The Anchor Fellowship is home to people from both Protestant and Catholic backgrounds, people of many different denominations as well as people who have no history with the Church. We feel this is a great strength of our fellowship, though we understand that our diversity presents unique challenges.
One of our core values is living life together, learning how to become more and more like Jesus while developing deep and meaningful relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our commitment to living life together is not based on having the same theological points of view. It is our redemption, not denominational creeds, which holds us together.
Doctrine and theology are often the source of unnecessary division within the Body of Christ, and while we vigilantly guard against heresy, we strive to maintain unity in our fellowship. Our approach is reflected in the old church motto: “In Essentials, Unity; in Non-Essentials, Liberty; in All Things, Love.”
With the Nicene Creed as our profession of faith, we believe, essentially, the following:
There is only one God, and God is Holy. God has revealed his nature and character to us in the form of the Trinity: God the Sovereign Father, his Son Jesus Christ our rescuer and leader, and the Holy Spirit our comforter and guide.
Because God loved us so much, he gave us his only son to die for our sins and rise again, so that we might have eternal life. As Jesus lived, we will learn to live. But knowing about Jesus’ teachings is not enough: each believer must choose to follow Jesus Christ. We are incapable of following Jesus on our own, and knowing this would be true, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to teach us, to guide us, and to transform us.
Jesus Christ is central to everything we are and everything we do, from the mundane to the most profound. Without Christ we are not Christians. Wherever we are, in the midst of whatever we do, we realize that Christ is paramount. Through Jesus we are his body here on Earth and we eagerly wait for the day of his return. We could not follow Jesus without the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is actively present here today working in a variety of ways, ranging from the contemplative and personal to the miraculous and corporate, through spiritual gifts as well as the unique talents and abilities we each possess.
God the Father, our creator, passionately loves each of us and calls us to participate in his plan and purpose for our lives through his Son and by his grace. This calling is both individual and corporate. We are joined together as get better and better at living in our callings, which we are enabled to fulfill through the grace of God. Grace is the hand of God upon us, enabling us to do the things we are called to do but do not have the strength, skill, resource, or will to accomplish on our own. God’s grace is freely given to us because of and through God’s love.
We stand on the authority handed down to us through the Bible and the traditions of the Church. We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and useful for instruction, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. As we seek to live righteous lives, we must honor the greatest Biblical commandments: to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
As we learn to follow Jesus better and better, we also disciple others—not so they become our followers but so they learn to follow Jesus along with us.
We believe that liberty in the non-essentials must not detract from the truth of the things we hold as essential. Even as we test, try, debate, pray through, and in other ways figure out how to best apply our beliefs to daily life, we recognize that we must not lose the essentials that make us who we are.
We accept that we are not perfect. We understand that at times we will fall short, offend, and behave hypocritically. We know that we will not always be right and that we will let people down, but we also know that we must keep going, even through our mistakes and failures, in order to succeed at becoming more and more like Jesus. So we will not be content to remain where we are, but, instead, we will press on toward maturity in our faith, growing more responsible with our callings and our discipleship of others.