What We Believe

Our life together is centered around four core values:

  • Faithful and vibrant worship
  • Deep and enduring community
  • Faith formation
  • Local and Global Mission

 

We find freedom and joy in embracing the expansive, robust historic Christian faith as expressed in three ancient creeds:

 

As those who belong to the Reformed Church in America we also affirm four historic confessions:

 

Urgent Cultural Witness:

 

On Racism

Excerpt from the Belhar Confession (full document found here):

We believe

  • that God has entrusted the church with the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ, that the church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, that the church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker, that the church is witness both by word and by deed to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Cor. 5:17-21; Matt. 5:13-16; Matt. 5:9; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21-22).
  • that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world (Eph. 4:17–6:23, Rom. 6; Col. 1:9-14; Col. 2:13-19; Col. 3:1–4:6);
  • that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred and enmity;
  • that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine.

Therefore, we reject any doctrine

  • which, in such a situation, sanctions in the name of the gospel or of the will of God the forced separation of people on the grounds of race and color and thereby in advance obstructs and weakens the ministry and experience of reconciliation in Christ.

 

On Human Sexuality

Excerpts from RCA Commision on Theology Paper on Human Sexuality:

Setting the topic of sexuality within the drama of God’s rule and reconciliation in Christ might indeed enable our church to rediscover the ground of a meaningful cultural witness in the midst of wearying conflict over a variety of topics concerning sexuality. Sex is a gift, but a gift to be honored and used in the service of the life in Christ. In our late-modern context, setting discussions of sexuality in right proportion is an increasingly difficult task. In the effort to sustain disciplined reflection about Christian life in the world, this paper offers a provisional sketch of a number of theological and moral considerations necessary to understand sexuality as a divine gift to be honored and used in the service of the kingdom of God. The Commission on Theology believes that entering into this reflection upon our common commitments regarding human sexuality will assist the church when it takes up the more contentious issues of same-sex attraction and marriage.

This introduction has been written with the conviction that agreement upon the meaning and scope of the biblical witness concerning God’s purposes for human sexuality is necessary. Without such agreement, we see little hope for a more fruitful and constructive theological process for securing an understanding of what is at stake for the church to address the narrower topics of same-sex attraction and same-gender marriage. In other words, our confession of “one holy catholic and apostolic church” demands that prior to giving in to the temptation toward sectarianism, which would widen the separation between two or more parties, we first risk asking the question: Is there a biblical and theological foundation for a distinctly Christian understanding of sexuality in general, one that provides for a renewed discovery of core Christian commitments about reconciliation, holiness, authority, personhood, vocation, community, and friendship?

…Central to the Christian faith is the confession that the divine Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). The incarnation, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ inaugurated the dramatic liberation, renewal, and exaltation of humanity. In him we meet our maker and our match, our beginning and our true end. For Jesus Christ is the appointed covenant partner with God, and the ground of our deepest identity and calling. In turn, this confession closes the door upon every attempt to construct a vision of human identity, personhood, and flourishing apart from Christ. In him we come to know God and ourselves truly.

…Capable of redemption, human sexuality is a crucial setting in which we are called to bear witness to God’s forgiveness and saving grace. Given that Christ alone “fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23), marriage and singleness point, in their differing ways, to the “fulfillment” of all creation in Christ. Such fulfillment does not require the exercise of every desire, power, or gift we may possess. Instead, the proper exercise of desires, powers, and gifts is realized within the drama of God’s reconciliation of the world in Christ. Following Jesus in the way of the cross, we discover the calling and strength to enact a chaste and disciplined life. Contrary to our culture’s assumptions, our desires are not the final determinants of our life or identity, though they may well be taken up and made holy through God’s sanctifying and redeeming love.

Read the full paper here: http://images.rca.org/docs/synod/TheWordBecameFlesh.pdf