What is a reformed church?
A reformed church holds to the historic doctrines of the Protestant Reformation and, in particular, the Canons of Dort. These canons were the product of the Synod of Dort which met in 1618 – 1619 in Dordrecht, Holland (also known as Dordt or Dort). This synod was convened to settle a dispute that had developed over the doctrine of salvation. The synod had representatives from all the major Protestant churches of the time (except for the Huguenots who because of the severe persecution they faced in their native France were unable to send representatives). The Canons of Dort present the doctrine of grace which emphasizes the sovereignty of God.
What are the doctrines of grace?
The doctrines of grace emphasize that we are saved by God’s grace and that we cannot save ourselves. It is a way of emphasizing God’s greatness by looking at salvation from God’s point of view rather than man’s point of view. While emphasizing God’s work in salvation, we still affirm that people must exercise their will to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him.
The doctrines of grace are summarized by five points, also known as the Five Points of Calvinism. The five points are commonly represented by the acronym of TULIP: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. Total depravity means that the heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are so completely sinful that no one seeks after God of their own accord (Romans 3:10–12). Unconditional election teaches that God chooses His elect according to His will and not based on anything done by the person (Romans 9:11). Limited atonement refers to the fact that God has not chosen to save everyone (John 17:9). Irresistible grace teaches that once God has willed to save someone, He will save that person (John 1:12–13). Perseverance of the saints tells us that the elect will continue to abide in saving faith (John 10:27–28).
What is an age-integrated church?
We hold that families should worship together as a family unit (Deuteronomy 31:11-13, Matthew 21:15). Accordingly, we try to organize worship and church activities so that all ages can participate together and children as well as adults can learn from the Bible together. Child care helpers are available, and they can help prepare children over time to join the congregation in worship.
How does Christ the Redeemer Church deal with differing convictions?
We believe that only Scripture should bind a believer’s conscience. However, we recognize that sincere Christians can study the Bible and honestly arrive at different conclusions in some areas, such as how to dress, age of the earth, when to baptize, how to educate children, and how to observe the Lord’s Day (Romans 14: 1). We believe that the church must strive for unity, not necessarily uniformity, while maintaining graciousness and charity to those with differing convictions (Romans 15:7).
Is the discussion of “controversial” matters discouraged at Christ the Redeemer Church?
No. However, those who enter into such discussions are expected to act with graciousness and charity to those with differing convictions (Romans 15:7). In fact, these controversial topics may at times be addressed from the pulpit in the sermon, as the need arises or the Biblical text addresses the issue.
What is the position of Christ the Redeemer Church on baptism?
We believe that baptism is a sign of a covenantal relationship with God, which believers and their children may enjoy (Acts 2:39, 1 Cor. 7:14, Eph. 4:5). We do not believe that baptism is the proof of salvation or that the application of water saves anyone. Baptism is done in obedience to Christ’s command (Matt. 28:18ff) after a confession of Christian faith (1 Pet. 3:21). Accordingly, we support the baptism of infants upon the request of a believing parent, as well as baptism of older children and adults upon their own request.
We recognize that sincere Christians have arrived at various convictions concerning how to practice baptism, but we believe the Bible forbids Christians from breaking fellowship with each other over this issue (1 Cor. 1:10-15) unless there is a clear departure from the teachings of the Bible. We therefore accept baptisms administered by other Bible-believing churches, whether by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, because we see Biblical support for these modes, and historians indicate that all three modes have been in common practice since the early church. If you have any question about your own baptism, the elders would be glad to talk with you.
What is our view on discipleship of children?
We realize Christians have different convictions in schooling of children, and we respect each family’s right to make a Biblically-based decision on the education of their children. Beyond a family’s choice of how to educate their children, we view it a much more important responsibility of parents to deliberately disciple their children in the truth of God’s Word (Eph. 6:4, Deut. 6:7). We expect fathers as the head of each household, to train their children in Godly living, in understanding of scripture, and in their responsibilities toward God, fellow believers and the lost world. In the discipleship of their children, we encourage fathers to lead their families throughout the week in worship which focuses on Bible study, praise and prayer.
Does Christ the Redeemer Church hold to literal six-day creation account?
Yes. It seems to us that the Genesis accounts are meant to be taken literally, and this is the consistent interpretation of the Old Testament and New Testament writers who comment on creation. It is also the position that Jesus Christ Himself took (Mark 10:6). We recognize this is a controversial position in some Christian circles so we will not require members to agree with this position. We must emphasize, however, what the Bible emphasizes: that God is the originator of the universe and has always been imminently involved in the development of all living things.
How does Christ the Redeemer Church reconcile the conflict between a young-earth theory and modern scientific theories?
We are not alarmed by these apparent conflicts. Scripture does not change while the findings of science do. We believe that any current differences are temporary and that the findings of science will ultimately confirm the Scriptural account.
Does Christ the Redeemer Church have a position on Sabbath observance?
We believe that the Sabbath is a day of rest (Exodus 20:9–11) and a day of celebration for all the Lord has done on our behalf (Mark 2:27). The rest should involve a cessation of our regular work one day a week. This celebration of the Sabbath should involve regular gatherings of the saints (Hebrews 10:25) to worship. Christians may differ on the practical details of how they spend the day, but all must make the day special – holy to the Lord. Beyond that, we are exhorted by the Apostle Paul not to judge one another on our Sabbath observance (Colossians 2:16, Romans 14:5-6).
What type of music is sung at Christ the Redeemer Church?
The Apostle Paul exhorts us to sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19). We believe this phrase is referring to wide array of musical forms acceptable in public worship. Accordingly, it is our practice to sing Psalms, great hymns of the faith, and new songs which are excellent, Biblical, and which encourage us to worship with our spirit as well as our mind (Phil. 4:8, 1 Cor. 14:15).
Does Christ the Redeemer Church practice a formal liturgy?
A liturgy is simply the form of public worship practiced by a church. All churches whether by conscious design or by default have a liturgy. At Christ the Redeemer Church, we practice a form of liturgy known as a covenant renewal service, which provides opportunity for the congregation to respond to God’s word and service to us by singing, reading scripture aloud, and praying. While the liturgy at Christ the Redeemer Church is more structured than in some contemporary churches, it is not a “High Church” service.
If you have remaining questions, please contact our pastor Nate Wilson for further discussion and clarification. He can be reached at 785.537.9377