What is a New Covenant Christian?
Q. Why do you call yourselves "New Covenant Christian" rather than "Christian"? Does this not smack of partisanship? And does it not erect another "wall of partition"?
A. As a matter of fact we call ourselves by both names, as well as using the New Testament term "saints" (e.g. Rom.15:25; 2 Cor.13:13), "followers of the Way" (Ac.9:2; 24:14, etc.), "disciples of Christ" (e.g. Ac.9:38), etc..
Unfortunately, there are millions of people today who call themselves "Christians" who are anything but Christian. It is for this reason that many evangelical Christians call themselves "born-again Christians", and with some justification. We also call ourselves "born-again Christians" though we don't use this term as much as we do "New Covenant Christians" for the same reason we don't always call ourselves "Christians", namely, we don't believe that all who call themselves "born-again Christians" are necessarily "born again" or "Christian". Unfortunately the word "Christian" is not copyrighted and anyone who wants to can call themselves Christian, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, and even those who do not profess the Name of Christ at all. That is their privilege.
We can dispute with words "until the cows come home", of course. As we have explained in numerous other articles and pamphlets, we call ourselves "New Covenant Christians" both to distinguish ourselves from other Christians (as "Baptists" do from "Anglicans" or "Pentecostals") as well as to emphasise our adherence to the "New Covenant".
I am happy to report that the Spirit is beginning (albeit in a tiny way) to move upon other Christians to consider the import of covenant-making. An article in a recent Christian newspaper in the United Kingdom reports on a group called Promise Keepers or PK for short. They write: "Promise Keepers seek to link groups of men consisting of not less than three and not more than seven, to meet together to support each other and exhort them to keep such covenants with God and such promises as are made in marriage. Their aim is to be true to men and to God; in the home, the workplace and in Church" (New Christian Herald, 29 June 1996, "PK and God's Covenant", p.6).
We applaud such moves and know this group will be blessed. The New Covenant Church has taken this concept far further, though, to make it the whole basis of our Church. Covenants are taken in public (at baptism, for example) and in private (in the temple). The covenants embrace not a maximum of seven people but the whole church, as it did in ancient Israel, and embrace marriage vows, covenants to obey the commandments, and to actively pursue the spiritual life. For those who are committed it is a glorious experience.
As to whether we are creating partitions or not, the answer is both "yes" and "no". Yes we are "separating ourselves" in order to consecrate ourselves to lives of holiness, as the scriptures teach. (Note, that the Greek word for "separate" [KJV, ASV] can also be translated "set apart" [NIV] or "ordain" with reference to the ministry -- see, for example, Ac.13:2).
No, we are not erecting the old "wall of partition" that separates Jew from Gentile (Eph.2:14) -- we have full communion with all Christians who have received the New Birth (Messianic as well as Gentile Christians). We welcome them into our homes, and they us into theirs. We worship in their churches with joy, and they worship in ours. Our Christian friends know who we are and respect us, and vice versa.
This page was created on 16 October 1997
Last updated on 26 February 1998
Copyright © 1987-2008 NCCG - All Rights Reserved