As believers in Jesus Christ, our faith defines us. It is the lens by which we see everyone and everything in the world. We embrace all who have put their faith in Christ as 'brothers and sisters'. Yet there are certainly distinctive beliefs, perhaps now more than ever. As such, most churches and organizations have "Belief Statements". Though we realize the risks inherent in labeling a belief system, names often bring clarity. So to this end, we are proud to call ourselves "Reformed" in our doctrine. Although it varies slightly depending on affiliation, we'll define it as follows:
Reformed orthodoxy is a comprehensive, Biblical worldview that places the supremacy of God and His revealed Word above all of humanity and human belief systems. It holds that God is absolutely sovereign in every aspect of the governing of His universe; from the massive galaxy to the smallest single-celled organism. As such, every moment of history at every level of existence is held together and moves forward according to the pre-ordained plan of the Almighty God. All matters of humanity: suffering, peace, war, death and life, and even (warning, controversial!) who will be eternally saved or condemned- indeed, every conceivable thing that happens on the Earth is in the omnipotent hands of the Creator of all things. Our theology sees the glory of God as being supreme over all human endeavors, and encourages believers everywhere to view everything that happens in their lives as an opportunity to practice, here and now, what God’s children (the Church) will be doing for eternity… namely, worshiping the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world. We hold to an absolutely Cross-centered view of reality, and believe that everything in life can only be truly understood in light of the Gospel of the crucified and risen Son of God. We believe God is the supremely wise and good Judge, who will one day make ALL things right and new, and all of creation will glorify its Creator, forever and ever.
In all this, it is important to recongnize that the Bible does not glorify man. All the world's religions (and some factions of Christianity) are rooted in human boasting and in the belief that man can somehow garner his own favor with God, or earn his own salvation (or enlightenment, nirvana or deification). The Bible resounds with bold declarations that the universe does not exist for man. Rather, all of creation exists to declare the glory, greatness and fearsomeness of a holy, just, righteous and loving God.
"I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other". -Isaiah, 42:8
Any belief system, “Christian” or otherwise that asserts or implies that man can achieve 'godhood', or that God is in any need of mankind to complement His glory is Biblically erroneous, and is the same spirit of Pride that saw Lucifer fall from Heaven. All of this is made very clear by Scripture and is, in fact, it’s central theme. The Lord, in His Holiness, is to be feared. And yet the greatest problem in the universe is not the moral failures of individual human beings, but that we have ‘fallen’ in both our ability and our desire to give to the Maker of all things the praise and glory that He infinitely deserves . The Bible admonishes us all that it only in realizing this God-centered reality, can the world and life itself can be accurately and truthfully understood.
Ultimately, our faith centers upon the blood-stained Cross of Jesus Christ. It stands at the apex of human history, and makes clear to us both the depth of God's hatred toward sin and how much He loves us and how infinitely far He went to rescue us. For the Christian, all of life is to be viewed in light of the Cross. And although "what would Jesus do?" is an important question, even more important is, "what does the Cross and the Gospel say about...". When this question is applied to our daily lives, we find forgivness, deep healing, and adundant, eternal Life, as we are progressively transformed "from glory to glory".
"If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed". -1 Timothy 4:6
We'll finish with 2 statements that sum up Biblical, Christian doctrine very well:
“How precious to you is the supremacy of God in all things? How precious to you is the absolute greatness, authority, sovereignty, Holiness and beauty of God? Absolute. Everything else is subordinate. All human beings, subordinate. What does Isaiah say, “the nations are like a drop in a bucket.” The question is, does that offend you? The nations are like dust in the scales. All the galaxies in the universe are just God’s finger-work. He could put them out of existence just like that, and He would do them no wrong. God can do you no wrong if he tortures you every day for the rest of eternity. No wrong! Until God weighs on us with that kind of right and authority and majesty, until He assumes in the constellation of our affections and our minds a massive place that puts everything else infinitely low, probably a lot of the Bible is just going to make no sense”. -John Piper
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:1-10