What We Believe
The bulk of what we believe we hold in common with the Christian church around the world and throughout the ages. Three creeds adopted by the worldwide church centuries ago summarize the most important tenets of our faith: the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
To summarize these common beliefs, we’ll use the text of the Apostles’ Creed. But first an explanation. Despite its title, the Apostles’ Creed was not written by the apostles or disciples who walked and talked with Jesus in the first century. Instead it is a compilation of what believers in the first centuries knew from written and oral testimony, which was then distilled into the essentials of the Christian faith. This creed was reworked by successive councils of the early Church. It was adopted in its present form before the end of the fourth century.
A quick look at the structure of the Apostles’ Creed reveals one of the bedrock truths of the Christian faith: the Trinity. The creed is divided into three parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All Christians believe that the Bible reveals one God in three “persons.” In other words, God is a perfect community of love.
Our Global Family
We belong under the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) denomination. The Christian Reformed Church includes just over one thousand congregations across the United States and Canada. About 75 percent of the churches are in the United States; 25 percent are in Canada. We’re one of only a few binational denominations: rather than split into different churches at the 49th parallel, we're united.
As a local church or congregation, we are a part of a wider network of local churches through our membership in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA). The CRCNA is a Protestant Christian denomination in the United States and Canada and almost 300,000 people belong to the CRCNA—not a large number when you consider the population of our two countries. But by God’s grace we can accomplish a lot when we work together.
The word “reformed” in our denominational name signals our historical roots in the Reformation movement of the sixteenth century. Among the reformation groups which originated from that period were the Lutheran churches (associated with Martin Luther) and the Reformed churches (associated with John Calvin). The Reformed tradition in England and Scotland took the form of the ‘presbyterian’ churches. The Dutch immigrants in North America founded what later became the Reformed Church in America (RCA). Out of the RCA was born our denomination (CRCNA) in 1857.