Do you have a Statement of Faith?
In addition to our own theological emphases and the Gospel, the Anglican Church has historically held to the historic Creeds (Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian), the 39 Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and several other distinctive theological practices, disciplines and documents to be those elements which constitute a faithful, historic, biblical, and orthodox Anglicanism. You can read about the doctrinal distinctives of the Anglican Church or North America here. We recognize all of these documents and disciplines to be faithful expositions of the Holy Scripture and the Apostolic faith, but we obviously don’t require attendees to subscribe to long lists of theological propositions in order to worship at Christus Victor.
We welcome all, wherever you are at in your journey of faith, or even in your unbelief or agnosticism to come seek truth together in worship, as a community, and to not feel that you will need to pass a multiple choice doctrine test to fit in; you won’t. Furthermore, we want to stress that faith in the divine person Jesus Christ is so much more than simply getting a doctrinal list memorized, or achieving cognitive apprehension of theological “facts” which have been “extracted” from the Bible into a sort of acontextual, ahistorical list of “required” propositions which must be affirmed about God before we can fellowship together. Theology is important, but as a part of the Christus Victor community, you are allowed and encouraged to have faith that seeks understanding. That is, faith that has not arrived at all of the answers yet but that is actively and humbly seeking them.
All ordained ministers in the ACNA, including myself (John) subscribe to all of the above, and commend them as orthodox explications of the faith. But even many of us who are ordained to teaching roles in the Church recognize, to paraphrase a modern theologian, that ‘statements can put people in a state, while questions involve people in a quest.’ We don’t want to be a people who settle into a state of complacency which comfortably rests after having simply acquired “facts” about God. Instead we want to be those who seek to know the living God, and to be transformed into his image and glory which we encounter in the face of Jesus Christ, the one whom these statements are describing and toward whom they are pointing in the various truths they proclaim.
The biblically-faithful, orthodox theological creeds and documents of the Church are meant to be reliable and trustworthy witnesses, guides, and expositions of the faith once delivered to the saints, and we hold tightly to these great truths without compromise and in full confidence of their truthfulness because they are in accordance with Holy Scripture. Still, we like to stress that while statements of faith help to define our tradition, to express our theological convictions, and to guide our teaching and preaching, our ultimate faith as Christians is not in a system of theology, or a statement, first and foremost, but in the person of Jesus Christ, the ultimate revelation, self-disclosure, and Word of God.