We believe in God as eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created and sustains the universe. The eternal purpose of God the Father is to create a people who will bring glory to God forever. God alone is worthy of worship.
We believe that God became human in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to restore the world because humans have rejected God in disobedience. Jesus taught and modeled the way of God’s kingdom. He died on the cross, making it possible for us to accept a renewed relationship with God. He rose from the dead, broke the power of sin and death, and frees us to live in obedience to God’s will.
We believe that God the Holy Spirit invites all people to be reconciled with God and to join the global family of faith. Believers confess their faith, are baptized, and join in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and guided by the Bible, members of the church seek to live as followers of Christ and invite others to experience this new life.
As Christians, we look forward to the day when God will once again send Jesus to bring all things under God’s eternal rule."
we are part of a bigger family known as the Mennonite Brethren.
And The Canadian Conference of MB Churches is a member of ICOMB, the International Community of Mennonite Brethren. The following ICOMB Confession of Faith has been accepted unanimously by all 21 member conferences (in 19 countries) of ICOMB.
What Do We Believe About God?
God, the sovereign Lord of all, created the heavens and the earth through his powerful word. God made humans, male and female, in the image of God to live in fellowship with each other and himself and to be stewards of creation. Humans abused their freedom by rebelling against God in disobedience, which resulted in alienation and death. In the rebellion against God’s rule, the evil powers of Satan, sin, and death claimed control of the world.
God, the Deliverer, acted to establish a covenant people, beginning with Israel. God purposed to form the covenant community to live in relationship with God, to experience God’s blessing, and to serve as a light to all nations. Through the prophets, God communicated his law and purposes, expressing that God is forever faithful, just, and righteous, with a father’s tender mercies and a mother’s compassion. God promised the hope of a new creation.
God the Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ, to the world born of the virgin Mary. Jesus inaugurated the reign of God, proclaiming repentance from sin, announcing the release of the oppressed and good news to the poor, and calling disciples to follow his way as a new community. Jesus responded to the violent evil powers by taking the cross in order to die for the sins of the world and reconcile creation to God. Jesus gained victory over sin, death, and Satan as God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him to God’s right hand where he intercedes for the saints and rules forever.
At Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit, who had acted in creation, in empowering the prophets, and in inspiring the Scriptures. Through the Spirit, God established the church, the body of Christ, to proclaim God’s reign and to give witness to the new creation. The Spirit is poured out on all who receive Christ, baptizing them and sealing them for redemption as God’s children. All who believe and confess Jesus as Lord are born anew into Christ. Believers are baptized by water into the new covenant community in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By grace they are saved through faith to live out God’s peace and love in the face of opposing circumstances.
The church is God’s new creation, the agent of transformation called to model God’s design for humanity. The people of God call everyone to repentance and conversion, seek to promote righteousness, are faithful in suffering, and share generously with those in need. They act as agents of reconciliation to reverse the alienation brought on by sin. In the Lord’s Supper, the church proclaims the Lord’s death and celebrates the new covenant.
The new creation will be completed when Christ returns. All who belong to Christ will rise with a new body while Satan and those who have rejected Christ will face eternal condemnation. The new heaven and new earth will live under God’s rule in everlasting peace and joy.
Scripture references: Genesis 1-3, 12:1-3; Exodus 6:6-8; Psalm 8; Isaiah 49:6; Jeremiah 9:23-24, 31:31-34; Hosea 2:19-20; Matthew 4:17, 25:46; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 4:18-19; John 3:16; Acts 2; Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, 12:13, 15; 2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2; Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:8–10, 6:10–12; Colossians 2:12-15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 21-22
What Are some of Distinctives of Mennonite Brethren?
The Mennonite Brethren church is rooted in the Anabaptist movement of the 16th-century Reformation, a movement that sought to recapture the faith and life of the New Testament church. The MB church was born within the Mennonite renewal in Russia in 1860. World mission and migration have produced a church that circles the globe. As a worldwide MB fellowship, we commit ourselves to be a people of God.
People of the Bible
The Bible is the authoritative Word of God and the infallible guide for faith and life.
- Worldview. The Bible provides the framework for our understanding of the world.
- Interpretation. Our interpretation is Christ-centred. We read the Scriptures with a New Testament perspective. The person, teachings, and life of Jesus Christ bring continuity and clarity to both the Old and New Testaments.
- Community of interpretation. Every believer is encouraged to seek to understand the Bible in order to discern God’s will for obedience. Since the Holy Spirit is present and active in all believers, we read and interpret the Bible and its demands for today’s life in community.
Scripture references: Psalm 1, 19, 119; Matthew 5-7; Luke 24:27, 44-49; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; Acts 2:42, 15:1–29, 17:11; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Peter 1:10-12
People of a New Way of Life
By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit calls people to a new way of life through conversion, discipleship, and ongoing renewal.
- Conversion. Christian conversion begins with new birth and always involves a deliberate personal commitment. As Christians we are called to turn:
- from a broken relationship with God to a personal relationship with the true God
- from bondage of sin and past mistakes to freedom, forgiveness, and healing
- Discipleship. In Christ, salvation and ethics come together. As Christians, we are called
- to turn from individualism to interdependence with others in the church
- to prove ourselves faithful to the life and teachings of Jesus in everyday life.
- Renewal. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer, testifying that we are God’s children, offering continual renewal and cleansing in order to empower for a life of witness and service.
Scripture references: Isaiah 43:1; Mark 8:34-38; John 1:12-13, 3:5-8, 14:15-16:26; Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 3:1-4; Titus 3:3-7
People of the Covenant Community
In the church, the covenant community, believers commit themselves to worship together, pray as Christ taught us, fellowship, and care for one another.
- Believer’s Baptism. People from all cultures, nations, and languages who are willing to follow Jesus as obedient disciples confess Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and are baptized by water into the fellowship of the church. The Mennonite Brethren church baptizes by immersion.
- Lord’s Supper. In the Supper, the church identifies with the life of Christ given for the redemption of humanity and proclaims the Lord’s death and resurrection until he comes. This Supper of remembrance expresses reconciliation, fellowship, peace, and unity of all believers with Christ.
- Accountability. The church interprets God’s will, discerning what is right and wrong. All believers hold each other accountable for a Christ-like walk of faith. The purpose of accountability is to heal and restore through repentance – not punish or condemn. The church excludes those who consistently disregard discipline.
- Priesthood of all Believers. The Spirit of God gives all believers gifts for service to build up the body of Christ. The church discerns the call of God and confirms servant leaders who equip people for ministry.
Scripture references: Matthew 16:13-20, 18:15-20, 28:18-20; Acts 2:37-47; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, 12–14; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 2:12-13; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 2:9-10, 4:10-11
People of Reconciliation
Jesus came announcing the kingdom of God. The mission of Jesus was to reconcile humans with God, each other, and the world. The church is called to participate in God’s mission.
- Mission. Christ has commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all his commandments. Jesus teaches that disciples are to love God and neighbour by telling the good news and by performing acts of love and compassion. Since Jesus is the only way of salvation, the evangelistic imperative is given to all believers.
- Peace witness.Peace and reconciliation are at the heart of the Christian gospel. Jesus calls the community of faith to be peacemakers in all situations. We believe that peace with God includes a commitment to the way of reconciliation modeled by the Prince of Peace. As Christians, we are called to turn from:
- lifestyle choices that harm us to choices that nurture wholeness, healing, joy, and peace
- hating enemies and ignoring neighbours to showing love and justice to all
- Family. God blesses singleness, marriage and family. God calls all people to live a sexually pure life. Marriage is a lifelong covenant commitment of one man and one woman. Godly parents instruct their children in the faith. The church nurtures family life and makes every effort to bring reconciliation to troubled relationships.
- State. God has given the state the responsibility to promote the well-being of all people. Followers of Christ respect and pray for government authorities but resist the temptation to give the state the devotion that is owed to God. The primary allegiance of all Christians is to Christ’s kingdom and his global church. In each state and society, Christians cooperate with others to defend the weak, reduce strife, care for the poor, and promote justice, peace, and truth.
Scripture references: Matthew 5-7, 22:34-40, 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19, 10:25-37; Romans 12:17-13:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2; Ephesians 2, 5:21-6:4; 1 Timothy 2:1-6; James 2; 1 Peter 2:21-25
People of Hope
The church belongs to the in-breaking kingdom of God. The citizens of the kingdom model an alternative community, challenging godless values of this world’s cultures. The people of God join in the struggle for justice, yet are prepared to suffer persecution knowing that sin, guilt, and death will not prevail. Confident in this hope, the church engages in mission until the Lord returns, empowered by the certainty that God will create a new heaven and a new earth.
Scripture references: Matthew 5:10-12, 10:7, 13, 24-25; Mark 1:15, 13; Luke 17:20-37, 21:5-36; Titus 2:11-14; Revelation 21-22
What's JRCC's Stance on Women in Ministry Leadership?
We believe the Bible teaches that men and women were created by God and equally bear His image (Gen. 1:26-27). God’s intention was for them to share oneness and community (Gen. 2:23-24), even as the Godhead experiences oneness within the Trinity. Each had a direct relationship with God and they shared jointly the responsibilities of stewardship over the whole of the created order (Gen. 1:26-28). However, human oneness was shattered by the fall. The struggle for power and the desire to “rule over” another is part of the result of human sin. We understand Genesis 3:16 as a prediction of the effects of the fall rather than a prescription of God’s ideal order.
However, the message of the gospel is that God has acted in Christ to redeem the human race, and to offer to all people the opportunity to be part of the new community, His church. It is God’s intention for His children to experience the oneness that exists between the Father and the Son (John 17:11, 20-23). This means that old divisions and hierarchies between genders and races are not to be perpetuated in the church, where all are “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
Furthermore, in the formation of the church at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on women and men alike, as had been predicted long before the coming of Christ (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:18). In the New Testament, women as well as men receive and exercise spiritual gifts without regard to their gender (Acts 2:1-21, I Cor 12:4-11). Both men and women are called to be faithful stewards of the gifts that were freely given to them and to serve one another according to the leading of the Spirit, doing so with humility, compassion, and love as we all seek to build up the body of Christ (Rom 12:4-8, I Peter 3:8 & 4:10-11). To prevent believers from exercising their spiritual gifts is to hinder the work of the Spirit.
As followers of Christ, we have been invited to partner with Him in the realization of God’s Kingdom and its values here on earth in anticipation of the redemption of all things when Christ returns (Romans 8:18-21). Our hope is that as we teach and model the values of equality, wise stewardship, spiritual giftedness, missional living, and grace, the gospel will advance.
We affirm that God “gifts” people for His ministry, God and the church “call” people into ministry and the church “affirms” people for ministry. We see spiritual giftedness, divine equipping for ministry and service, and the process of affirmation by a community of faith as some of the overriding themes of the Bible with respect to this discussion.
In all attempts to understand and put into practice appropriate relationships between genders in the body of Christ, our sole authority is the will of God as expressed in the Bible. A few isolated Biblical texts can appear to restrict the full ministry freedom of women. The interpretation of those passages must take into account their relation to the broader teaching of the Bible and their historical and situational contexts. We believe that when the full redemptive scope of the Bible is considered, it teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness, and opportunity for ministry.
For more information on our theological and congregational process related to this, please see our WIML process blog or read our position paper.
Who are the Mennonite Brethren?
Mennonite history tells the story of a people coming together based on common beliefs about the Bible with the collective desire to be faithful to God. The Mennonite sojourn that started as part of the Reformation in central Europe in the 1500s was known as Anabaptism.
Adult baptism, separation of church and state, centrality of Jesus and Scripture in daily life, community discernment, and nonviolence were central tenets of faith that bound them together, but threatened the established order. Because of persecution, Mennonites scattered and in each location new families joined the sojourn.
The Mennonite Brethren church began in 1860 as a new expression of Mennonite faith. This body has grown rapidly around the globe. Today in Canada there are over 250 Mennonite Brethren churches where people continue to come together to be encouraged and to encourage a radical faith in Jesus.
There is also a global community of Mennonites that we relate to through ICOMB (International Committee of Mennonite Brethren) and MWC (World Mennonite Conference)
- MB Confession of Faith - sidewalk and detailed versions (also available in French, Chinese and Spanish)
- JRCC's Principles of Peacemaking document
- JRCC's Cultivating Healthy Relationships document
- JRCC's Women In Ministry Leadership position paper