Mere Christianity With A Reformed Accent

At Willowdale CRC, we speak “mere Christianity” with a “Reformed accent.” By “mere Christianity,” we mean the historic teachings of the Church that almost all Christians everywhere have confessed at all times. These teachings are summarized in what are called the Ecumenical Creeds: The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. In these creeds, we meet the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who created all things and who sent Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. And we especially meet Jesus, truly divine and truly human, who became one of us, died and rose to save us, and promises to come again to make all things right and new.

By a “Reformed accent,” we mean the teachings about faith and salvation that Christians in the Protestant Reformation proclaimed as a way to renew the whole Church. These teachings are summarized in the Heidelberg Catechism and a few other documents called the Reformed Confessions. The key term in these documents is “grace,” which means God’s acts of unmerited love by which he saves sinners and empowers our lives. Our Reformed accent on grace is our way to proclaim what the Apostle Paul and the whole Bible proclaim: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. As people who are saved by grace alone, believe the good news of Jesus Christ is for everyone.

One more document that can help you understand our beliefs is a “contemporary testimony” called “Our World Belongs to God.” In this testimony, we invite all our neighbours from every background to celebrate with us what God is doing to transform our world into a new creation of love, joy, and peace. We invite you to explore this great salvation with us.

For more information about our denomination, see the website for the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Within the denomination, we are part of Classis Toronto.

Summary of Beliefs

  • God created the universe and everything in it
  • He created all people in his image and loves everyone, including you
  • Even when people rebelled against him, God continued to love us. He loved us so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to restore our broken relationship with him
  • The coming of Jesus reveals the one God in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This teaching, which we call the doctrine of the Trinity, reveals that God is love
  • Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to give us eternal life — a joyful life with God that never ends
  • Jesus is Lord of all, and those who trust in him begin a life of love
  • We express our trust in Jesus by committing ourselves to:
    • Love God by obeying his Word (the Bible)
    • Love others (neighbours near and far, including people of all races, genders, abilities, orientations, educational backgrounds and economic circumstances)
    • Love the world by supporting freedom, justice, and peace for everyone
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