What We Believe
We strongly believe that the Bible is God's Word. It clearly tells us what we are to believe about God and how we are to live before Him. So the first thing you will notice about our Fellowship is that we read, discuss, teach, sing and live the Word. We are convinced that all of life -- including the church's preaching, worship and government -- must be brought into conformity with Scripture. The Church must preach the Bible (not the opinions of men), worship God in a manner he has appointed in his word, and be governed by a plurality of godly Elders, according to the Scriptural pattern.
Yet many groups claim that they believe in the Bible. What do we mean when we say that we believe the Bible? We are a Protestant Church standing as the heirs of the great Reformation of the 16th century. We are Orthodox, Evangelical, Reformed, Confessional Presbyterians.
Orthodox: We hold to the central tenets of Christianity. There is one God existing in Three Persons -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the virgin born Son of God -- the God-man who is the only Savior of fallen, sinful man. The orthodox faith is summarized by the great confessions of Nicea and Chalcedon.
Evangelical: How are you as a sinner deserving of eternal punishment made right before God? Only by trusting in Christ alone as the Savior. This is summarized in the Reformation watchwords of being saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone revealed in the Scripture alone.
Reformed: "Reformed" describes the Biblical doctrines clearly presented during the Great Reformation of the Church of the sixteenth century. This theology is often nicknamed "Calvinism" for John Calvin the great theologian of Geneva. Reformed teaching understands God as supreme, the Lord God Almighty. It is He Who saves fallen sinners who are unable to save themselves. In eternity past God determined to save His people from their sins, in history He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a sinless life in their place and die on a cross to pay for their sins. In time God changes the individual's heart from hatred toward God to a heart that seeks God and believes in the Person and work of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The individual God saves does not lose his new relation with God but perseveres in holiness and good works until the day God takes the Christian to his eternal reward.
Presbyterian: The word "Presbyterian" comes from the Greek word for "elder". "Presbyterian" describes how the Church is governed. Each Reformed Presbyterian Church has a group of Elders as described by 1 Timothy 3:1-7 who are elected by the congregation. The Elders lead the Church as shepherds over the spiritual life of God's people. The Churches of a geographical region are connected together as their Elders meet in a "Presbytery" (a meeting of "Presbyters" or elders). Finally, all the Churches meet together at Synod where the Elders from all the Churches work together for the advancement of the Gospel of Christ.
Confessional: We believe what the Bible teaches concerning God, man, sin and salvation. Exactly what we believe is carefully and clearly set out in our Constitution (PDF version) which contains the Westminster Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechism and our Testimony. This is what our Church believes, teaches and practices. Our Elders and Deacons take vows that this is what they believe. Our membership vows are more simple, emphasizing faith in Christ, commitment to the Bible and the willingness to be teachable and to serve. The Covenant vows which members take are:
Covenant of Church Membership
- Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule for faith and life?
- Do you believe in the one living and true God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Scriptures?
- Do you repent of your sin; confess your guilt and helplessness as a sinner against God; profess Jesus Christ, Son of God, as your Saviour and Lord; and dedicate yourself to His service: Do you promise that you will endeavor to forsake all sin, and to conform your life to His teaching and example?
- Do you promise to submit in the Lord to the teaching and government of this church as being based upon the Scriptures and described in substance in the Constitution of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America? Do you recognize your responsibility to work with others in the church and do you promise to support and encourage them in their service to the Lord? In case you should need correction in doctrine or life, do you promise to respect the authority and discipline of the church?
- To the end that you may grow in the Christian life, do you promise that you will diligently read the Bible, engage in private prayer, keep the Lord's Day, regularly attend the worship services, observe the appointed sacraments, and give to the Lord's work as He shall prosper you?
- Do you purpose to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness in all the relationships of life, faithfully to perform your whole duty as a true servant of Jesus Christ, and seek to win others to Him?
- Do you make this profession of faith and purpose in the presence of God, in humble reliance upon His grace, as you desire to give your account with joy at the Last Great Day?