The expression "Followers of the Way" was perhaps the first title given to those who followed Jesus after His resurrection (Acts 9:2, 22:4, 24:14). Because Jesus taught that He was "the way, the truth, and the life," and that no one comes to God except through Him (John 14:6), this title aptly captures the exclusive truth claims of Jesus and the totalizing commitment of following Him.
Jesus taught the true way is narrow and that few find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Most travel the broad, easy way. Just as Jesus foretold, we live in an age when even among those who profess to be Christians, Jesus' teachings are partially practiced or even disobeyed. As a church, we seek to follow Jesus more faithfully as was understood by the apostolic and early church.
We affirm the historic tenets of the Christian faith (for example, as taught in the Apostles' Creed), but believe that many modern churches have departed from the one true faith by denying the gospel itself. The gospel at its essence is about a kingdom, that God's righteous kingdom has burst upon the earth through Jesus' incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. King Jesus reigns over this kingdom, and calls us to renounce our prior allegiances and lay down everything to follow Him.
Bound to this kingdom is the expectation of obeying the King; flowing from the gospel is a royal summons. This summons goes beyond believing that Jesus exists or that He is God's Son. The summons is a call to lay down our lives and follow the King in all things. Yet in the face of earthly nations that wanted their allegiance, the church compromised around the time of the fourth century (particularly through Emperor Constantine) and dangerously fused to the state. At that time, the emphasis of the church turned to abstract mental doctrines, and away from obedience to the King. As Stuart Murray wrote, "In the Constantinian era..., the increasing distance between Jesus' lifestyle and that of many church leaders required a marginalization of Jesus' humanity. No longer was he the example whom Christians should imitate, at least as citizens. For state Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth was difficult to assimilate. He not only taught radical discipleship rather than patriotic citizenship, he was even executed by the state. Consequently, in the fourth century Jesus was recast as a celestial figure, his divinity was emphasized, and the dangerous memory of the Nazarene was allowed to fade."
For example, Jesus taught that we should love our enemies. The state teaches that we should fight our enemies. The apostolic and early church rejected the use of arms, and getting entangled in the affairs of other kingdoms. Yet the modern church allows, even encourages, its members to participate in conflict. Being a follower of the Way means becoming a peacemaker, and never compromising Jesus' teachings.
In many other areas, the modern churches have departed from Jesus' simple and luminous teachings in favor of worldly compromise. Jesus forbade remarriage after divorce, yet the modern churches allow it. The New Testament forbids jewelry and immodesty (1 Timothy 2:9-10), yet virtually all churches in America allow it. Today the boundaries between professing Christians and the the world are virtually non-existent. These facts are symptomatic of the general disregard for God's word and the "hermeneutic of convenience" that afflicts most modern churches today.
We are a group that emphasizes the Word of God and obedience to it. For the historically minded, you will find that our teachings are close to the ante-Nicene church, as well as the persecuted, suffering church throughout the ages (the Waldensians, the Lollards, and the early Anabaptists). But we point to Scripture rather than a church document for the source of our understanding. We believe in the power of the Spirit to overcome sin and to illuminate our minds and hearts. Trusting in the grace of God, and never in our works, we believe that Jesus will come again to deliver His people from this present evil age.
Motivated by Jesus' command to go into all the world and make disciples, we seek to proclaim His truth, expose counterfeit gospels, and demonstrate the kingdom of God on the earth by living as a "city on a hill." Our ambition is to make disciples and plant churches all over the world.