Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Parish Credo

• We are Christian. Our Triune God has spoken supremely in our Lord Jesus Christ and in Holy Scripture. Our trust in God is rooted in the sovereign, eternal, just, and merciful decrees of the Father, the atoning life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit as our ongoing Counselor, Guide, Equipper, and Friend.

• We are Biblical. It is our conviction that God’s inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word, the Bible—including both the Old and New Testaments—is altogether sufficient as our guide for life, practice, and godliness. As a people, we are committed to read it, study it, sing it, teach it, preach it, obey it, and practice it.

• We are Orthodox. We are grateful heirs of the early Church and of the pioneers and patriarchs of faith who gave us the creeds and the early councils. Thus, we continue to be linked with that historic line of faithfulness as it has continued, uninterrupted, across the centuries.

• We are Reformed. Our faith is rooted in the Biblical doctrines of sovereign grace as articulated by the solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Deo Gloria. We are gratefully numbered in the company of Luther, Calvin, Beza, Bucer, Comenius, Edwards, d’Aubigne, and de Prinsterer proclaiming a Gospel of Grace from the Scriptures alone through faith in our Lord Jesus.

• We are Evangelical. We continue in the gracious missional tradition of Whitefield, Wilberforce, Chalmers, Spurgeon, Kuyper, Schaeffer, Packer, Kennedy, and Sproul. We are committed to the spread of the Good News of redemption in Christ and Christ alone from here to the uttermost parts of the earth.

• We are Presbyterian. As members of the Presbyterian Church in America, we accept the historic Presbyterian model of church discipleship, governance, and care expecting elders to be shepherds and teachers, their ministries being rooted in the parish life of our covenant community. We affirm the tenants of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Book of Church Order as the best means for us to practice all the marks of a Biblical Church.

• We are Covenantal. We believe that God is at work in our families—and that He is making our household of faith into a family of families. His mercies in Word and Sacrament are not only extended to us individually but corporately—reaching across every boundary of space, time, race, culture, community, and generation.

Therefore, because we are Christian, Biblical, Orthodox, Reformed, Evangelical, Presbyterian, and Covenantal:

• We humbly cling to a unique Savior and exclusive Gospel in a pluralistic world; an authoritative Bible in a skeptical age; a sacrificial lifestyle in a consumer culture; a pure, chaste, and holy life in an era of permissiveness; a commitment to authentic relationships and community in a culture of individualism and isolationism; a hunger for reverence and awe in worship in a atmosphere of entertainment.

• We Pray earnestly with humble confidence in the ongoing intercessory ministry of Christ our only mediator and advocate, clothed in His righteousness alone—a righteousness imputed to us by Grace through Faith, this not of ourselves.

• We profess the Creeds with zeal without either crossing our fingers or mumbling them as rote phrases.

• Our worship is neither contemporary or traditional, but Confessional; it is neither casual or formal, but Covenantal.

• We trust in the reality of Grace and Forgiveness, Holiness and Piety, Heaven and Hell, and Blessing and Benediction.

• We proclaim Jesus as the only hope of Salvation, for all people, in all places, for all time. The work of God in Christ and the Word of God in Scripture are complete--we add nothing to either.

• We believe that a local Church can be a genuine sanctuary of hope in the world, demonstrating true community, accountability, and selfless service.

• We are plain, simple believers; we are Mere Christians.

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