Via Apostolica (Latin for 'the apostolic way') is a movement of churches and leaders who are rich in hope for a bright future! Our hope is established upon three premises:
- Having the highest possible Christology[i] – to see Christ rightly as the glorious, ascended, altogether worthy, one-of-a-kind, Son of God.
- Having the highest possible Ecclesiology[ii] – to see the church restored and become a glorious home for a glorious Lord; a fitting habitation for him.
- Having the highest possible Missiology[iii] – just as it was the mission of Christ to perfectly reveal God the Father, so it is the joyful mission of the church to reveal Christ. That we might
be the face of Christ to those outside the church – a face that is welcoming and hope giving, understanding and healing, receiving and redeeming.
We are by no means alone in anticipating a wonderful new day coming for Christ’s church. However, in our experience, it is by looking back that we see most clearly the way forward. The Old Testament prophet declared, “Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”[iv] It is by looking to the ancient church that we have come to understand the future of the church. Via Apostolica is a movement devoted to recovering the faith, doctrine, and practice of the early Christian period.
At the same time, it is our goal to express the historic faith in ways that are accessible to this generation. Christ was at the same time both ancient and modern. He was the Logos who existed eternally and the Incarnate Son who was born into a specific time. So also the Church that bears His name is called to embody our ancient Faith to a modern world.
Our crest conveys the central passions of Via Apostolica. The most central symbol (the cross and ring surrounding the intersection) represents the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ – the fountainhead of our faith.[v] On the right is a clasped Bible. Because we love Christ, we love the Holy Scriptures. It is clasped because we need the Spirit of God, working through the Church of God (the Church Fathers, the Creeds, Christian community, etc.), to help us arrive at the true meaning of the Word of God. At the top is the descending Spirit. Because we love Christ, we love the Spirit that he gifts to us. On the left is a chalice representing a Sacramental understanding of our Faith. Because we love Christ, we love the Sacraments that he meets us in.[vi] The lion image at the foundation represents Christ’s ruling nature. Because we love Christ we obey him as Lord and King. The crossed keys represent our apostolicity.[vii] Because we love Christ, we love the orderly succession of ministry that he has appointed.
Via Apostolica is overjoyed to be part of, in the words of the Creed, the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”[viii] “One” – because we take seriously Jesus words, “that they may be one.”[ix] “Holy” - the Church is of divine origin and under divine Headship and we are obliged, therefore, to act like it. “Catholic”[x] – in union with all God’s people, past and present, we go into all the world, with all of God’s revealed truth. “Apostolic” – we are devoted to the doctrine and practice of the Holy Apostles and their successors.
Our vision is to see a people arise that are impassioned for Jesus, his church, and his world; a church that listens to Christ by the Scriptures, is connected to Christ by the Spirit, and encounters Christ in the Sacraments; a church whose roots go deep into our past but whose branches stretch far into our culture; a church that loves sincerely, worships adoringly, and serves selflessly.
As a movement we have a deep honor for the spectrum of churches across our land. For the Evangelical churches who have been faithfully preaching and teaching the Holy Scriptures, for the establishing of all who believe, both young and old. We honor you as the Acts 18:24[xi] church. We honor the Charismatic churches who have been faithful to uphold the importance of the Spirit’s ministry. We honor you as the 1 Thessalonian 1:5[xii] church among us. And for the Historic churches who have been faithful to the reality that God has chosen to meet us in the sacraments, and that roots matter. We honor you as the 1 Corinthian 11:23[xiii] church among us. If the Evangelical, Charismatic, and Historic churches in our nation could walk together, the Scripture would be fulfilled in our sight, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”[xiv]
How beautiful it would be if such unity could be expressed through its proper emblem - Holy Communion. “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”[xv]This sacred meal, instituted by our common Lord, and made possible by our common baptism, was intended to be the one that unites us. We urge the various branches of Christ’s Body across our land to form meaningful inter-communion relationships with other parts of the Body, and thus fulfill the desire of Christ.
[i] Our view of Christ
[ii] Our view of Church
[iii] Our view of God’s purposes in his world, worked on the merits of Christ, through his Church
[iv] Jeremiah 6:16
[v] 1 Cor. 15:3-4
[vi] Luke 24:30-31, 35
[vii] Matthew 16:19
[viii] Referred to, historically, as the four marks of the true church.
[ix] John 17:11
[x] The word ‘catholic’ comes from the Greek word katholicos which means ‘pertaining to the whole’, and was used by the early Christians when referring to the true and unified Body of believers in all places and at all times. The word is not shorthand for ‘Roman Catholic.’ Because of the confusion Martin Luther substituted the word ‘Christian’ in the creed. However, rightly understood, the word ‘catholic’ is still the most fitting word here.
[xi] “Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.”
[xii] “Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”
[xiii] “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you…”
[xiv] Ecclesiastes 4:12
[xv] 1 Corinthians 10:17