Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Proposed Statement of Faith - Preamble

See also:
Artcles 1-5
Articles 6-11

In our proposed revision to the Statement of Faith, the following paragraphs will appear as a preamble:

Our Confessional Heritage & Supporting Statements of Belief
Throughout the history of Christ’s Church many statements of belief have been written. These were generally called “Confessions of Faith” or “Creeds”. The purpose of these documents was to instruct God’s people about the teachings of Scripture and to defend the Church from false teachings. For centuries the Church was even plunged into massive biblical ignorance and spiritual darkness—even to the point that God’s people were cut-off from being able to read the Scriptures for themselves.. During the Reformation the Bible was once again placed into the hands of believers and a great many Confessions were written to help God’s people reclaim core biblical truth that had been all but forgotten. Responding to centuries of theological and biblical ignorance, these documents were long and detailed out of necessity.

Today the light of the gospel has been significantly dimmed. Living and ministering in the world[1] amidst false teaching and ungodly philosophies[2], it is necessary to preserve the doctrinal integrity of our Church’s beliefs by further definition. History has proven all too often that false teachers easily corrupt those congregations and movements which are not thoroughly grounded in the teachings of Scripture. Much of what calls itself Christianity is nothing other than age-old heresies in modern garb. For these reasons we have combined several Confessions/Creeds in a document titled “Supporting Statements of Belief: Documents Guiding the Theological Beliefs and Practices of Indian River Baptist Church”. In the past decades several documents have been written which call upon churches to once again cling to the historic truths of the faith. One of these statements protects our understanding of the inerrancy of Scripture (The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy), two of them outline our understanding of the Gospel (The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration and The Cambridge Declaration), and one summarizes the Bible’s teaching on marriage, family, and gender roles (The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood). Four other statements from Church history also correctly summarize the truth of Scripture. These are the 1689 London Baptist Confession¸ Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed. We believe these eight documents provide correct interpretations[3] of Scripture and authoritative interpretations of the meaning and implications of our corporate Confession of Faith. They serve as the fullest theological expression of the beliefs of Indian River Baptist Church.

[1] John 15:18-25; 17:11-20; 1 John 2:15-17
[2] Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:20
[3] This should not be taken to imply that Indian River Baptist Church agrees in every detail with the statements includes in the packet. Only Scripture is inerrant. However, we wholeheartedly support the main thrust of these documents as trustworthy in the communication of Biblical truth.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I just discovered the Chicago Statements of Inerrancy and Hermeneutics. The Apostles and Nicene creed I've read but all the other documents you mention I have not; I'll check them out. I am assuming they are publicly available I should be able to find them on the net.

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  2. Oh yeah? What if we disagree, eh? EH? ;)

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