What is an Anabaptist?

We belong to a stream of the Christian tradition known as Anabaptism that emerged during the Protestant Reformation.

Palmer Becker describes the core values of Anabaptist Christians as:

  1. Jesus is the centre of our faith.
  2. Community is the centre of our lives.
  3. Reconciliation is the centre of our work.

Jesus is the centre of our faith
Jesus is to be followed in daily life. Being a Christian means more than having a spiritual experience, affirming a creed, or being made right before God. To be a Christian means to follow Jesus in daily life.

The Bible is interpreted from a Christ-centred point of view. Jesus is seen as the fullest revelation of God and God’s will, which means that sometimes the teachings of Jesus transcend previous teachings. The writer of Hebrews declares, “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son … who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being …”

While Christians from an Anabaptist perspective see the Scriptures as the ultimate source of information and inspiration, they see Jesus as the final authority for faith and life. He is Lord of Scripture and is normative for both personal and social ethics.

Community is the centre of our lives
One of the first things that Jesus did when he began his ministry was to form a community. They learned, ate, travelled and served together until at Pentecost they became the core of a new society called the Church. The New Testament church provided an alternate way of living to both the religious and political realities of that day.

Anabaptist Christians believe that forgiveness and reconciliation are essential for creating and nurturing community.

The Scriptures are interpreted in community. Christians from an Anabaptist perspective believe that the Scriptures need to be studied both privately and in the context of a Spirit-guided community where fellow believers give and receive counsel.

Our Community Covenant is an integral part of our values.

Reconciliation is the centre of our work
Being a Christian from an Anabaptist perspective is a combination of believing in Jesus, belonging to community, and behaving in a reconciling way. For our church community this involves being intentional about getting past us/them paradigms which frame much of our current day discourse.

We understand that the call to be ambassadors of the Good News of Jesus is for all of us to live out as followers of Jesus. To reach across to those who we deem as “other” is an essential part of the call to peace-making in the way of Jesus.  As a core part of our theology we take seriously the call of Jesus to love our enemies and strive to live that out in our daily lives.

“What if… God truly is completely Christlike? What if his love is more generous, his cross more powerful, and his gospel more beautiful than we’ve dared to imagine? What if our clearest image of God is the self- giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering love revealed on the Cross? What if we had a more Christlike God?” – Brad Jersak