A list of doctrines on a website…
wouldn’t give you a very good feel for NRCC.
Churches create such lists so people know if they belong.
Our community doesn’t work that way.
If you are here, you belong—no matter what you believe.
We share a hunger for spiritual growth, wholeness, and wisdom, but we don’t impose on one another what that should look like.
We don’t organize around agreed upon doctrines. We organize around a way of relating. We do our best to accept, respect, and encourage one another on our spiritual journeys, recognizing that each one is different. Consequently, at NRCC, people hold a broad spectrum of beliefs about life, religion, and spirituality. Some of us are even trying to figure if we believe anything at all.
For us, a community of people all along the spectrum of belief is good.
It’s honest. It’s authentic. It’s real.
You can belong here even when—maybe especially when—you have religious doubts. We are a Christian community, but have discovered in our Christian heritage more ways to be Christian than we once thought. Doubting, questioning, and wondering—these are part of the journey.
But, since this is a “what we believe” page, here are a few things we believe……
1. We believe in paradox and humility.
Christians can’t be honest without honoring paradox.
Just listen to the ways we talk about God:
- God is one: God is three.
- God is good: God allows evil.
- God is all-powerful: humans have free will.
When our spiritual truths are so vast they can’t be contained in fixed doctrines, humility is a really good idea. It serves us well not to be too rigid in our beliefs. It’s better if we cultivate hearts constantly seeking deeper experience of God’s Life and Love.
2. We believe Christianity is worth saving.
For many, Christianity is not relevant. For good reason. We church folk have behaved badly these last few generations. The word “Christian” has come to mean things good people don’t want to be a part of.
And yet, our community is holding on to the word – the tradition.
The thing is, through the centuries, it has been our Christian way—to lose our way.
We might as well admit it. It’s been a recurring refrain for a long time.
But through the centuries, it has also been our way – to find our way, when we’ve lost it.
That too, has been a recurring refrain.
After we wander, after we behave badly, we do come back to our roots. We rediscover Jesus. We return to the ancient Way of Love. We become good neighbors again. We fulfill our mandate to repair what is broken, rebuild what is destroyed, and redeem what is lost.
And that is happening right now—in our lifetimes—all across the world.
The Christian tradition is finding its way again.
And our community has thrown in our lot with that quest—to find our way again.
3. We believe the church is worth saving.
We think of church as a house for spirituality to live in.
A house is a wonderful thing. A hearth to warm us, a table to gather at – these are good things.
Spiritual community is like that—it warms us. It gathers and supports us.
But sometimes houses get toxic. They get radon, black mold, some other toxin. When that happens, the best thing to do is move out. And when we do, phew! What a relief! We’re out of the toxic stew.
Sometimes spiritual communities get toxic too.
When they become unsafe, we languish instead of thrive—and the best thing we can do, is move out.
Many at NRCC have been spiritually homeless, and have felt the deep relief of being out of the toxic confines of church.
But it’s not long after we leave unhealthy organized religion – that we begin to feel spiritually homeless. Without a community around us, we aren’t challenged to grow, we aren’t supported, we don’t get bumped out of the same old thought habits we run through again and again.
A healthy house is good.
A healthy religious community is good.
So rather than abandoning church, our community is committed to gutting the toxic parts, and rebuilding. Read about our efforts on our history page. We’ve been working to build a community to help one another thrive and flourish on the spiritual journey.
4. We believe sin is not that big a deal.
That sounds scandalous when you say it out loud—and to be honest, we kind of go for that effect.
Of course sin damages our lives. It damages our families, our relationships, and our futures. But compared to the vastness of God’s grace and forgiveness, sin is just not that big a deal. It is certainly not a big enough deal to organize our spiritual lives around it.
Consequently, at NRCC, we’re not too focused on one another’s sin. We don’t spend much energy trying to keep one another on the straight and narrow. Rather, we try to encourage one another to listen to the Indwelling Spirit and let God move us—to listen carefully for inner spiritual conviction and then respond fervently to what we hear.
Do that, and sin tends to take care of itself.