Our Purpose Statement (The Four ‘C’s):
It is the purpose of Huntersville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to deeply celebrate the person and work of our Savior, to diligently comprehend God’s word, to develop rich community among our church family and to demonstrate practical compassion to a hurting world.
1-We are Evangelical
We take our stand with all those who believe in the fundamentals: the existence of the triune God, the deity of Jesus, the virgin birth, the substitutionary and vicarious atonement of Christ, the physical resurrection of Christ, the sure return of Christ, and the infallibility, inerrancy and divine authority of the Bible, which is a faithful and true guide to what we are to believe and how we are to live. We joyfully affirm our unity with those from every tradition and denomination who hold to these fundamentals, including those true believers in Christ who, for whatever reason, find themselves members of denominations or churches with which we might have certain disagreements.
2-We are Evangelistic
This means we take seriously the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Without compromising the sovereignty of God, we affirm the responsibility of each person to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and our responsibility to extend the Gospel invitation as a call to salvation to everyone who hears its message.
3-We are Reformed
The word reformed can be defined simply in three ways:
- It is a reference to our historical link to the Reformation of the 16th century and intends to describe us as the heirs of that tradition which comes from Luther, Calvin, Knox and other reformers.
- The word ‘reformed’ is used most commonly to refer to certain theological distinctives, which have marked reformation believers, particularly those in the Calvinist tradition.
- We believe that the Bible is our only “rule of faith and practice,” therefore it “reforms” all of our life to conform with God’s standards.
We are connected in history to the Reformed Presbytery, a group that left the Church of Scotland in 1743, because the King of Scotland would not sign the Solemn League and Covenant, which affirmed that Christ alone was head and king of the church, not the civil magistrate.
These distinctives can be summarized by our glad affirmation of the responsibility of every person to repent and believe, and that it is God who, by His sovereign electing grace, draws men and women, otherwise dead in sin, to faith in His Son. By this faith alone are God’s people justified.
Reformed distinctives include the sovereignty of God in His creation, providence and election of believers apart from any merit of their own; the irresistible grace of God provided for and preceding the faith of the individual; the sufficiency of God’s grace apart from which man is dead in sin and wholly defiled in all his faculties of soul and body; the efficacy of Christ’s death for all those who believe in Him by grace; the safe-guarding of all those for whom Christ died for eternal life. We seek to hold to our reformed convictions humbly, recognizing the sincerity and earnestness of godly men and women who have other positions.
4-We are Confessional
This means that we have a written confession of faith, which we believe to be a good and accurate summary of the Bible’s teaching. Our confession consists of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. These documents are not without flaw; yet we believe they do contain carefully worded summaries of the Bible’s content. All officers and pastors of Huntersville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church must vow that they hold to these standards and are required to indicate to the Session or Presbytery where they take exceptions.
5-We are Covenantal
To say we are covenantal means we believe that the unifying principle of the Scriptures is the one covenant of grace that God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally, and most importantly, in Jesus Christ. The covenant is a pledge or bond of loyalty that God made to His people through each of the above named persons. The covenant is a relationship of loving loyalty that God has initiated with us as His people throughout human history. To speak of the unity of the covenants means that there is one way and one way only to salvation in both Old and New Testaments; that is, by faith alone in Jesus Christ. This covenantal understanding of the Bible is in distinction from any system of organizing the Scriptures that would attribute differing ways of salvation to a succession of historical Biblical eras.
6-We are Kingdom Centered
We believe that the Kingdom of God is not only a future hope but is also a present reality. We believe that the ascension of Jesus Christ means that He is presently reigning from Heaven and therefore we are called upon to honor and obey Him in every area of our personal lives and to plant the banner of Christ’s Kingdom rule in every area of human endeavor. Christ’s present heavenly reign is at the heart of our Purpose Statement as a church: “It is the purpose of Huntersville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to deeply celebrate the person and work of our Savior, to diligently comprehend God’s word, to develop rich community among our church family and to demonstrate practical compassion to a hurting world.” Or, to say it another way, “Our purpose is to glorify God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as led by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We strive to be an instrument by which His name is glorified among the peoples. To this end, we commit ourselves to be a worshipping community, a nurturing fellowship and a reflection of God’s love to the world.”
7-We are Presbyterian
This word refers to our form of governance. We are a church that is Presbyterian in government, as opposed to congregational or Episcopal. We believe that the most clear Biblical pattern is for churches to be governed by presbyters (elders) who rule jointly in what are called church courts: sessions, presbyteries and the Synod. In our church, our Elders and Pastors collectively make up the Session, who oversee the spiritual health and the governance of this particular church.
8-A Word About Our Theological Convictions
We believe that as we come to appreciate these distinctives, we will grow to love and honor the Lord Jesus more fully and understand more richly what it means to live by grace.
Nevertheless, acceptance of all these distinctives is not required for membership in our church. One can join and be a participating member of our church without holding to any but the evangelical distinctive. Ruling and teaching elders and deacons, however, must hold to all these distinctives; and while there is room for exceptions to be taken, to be ordained as an elder or deacon in Huntersville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church means that one can affirm that these descriptive terms apply to themselves.
Likewise, teachers must affirm their willingness to teach according to the confessional standards of our church and agree to discuss with the pastors any area where they disagree. Teachers who agree to be gracious in matters where they take exceptions to our confessional standards may receive approval to teach by our Session, which must approve all teachers.
In the Reformation era, Martin Luther had a sponsor whose name was Frederick of Saxony. Frederick was a prince and a 16th century entrepreneur who funded many of Luther’s projects. He was a man of warm heart and deep conviction. On his coach, he had emblazoned these Latin words: suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, which means, “gentle in manner, strong in truth”. This is what this church desires to be: warm, gracious, inviting, open and non-judgmental; yet holding strong convictions that always come directly from the Bible. It is our absolute and unwavering conviction that to be strong in truth without being gentle in manner is unbiblical. It is also our profound conviction that to be gentle in manner while not adhering to scriptural truth is also unbiblical. By God’s grace, we will be both as we press on in the Lord’s grand design.
More details about our beliefs, including our Confession of Faith, may be found HERE on our Denomination’s Homepage