Who is Trinity ARP?
We are a Christian Church Fellowship aligned with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. As such, we are a confessional church that is Reformed in its doctrinal beliefs and Presbyterian in its form of church government.
In short, we are 'Confessional', 'Reformed', and 'Presbyterian'. Trinity Presbyterian is one of about 250 ARP churches in North America. Of these, 5 are in Ontario Canada and 5 in Eastern Canada.
What does it mean to be confessional?
- To be a confessional body is to agree together that a certain statement of faith accurately summarizes Biblical teaching.
- In agreeing that this summary is accurate and true, one does not claim these confessions to be a superior authority to the Holy Scriptures. Rather, these confessions derive their authority from the scriptures, without which they would be but empty shells.
- In the Presbyterian tradition, the Statements of Faith are the historic Westminster Standards: The Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms. These statements have their roots in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
- You can find a copy of the Westminster Standards here: http://arpchurch.org/documents/standards/
What is it to be Reformed?
- To be Reformed is to agree with the system of theology that had its roots in the 1st century church (Apostolic period) and was later given articulation by men such as Augustine, Athanasius, and others.
- The scriptures, as well as the church's summary teachings, had almost lost the light of day through the Middle Ages. However, in the Providence of God, they were recovered and subsequently more fully developed in the Reformation of the 16th century. Men such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox as well as the later Puritans were Gospel-driven men that God used mightily in bringing reformation to the European (Western) church.
- As the church matured in these years, its thinking on Scriptural matters developed into the formulation of confessional statements to summarize what it believed the Bible taught. On the European continent, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt were the primary confessions articulated by the Reformed Church. In Switzerland, the second Helvetic Confession was developed. And in the British Isles, the Westminster Assembly (the last of the great post-Reformation synods, 1643-1652) authored the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
- All of these confessions, though arising from different places and written by various people or assemblies, speak with largely one voice, giving us a system of theology that has been termed "Reformed".
What is it to be Presbyterian?
- To be presbyterian is to govern the church by a plurality of elders. In practice, this means that:
- Presbyterians who hold true to the scriptures ordain and install biblically qualified men to the office of elder to serve Christ as His under shepherds.
- This ruling body (always a plurality), although selected from amongst the membership by election, is to recognize that they govern in obedience to Jesus Christ as revealed in His Word.
- In cases where elders may govern in a way that a member believes is unbiblical, the member may appeal to higher judicatories or courts for a hearing and resolution.