Testimony and Covenant of the Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church
In order to guard against committing the same errors of our past affiliation, we submit this as our Testimony and Covenant.
Brethren beloved in the Lord:
As to the crisis in which we now find ourselves, we are conscience bound to separate from those constitutional abuses and alarming theological errors, which have been perpetrated by many and now have been approved and sustained by a majority in the highest court of Vanguard Presbytery. Not wanting these failures to lead to this, we had hoped for more brotherly treatment and a willingness to hear all sides. At the least, we had expected from her stated commitments there would be a willingness to hear and consider Holy Scripture in her deliberations. Sadly, we have found that this has not been the case at all. Rather, we have seen a party spirit, deference to men, justification by legislation, an overturning of our Book of Church Order, and our most solemn covenant together broken by supplanting the Word of God with the word of man, and thus effectively denying the Headship of Christ over His Church. This most basic tenet of Biblical Presbyterianism being denied at the highest court of Vanguard Presbytery, we see no other recourse but to separate from her fellowship and form a denomination which will by the grace of God be a faithful expression of Biblical Presbyterianism and a true continuation of the work of Christ in history to call and perfect his Bride.
We love God in Christ; we love God’s Word; we stand in the long line and rich history of the Presbyterian Church. While we freely acknowledge that it is a history marked by the spots and wrinkles which Christ is progressively removing by the washing of water with the Word, we rejoice to give God the glory for the manifold testimony of His grace in working in and through her. With joy, we look back in history at her instrumentality in promoting the welfare of men; her love of human rights; her efforts for the advancement of human happiness; her clear testimonies for the truth of God, and her tremendous and blessed efforts to enlarge and establish the kingdom of Christ our Lord. We delight to dwell on the things our God has wrought by our beloved Church. We pray His grace will enable us to resolve to continue these earthly blessings, that our children shall not have the same occasion to weep over unfaithfulness as we have experienced in leaving Vanguard Presbytery. Sadly, a survey of the larger Presbyterian Church offers us no alternatives which promise to uphold the tenets of The Reformed Faith without apology. We are encouraged by the kingdom promises of our Lord Jesus Christ that He will honor those who honor Him, and would rather stand with a few for Christ, than with many against Him.
Persuaded that if God is for us, who can be against us, we are committing to be a faithful continuation of all that is faithful in our glorious heritage in Biblical Presbyterianism as practiced by the Apostolic Church and largely rediscovered in the Protestant Reformation. As the only infallible rule of faith and practice, we vow and commit together to keep the Word of God at the center of all our deliberations and actions, desiring above all else to hear the voice of Christ speaking and ruling in His Church, which is the best evidence of His walking among us and the best means we have of showing the honor due to His eminence. For the honor of Christ’s name, for the witness of the Church to the world, for the preservation of the deposit entrusted to us for future generations of the people of God, we cannot stand idly by and behold the ruin of this glorious edifice we know as the Presbyterian Church.
“Now I plead with you brethren,” says the Apostle, “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Cor. 1:10 NKJV) Therefore, in the presence of that Redeemer, we wholeheartedly affirm that the standard of doctrine and ecclesiastical order here subscribed to is that known as The Reformed Faith and Presbyterian church government, as definitively and infallibly revealed in Holy Scripture and as faithfully though fallibly summarized in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms.
By God’s grace, under Christ’s authority, we vow to strive for purity, peace, and Scriptural order in the formation of the Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church. Therefore, we endeavor to exclude those who disturb her peace, corrupt her testimony, and subvert her established forms from her communion. Therefore, as previous generations of Presbyterians did before us, we covenant together as elders in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ to be “True to the Scriptures, the Reformed Faith, and the Great Commission!”
Therefore, our commitment is to follow Jesus Christ, the only actual Head of His Church. We humbly stand upon the shoulders of past faithful servants of Christ. We will obey our Lord’s commandment to disciple the nations and baptize them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all of Christ’s commands, ministering under that great and encouraging promise, the blessing of His presence.
Signed and adopted, May 8th, 2022, by the inaugural assembly of Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church.