Our Beliefs, Distinctives, & Core Values

Part One – Core Doctrine – The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy universal and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Part Two – Scripture Lausanne Covenant Section 2

The Authority and Power of the Bible:
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)

Part Three – Core Values of Belief & Practice

  • Devotion exclusively to Christ
  • Clear commitment to Trinitarian and Incarnational theology
  • Love for all those that love the name of Christ
  • Open obedience to the Scriptures
  • Looking to early Christian history to understand the intent of Scripture
  • A desire to serve the poor and the oppressed
  • An overview of how we view ourselves in RBU

Part Four – An Overview of how We View Ourselves in RBU

Wherever we can we will always move towards Mother Tongue ministry. This does not mean it will always work but the basic goal and focus is always to move in that direction. Mother tongue literacy is going to always be a centre piece of the vision of RBU. Within this context we are going to develop language renewal to offset the death of Roma mother tongues. We are also a Reading-based ministry as opposed to an Oral-based ministry. Of course we affirm Orality in its correct setting among the Roma but our over all vision is to see Reading as a central feature of spiritual and social transformation. This is why we have a Mother Tongue Bible translation ministry and why have Green Shutters Books.

Our style of ministry is to work together to identify and develop gifts in each others lives and find ways of putting those gifts to work for the common goals of RBU. This is an organic process whereby we are sensitive to each others creative desires. 

We are not an Instrumental Mission but an Ideological Mission which means we are always open to new methods, new ideas, new expressions, revisions, reforms, and outlets. For example, modern mission theory tends in the direction of identifying what you do best and then just concentrate on that and find techniques and policies to make what you do more efficient. RBU is always in a process of change. The modern term for this is Rhizomatic. It really is who we are.

Whenever we can we will create strategic alliances, but those alliances must never nullify the core values of RBU. This can extend into Networking. Let’s be free to network every day everywhere but the core values need to be protected always in that networking. The lesson learned by RBU and many other missions is that mergers rarely work and end up diluting and frustrating all the merged parties.

We lean more towards strategic alliances than secondments, as rarely do Mission cultures blend easily.

Everything we do needs to work on the basis of Innovation, Incubation, and Duplication. If anyone has an idea, then let’s meet to discuss the idea and we will almost always say “yes”. The “yes” though is held accountable to the three stages of Innovation, Incubation, and Duplication.

We are a mission that works on the basis of Integration, Collaboration, and Engagement. We want to move beyond the idea of Roma reaching Roma being assisted by local Nationals and Americans and Europeans. Rather we are a fellowship of Roma, Nationals, and others all committed to the same goals. We want the Roma to be free to minister to non-Roma in their networking and testimony as well.

We must be a Mission that allows for individuality and even eccentricity. If someone can convince us that they can live in Hungary on $750 a month, eat vegetables they pick up off the ground at the market, and live in one room, then they must be free to join RBU. At the same time, we must respect those who believe God is leading them to view their service in a much more structured way. The key is there is not one blanket policy. We are small enough to view every person in a personalised way.