Leading by example … This is also possible with recorders, as South African Apostles and Bishops recently proved. And that was only the prelude to the Year of the Child, during which this woodwind instrument will hit the big time. Doing the right thing or deciding on a new Bible edition or the right kind of fuel … Every day people have to make decisions. A look at some recent situations around the world. So why do we even still need the church?
The definition of ministry remains a prominent topic: The registration period for the International Youth Convention in the This question is often asked. Answers and advice are typically found i In particular, the statements of the New Testament , especially the gospel of Jesus and the epistles of the Apostles, are of definitive importance. Individual Biblical books and passages, along with statements of Apostles and ministers of the New Apostolic Church, must have grounding in the Holy Scriptures.
The doctrine and its proclamation must not contradict the fundamental statements of the gospel. The church regards the basis of this faith as being found in the Bible , including the Apocrypha. In , a District Apostles Meeting declared that "the Apocrypha are just as binding for the faith and doctrine of the New Apostolic Church as the other writings of the Old Testament" see official statement here. The New Apostolic Church knows three sacraments:. The Holy Baptism with water is part of the spiritual rebirth, and a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit in the Church.
Both children and adults can be baptised. A person baptised as a child will later confess the baptism, at the age of 14—16, by confirmation. The baptism can be performed by priestly ministries.
Holy Baptism is taught to be the first and fundamental act of grace of the Triune God , bestowed on a person believing in Christ. The act of this sacrament includes the remission of the original sin. In this respect, the candidate for baptism has a share in Christ's merit, and experiences his first close relationship with God. The person becomes a visible Christian and is thus adopted into the fellowship of those who believe in Jesus Christ and avow themselves to him.
The sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated "as a feast of joy and thankfulness" in every service. The Church teaches that this commemorates the sacrificial death of Christ, Son of God, who allowed himself to be crucified for the sins of mankind despite his innocence. Holy Communion preserves the eternal life of the soul and accords it the security of remaining in the fellowship of life with its redeemer Jesus Christ.
For the New Apostolic Church, the "body and blood" of Jesus are dispensed as bread and wine in the form of a consecrated wafer. By partaking of it in faith, an individual assimilates the nature of Jesus and receives "strength from God". The Holy Communion is available not only for members but also baptised members of the Church and those who have been invited as guests. Priestly ministries direct the Holy Communion. Holy Sealing is the dispensing of Holy Spirit.
By this act the believer is filled with Holy Spirit as a strength of God, not as the third person of the Triune God. It is carried about through prayer and laying on of hands of an apostle, provided that the believer has been first baptised with water.
The Holy Baptism with water and the Holy Sealing together constitute the rebirth out of water and Spirit; by this the "childhood in God" is attained. As a child of God the believer is granted the opportunity to participate in the Second Coming of Christ. From this moment on the believer is an adherent of the New Apostolic Church. The Holy Sealing is also dispensed to children whereby the parents must profess their faith in the doctrine of Jesus and the apostles.
The church interprets the sacrament for example with the biblical text of Acts 8: Because Holy Sealing is an institutional manner of giving the Holy Spirit, conducted by the apostles of Early Christianity , New Apostolic Church considers the "childhood in God" possible for other Christians as well referring to the overall acting of the Holy Spirit John 3: NAC represents the most frequent form of premillennialism.
The Church teaches that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is imminent, and the goal of faith is to be worthy to be the Bride of Christ when He returns. Eschatology in the New Apostolic Church has been refined recently to this end-time sequence: The spiritual leaders of the New Apostolic Church are called Apostles. They are considered to be indispensable to preparing their members for the goal of faith. This goal is to be led into eternal community with God at the Second Coming of Christ.
It takes center stage of a New Apostolic Christian's faith. In their tradition, they act as missionaries, who go to all men to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to prepare them for the Second Coming of Christ and eternal life. According to the NAC, the apostles are the only ones on earth who have the mission to forgive sins and baptise with the Holy Spirit.
It is also a duty of the apostles, and all the ministers of the NAC, to affirm corporate feeling within the church and to support the members with pastoral care. The New Apostolic Church teaches that Apostles are necessary for salvation. That means that God has re-established the apostle ministry in order to collect all the Christians for the Second Coming of Christ. Therefore, the expression "necessary for salvation" indicates the plan of God that the apostle ministry must act on earth until His son returns.
The question, Who will attend the Second Coming of Christ? The NAC also claims they would not contradict other churches who teach that final salvation is granted on day of Last Judgement.
- Annual meeting in Jakarta of Apostles and Responsible Rectors South East Asia.
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By Last Judgement, there will be no visible church , but the faith in Christ will be the sole element. Thus the NAC denies any claim of absoluteness or religious totalitarianism. A distinctive and controversial feature of the New Apostolic Church is its doctrine about the dead. A special divine service of remembrance and intercession in prayer takes place three times annually. In such divine services the apostles also administer the sacraments to a living subsidiary minister.
Regarding this, New Apostolic Christians refer to several biblical texts such as 1 Corinthians There are no limitations to whom in the beyond may be baptised by apostles. It is possible for the dead to find grace before God and have their sins forgiven.
It is also possible, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that the dead can find faith. Just as it is possible to be saved without finding the New Apostolic faith, the dead can be saved another way by Christ's grace, therefore without help of Apostles. The New Apostolic Church clearly states that most questions regarding this issue cannot be fully answered. The New Apostolic Church emphasises the personal accountability of its members for their actions.
The individual is responsible to God for his behaviour. The gospel of Christ, and the system of values inherent in the Ten Commandments provide clear orientation in this respect. However, the church itself is politically neutral and independent. It is financed by the voluntary donations of its members. This is the New Apostolic Creed circa He will return to earth with them, to establish His kingdom of peace and that they will reign with Him as a royal priesthood. After the conclusion of the kingdom of peace, He will hold the Last Judgment. Then God will create a new heaven and a new earth and dwell with His people".
Committees project groups within the NAC meet from time to time, under the authority of the Chief Apostle, to discuss and revise some fundamental or exclusive views of the church concerning authority, historical or linguistic background. They frequently cite examples of the regular activity of large churches.
This has led to corrections and clear distinctions to previous doctrines. The Chief Apostle describes these corrections as "focusing", because the church believes in a constant act of the Holy Spirit, who gives knowledge. The New Apostolic Church does not have any objections to blood or organ donation , provided that either the donor consents or that brain death has already taken place.
The Church regards fertilisation as the beginning of life. Each embryo is said to deserve urgent protection whether inside or outside the womb; it is not suitable material for research or destruction. However, the Church approves research with adult stem cells. Concubinage , or a so-called trial marriage , is not approved by the New Apostolic Church if it consists of a couple living together in intimate relations in a common domicile, without having been married, without Church blessing and without intending to marry eventually.
The Church recommends marriage and emphasises the importance of the marriage blessing for living together. Members in concubinage are not permitted to practice a ministerial or teaching function unless they intend to marry. Such lifestyle is not considered exemplary to others. The New Apostolic Church is open toward the ecumenical movement. Contacts on local and institutional levels serve principally to facilitate better mutual acquaintance and to dismantle prejudices. Due to differences in doctrinal statements, it is not possible for the Church to participate in ecumenical divine services or acts of blessing.
The New Apostolic Church has reinforced its efforts to cultivate good neighbourly relationships with other churches and denominations. This occurs primarily through invitations to both the community and church congregations for special events, and through combined benefit events for charitable purposes. The question as to whether this may lead to membership status in the ecumenical movement cannot be answered at this time. The New Apostolic Church does not consider the broad theory of evolution to be a suitable explanation for the creation of life, because this theory does not take into consideration the presence of God as the Creator.
However the Church does not consider scientific insights on evolution to be in contradiction to the statements of the Bible. The Church is careful to distinguish between evolutionary theory and evolution itself. While the theory in scientific terms does describe the laws according to which evolution takes place, it does not give any explanation as to the origin of the creation.
By contrast, evolution — the continuing development within the living and the inanimate world — occurs according to the divinely prescribed laws of nature and does not contradict the statements of the Holy Scripture. The Church maintains that it is solely for God to determine whether, and to what extent, a person acquires guilt before God through the practice of his or her homosexuality. In this regard, the Church expressly states that sexual orientation has no relevance in pastoral care. The Church however states that its members who are "practicing homosexuals", or living in a "homosexual partnership", cannot carry out ministerial but may serve in other duties of the church such as teaching religion instruction to Sunday school children.
According to the understanding of the Holy Scriptures, suicide is sin, because life is a gift of God. No human being has the right to take his or her own life, or that of any other human being. Likewise, no one has the right to condemn someone who has committed suicide. Only God is able to see all the factors involved, and He can also be gracious to such a soul according to His will. Church activities are mainly focused on divine services and pastoral care of the membership.
In addition, the New Apostolic Church engages in charitable activities within the bounds of its limited resources. If, in individual cases, help is urgently required, it is given directly and according to the need. The liturgy of the New Apostolic Church was originally consistent with the liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church , which contained strong elements of the Roman Catholic and Anglican rite. This lasted until , when emphasis of the divine services shifted towards the liturgy of the word under the influence of Dutch Calvinism. Today, only a few aspects of the Catholic Apostolic tradition remain in the New Apostolic liturgy.
The Church does not use its own publications during services and members are discouraged from bringing their Bible, as they could be distracted from the sermons. Internal circulars and documents explaining the church's guidelines, which come from the Chief Apostle and are considered to have the same authority as the Biblical epistles, are supposed to provide the correct meanings of the Bible. They are not available to ordinary members, only to elders.
According to religious anthropologist Thomas Kirsch, elders are seen as the "source of denominational knowledge", and members are connected to their religion's headquarters "through chains of referentiality in the form of textual quotations". The remission of sins absolution is conducted in every single divine service, in the name of Jesus, by an apostle or by a lower minister under order of the apostle. Mistakenly, many New Apostolic Christians assume that absolution belongs to the sacrament of Holy Communion or is even a sacrament on its own.
Chief Apostle Leber clearly stated in that this special mission of absolution is bound to the apostle ministry, but not that other Christians or human beings would have no access to God's forgiveness. The forgiveness of sins, with or without absolution, is eventually a sovereign decision of God himself.
The New Apostolic ministers preach without a manuscript. They prepare themselves for the sermon with the small Divine Service Guide publication released monthly by the church administration. The Guide was reformatted in December  to give the officiant a structured introduction to the subject matter along with background knowledge about the biblical word , historical knowledge , cross-references, additional sources and so on.
The contents of one topic may be spread across several divine services within a month so that each divine service can cover a subtopic and build upon the main topic, in order to teach and guide the listeners better. A theological education is not necessary to hold a New Apostolic ministry. Continuing the tradition of Apostle Peter , the Holy Spirit is believed to act through the ministers during the sermon, but the Church does not consider the ministers to be infallible. One criticism has been that ministers under stress preach habitual content and verbiage between sermons.
Also, ministers with insufficient instruction in New Apostolic theology and doctrines have accidentally preached false teachings, leading to misunderstandings. The Church has counteracted this with numerous seminars, and it requests that ministers of each congregation coordinate their sermon topics together. While attendance statistics in Central Europe are declining, in Eastern and Western Europe, South America and Africa attendance numbers are relatively high.
Regular participants frequently engage in church life and stand out due to their feelings of togetherness.
A particular care exists for children, youth, and seniors. The Church culture tends towards formal dress and appearance, although all are welcome and a "come as you are" attitude exists. The choir of each congregation meets for regular choir rehearsal whenever possible, as do the various orchestras and instrumental groups. Music is promoted to a great extent in the New Apostolic Church.
The cultural life of the NAC has continued to develop, just as it has opened to the public. In addition to traditional church choirs, which are sometimes known among other denominations due to their quality, there are progressive music groups and ensembles which also perform publicly. Musical works of the nineteenth century or later are an essential part of the church's music literature.
Portions of the New Apostolic music literature have been revised and supplemented by literature from other Christian churches. A new songbook, which replaced the one from , has been used since Easter in the Germanic countries and since September in the Anglophone countries. The church and delegates of other denominations regard the communal fellowship of the New Apostolic Christians as one of their biggest strengths. We help each other, we are on first-name terms with each other, we all know each other.source url
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If one of us builds a garage, we muck in. We are a little family. The emblem of the church portrays a white Latin cross , hovering above stylised waves on blue background. The sun rises at the horizon of those waves, symbolised by 10 rays. There is no definite interpretation of its meaning. According to Peter Johanning, spokesman of the church, the various elements can be interpreted as Crucifixion of Jesus Christ cross , Holy Baptism water and as Holy Sealing sun , referring to the three sacraments of the church. Sunrise or sunset in the emblem could also be regarded as the immediate Second Coming of Christ.
Chief Apostle's schedule
The first official emblem was created by Chief Apostle Schmidt in and can still be found on many church buildings. It was changed to a more modern appearance by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr in The church ministers have no formal theological training. In addition to their family, professional and social obligations, they perform their pastoral duties in an honorary capacity. One of their most important duties is to give pastoral care to the believers assigned to them.
The NAC does not perform ordination of women. Regardless, many women teach in the Sunday Pre-School, Sunday School and Confirmation School, provide other religious education and hold leading positions in administrative duties and in music. Some congregations and districts have women who have a similar role to a deacon. At the end of his term, Chief Apostle Richard Fehr said that he considered the potential ordination of women as deaconesses , and the apostles are still considering the issue.
To become a minister, a male member of a congregation must accept an offer of ordination from a senior minister. It is the desire of the Church for these candidates to be elected with the assistance of prayer. This happens with the higher ministers, although ministries like priests or deacons are given to those with adequate circumstances time, job, etc. If the candidate accepts, an apostle will ordain him during a divine service. Apostles and also bishops, if possible, are ordained by the Chief Apostle. The congregations are the centre of religious life.
They are in the care of Shepherds, Evangelists or Priests commissioned by the Apostles. The Rectors of the congregations are assisted by Priests, and Deacons. If a minister spreads teachings which are clearly against New Apostolic doctrines or canonical Christian interpretation of the bible he may be suspended temporarily, or be released from his ministry. A minister may also ask for time off or resign from his ministry voluntarily. The New Apostolic Church abstains from all political statements. It expects its members to fulfill the laws and the civil obligations of their countries as long as divine laws are not transgressed.
The church attaches importance to open and trusting relations with governments, authorities and the general public.
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New Apostolic Christians are free to engage in public life. The ministries in the NAC are hierarchical. The highest minister present in a congregation conducts the service. The different ministries are:. The different priestly ministries work in the local congregations and have responsibility for the direct spiritual care of the congregations.
Priestly ministries can carry out Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. What the charity does Religious activities. Fundraising Raises funds from the Public. Charitable spending ratios What are charitable spending ratios? Ratios have to be put in context. For example the accounting rules affect what can be classed as income or expenditure. Where a charity which purchases land to further its objects the accounting rules do not permit including the purchase cost as charitable spending in its accounts.
Ratios may also be affected by the way a charity operates.