Our church is a gathered assembly of believers in Jesus Christ committed to and characterized by the following five distinctives:
WE ARE EVANGELICAL
The term evangelical derives from the Greek word euangelion meaning “Gospel” or “good news.” This good news is that Jesus Christ the Son of God lived a sinless life, died for our sins, was raised from the dead, ascended to heaven, and now is reigning as King. Through His finished work on our behalf, He purchased the Church, redeeming the saints throughout the centuries. Therefore, as people of the evangel, that is, the Gospel, we are rightly called Evangelicals. Our heritage bears this name out as we celebrate the proclamation and the mission of the Evangelical Revivals of earlier centuries. While some talk as if we ought to jettison the term due to its being politicized in certain circles, we want to not only reclaim it, but apply it to all of life. The Gospel is not just the atonement of Christ, but also the enthronement of Christ. This has infinitely far-reaching implications.
WE ARE COUNTERCULTURAL
When the Church accommodates itself to the world, our witness weakens. Becoming like the world to win the world is a fool’s strategy and a futile endeavour. Yet, many evangelicals have seemingly been duped into thinking that our effectiveness on mission increases to the degree that we can impress the intellectual and cultural elites of our day. Many will do anything to gain a seat at the proverbial table, even if it means compromise. For the glory of God, supremacy of Christ, truthfulness of Scripture, and purity of the Church, we endeavour by God’s grace to do otherwise. We will not bow to state-ism, pluralism, Marxism, feminism, transgenderism, or any of the other anti-Biblical isms that characterize our current cultural climate. Relevance is not our aim. Faithfulness is.
WE ARE REFORMATIONAL
Tracing our roots to the recovery of biblical truth during the Protestant Reformation, we identify with its chief principles expressed in the following Latin slogans: Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (God’s Glory Alone).
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
We affirm that in salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
We affirm that justification is realized when we place our faith in Christ alone to save us from our sins. In justification Christ's righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God's perfect justice.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
We affirm that our salvation is accomplished by the work of Christ on our behalf. His sinless life, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection are alone sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father. There is no other Saviour.
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
We affirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behaviour must be measured.
Soli Deo Gloria (God's Glory Alone)
We affirm that because our salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, God alone gets all the glory. We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God, and for His glory alone.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, we will always endeavour to live in light of these truths…
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as He is revealed in the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone.
WE ARE CONFESSIONAL
Our faith is not new, but ancient. We do not stand alone, but confess the Christian faith passed down throughout the whole history of the Church of Jesus Christ. Our word creed comes from the Latin word credo, “I believe.” A creed is typically a short statement of faith. The creeds of the early church, including the Apostles’ Creed (developed during the first four centuries AD), the Nicene Creed (AD 325), and the Athanasian Creed (around AD 428), have been widely accepted across the ages by multiple church traditions. In them, the ancient church responded to some of the great heresies of the Christian religion, and clarified confessional Christian orthodoxy. Our noun confession comes from the Latin verb confiteor, “to confess.” The greatest confessions came out of the Protestant Reformation. For those congregations and denominations that still believe God’s Word as it was understood in the ancient church and in the Reformation, the creeds and confessions are the living voice of the church’s understanding of God’s Word on the most important issues of Christian doctrine and living. They are never to be seen as a substitute for Scripture or as having authority over Scripture. Rather, they help Christians make sense of the Bible by highlighting what is important and summarizing its essential message. In an age of individualistic faith and skeletal creeds where doctrine is watered down to the lowest common denominator, the rich tradition of corporate creeds and confessions helps to keep us grounded in the truth, and provides us with a vital link to the church of ages past and the saints throughout the centuries.
WE ARE FAMILIAL
The local church is a family of faith, and we gather together each Lord’s Day as a singular body to worship Him as one. One assembly. This is our ecclesiological conviction, and the implications are plain. We believe that when churches start doing “service factories” (the same worship service on repeat) or “campusing” (planting multiple campuses under the branding of a single church), Christ’s Body is splintered and fractured. When it comes to the Lord’s Supper especially, we want everybody to be there. As a visible sign of the invisible unity of each local congregation, we are saying something when we take communion. When half of God’s people are missing around the table, or some are in one location and some are in another, what are we saying?
We also believe – in line with these same convictions – that by and large when the whole church gathers for worship on the Lord’s Day, the whole church should be gathered. The men should be there alongside the women; the old should be there alongside the young. For one, the New Testament assumes that children are in the worship service and addresses them directly in the letters that are to be read publicly during the corporate gathering: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20). The Old Testament also gives us more than several examples of whole families being present for public convocations during the early days of Israel’s history (Exodus 35:1; Deuteronomy 31:11-13; Joshua 8:35). The Scriptures are weighted on the side of commending the practice of including the children when God’s people gather for worship. Our children should not be treated as spiritual orphans and outsiders, funnelled out of every worship service and placed in age-segregated silos. They should be discipled to be active participants in public worship, because the gathering of the saints on the Lord’s Day is not just for the adults. Our children are welcome, they are part of this, and they belong with us. We put aside our comforts, our conveniences, and our consumeristic approach to church, and welcome the little children as Jesus does (Matthew 19:14).