What We Believe
We are a Christian Church of the Presbyterian Church USA and the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina. We look to the Bible to teach us about God's story and gain meaning and guidance for our own stories. We have two books that guide our understanding of the Bible and define our beliefs and functioning as a church: The Book of Confessions, and The Book of Order. These books help us worship and serve God and neighbor decently and in order.
It is vital for us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength. Therefore, we are also reformed in theology. This means that we believe that God is always leading us on and giving us new insights from the Scriptures. Reformed theology teaches us that we are in constant need of learning and thus we take seriously the need to articulate and confess what we believe, and where we need forgiveness.
In our Book of Order, we read:
"The good news of the Gospel is that the triune God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- creates, redeems, sustains, rules, and transforms all things and all people. This one living God, the Scriptures say, liberated the people of Israel from oppression and covenanted to be their God. By the power of the Spirit, this one living God is incarnate in Jesus Christ, who came to live in the world, die for the world, and be raised again to new life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ announces the nearness of God's kingdom, bringing good news to all who are impoverished, sight to all who are blind, freedom to all who are oppressed, and proclaiming the Lord's favor upon all creation.
The mission of God in Christ gives shape and substance to the life and work of the Church. In Christ, the Church participates in God's mission for the transformation of creation and humanity by proclaiming to all people the good news of God's love, offering to all people the grace of God at font and table, and calling all people to discipleship in Christ. Human beings have no higher goal in life than to glorify and enjoy God now and forever, living in covenant fellowship with God and participating in God's mission." (F-1.01)
Within the Book of Order, 2013-15, one can read all about our beliefs regarding the Holy Trinity: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Regarding the meaning and calling of the Church, the Book of Order indicates:
The Church is the body of Christ. Christ gives to the Church all the gifts necessary to be his body. The Church strives to demonstrate these gifts in its life as a community in the world (1 Cor. 12:27-28).
The Church is to be a community of faith, entrusting itself to God alone, even at the risk of losing its life.
The Church is to be a community of hope, rejoicing in the sure and certain knowledge that, in Christ, God is making a new creation. This new creation is a new beginning for human life and for all things. The Church lives in the present on the strength of that promised new creation.
The Church is to be a community of love, where sin is forgiven, reconciliation is accomplished, and the dividing walls of hostility are torn down.
The Church is to be a community of witness, pointing beyond itself through word and work to the good news of God's transforming grace in Christ Jesus its Lord. (F-1.03)
The Book of Order also describes the prime ingredients of being a Reformed Church:
Where Christ is, there is the true Church. Since the earliest days of the Reformation, Reformed Christians have marked the presence of the true Church wherever:
The Word of God is truly preached and heard,
the Sacraments (The Lord's Supper and Baptism) are rightly administered, and
Ecclesiastical discipline is uprightly ministered. (F-1.0303)
Finally, the Book of Order 2013/15 highlights the Great Ends of the Church:
The great ends of the Church are:
- the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
- the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
- the maintenance of divine worship;
- the preservation of the truth;
- the promotion of social righteousness; and
- the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world. (F-1.0304)