What We Believe
What identifies the Christian Reformed Church or makes it different from other churches?
1. We are genuinely trying to be an inclusive church. By this we mean that we appreciate and embrace people of different gifts, races, tongues, and traditions as members of our congregations. We want to reflect the church of Revelation 7:9-10, a church in which “there were so many people that no one could count them. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language of the earth. They were all standing before the throne and before the Lamb…They were shouting in a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”
2. We are a family-centered church. We believe in the importance of the family unit. We encourage worship as families. And we believe that the church is the family of God, a spiritual family. We are a family made up of many different people. Some are old, some are young, some are single, some are married, some are men and some are women. We come together as natural families and as singles to form this spiritual family of God. We are family because God has called us to be a family. We believe God has established a covenant with us, promising us to be our God and to love us as a family. The church shows its oneness in the serving of the Lord’s Supper. This sacrament is our communion with Christ and with each other. We come to the table of the Lord as a family of believers who join together to celebrate Christ’s immeasurable love, revealed in his sacrifice for our sins.
3. The Word of God is central to our worship services. For this reason the focal point in our churches is the open Bible on the pulpit, and the focal point in our worship together is the sermon. We gather together on the Lord’s day, Sunday, to hear God’s Word preached. The sermon is a careful explanation of God’s Word. Because we think it is important to hear God’s Word preached faithfully and in all of its fullness, the Christian Reformed Church, our denomination, carefully educates and screens the ministers that we call to our pulpits.
4. The songs and hymns we sing in our churches are based on the Scriptures. The Word is so important to us that even the texts of the hymns we sing must be in agreement with Scripture.
5. We believe that all of life is governed by our faith. Not only on Sunday but also every day of the week our faith helps us make the important decisions of life. Things like whom we marry, for whom we vote, how we do our work, how we study this world in our schools – all of these should be influenced by our faith and understanding of God’s Word. The apostle Paul says it beautifully: “Continue to think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. And do what you learned and received from me. Do what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:8-9) We also have creeds and confessions that help us understand and verbalize our faith. These creeds unite us with other denominations who hold similar interpretations of the Bible. The CRC holds three creeds in common with most other Christian churches.
The Nicene Creed – The Nicene Creed comes from the 4th century. This creed boldly emphasizes the biblical message that Jesus is truly, fully God.
The Apostle’s Creed – The Apostle’s Creed also comes from the 4th century. It elegantly expresses our faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Athanasian Creed – The Athanasian Creed affirms the biblical teaching that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, but in such a way that there is only one God. It then goes on to confess that Jesus Christ is at the same time fully God and fully human.