What is the Ante-Nicene Christian Faith?
On this page you will be presented with a general overview of the key beliefs of the modern Ante-Nicene Christian Faith
Who are the Ante-Nicene Christians ?
What do they believe?
How do they practice their faith?
How are they different from other Christians?
Can anyone be an Ante-Nicene Christian?
Back to the Future:
To better understand the general perspective of the Ante-Nicene Christian it is important to understand just what the word "Ante-Nicene" means. "Ante-Nicene" is the term applied to the early Church period up to the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. Therefore "Ante-Nicene" describes the first through forth century Church of Christ; the same Church of the Holy Scriptures and that founded by Christ through the Apostles and their direct spiritual descendants.
It is the aspiration of Ante-Nicene Christians to embody that same first century Church not only in scriptural orthodoxy ("right belief") but also in orthopraxsis ("right practice"). Ante-Nicene Christians strive, in all ways, to BE THE CHURCH; not in some "institutional" way but in the way Christ intended it to be, a single, interdependent, living holy organism, a visible testimony of the Love and Grace of God to the world, the Body of Christ Himself on earth.
Ante-Nicene Christians view the Church as "the family of God" and strive to embody that view in their daily walk with Christ by edification and encouragement of and service and accountability to "one another" as directed in the Scriptures.
Ante-Nicene Christians claim the promise of realizing the "fullness of Life" in Christ that is made to all believers. Ante- Nicene Christians believe that the manner in which we are "TO BE THE CHURCH" is fully laid out for the believe in Scripture and that to not adhere to that "orthopraxsis" is to deny ourselves the fullness of the Lords’ intent for our lives in Him.
In short, Ante-Nicene Christians believe that in order to go forward in our, individual and collective, spiritual lives we must first go back to the Church of Scripture in doctrine and practice.
The Ante-Nicene Christian beliefs can be summed up in the Shema and the one single biblically sound universally accepted creed of the Church.
"One God, One Lord, One Church, One Creed"
Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One."
The Apostle's Creed.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and Earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's Only Son, Our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and buried;
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the Communion of Saints,
the Forgiveness of Sins,
the Resurrection of the body,
and the Life Everlasting.
This "Creed" is also accepted by the vast majority of all Christians however the divergence in the faith that has resulted in the multiple fracturing of the "One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church" throughout history has, in part, been the result of "additions" to this basic Creedal expressions of the Gospel. The vast majority of these "new" creeds or "confessions" have only proven to move the Church further and further away from the Church of the Holy Scriptures or the "Ante-Nicene" Church.
The Promise of Salvation:
The Ante-Nicene Faith adheres to the Biblically sound doctrine that Salvation (Resurrection unto Eternal Life) is by the Grace of God through Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and a divine promise for all who believe and "endure to the end". [better known as "Conditional Security"]
The Two Kingdoms:
The Ante-Nicene Faith adheres to the "Two Kingdoms" doctrine of Scripture that being that there are only two Kingdoms in existence; The Kingdom of God (to which all the continuing faithful belong) and the Kingdom of Satan, "the god of this world" (to which all others belong and that currently rules upon the earth.) Ante-Nicene Christians are "citizens" of the Kingdom of God and view their current social status as "visiting guest" of their host nations. This in no way prevents the faithful from speaking out on issues that are of concern to them as Christians. In fact Ante-Nicene Christians in living their faith strive to be a positive impact on their communities and are more likely to ACT, out of Christian Charity and the Love of Christ, in exemplifying and affirming our Liberty in Christ in righteousness and truth than to pursue vain attempts to coerse others to do what is right through the politics of their respective host nations.
Worship or Liturgy:
Ante-Nicene Christians are "Liturgical" in that their form of collective worship is embodied in the historic liturgical forms of the first century Church. However while the Ante-Nicene form of collective worship is liturgical; that form also embodies the scriptural aspect of "liberty" in Christ by allowing for and expecting the workings in truth of God's Holy Spirit within corporate worship.
The Ordinances or Sacraments:
Ante-Nicene Christians are also Sacramental in that they adhere to the scriptural directives to observe the Sacraments of the Agape (Communion, Eucharist, Lord’s Supper), Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Confession, Solemnization of Marriage, and Holy Orders.
The Holy Spirit:
Ante-Nicene Christians are Evangelical and Charismatic as well in that they firmly believe that the Holy Scriptures contain the eternal Truth of God and are authoritative for the Body of Christ, the Church, and that they fully expect the ministry of God's Holy Spirit within the Body of Christ both collectively and individually.
But perhaps most of all today's Ante-Nicene Christians are "Restorative" in that they seek to restore the fullness of the faith in their lives in Christ and in the world of today. This is done by the adherence to a system of Scriptural interpretation that views any subject from a "Totality of Scripture" perspective and is reinforced by the "Testimony of the Fathers" those writings of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers who were direct students of the Apostles or the students of those who were taught by the Apostles. (i.e the First through Forth Century Church Fathers.)
There are “distinctive” practices that differentiate Ante-Nicene Christians from “mainline” Christian denominations or sects. Here are the most notable.
Church in the Home or "Home Fellowships":
Ante-Nicene Christians primary corporate worship occurs in their Home or the Home of a fellow believer usually weekly, but can be more often, The "Home Fellowship" was the model of corporate worship of the Church of Scripture and is best suited for the spiritual development of the believer. Within the Ante-Nicene Faith the "Home Fellowship" is viewed as every bit as valid as the Gathering of the Saints.
Gathering of the Saints:
This is the "parish wide" corporate inter-active worship Sunday assembly.
The Ante-Nicene Episcopate [Bishops,Presbyters/Priest & Deacons/ess'] are but a part of the Eldership of the Church with specific functions of service to the Body of Christ.
Wide Range of Liturgy:
Ante-Nicene Christians recognize that there are many doctrinally "orthodox" liturgical expressions and that it is not the "cultural" expression that is important but the Apostolic form and biblical orthodoxy that is essential to the maintenance of the unity of the Church.
Ante-Nicene Christians believe that Baptism is the sacrament by which God restores us as His children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the Kingdom of God. Ante-Nicene Christians hold to the Scriptural canon of "One Baptism". Ante-Nicene Christians adhere to the mode of "believer's baptism" by immersion, "in the name of Jesus Christ."
Confirmation is viewed as an acknowledgement of the In-Dwelling of God's Holy Spirit in the life of a believer and a profession of faith of either a mature (in age) new convert or a faithful believer who has attained the age of accountability (+/- 13 years of age).
Ante-Nicene Christians worship is in accordance with scripture in that it is "inter-active" meaning it includes discussion among the faithful and not just a "sermon" by a clergy member "for the further edification of the saints".
New Covenant Giving:
Ante-Nicene Christian do not adhere to the Levitical law of "tithing" but embrace the New Covenant directives to give as God has Blessed them and they have purpose in their hearts. (2Cor.8:3-4; 9:7)
Pastoral Ministry of all Believers:
Ante-Nicene Christians believe that as members of the Body of Christ every believer has the obligation and the right to provide pastoral ministry to each other as a manifestation of the "one another-ism" embodied throughout the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures.
Ante-Nicene Christians strive to become and grow as "Disciples" of Jesus the Christ in fulfillment of the Great Commission. For this reason many Ante-Nicene Christians live a life of continual study of the Scriptures and Apostolic writings of the "Ante-Nicene" Church and many Ante-Nicene Christian Communities offer a wide range of educational programs in the faith.
Ante-Nicene Christians often devote time to "family worship" in order to further foster their faith and understanding of the Truth of God as it applies to our lives today. "Family Worship" also aids in the development in the faith of our youth as well as strengthen the bond and order of the family in a world that is increasingly hostile to that divinely instituted organism.
Sign of the Cross:
While not exclusively "distinct" to Ante-Nicene Christians (for some variation of the "Sign of the Cross" is used by many Christian Churches from Roman Catholics, "Free" Catholics, Anglicans/Episcopalians to the many "Eastern Orthodox" Churches and even some Lutherans and Methodist) many in predominately Protestant America may find use of the "Sign of the Cross" a distinctive trait. Many, but not all, Ante-Nicene Christians make ample use of the "Sign of the Cross" in their daily lives, it is used in many ways from "sealing a prayer" to bestowing a blessing upon loved ones and friends when departing their company or even used to "sanctify" a meal or a period of time (such as prior to studying the Scriptures).
Can anyone become an Ante-Nicene Christian?
Yes, Anyone that longs for a greater manifestation of the fullness of a life in Christ in their lives in every possible way can become an Ante-Nicene Christian.
If you long for a “church home” that is actually "THE CHURCH", the family of God, the Body of Christ then we urge you to come and take your place at the table God has prepared for you.
If you long for the fullness of the Blessing of Christ in your life and the life of your family then we invite you to join with us as we worship of the One God, the Father and His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ and grow in our understanding of His will for us.
If you desire to live as a member of the Body of Christ and not only "go to Church" but "be the Church" then your family is waiting for you.
*****Ante-Nicene Christian Church*****
For more information Please contact those listed below and May the Love of the Living Christ Embrace You Always.
225 Newport Rd. Knoxville, TN 37934