Monday, May 16, 2016

We Made It Our Own...

Just finished making a few updates on our church website and our bulletin shell earlier today to further clarify statements about our church.  You see, yesterday was an important day in the life of our church family for we officially adopted The Baptist Confession (1677/89) as our own Confession.  I have previously written about this confession (here).  However, yesterday, our church, not just its pastor, adopted this historic confession as our statement of faith.  Our church has always had a 'calvinistic' view since our inception in the late 70's.  However, yesterday, we made this confession the guiding statement of our shared belief and how we see the Word of God fitting together.  This decision I believe will benefit us--a small band of believers growing in the rich theology of the Word and in our appreciation of the earliest of Baptists. My hope for us in adopting this Confession is that:

*It serves and aids us as we continue to grow in our knowledge of the Word of God.

*That it further informs us of the beautiful vision of the Christian life that it lays out (means of grace, covenantal grace, the moral law as a guide, a 1 in 7 rhythm of work and rest).

*It further demonstrates "who we are" as new believers consider joining us.

*It serves as a guide as we disciple new believers (Matt 28:18-20).

*It connects us in our appreciation of the Reformation, and the early English Particular Baptists specifically.

*It serves as a marker for reference as our people read and study theology.

*It helps us to stay true to the truths it contains, and to not wander from those truths.  That it helps us to be even more careful to avoid theological drift.

*It helps us think about communion with other churches, near and far.

*Its pastorally written paragraphs, (14.3, 18.1-4 for instance) serve as a rich balm for our people as they are tried in this world.

*It helps us to continue to value historical theology, and time-tested confessional truths, vs. seeking to be so 'relevant' that we minimize doctrine.

*It helps us to explain that we have a robust doctrine of covenant theology, of baptism, of ecclesiology, of the ordinary means of grace and that, while aided by our other non-Baptist Reformed brethren, we too are children of the Reformation by God's grace, and have a robust theology.

*It serves many Baptists who come through our doors in helping them see their own roots, and that is helps to "bring them back" to our own Baptist roots.

*It serves non-Baptists who come in to see that we are "of" the Reformation and the Puritans.

*That the Gospel proclamation of our body is emboldened, and enriched as we say more about the gospel than say less...

*That God is glorified as we revel in Who He is....

Yes, I think it was important what we did yesterday.  I am grateful for a body willing to make this Confession its own...