What We Believe
You are Welcome Here
You need not believe everything we believe to come visit with us. In fact, we welcome honest conversation and questions surrounding why we believe what we believe. We also know that we are far from perfect; we are sinners saved by grace reaching out and ministering to other sinners. Perfection is not something we will experience on earth and thus perfection is not something we will expect from you. So, you don't need to feel like you have your act totally together to come visit with us — we don't have ours totally together either. Yet, we are striving toward a goal. We want to know God, we want to glorify Him, and we want Him to be honored in our lives. And everything we do as a congregation is pointed in that direction.
We uphold the Bible as God's revelation to man. While God inspired fallen men in its writing, God superintended every word, clause, sentence, and paragraph in such a way that every word in the original manuscripts (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) is God's own word while also preserving the personality of the human authors. Thus, as God is the source of the Bible, the Bible is perfect, complete, and free from error in the original manuscripts. It is thus the only infallible guide for our faith and for our lives.
We believe that God is one in essence but three in person. We also affirm that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, is both fully God and fully man. This is the clear testimony of the Bible and while the doctrine of the Trinity is beyond our ability to fully comprehend, our inability to comprehend the infinite does not invalidate the Truth the Bible presents. We appeal particularly to the language of the Chalcedonian Christological Statement to articulate this great truth.
We believe that God is absolute and the sovereign ruler over his creation and he orders all things, good and bad, according to the council of his will. As such, we have an obligation to serve him, honor him, and obey him in all things.
We hold that God created in a span of 6 ordinary days and rested from his work of creation on the seventh. This is the clear teaching of Genesis chapters 1-2, and we believe that other explanations about the origin of all things (particularly that of evolution) are incompatible with the teachings of Scripture.
We believe that God originally created man sinless and morally neutral and as the vice-regent of this world. Yet the first people, Adam and Eve (two historic persons), chose to rebel against God and brought sin and death into the world.
Sin and Salvation
Sin is any failure to live up to God's perfect righteousness, or, as we often teach our youth (borrowing from Child Evangelism Fellowship), "Sin is anything you say, think, or do that does not please God." Sin separates us from God as well as fellow man and it destroys us from the inside much like an addiction. Sin is the universal problem of mankind and that means the Gospel is a message that transcends generations, cultures, and nationalities.
We believe that the only solution to sin and the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. Jesus said as much during his earthly ministry and to be a Christian means that one must affirm that truth.
We believe that salvation for God's elect was effectively worked on the Cross by Jesus. That means the work of Jesus was not for and is not extended to all without exception. The Bible clearly presents God as electing a remnant of humanity from before the foundation of the world — before any of us had done anything good or bad — and that Jesus' work, while sufficient for all, is only applied to those elect that God will effectually call to himself and never let go of.
We believe that God instituted the church to be a gathering of believers that exists across the globe. We are meant to live in community, not alone. The church is not merely a support group, but it is God's Gospel Army in enemy territory. Thus, the gathering of the church is meant to be a place where discipleship takes place and is nurtured.
We believe that a church must be missional. God gives us the privilege of participating in his great work of redemption; since we don't know the names of the elect, a Christian's duty is to take the Gospel to all the nations — sometimes that is done personally and sometimes that is done by supporting those who God has called to live amongst other cultures in another part of the world.
We believe that salvation is not an end goal — glorification is. That means the truest test of someone's salvation is not whether they have prayed a prayer at a crusade or professed faith as part of a confirmation class. The truest test of someone's salvation is measured in the way they live their lives and by the way they grow in their faith and spiritual maturity. That means the Christian church needs to be intentional about discipleship.
We believe that while salvation is entirely a work of God, we show our gratitude for God's saving work by living lives that honor God.
We hold that water baptism was practiced by sprinkling or pouring is Biblical and is what John was practicing at the River Jordan. We also believe that New Testament Baptism replaces the Old Testament sign of circumcision and thus baptism should be applied to the infant children of believing parents.
We hold that "Speaking in Tongues" is speaking in human languages that have not been studied and need interpretation. We also believe that the "tongues" that were witnessed at Pentecost were largely a fulfillment of God's judgment against the Jews that the Gospel would be preached in foreign languages. We also believe that with the completion of the New Testament, tongues cease to be normative for the life of the church. Thus, we believe the ecstatic utterances practiced predominantly by charismatic and pentecostal denominations is neither Biblical nor consistent with the Bible and ought not be practiced.
We hold that the local church should be governed locally, not by a denomination that is outside of the local body. We also hold that those who govern the church should be men of godly character who are elected by the church body to lead the congregation as a whole.
We hold to four offices in church leadership: Pastor (the primary teacher and spiritual overseer of the church), Elder (an overseer and governor over the spiritual and earthly life of the church), Deacon (caring for the mercy-ministries of the church), and Trustee (caring for the physical plant of the church). All four of these offices are considered spiritual in nature as they are God-given and meant to serve and guide the church body.
We believe that we are in the "end times" and have been in the end times since the resurrection of our Lord. We believe that Jesus will return bodily in Judgment at a time predetermined by God, though not revealed to men. That means, whether our Lord will come tomorrow or in another thousand years, we are to live out our lives in a way that fulfills our calling but also hopes for Christ's glorious return.
We believe that when someone dies, their bodies are held in trust in the grave while their spirit immediately goes into the presence of God. The believer enters into a time of spiritual worship while the unbeliever enters into a time of spiritual torment. We also believe that this spiritual state is temporary and awaits a physical resurrection.
We believe at the return of Christ, the dead will be raised from the grave and rejoined with their spirits. Believers will receive bodies that are glorified while unbelievers will be given bodies capable of enduring the torment of eternal judgment in Hell. At this time, there will also be the re-creation of the heavens and the earth, upon which the redeemed shall live. The unbelievers will live forever in the fires and torments of hell.
These big ideas are summed up in our Church Constitution in this way:
1. We believe in one God who eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. We receive and hold the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God, and as the only infallible rule and standard of faith and practice, according to which all doctrines and teachers are to be judged.
3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death and atonement, bodily resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father.
4. We believe that man, created in the image of God, was tempted by Satan and fell, and because of his consequent depravity, requires regeneration by the Holy Spirit for Salvation.
5. We believe that marriage was instituted by God to be between one man (by birth) and one woman (by birth) as the foundation for the family.
6. We believe that salvation consists in the remission of sins, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and the gift of eternal life, received by faith alone, apart from works.
7. We believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer empowering him to live a godly life and grow in sanctification.
8. We believe in the imminent, visible, personal return of Jesus Christ in power and glory.
9. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the eternal life of the saved and the eternal punishment of the lost.
10. We believe in the doctrine taught in the Heidelberg Catechism and require our youth to be instructed in that document.
11. Our Highest aim is the worship of God in spirit and in truth, the advancement of the Christian Life through the preaching of the Gospel, the administration of the Holy Sacraments, and Christian instruction in Church and School.
We have adopted the Heidelberg Catechism as the primary historical document that communicates the faith we hold. Yet, as a Reformed church, we are part of a deep and rich and we draw insight from many of the documents that have come out of the Reformed tradition. Some examples of these documents are:
The Second Helvetic Confession
The Belgic Confession
The Synod of Dort
The Irish and Scottish Confessions
The Westminster Confession of Faith with its Shorter and Longer Catechisms
The Cambridge Platform
The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy
The Candlestand Statement