“The Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.”
-J. Gresham Machen
The word “creed” comes from the Latin credo and simply means “I believe,” a concept that Christians can hardly question. Our response to the gospel is one of faith, since the gospel consists of promises from God to us. Creeds are written in such a manner that the Christian may take them upon their lips and “confess with their mouths” those truths which they believe in their hearts (Romans 10:9).
The reality is that every Christian, every church, has a creed. Even “no creed but Christ” or “no creed but the Bible” are creeds! So the question is NOT “should we have creeds and confessions?” but “WHICH creeds and confessions should we use?”
As a Presbyterian congregation, we are committed to Reformed theology- a system of doctrine articulated by 16th century Protestant Reformers like John Calvin and John Knox. We believe that the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms- summaries of the Christian faith written during the 17th century- best summarize the teaching of Scripture and provide for the saints of today an invaluable link to the church of the past . These three documents are called “the Westminster Standards” and they are built upon the unashamed commitment to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as God’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word.
In addition to the Westminster Standards, we also confess the faith of the one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic church with Christians of all times and in all places. This holy catholic faith, confessed by the church from the beginning, is best summarized in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. Every week we confess our common faith together using one of these creeds.