If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.– Meister Eckhart
First Christian Church at a Glance:
- Church that still feels like Church. Hymns, bulletins, robes, etc. We don’t have a problem with folks who do contemporary worship, it’s all for the glory of God! But we have pretty laid-back, fun, but ultimately traditional services here.
- Real community with real people, no nonsense ever. Expect to find friends here.
- Preaching and teaching about the Gospel, not politics. God’s call on our lives can have political implications in that we’re called to change how we operate in the social spheres of life. But, the Gospel is not owned and operated by any political party.
- Routine mission projects in our own community.
- Mature, healthy, faithful witnesses to the Bible in a straightforward way that puts critical thinking alongside faith. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but its important that Christianity gets back to its loving, educated, helpful to others roots.
- We openly teach how scientific truths and critical scholarship can complement our faith.
- We openly teach about egalitarianism, feminism, overcoming racism, etc. as faithful calls, not boogeymen.
- We strive to both educate and model our faith in a way that stands up for the most marginalized in our communities.
- We value discussion and a diversity of views instead of pushing a single view on any issue not explicitly discussed in the Bible.
It’s all about Jesus:
Following Jesus means, get this, following Jesus! Micah 6:8 puts it this way: He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?
The Church has the deep joy and great task of being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to the world. Jesus is made known to the world when people set themselves aside and choose everyday to follow His way. Jesus’ way is the one way that offers selfless love for all people. Jesus’ way is the one way that works against injustice and violence without becoming unjust and violent. Jesus’ way is the one way that looks at people face to face, never using them or treating them like a number. Jesus’ way is the one way that puts grace above being perfect. Jesus’ way is the one way that always serves instead of controls people. Jesus’ way is the one way that reunites us with God in life and death. Jesus’ way is the most important. It’s about Him.
“Theistic” vs “Legalistic” Approaches:
First Christian Church in Fort Smith is part of the Disciples of Christ. The Disciples of Christ have long held to a “theistic” view of Christianity instead of a “legalist” or “fundamentalist” view. That means we believe in God, we believe Jesus is God’s Son, and we believe our faith is meant to be a living reflection of Jesus. But, we are also not in this world to collect a bunch of rules and ideas about Jesus that don’t transform us. Too often, legalism becomes a cold, dead way of approaching faith – it becomes more concerned with memorizing facts and figures, and less concerned with knowing a loving God found in Jesus Christ. Simply put, legalism tends to err on fitting Jesus into our own self-determined desires, politics, and plans. Too often it makes Jesus out to be a salesman for the American dream rather than the Proclaimer of God’s Kingdom on earth. Instead of legalism, we are called to a living relationship in faith.
How an Elder Described our Church:
If you are looking for a church that is open and affirming of you as you are, no exceptions… If you are looking for a place that values diversity of thought… If you are looking for a place that will challenge you to deepen your thinking about God, but not tell you exactly what to think… If you are looking for a place to serve those in our community, region, and around the world… If you are seeking a place to worship through preaching, studying, praying, singing, and playing music… If you want to be part of a family of believers, who will nurture you and each other… THEN this may be the place for you.