WHERE DO WE STAND?

 

Catering for all ages and all needs


We believe in church variety under the headship of Jesus. Some churches are called to be big and cater for a wide range of programs. Other churches like Living Way cater for older people without excluding younger ones.
Churches that focus strongly on raising up the next generation are essential to ongoing church life but that strength can often sideline experienced older people who tend to be sidelined and to take a more passive role of filling the numbers.

At Living Way we encourage all people to be involved and to fulfill their God-given ministry. We do not believe in a used-by date for ministry to others unless the person's mind is gone. We engage in participatory interaction where people both contribute and question in teaching times, participate in testimony sharing, operate gift ministry and are included in intercession/prayer chains. All are encouraged but none mandated. That is, people who are more comfortable in doing rather than speaking find expression in helping set up and clean up after meetings, making food and providing practical help for those in need.
We have neither a children's ministry or a youth program because we do not at present have people who feel called to that area. That can change at any time if God provides the personnel.
We are a strongly bonded community of faith where people are really cared for and valued, regardless of age, gender, cultural background or social position or wealth.

 

Marriage, Covenant Keeping 


We believe that a man and a woman entering into a covenant or marriage contract is the general plan for humanity. We all begin as 'singles', many marry and many of those return to singleness due to the death of a spouse or divorce.
We also believe that not everyone is called to marry and that singleness throughout is part of God's plan for a significant minority; as such, those single people are equally in the will of God as those who marry as part of God's plan for them.
We believe that not all people who choose to marry or choose to remain single do so as part of God's plan but rather out of personal choices. Having made the choice to marry and recognising that an error has been made is no valid reason for covenant-breaking or divorce.
We believe the Bible teaches that marriage is to be a union of a man and a woman bound together in the sight of God and humanity where self-sacrificial love and mutual respect and honouring in submission to God and His ways lays a foundation which can be built on and that teaches any children of the union how a real marriage works.
We believe that the Bible teaches that the man has the responsibility to lead the marriage but in the manner Jesus leads us. That means the man genuinely cares for the wife in a non-dictatorial way that values her God-given gifts and encourages their exercise and development in a partnership. For example, some men lack skills in financial management and the wife excels there; in such cases wise leadership delegates and defers to the wife.
The over-riding principle is to submit to one another in the fear of God respecting God's anointing and inspiration regardless of whether it comes via the wife or husband. The wife should lovingly support and respect her husband and his gifts too and not insist he be something he is not.

 

Divorce


We believe divorce occurs when one or both parties in a marriage decide to end it. The reasons for that range from unfaithfulness and abuse to selfishness; all are forms of covenant breaking.
The Bible teaches that God hates divorce and especially the covenant breaking behaviours behind it.
We believe that teaching people to remain in a situation of abuse where the parties are not willing to change their behaviours is unwise.
We would encourage people having marriage difficulties to recognise that both parties usually contribute to a relationship breakdown and to seek counsel and be willing to change and work at the loving behaviours they vowed when they married.
We believe that divorced and/or remarried people need to recognise their contributions to the marriage breakdown and seek to ensure their current marriage doesn't break down for the same reasons.

 

The Church, Israel and the Nations in the plan of God


Paul speaks of these as the 3 fundamental groupings of people, the first of which is formed from people whose origins lie in the other two.

We believe the Bible teaches that God has plans for each of the 3 groups and that the ideas that God has finished with Israel and that its promises have been given to or replaced by the church is a wrong interpretation of the Bible.

We believe God called Israel into being out of the nations and gave them many promises, all of which he will fulfil. We recognise that the nation of Israel failed to successfully carry out God's plans and that He created another group composed of Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) and passed them the responsibility of representing God's kingdom for a time. When the Church's mission is fulfilled we believe that the Church will be taken to be with Jesus and a faithful remnant of Israel will be formed and God's purposes for Israel and the nations will be completed.

 

 

Bible Prophecy and End Time Events


A significant part of the Bible is given to prophecy and revelation of events which are in the future of the humans who were given God's inspiration. Much of that prophecy has already been fulfilled but there is still a significant part yet to be fulfilled. There have been many godly and devout Bible teachers and others who have tried to piece together how those foretold events will play out with some parts that most agree on but in other places some significant differences.

We believe that we should hold these teachings with humility and a recognition that the order and sequencing of events will not be accurately known till after they occur. We also know that each Teacher is required to make assumptions in trying to explain Bible prophecy and that the conclusions are likely to be as good as the underlying assumptions.

We believe that Jesus is coming again and in the events that follow He will set up an earthly kingdom for some considerable time ( described as 1000 years in a book with a lot of symbolism) after which he will tidy things up and remove all forms of evil (people, spirits, angels including the Devil) to a place of quarantine and usher in a new heaven and new earth of righteousness.

We are cautious about any interpretation that sets times especially given that past examples have a 100% failure rate. We do recognise that the feasts of Israel and prophetic timetables have followed closely the 1st 4 of the feasts and expect that the rest will follow but are not certain whether Jesus will come again to the Church 1st and Israel and the nations last and so not allow people who fix his return to the date of the feast of trumpets to be correct in the first instance.

We believe that explaining the points where assumptions are made and what they could be should be given to the hearers rather than adopting a 'this is what God is saying' approach. That way the hearers are not placed in a situation where their faith and trust is likely to be undermined when events unfold differently.

Our practice is to study Bible prophecy as well as the rest of the Bible and to avoid embracing supposed revelation about planetary alignments, Year 2000, blood moons etc. that may sound plausible but when properly researched are highly selective and assumption based.

Furthermore, we believe that interpretations of prophecy that fits by selecting parts of the Bible but don't appear to fit in other parts are highly suspect.