THEOLOGY - WHAT WE BELIEVE.
Theology is the nuts and bolts part of faith, the details of what you believe and how you act on it. Its almost the tool kit of Christian belief.
Westbourne Grove Church is a very ordinary modern Christian church and the vast majority of our theology is the same as any other Protestant church. The church was once a Baptist church, and has since become independent from the Baptist Union, because in the 1970's there were differences of opinion with the church favouring a stricter biblical faith; more traditional theology and less democratically organised church government.
In common with all other Christians we believe that God created the universe and man, that God is three persons, Father, his Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus became a man, lived a perfect life as an example and guide to us, and died a painful and humiliating death to rescue us from the consequences of our own wrongdoings. By these actions he enabled us to return to a face to face relationship with God, but also he was then raised from death and is alive again, ending the permanence of death, and now gives the Holy Spirit to all who will receive Him, so that God Himself can live with each of us, and we can all hear His voice day after day. One day Jesus will return to judge everyone who has lived, and start a new age under his Lordship. In the meantime his followers are to witness to their experience of him, show love to all, and share the good news that all are welcome to enter into new life and relationship with God, by accepting his teaching, and following him. As we do so we find freedom and fulfilment, not because life is easy, but because we have the Holy Spirit to help and direct us, to enable us to face and overcome our difficulties, and to lead us forward in faith, love and hope. Our Christian life is not the traditional “killjoy” rules and prohibitions, but freedom and liberty from bad habits, addictions, and wrong motivations; freedom gained through faith in Jesus and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
The church has a formal membership, to identify those who are long term members of the congregation, and those who are visitors. There is a course for those interested in membership which explains further details of the church’s values and theology.
Westbourne Grove Church is part of a local group of churches who work together. Sometimes people wonder why there are so many different churches and why they appear so different. While there are minor differences of theology between the churches, most differences are really difference of style, regarding worship (hymns, or modern songs), or liturgy (prayer book or informal prayers), or icons or ritual or organisation structure. These are like the differences between different hotels. Some are expensive, others cheap, some very formal, and others very homely, some very traditional, some very modern, some sparse, some ornate, some cater mainly for businessmen, others for private individuals, some mainly for tourists others for more local travellers. Churches come in similar variety, to meet the needs and preferences of their own congregations and visitors, which make them appear much more different than they really are. In the links page you will find details of other local churches, and you are welcome to visit them all, and choose the one with the style which you find most helpful in following God. Just as hotels compete, churches do gently vie for your attention, and we would love you to spend time with us, but at the end of the day, we would most wish that you find what you need at the church that is best suited to you.