St. Stephen's Musings

:: St. Stephen's Musings ::

:: Welcome to St. Stephen's Musings :: Bloghome | contact me by email |
Blog Roll
:: St. Stephen's Musings

:: Friday, June 13, 2003 ::

The Calvary Chapel Statement of Faith: Part Three


We believe that God is eternally existent in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

True! This is basically a paraphrase of the Nicene Creed.

We believe that God is the personal, transcendent, and sovereign Creator of all things.

True! Again this is a paraphrase of the first two lines of the Nicene Creed.

We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, provided for the atonement of our sins by His substitutionary death on the cross, was bodily raised from the dead, ascended back to the right hand of the Father, and ever lives to make intercession for us.

Everything in this section is decent save the word �substitutionary.� The penal-substitutionary model of the atonement, while found in carefully nuanced places in the writings of the many of the Church Fathers, was misunderstood and heretically emphasized by the western church, specifically by Anslem of Canterbury in the 11th century. It has since created a faulty view of the atonement for all of western Christendom. Again, there are lots of resources on this issue and I won�t belabor the point any further.

We believe in the personal, visible, and pre-millennial second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. He will return with His saints and set up a kingdom of which there will be no end.

Pre-millennialism is a doctrine that comes from the dispensationalist school of theology which the Church has condemned as heretical for a variety of reasons. Specifically, the heresy of chilianism was condemned at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381 as a heretical eschatology and pre-millennialism is another form of this heresy. A-millennialism has been the classical eschatology of the Church and has been since the beginning.

After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He poured out His Holy Spirit on the believers in Jerusalem, enabling them to fulfill His command to preach the Gospel to the entire world, an obligation shared by all believers today.

This is true. It should be noted though that the Ascension and Pentecost had ramifications that go well beyond �preaching the Gospel.� The word "obligation" is a rather jurdicial term; but otherwise true. In terms of what is written, this is fine.

We believe that all people are, by nature, separated from God and responsible for their own sin, but that salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, destined to spend eternity with the Lord.

Most of this is adequate, although highly simplistic. I wonder what is meant by the word "nature" in regards to man's seperation from God. Without further clarification, I'll let it go. The word "personal" of course should not mean "private" as is commonly believed. Personal implies communal; being joined to the Church, the Body of Christ. The last 7 words are problematic if they imply a type of universalism, as this was condemned heretical by the Fifth Ecumenical Council. The other point that would need to be made is that that being �born again� implies formal, sacramental baptism and the being �sealed by the Holy Spirit� implies the sacrament of Christmation.

We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Scriptures, and that they are valid for today if they are exercised within the scriptural guidelines. We as believers are to covet the best gifts, seeking to exercise them in love that the whole Body of Christ might be edified. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without this love all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless.

It should be noted that the fact that a statement concerning the �fruits vs. gifts� debate ravaging the Pentacostal churches had to be included in this statement of faith shows how influenced by modern western pneumenalolgy they are. The Orthodox have a much more holistic understanding of the gifts of the Spirit. But more on that another day....

:: Karl :: 10:01:00 AM [Link] ::

RSS Feed This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?