The Christian faith

The Christian faith is unique. All other religions of the world require that (a) man does good works, (b) God accepts or rejects it, and (c) if approved then man gets the credit. Christianity is the opposite: (a) God does the supreme good work through Jesus Christ, (b) man accepts or rejects it, and (c) God gets the credit.

Many call themselves Christians, but there is no end to the different (and often conflicting) beliefs – and even "gods" – they promote. But God defines who He is, not man, so to find the truth we must go to the source. God is revealed in His Word, the Bible, and its meaning is most clearly defined by those who were present at the time of writing. This is why the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, took decades to define the essential principles of the faith (the Creeds), and centuries to determine the canon of Scripture (which books were to be included in the Bible).

We believe the catholic faith: that which has been believed in all places (geographically), in totality (adding nothing new, subtracting nothing old), by all people (regardless of race, culture, sex, social status, economic class), at all times (since the beginning). Doctrine is not just a mental agreement, but a living relationship with Almighty God and His Church.

We believe the Church is the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18), and that Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper will be fulfilled: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You" (John 17:20-21)

The faith as delivered once and for all to the Apostles

We hold:

  • The sixty-six universally accepted books of the Old and New Testament are the written Word of God containing all things necessary for salvation, the chief witness to apostolic teaching, and the source of the Church's nourishment and strength

  • Bible translations of the original Greek and Hebrew are valid for church reading and study; versions that add to, subtract from, or change the meaning of the original text are not

  • The Holy Scriptures to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God, the final authority on all matters of faith and practice

  • Scripture is to be understood in light of apostolic tradition and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; where Scripture does not speak, we defer to apostolic tradition

 

We hold:

  • The Apostles' Creed as the Baptismal Symbol, and the Nicene Creed (without the filioque clause) as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith

  • The seven Sacraments of the Church: Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, Confession (Rite of Reconciliation), Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders (Ordination), and Healing (Final Unction)

  • The historic episcopate in Apostolic Succession: the gift of Christ’s authority to the Church and the trustee of the Church’s fidelity to apostolic teaching

 

We hold:

  • That all human life is sacred from the moment of its conception until its natural death

  • That Holy Matrimony is between a man and a woman, and is a covenantal relationship between them and God

  • That Holy Matrimony is a divine picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church

  • That all children are a blessing from God

 

We accept the statements of the first seven ecumenical councils of the Church:

  1. The First Council of Nicaea (325)

  2. The First Council of Constantinople (381)

  3. The Council of Ephesus (431)

  4. The Council of Chalcedon (451)

  5. The Second Council of Constantinople (553)

  6. The Third Council of Constantinople (680–681)

  7. The Second Council of Nicaea (787)

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