Traditions

The Church of

Brotherly Love

Philadelphia

  Our traditions provide us a way to organize and govern the body that calls itself the Church of Brother Love.

   In the first-century church, there were no paid ministers. It was the Roman Emperor, the Pontiff Maximus (Constantine), who began to pay the Christian clergy — a separate class began to arise.

   The reformation began a search for a way to organize the church in a new way. In the 1839’s John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren made a serious attempt to set up a Christian fellowship without designated leaders. See Plymouth Brethren.

    The gatherings at Keswick England starting in 1875 brought all denomination of the era together to study the word of God. The ideas of a united body in Christ— Plymouth Brethren teaching - were shared there and later worked their way into what became known as fundamentalism.

    Frank Buchman was the first in this era to develop a worldwide fellowship led only by the Holy Spirit—The Oxford Group. The unity of the group relied heavily on Frank’s charismatic leadership, so that when he died, the work did not endure.

   Bill Wilson, AA founder, belonged to the Oxford Group in NY and worked with Dr. Bob Smith, also an OG member. The principles of the Oxford Group had to have heavily influenced the organization of the fledgling AA fellowship. From this experience Bill was able to fashion the OG organizing spirit (which were never recorded as far as we know) into a set of principles to ensure the survival of AA.

  Thus we came into possession of a set of ideas which have proven their ability to order a Spirit-led community. We have in the principles the ecclesiology of the first-century church.

 

 

1. We find our unity at the Cross of Calvary, where we died with our Savior, who is the One and Only — Way and Truth and Life.

2. The Holy Spirit is our authority. He points us to Jesus and the Cross, and authenticates His guidance though what He has already said in His Holy Word, the Bible.

3. All those who confess that they are dead, buried, resurrected and seated in heavenly places are members of His body, our body.

4. Each Group, in its dealing with other such groups, ought never seek to organize. We see ourselves as one body under the headship of Jesus Christ, led by His Holy Spirit. We seek the unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.

5. Each member and each group has but one purpose: To live the Crucified life and in living it, open the door that all may come in.

6. We do not align our selves or lend our name to any other outside organization in order to avoid being diverted from our primary purpose.

7. The body is supported only by contributions of it own members.

8. Every member is a ‘priest’ in the Body of Christ and is totally responsible for the body. We have no paid leaders; our leaders are those among us who have demonstrated mastery through service to the body.

9. We grow as a body through daily repentance and guidance from God and living lives that attract others to our sober and holy way of living and by daily lifting up Jesus who is “drawing all ‘men’ unto Himself.”

10. The body has no opinion on outside issues but refers all things to the Head which is Jesus Christ.

11. We proclaim Jesus. We do not seek recognition in our own names; therefore we embrace anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and electronic media. We place the Prince of Peace before personalities.

12. Christ alone is the spiritual foundation of all our endeavors and He alone is glorified among us.

 

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; ….8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. KJV

 

 

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Creating a Sober Word,

A First Century

Christian Fellowship