Jesus said “You study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39,40). We believe not only that Jesus Christ was the source of life in the beginning, but that life without a relationship with him isn’t life as intended by God, but merely existence. We believe we were created in the image of God and the implications of that truth shed pivotal light onto a truth seeking worldview. God has been on a rescue mission since the fall in Eden. The very idea that God would notice us, much less love us (and number the very hairs on our head) is hard to conceive. In fact, if it weren’t true, it would be a ridiculously arrogant worldview. However, because it is the truth, Christ followers are grateful sharers of the grace of God and live to serve others because the love of God compels them from within.
What Kind of Church is This?
West Orange has a rich tradition as part of the restoration movement which swept over America in the mid 19th century. This tradition was fueled by passionate believers who sought to “restore” the spirit of the New Testament church at a time when Christendom had devolved into human hierarchies of religion. We continue to teach relationship (beginning with us and God- then one to another) rather than religion. We are avid students of God’s word because “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). Though the New Testament church was established in the first century A.D. replete with its cultural practices and challenges, we find God’s Word completely adequate to address the challenges of our 21st century culture. While the message of salvation in Christ remains unchanged over the centuries, the followers of the Lord are obliged to change methods in an effort to be relevant in this still-fallen world.