A reformed Baptist church is a church that is part of a restorative movement returning to the practices and emphases of the first Baptists in England and America. It is not a movement to create anything new, but instead a return to our roots grounded in the Scripture and the Protestant Reformation.
Reformed Baptists are nothing new. What we call "reformed" Baptists today were called "regular" Baptists before 1850. In 1845, all 243 messengers who formed the Southern Baptist Convention would today be considered to be from reformed churches. While we have contemporary ministries, we are rooted in the biblical Gospel built upon the Five Solas (more about that in a moment).
At Christ Reformed Baptist Fellowship, concerned with the state of the modern church, the "Gospel" that is now being proclaimed, and the depravity of our culture, we are intentionally returning to the Old Paths of our Baptist forefathers and the proven Gospel which has endured both prosperity and persecution.
First, A Little History about Reformed Baptists
The Catholic Church fell into superstition, spiritual corruption, and moral decay during the Middle Ages. As the Word of God was finally translated out of Latin into the common languages of the people of Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the people began to see for themselves how far the Church had fallen from Scripture. Movements began to try to reform the Catholic Church to bring it in line with Scripture.
When these reform movements failed, the Protestant Reformation birthed new churches such as the Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches in the 1500 and 1600s. The groups shared a common God-centered doctrine that stressed the sovereignty of God, the power of grace, and the inability of man to save himself. These shared doctrines were summed up in the Five Solas, or Five Alones; Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and the Glory of God Alone. These were the first "reformed" or reformation Baptists.
Midway through the nineteenth century, a shift began to take place among Protestant churches. Their God-centered doctrine was replaced with a man-centered focus. In many denominations, this resulted in becoming unmoored from Scripture and descending into theological liberalism. In other groups such as Southern Baptists, the focus moved from discipleship to an emphasis upon decision-making and numbers, and the demands of Gospel was cheapened so that more people could easily "accept" Christ and church rolls could be padded. The result has been the formation of churches with full rolls and empty pews, many decisions but few disciples, and the substitution of stunts and personalities for the Word of God.
In the mid-twentieth century, seeing the condition of the Church and the damage the modern Gospel was doing to lost souls, some Baptist groups and churches began to reemphasize the doctrines and practices of the reformation-era Church. They put the adjective "reformed" to their names as a reaction against the man-centered doctrine of the day and a signal that they were returning to the God-centered doctrine and the Five Solas of the early Baptists. Christ Reformed Baptist Fellowship stands in this restorative movement.
Reformed Baptists have certain Doctrines and Practices
The Five Solas
The foundation stones of our doctrine are the Five Solas: Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and the Glory of God Alone. These are not mere slogans for us, but these are the very heart of our Reformed doctrine. For more on what we believe, see /about-us/what-we-believe
The Centrality of Scripture
Reformed churches hold to both the inerrancy of Scripture and the sufficiency Scripture. That means not only do we hold that the Scripture is God's Word, but that it is sufficient to do all that God wants to do in His Church without any other means. The careful expositional proclamation of Scripture, therefore, is the center of our worship. For more about our worship, see /connect/worship
We are Confessional
Reformed churches hold to a confession of faith. Our church's confession is the historical capstone of all Baptist confessions; The Second London Baptist Confession of 1689. While we affirm Sola Scriptura, we recognize our confession to be a trustworthy summary of the Scripture's teaching. You can find out more about our confession here: /about-us/what-we-believe
We are Biblically Organized
Reformed churches follow the New Testament pattern of having both a plurality of elders and deacons. Our elders shepherd, over-see, and protect the congregation and ministries of the church, while the deacons serve the church in various ministries. To see our leadership, go here: /about-us/our-leadership
We practice Biblical Worship
Reformed churches follow the biblical mandate that God has prescribed how He desires to be worshiped. We follow, therefore, what is known as the Regulative Principle of Worship; we only practice in corporate worship what Scripture specifically commands us to do. Our worship is God-centered, recognizing that He is alone the consumer, object, and focus of worship. Our worship also is simple, stressing the Ordinary Means of Grace; the reading and preaching of the Word, prayer, and observing the ordinances. For more about our worship services, go here: /connect/worship
We stress Biblical Membership
Reformed churches follow the New Testament's stress on the importance of church membership. We are held accountable to one another. Our church is not one where you can join and then hide. Although we place great importance upon what a church member should do and be, we place no expectation on members that is not explicitly stated in the New Testament. To find out more about membership at Christ Reformed, look at this page: /connect/becoming-a-member and our membership classes and membership booklet here: /resources/membership-classes-and-booklet
We have One Great Emphasis
Reformed churches see the chief aim of a life lived coram deo (in the presence of God) to be the Glory of God. Therefore, we measure our fellowship and view everything in God's Providence through the lens of making Christ First in all things. As a church, we intentionally put Christ first in our name to remind us that He is to be First in All Things.