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Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church

Our Christian Reformed Faith

 


What do we believe?

What do we believe?  This link will take you to the Christian Reformed Church website, where you can read all of the Biblical beliefs, Doctrinal standards, Ecumenical creeds, and positions on contemporary topics in depth. 

Why is this church called Christian Reformed?

The Christian Reformed Church in North America is a group of nearly a thousand Christian churches in the United States and Canada. Members of our churches confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.   We are a small denomination when compared with giants such as the Methodist Church, the Southern Baptist Church, and the Presbyterian Church, but our congregations can be found in cities and towns from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, from California to New Jersey. We often call ourselves the "CRC" for short.

You may have noticed our denominational emblem--a cross in a triangle--on church signs or in church bulletins. The triangle represents the Trinity, our belief in the one God we know as three persons--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The cross symbolizes our belief in Jesus Christ's sacrificial death on the cross for our salvation.

We of the CRC have our family roots in the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Along with the other Protestant churches who emerged out of that Reformation, we believe that we cannot earn our salvation through good works. We also believe--along with one of the leaders of the Reformation, John Calvin--that the Scriptures are the guide by which we evaluate our practices as Christians. So we call ourselves not only "Protestant" and "Reformed" but also "Calvinist."

Nearly two hundred years ago, Dutch Calvinists left the Netherlands and came to the United States and Canada. Some came to escape persecution, others in the hope of finding a better life. The CRC was born from these believers.

The Dutch immigrants have a different story but some of you can probably identify quite closely with these frightened, confused immigrants who had high hopes for a new and better life on this continent. Unfamiliar with the English language and uncomfortable with American and Canadian manners and customs, these immigrants at first clung together, more Dutch than American or Canadian. Eventually, however, while holding on to many of their ethnic traditions and customs, these immigrants became Americans and Canadians, and the CRC became a North American church.

As years went by, people of other ethnic groups became members of the CRC. Because of this, we are becoming an inclusive church--a church that joyfully embraces people of different races, nationalities, and cultures. We have become a church where people of Asian, Hispanic, African, European, and North American descent together worship the one true God. Regardless of our racial or ethnic backgrounds, we're enriched by the presence of so much diversity in the CRC.

What makes the CRC 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.

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 family. We believe God has established a covenant with us, promising 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 an exposition, or 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 CRC 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.   For a long time our ancestors only sang psalms in worship. Even today, many of the songs in our songbook, the Psalter Hymnal, are psalms, but we also enjoy a rich heritage of hymns and Bible songs.

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 things should be influenced by our faith and understanding of God's Word. 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.

6. We believe that the local church has original authority. The pastor and elders together form what is called the consistory, which oversees the doctrine and life of members of a congregation. Sometimes the elders meet with the deacons in what we call the council. The deacons administer the local church's ministry of mercy, caring for the physical and material needs of people.

7. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. By that we mean that all Christians are God's servants, wherever God has placed them. Whether we work in the classroom, the factory, the farm, or the church, whether we attend school or stay at home, we use the gifts of ministry that God has given us for the good of the church.

8. We have a strong commitment to Christian education. Because of our concern for family and our belief that our faith is important in all areas of our lives, we offer many programs to help our families grow spiritually. We want all members to be informed Christians, Christians who can read the Bible intelligently and act on the Bible's teachings.   We do this through the local church in our church school classes and youth groups.

Would you like to join us?  Worship Services are held at 10:00 AM every Sunday
 
 

Copyright 2017 Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church - Trenton, ON