In all matters of doctrine and practice, as a reformed church, our final authority is the Holy Spirit speaking infallibly through Scripture as the word of God.
However, recognising that different interpretations exist as to what the Bible teaches, most Christian churches hold subordinate standards such as creeds, confessions and statements of faith. They provide churches with descriptions of truth, bonds for unity and a defence against error. These, for Centre Church, include the Westminster Confession of Faith, along with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
While there is an expectation that Centre Church teaching reflects these documents, we acknowledge that other streams of Christianity may not hold to all within these confessional statements, and yet we acknowledge their validity as Christian churches and believers and we welcome them into fellowship with us.
In the words of St. Augustine, we hold “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
The following doctrinal statements Centre Church holds as essentials for membership.
Knowing God in Scripture
We believe that our one aim in life and death should be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever; that God teaches us how to glorify and enjoy him in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which He has given by the infallible inspiration of His Holy Spirit in order that we may certainly know what we are to believe concerning Him and what He requires of us.
The Trinitarian Nature of God
We believe that God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and incomparable in all that He is; one Godbut three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe
We believe that the heavens and the earth, and all that in them is, are the work of God; and that all that He has made He directs and governs in all their actions; so that they fulfil the end for which they were created.
Humanity created in the image of God
We believe that God created humanity after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, and entered into a covenant of life with them upon the sole condition of their obedience that was due to God.
Humanity fell under condemnation
Humanity, by wilfully rebelling against God, fell into a state of sin into which we have been born. Being fallen in Adam, our first father, we are under the condemnation of God, corrupted in body, mind and soul, repeatedly sinning. We face death and eternal punishment. We cannot be delivered from this but through the unmerited grace of God our Saviour.
Humanity’s redemption through Christ alone
We believe that God has redeemed His people to Himself through Jesus Christ our Lord; who, though He was and ever continues to be the eternal Son of God, yet was born of a woman, born under the law, that He might redeem them that are under the law: We believe that He bore the penalty due to our sins in His own body on the cross, and fulfilled in His own person the obedience we owe to the righteousness of God, and now presents us to His Father as His purchased possession, to the praise of the glory of His grace forever.
The bodily resurrection and present rule of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ our redeemer, who died for our sins, was raised again for our justification, and ascended into the heavens, where He sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty, continually making intercession for his people, and governing the whole world as head over all things for his Church.
The personal return of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is to come a second time in glory, to judge the world inrighteousness and assign to each their eternal reward.
Our response to God’s initiative in salvation
We believe that God requires that out of a true sense of our sin and understanding of His mercy in Christ, we should turn with grief and hatred away from sin and, renouncing all merit of our own, we put all our trust only in Jesus Christ our redeemer. We believe that we then live in the Spirit, united to Christ, seeing that relationship develop through worship, prayer, obedience and service, following his perfect example in Scripture.
Our future destiny in Christ
We believe that if we die in Christ, our soul shall be at death made perfect in holiness and go home to the Lord; and when He shall return in his majesty we shall be raised in glory and enjoy God fully to all eternity. We believe that all who reject Christ, will be rejected by Him and receive the eternal punishment that is due their sin.
Our commitment to the Church
We believe that God has established His Church in the world and committed the ministry of Word and Sacrament to it. This he has done so that, through Christ and His Spirit, the church will display His grace in the gospel to the world, and minister the benefits of redemption to his people. We believe that all true Christians are engrafted members of the invisible church, the Body of Christ, and that no Christian exists apart from it. Consequently, we believe true Christians should honour the visible Church, submit to her courts and leaders, give their full attention to her gatherings and her associated means of grace with diligence, preparation, and prayer; and carry the gospel of her Lord to the whole world.