Our Basic Commitments
Christ Presbyterian Church, New Haven is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). As one of many communions in the church universal, the PCA may be distinguished by its affirmation of what has been described as the "Reformed system of faith" as reflected in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The PCA is characterized by its emphasis on both personal revival and theological reformation. Without revival, reformation can become "dead orthodoxy." Without reformation, revival can result in shallow experientialism and misinformed zeal. By promoting reformation and revival, we seek to carry out the Great Commission with Biblical integrity and personal authenticity unto the glory of God.
Five Basic Commitments
1. We are committed to the Old and New Testament Scriptures as our only rule of faith and practice. While believing that God powerfully manifest his infinite glory in a general way through creation, our Christian faith and practice is grounded in God's works of redemption in history as explained to us through the divinely appointed means of inspired Scripture. We believe that all things necessary for salvation are sufficiently revealed to us by the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We believe also that all special revelation has ceased until the next and final redemptive act of God in history when Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. It is, therefore, our ambition to teach the whole counsel of God's word, not adding to, or subtracting from, anything contained within it, recognizing no other source for divine revelation, whether by ecclesiastical traditions or private revelations.
=> WHY SHOULD I CARE? To liberate all of us from oppressive, human-made opinions and guard the gracious gospel against manipulation and self-serving abuses.
2. We are committed to the teachings of grace as they are summarized in the historic Westminster Confession of Faith. Whereas the Holy Scriptures is our only rule of faith and practice, our Church unity is predicated upon a consensus about what the Scriptures principally teach. Our consensus is reflected in the 350-year--old Westminster Confession of Faith. In summary, it affirms that God is no less sovereign in our salvation than He is sovereign in our creation to the praise of God's glorious grace! This means that we are accepted by God, from beginning to end, not by our own works or attempts at being approved by God, but by faith alone in the perfect and all sufficient work of Christ on our behalf, faith itself being the free gift of God! While many people join our church without knowing or affirming all the teachings contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith, our church, when acting and speaking corporately, seeks to be in accord with the Westminster Standards.
=> WHY SHOULD I CARE? To affirm the sovereignty of grace, to connect us to wise men and women who have gone before us, and to prevent as much as possible our historical and cultural blind-spots.
3. We are committed to God-centered worship designed after a covenantal pattern that is in the mediated presence of Christ through word and sacrament. In every period of redemptive history, God has chosen to mediate his saving presence among his people as regulated through the divine institutions of word, sacrament and prayers. Today, through the sacraments of the Lord's Supper and Christian Baptism, together with the preaching of God's word and corporate prayers (both sung and unsung), God has promised to be with us until the end of the age. Our worship is set to the pattern of covenant initiation and renewal including the weekly participation of the Lord's supper. Our music and style of worship is "blended" to reflect the vernacular context of those God has brought to our city. Our desire is for our worship to be as God-centered as our theology, communicating the truth and grace of God to the nations. We welcome all believers together with those who are searching.
=> WHY SHOULD I CARE? Not only is it biblical, but it keeps us grounded in the gospel every week, secured upon Christ's redemption accomplished. Our worship embodies the gospel as we experience God's presence.
4. We are committed to being a multi-cultural church and church planting movement. We believe that the church, the household of God, is an essential element of the gospel into which people of every tribe and nation are welcomed. While affirming that every follower of Christ is called to be a witness to the truth and grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ in both word and deed, we also believe that true evangelism is best accomplished through church planting. It is therefore our ambition to be not only a growing church, but also a growing church planting movement. While holding to a time-honored understanding of faith, we are strategically progressive. Our aim is to plant churches that reach the different cultures in our city, New England and the world.
=> WHY SHOULD I CARE? Because no one culture is closer to God than another, you don't have to become American (or Western, or whatever!) to become Christian, and the corporte witness of the gospel is the best testament to its power!
5. We are committed to a high view of Christian calling as reflected in the vocational spheres of family, church and public service. We believe that God has placed into our lives the boundaries of our habitation that reflect his own sovereign design to accomplish his work in the world. His work extends into the spheres of family, church and civil vocations. We desire to help people find a balance that is unique to their individual callings which reflects a high view of vocation and calling in these three spheres of service. While believing that the Christian Scriptures does not address all things pertaining to life in this world, we do affirm that we should take "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" and that the Christian worldview is applicable and relevant to all spheres of life. Our ultimate commitment is to the restoration of "calling" that we might more and more glorify God and enjoy Him forever!
=> WHY SHOULD I CARE? Because God didn't make us just one way or with one part of ourselves, but made ALL of us, and he deserves it all to be offered as a thank offering.