At Christ Church we believe in the whole counsel of God found in the Scriptures (Acts 20:27). The understanding of the Scriptures which forms the substance of the Christian faith is a trust that is passed on from generation to generation. We are responsible to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). To this end we adhere to the historic Christian Creeds (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, & Definintion of Chalcedon) and also affirm the evangelical tenets of Protestantism as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646 as faithful but not infallible witnesses to the right understanding of Scripture.
The Apostles’ Creed (2nd century)
I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin, Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hades.
On the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Nicean Creed; Constantinople (381 AD)
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 His 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 and for our salvation came down from Heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost 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 both the living 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 and the Son;
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified;
who spoke by the Prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church;
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.
Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD)
Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men
to confess the one and same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and in humanity;
truly God and truly man, with a rational soul and a body;
consubstantial with the Father according to His deity,
and consubstantial with us according to the humanity;
like us in all respects, sin only excepted.
Before the ages He was begotten of the Father, according to the deity,
and in these last days, for us and for our salvation,
He was born of Mary the virgin,
who is Godbearer according to His humanity;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten,
to be acknowledged in two natures;
without confusing them, without interchanging them,
without dividing them, and without separating them;
the distinction of natures by no means taken away by the union,
but the properties of each nature being preserved,
and concurring in one Person and one subsistence;
not parted or divided into two persons,
but one and the same only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ,
as from the beginning the prophets have declared concerning Him,
and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us,
and the symbol of the fathers has handed down to us.
Westminster Confession of Faith (1646 AD)
The leadership of Christ Church subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646, which you can read here. We hold to this confession with a few stated exceptions as follows:
1. While we agree with the doctrines of the WCF, we do not always agree with how those doctrines are supported with the Scripture proof texts which the Westminster Divines cited.
Of the Holy Scripture
2. Para. 2 We are unwilling to be dogmatic as to the Pauline authorship of the book of Hebrews.
3. Para. 8. We believe that the original languages to be consulted in the matters of controversy are Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.
Of God’s Covenant with Man
4. Para 2 (cf. Chp. 19, para. 1, 6). While we agree with the original intent of the Westminster Divines, we believe the usage of the phrase “covenant of works” is open to misinterpretation by modern Christians. By way of clarification, we deny that any covenant can be kept without faith, and we affirm that good works flow out of faith in God, and not vice versa.
Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath-day
5. Para. 8. We believe that along with works of piety, necessity, and mercy, the command also calls us to rest physically on the Sabbath (Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 16:30; 31:15-17).
Of the Civil Magistrate
6. Para. 3 — Delete the last phrase, beginning with “to provide that whatsoever…”
Of Marriage and Divorce
7. Para 4: Delete the last sentence, which reads, “The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred, nearer in blood than he may of his own: nor the woman of her husband’s kindred, nearer in blood than of her own.”
Of the Church
8. Para. 6. Though we believe the Pope of Rome to be anti-Christian, we do not believe him necessarily to be the anti-Christ.
Of the Sacraments
9. Para. 4. We believe that the Lord’s Supper should not be administered without the oversight of an elder, lawfully ordained.
10. Para. 3. We believe that the proper modes of baptism include sprinkling, pouring, and immersion.
11. Para. 4. Being a church composed of both paedobaptists and those holding to believer’s baptism, we expressly allow men otherwise qualified to serve as elders, but who hold to believer’s baptism, to make an exception to WCF Chapter XXVIII, paragraph 4, which reads: “Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.”