What we believe: Beliefs matter. What we believe about life and the world shapes how we live and the people we become. Religious beliefs are no different. What we think about God and ultimate reality will determine how we act and what we truly value. At Immanuel Church, we take our beliefs seriously because we take God seriously. We believe that God has not left us in the dark to speculate about who He is, but has reached out to humanity and communicated Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
We realize that theological statements can seem arrogant, narrow-minded, or even intolerant. However, we believe that tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs but how your beliefs lead you to treat those who disagree with you. While we as a church hold to beliefs that have been common to the Christian community throughout history, we also want our church to be a safe place for others to ask questions and wrestle with the difficult issues of faith.
While we recognize that many people have serious and thoughtful doubts about the reliability of the Bible; as Christians, it is the ultimate authority for our understanding of faith and life in this world.
The Apostles Creed
The Apostles' Creed represents the most ancient and universal statement of Christian faith throughout the history of the Church. While not written by the Apostles themselves the creed encompasses the core of Apostolic teaching in the New Testament.
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed originated at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), and an expanded form was adopted by the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.). It was formulated to respond to series errors regarding the biblical teachings on the Trinity and the person of Christ.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Westminster Standards
We think beliefs are incredibly important and we don't want to leave something as important as what we believe to whatever we just come up with. We also know that we all have cultural blind spots. This means that while it's important to articulate the faith appropriately in every generation we also need wisdom and experience of other generations of Christians. For this reason, Immanuel Church is what's considered a "Confessional Church." This means that in addition to the historic Creeds we also subscribe to a historical summary or standard of the Christian faith and use it as a useful tool in navigating life.
The Westminster Standards (Confession and Catechisms) were produced by the Westminster Assembly (1643-1649) and have served as the main confessional documents of Presbyterians throughout the world.
While the Bible is the ultimate authority for our beliefs and practices, Presbyterians believe the Westminster Standards, while imperfect human documents, are an accurate summary of the overall teachings of Scripture.