Our church holds to the London Baptist Confession of 1689. Read the following article to find out the reasons why.
1. Why Should A Church Have a Confession of Faith?
Calvary Baptist Church has adopted the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 as its working statement of faith. This article explains why we need a confession of faith.
A local church exists to proclaim and defend the truth. The Bible calls the church to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3), to teach all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), and to be “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
A confession of faith helps us fulfill that biblical responsibility. In a positive sense, it establishes a doctrinal standard for the teaching of the church. In a negative sense, it helps us discern false teaching and “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).
Some Christians object that confessions undermine the authority of the Bible. They claim, “We have no creed but the Bible.” We have sympathy for their concern, but we believe they are mistaken.
First, the Confession is subordinate to the Scriptures. The 1689 Confession reads, “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.” The Bible is our authority, not the Confession.
Secondly, it’s overly simplistic to think we can defend the faith by saying, “We believe the Bible.” Church history proves that heretics claim to believe the Bible even as they deny the basic doctrines of Christianity. A clear confession makes it more difficult for false teachers to gain a foothold and thus protects the body from error.
2. Why Do We Hold to the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689?
There are four primary reasons why we chose that confession to summarize our teaching at Calvary Baptist Church.
The first reason is theological. We believe the 1689 Confession accurately summarizes the teaching of the Bible. The 1689 Confession has a high view of the Bible, God, and Christ. It affirms God’s sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Those great themes are the foundation of our fellowship.
The second reason is historical. Biblical truth never changes. Calvary Baptist Church as a local body may be transient, but our teaching is not. We seek historical continuity with Christian men whose teaching has stood the test of time and biblical scrutiny over the centuries.
The third reason is polemical. The Lord has raised us up in a region with a long history of false religious traditions and harmful religious trends. The 1689 Confession clarifies what separates us from those traditions and trends in a lucid and edifying way.
The fourth reason is pastoral. The 1689 Confession shows keen insight into the nature of Christian living and our future hope. Earnest believers who read the Confession will be encouraged to excel still more; doubting believers will find insight into the nature of assurance; those without Christ will find sure direction to find the Savior.
We don’t claim perfection for the 1689 Confession. Our leadership has slightly altered certain details in it in order to conform to our understanding of Scripture as we have studied together. However, we do affirm its direction. It is a worthy statement of the teaching and spiritual aspirations of Calvary Baptist Church.
In addition to the London Baptist Confession of 1689 our church also would affirm the following creeds, confessions, and statements.
Note: The word “catholic” in the creeds does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church but to the universal church, meaning all who are truly part of the Body of Christ from all time and in every place.