51, Acts 1:10-11
7) The Beauty of the Mystery of the Trinity
We once heard Peter Kreeft helpfully distinguish between problems, which are given to men to solve, and mysteries, which are given to men to draw forth worship. Clearly, the Holy Trinity is a mystery! While it can be profitable to explore the possibilities and implications of the Triune God, our primary response should be to gaze upon the mystery in awe. Our friend George Miley writes:
Each Person of the Trinity relates to the others in harmony, submission, honor— agape love. The Son is submitted to the will of the Father. “Jesus became obedient even unto death.” The Father has entrusted all authority to the Son – the authority to heal, to raise people from the dead, and to judge. The Son departed to make room for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said it was good that He should go so that we would experience the Holy Spirit directly as our helper, our advocate, the source of wisdom and revelation. The Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself, but to the Son. There is no dishonor, competition, jealousy or unkindness among the Trinity. The love of each Person of the Trinity finds perfection in honoring the others.
For us, the image below hints at the beauty of the mystery of the Trinity.