To answer some questions I’m sure people will have, especially after reading some of my Saturday posts, I’m a Christian who keeps the seventh-day (Saturday) sabbath and observes the holy days outlined in Leviticus 23 (as did the apostles and early New Testament church). My beliefs bear a strong resemblance to Messianic Judaism, and though that is not the church I grew up in I do attend with a Messianic group fairly regularly. I’ve heard brethren in the other groups I attend describe us as the “independent Churches of God” or people who practice “Biblical Christianity,” but we’re really one church completely dependent on Christ and joined by Him in spite of the slight variations in how – and where – we worship.
My parents came into a 7th-day Sabbath keeping group called Worldwide Church of God before they married, and so I was born into this faith. Worldwide split over doctrinal change when I was just a few years old, and now we regularly attend with a group called United Church of God. I don’t attend exclusively with United, and often visit “independent” groups that still have the same beliefs, but don’t ally themselves with a larger church organization.
Some of the key things in our faith that seem to set us apart from other Christian groups is that we keep the Holy Days outlined in Lev. 23, observe clean and unclean meat laws from Lev. 11 and Deut. 14, don’t believe in the Trinity, and we practice full-immersion baptism as part of an adult believer’s commitment to follow Christ. When I say “I don’t believe in the Trinity,” what I mean is I believe that the God-family consists of two beings — God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. I see the Holy Spirit as a manifestation of Their power and as Their divine essence — the part of God that communicates with our human spirit — but not as a separate person in a triune God.
Some of the things we have in common with other Christian groups is belief in Jesus Christ as our personal savior, belief that the Bible is God’s word and a guidebook for our lives, and belief in the importance of following Christ’s example and commandments. We believe man was created in the image of God to have a relationship with Him, but because of our sins we need salvation through Jesus Christ in order to come to God. We believe prayer, keeping God’s commandments, and loving one another are essential parts of being a Christian.