Creeds

I fully accept the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. The following statement is intended as a more definitive and clarified statement of belief.

I. Of the Holy Trinity and God The Father
There is but one living and true God, eternal, transcendent and immanent; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Creator, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead there are three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men, but He is spiritual Father only to believers. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass based on the individual's freely chosen response to His offer of salvation. In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin, nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own, which are those who freely choose to accept His offer of salvation in Christ; He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as his own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own.
(Genesis 1:1; Matthew 28:19; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4; John 4:24; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Psalm 145:8-9; Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 4:6; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 1:11; 1 Chronicles 29:11; John 8:38-47; 1 Peter 1:17; Ephesians 1:4-6; John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9)
II. Of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate and Savior
Jesus Christ, the Son, is the Word of the Father, eternally begotten of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial. Jesus took human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, of the blessed Virgin's substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Divinity and Humanity, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried, to reconcile us to His Father, and to be a sacrifice for the sins of all men. Christ lived the ideal and perfect human life in sinlessness and perfect submission to the will of God the Father. Christ in the human nature was like us in all things, except for sin, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, would take away the sins of the world, and sin, as the Apostle John testified, was not in him. In the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes. Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and in that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive. He truly rose again bodily from death, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the human body; our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He mediates as our Advocate and High Priest. He will return to judge all humanity at the last day and to reign in the New Jerusalem. Salvation is only in His name.
(John 3:16,17; 1 Timothy 2:3,4; John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:2; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18; John 10:30; John 14:9; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; John 5:23; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23,25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1; John 10:15; Revelation 20; John 5:22-23)
III. Of The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truthfulness. In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to humanity. We must recognize His sovereign activity in creation, the incarnation, the written revelation, and the work of salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His Church. His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Sacred Scriptures. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the Church and glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He glorifies Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith. All baptized Christians receive spiritual gifts according to the will of God. There are important spiritual gifts that endure in the Church to our day for the edification and equipping of the saints. Examples of these gifts include; Ministry (Helps), Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership, Administering (Guidance), Discernment (of Spirits or Truth from Error), Healing, Mercy, Cheerfulness, Chastity and love.
(1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 9:14; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; Romans 15:13; John 16:13; Matthew 28:19; Genesis 1:2; Matthew 1:18; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 3:5-7; John 14:16-17; John 16:7-9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; John 16:13; Acts 1:8)
IV. Of the Nature and Fall of Humanity
Humanity was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Humanity was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self determination, and moral responsibility to God. God’s intention in the creation of humanity was that we should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for us in the world. While God created man and woman perfect, they turned from Him into sin. This is known as “the Fall of Man”. Since then all men and women inherit depravity, a proclivity to sin, and need a Savior to deliver them from sin. Inherited Depravity is the corruption of the Nature of every person, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is no longer in the original state of righteousness Adam lived in before his sin, and is of his own nature inclined to sin and rebellion, so that the disordered lusts of the flesh are always contrary to the spirit; and therefore every person born deserves God's wrath and damnation. Inherited Depravity remains in those who are regenerated until they seek to be fully surrendered to God and entirely sanctified. Along with this, we believe that children are innocent until they have reached the age of accountability and are able to choose whether they will follow God or live in sin.
(Genesis 2:16,17; Genesis 2:7; James 3:9; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11; John 3:36; 1 John 1:8; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18)
V. Of the Atonement
Salvation is wholly the gift of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the Christian is “born again” and granted forgiveness of sins, and right standing before God (justification). At the same instant the regenerated believer is declared by God to be holy (sanctified). All of this is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God, when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit, and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God. This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(John 3:3-7; John 5:24; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:33; Luke 13:3; Romans 2:4; Romans 3:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:13)

VI. Of the Afterlife
At death the righteous enter at once into conscious joy and fellowship with Christ, while the wicked are in a state of conscious suffering. I believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead: the just unto life eternal in the presence of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever to enjoy the riches of His grace; the unjust unto eternal death to suffer the righteous wrath of God in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I believe that in the consummation God will create a new heaven and a new earth which will be the eternal habitation of the righteous. God Himself will dwell among us. All sorrow, pain and death will have passed away.
(Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:34, 41; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22, 23; John 5:22; I Corinthians 15:24, 35-58; II Corinthians 5:1-4; Philippians 1:23; I Thessalonians 4:13-5:4; I Peter 1:4; II Peter 3:3-13; Revelation 15:3; 21:4; 22:3. Daniel 2:44; 7:14, 18, 27; Matthew 24:30, 44; Revelation 1:7; 11:15; 19:16; 20:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16; John 14:3; Isaiah 9:7; 40:10-11; Hebrews 7:24; Jeremiah 23:5; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 1:11; 3:21; 15:16.)
VII. Of the Holy Angels
The angels who remained faithful to God serve as ministering spirits to those responding to God’s calling. Though angels are of an order higher than humanity, they are limited in their nature and not to be worshiped, venerated or prayed to. They were created to serve God and worship Him and are creatures of personality, will, and intellect.
(Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14)
VIII. Of Satan and the Rebellious Angels
Satan is an angel, and former “covering cherub,” originally known as Lucifer, who rebelled against God’s authority and became Satan, or the devil. It is Satan who is referred to as the serpent in the Genesis account of the fall of humanity. As Lucifer, he influenced one-third of the angels to follow him in rebellion. Those who followed him are now fallen angels, known as evil spirits known and demons. Satan is the adversary of both God and humanity. He and the other fallen angels influence mankind to reject God and His Gospel. These evil spirits have been allowed temporary dominion over the earth and deceive many.
(Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14: Genesis 3:1-15)
IX. Of the Last Things
The Eternal Sovereign God, who created all things and upholds all things by the word of His power, in the fullness of time will gather together all things in Christ. As commanded by Christ and His apostles, the Church is to witness to the hope of the coming Kingdom ushered in by the glorious personal return of Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, as the consummation draws nearer, evil men and seducers will become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, iniquity will abound, false prophets and false "christs" will arise, and the love of many will grow cold, resulting in widespread apostasy among churches. With confidence in the promise of Jesus, we know that “he that endures to the end shall be saved.” Furthermore, there will eventually be a central false Christ (the Anti-Christ) who will appear in the Last Days, who will wage war against the saints. Christians will indeed go through this Tribulation period.
Christ will return upon the clouds of heaven in power and glory. With the sound of a trumpet blast, He will bodily resurrect the dead, as well as transform the bodies of living Christians from mortal to immortal. His mighty angels will gather all of the redeemed to meet Him, and from there we will accompany Him to Jerusalem where He will defeat the Antichrist and his armies.

Jesus will proceed to set up His Kingdom and rule the nations from the throne of his father David, in the New Jerusalem making his enemies a footstool for his feet. This begins the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ, the long awaited Sabbath Rest. During this time Satan will be bound and the saints will live in their promised inheritance. This is not to suggest that the reign of Christ will have an end, but only that His reign will be in its 1,000th year when he, as Sacred Scripture tells us, will loose Satan once more and then finally end Satan's influence eternally.
(2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Matthew 24:27-31; Revelation 16; Revelation 20:4-6; Matthew 25:31; Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 20:1-7; Revelation 19: 11-16; Revelation 20:10; John 5:28-29; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:2; 1 Corinthians 15:28)
X. Of Sacred Scripture
The Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation, inspired in every word, inerrant in its original autographs, infallible and God breathed. The Holy Spirit superintended the human authors so that, through their individual personalities and styles of writing, they composed God's word to humanity without error in whole or in part. Sacred Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not contained therein, nor can be proved thereby, is not to be considered as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. The Sacred Scriptures are those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church, and which is supported by the Patristic witness. There is no contradiction between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the New Covenant we are not bound by obedience to the Specific Applications of the Old Covenant Law, but are bound by the the Universal Principles they are founded upon.
(1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21

XI. Of the Apocrypha

Those writings known as the Apocrypha are not to be considered canon, but are only of historical interest to the Church. No doctrine should be based on these writings whatsoever.
XII. Of the Church Fathers
The Church Fathers collectively form the central and essential corpus of thought by which we interpret (when necessary) the words of the Scriptures, though scripture generally interprets itself. The doctrines of the faith were faithfully handed down by our Lord's Twelve Apostles to their students, many of whom were to become what we know as Church Fathers; who in turn have left us a record of their teachings. The Church Fathers are not infallible. Everything they state must be viewed through the lens of the entirety of Scripture. However when they unanimously speak in one accord on matters in which Scripture is perhaps unclear or silent, or on issues of Apostolic Tradition, we accept their thoughts as the best guide and commentary we have. The belief that doctrine changes and evolves from that which was given to the church by the Apostles of Christ is rejected completely. Our comprehension of that faith has simply increased. Where the Church Fathers and the Scriptures are in absolute agreement, the Church conforms. Where there is room for variation, the Church allows for diversity.

XIII. Of the Church and Kingdom Message

The visible Church of Jesus Christ is a congregation of the Faithful, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance. The Kingdom of God is the central part of the Gospel message, and the message the Church is to preach. It is presented in Sacred Scripture as both a present reality and a future hope. Each disciple serves Christ the King, and should obey Him as a loyal citizen of His Kingdom which knows no national boundaries. The Kingdom of God is made up of redeemed people from all nations, races, and tongues. God’s Kingdom will be realized in its fullness at the end of the age when Jesus Christ returns to earth. At that time He will rule the nations with His saints from Jerusalem as King of kings. Both the present and the future aspects of the Kingdom of God are important and should be preached along with salvation in Christ.
XIV. Of the Authority of the Church
The Church has the authority to pronounce the forgiveness of sins, to establish orthodox forms of worship, and authority in controversies of Faith: And yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word, nor establish doctrine on non-biblical sources. While the Church is the witness and a keeper of Sacred Scripture, it cannot establish any doctrine or practice that contradicts the Word of God.
XV. Of the Historic Church Councils
The Seven Ecumenical Councils, in so far as their conclusions meet the criteria of both Biblical orthodoxy and Patristic unanimity, are authoritative. Those things from the councils that do not meet this criteria are rejected.
It is the normative and biblical method for the Church to meet in council in addressing issues of import to the Body of Christ. However, it is essential that every declaration of such councils be biblically orthodox, and if not, such declarations cannot in any way be held as essential for salvation, nor binding on the faithful, who are duty bound to reject such things.
XVI. Of the Sacraments
The sacraments, established by Christ, are not mere symbols of the Christian's profession of faith, but rather are sure witnesses, and an effectual means of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he works in us to bring us closer to the image of His Son, and strengthens and confirms our Faith in Him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ in the Gospel; Baptism, and the Holy Eucharist. It is plainly exemplified in the Word of God, and was the custom of the Ancient Church, to pray, preach, teach and to minister the Sacraments in the language of the people. This does not mean that one could not, on special occasions, use one of the biblical languages in worship, but this in no way should be normative.
XVII. Of Baptism
Baptism is not only a sign of our profession of faith in Christ, but also a sign of our Regeneration or new Birth. It demonstrates identification with Christ in death and resurrection, and the commitment to follow Christ in a life of faithful discipleship. Candidates for Baptism must repent, turn to Christ as Savior in sincere faith, and accept Him as Lord. Therefore, only believers who have reached the age of accountability (not infants) are to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Recognizing the Didache as an authoritative historic church document, pouring is an approved mode of baptism in case of necessity, though not the normative form. The normative form of baptism is by full bodily immersion in a body of water.
XVIII. Of the Holy Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death. The Eucharist (The Lord's Supper, or Communion) is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ to establish the New Covenant. The bread and the wine commemorate the sacrifice of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. By observing the Holy Eucharist, we also proclaim our spiritual life in Him as well as the spiritual unity and fellowship of the mystical Body of Christ. Only those who have peace with God (baptized Christians not living in willful sin) and with their fellow men, and who share in the faith of the church should receive the Eucharist. The Faithful should examine themselves and avoid partaking of Communion carelessly or while living in willful sin. The Holy Eucharist should be regularly (weekly) and faithfully observed until the Lord returns. According to his promise, Jesus Christ is truly present during the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist. Thus it should be approached with all humility, reverence and awe. Neither element (Bread and Wine) is to be denied to any of the Faithful, for by Christ’s institution, both elements are a part of the Lord’s Supper. 
(Luke 22:19, 20; I Corinthians 5:13; 10:16, 17; 11:24, 26.)
XIX. Of the Calling of Clergy
It is not biblical for any man to take upon him the office of preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Church, before he is called, and sent by the elders. Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, are not commanded by the Gospel, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion Christian women of virtue and sincere faith.
XX. Of the Historical Orders of Clergy
The Sacred Scriptures and Patristic witness unanimously testify to the threefold orders of ministry in Christ's Church. These are the bishop, the presbyter, and the deacon. In unity with Sacred Scripture, and in accordance with the created order, only heterosexual men may serve as clergy in Christ's Church. The episcopate is the greater ministerial authority of the church, for the bishop (overseer), as the direct successor of the ministry of the apostles, has the ultimate responsibility for the care of those souls which have been committed to him. Selected from among the presbyters of the church, a bishop is called to preach, evangelize, teach, administer the sacraments, boldly rebuke vice and sin in both the individual lives of the faithful as well as the public life of the church, to provide for the education of his clergy and for their spiritual well-being, and to ensure that the faith of the Church is ever maintained whole and inviolate. The presbyter constitutes the lesser ministerial authority of the church. Presbyters are ordained for a particular ministry with regard to the proclamation of the Word, evangelism, administration of the sacraments, congregational leadership, the equipping of the saints for service in the local church, discipleship, and spiritual direction. The presbyter is a type of "father" of the congregation he serves, and should care for them as his family. Presbyters must be of strong spiritual character and when possible they should be called from within the local Christian community they will serve. The express purpose of the diaconate is that of a service ministry which was instituted in the Acts of the Apostles. Deacons and Deaconesses are set apart for a particular ministry with regard to benevolence, instruction, mercy, and evangelism. Deacons and deaconesses should be selected by the local congregation and presented to a bishop for ordination. The deaconess never holds a role of authority or teaching over men, but serves the specific needs of the women of the congregation where a presbyter needs such assistance.
XXI. Of Apostolic Succession
The Scriptural norm for passing on ministerial authority is rooted in the laying on of hands by the apostles, together with prayer. The Ancient Church witnessed to, and Christianity has maintained this line of tactile succession, known as Apostolic Succession. It is a given, however, that the mere tactile lineage back to the apostles is not a guarantee of orthodox Biblical teaching. Adherence to apostolic, orthodox Biblical teaching is the fundamental component of true Apostolic Succession. Therefore Apostolic Succession consists of a succession of faith and orthodox Biblical teaching that grants the fullest authority, which is spiritually linked (and sometimes also physically linked by tactile lineage) to Christ and the apostles. Adherence to Apostolic Tradition and orthodox Biblical Teaching (according to the common consensus of the church) is more important than the tactile succession, since it is Christ, not the episcopate, that saves, and thus authority exists where the Gospel is faithfully preached.
XXII. Of Creation
The Sacred Scriptures with regard to Creation are to be accepted in their literal, grammatical historical interpretation of Genesis which affirms that God created all that exists in six literal 24 hour periods. The pseudo-science known as Evolutionary Theory is rejected, as is the worldview of Organized Atheistic Naturalism.
(Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17)

XXIII. Of Saints

Scripture is clear that all true Christians are saints, in the broadest sense of the term. Throughout church history, however, there have been exemplary witnesses of a life lived in keeping with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in abundance. Some of these men and women were martyred for their witness during the persecutions of the church, others simply lived an exemplary sanctified life. These people we look to as examples of holiness, and thus as special examples to us. Many of these are remembered on specific days, so as to bring to mind their witness and encourage us to the same fervent spiritual life and boldness in Christ. We should never pray to them, nor "venerate" their images, or light candles before them. We should simply remember their contribution to the Church and their powerful witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we can say with certainty that there are men and women alive today who would fit this role, and thus are saints.
XXIV. Of the Christian and Government
Civil government is ordained of God to maintain law and order in society. Christians should seek to obey the New Testament commands to render due honor to the civil authorities, to pay taxes, to obey all the laws which do not come into direct conflict with the higher law of God, and to pray for our rulers. The Church should also witness to the civil authorities of God’s redeeming love in Christ and be the moral compass of the State to ensure a healthy culture. Christians are forbidden from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or Christian organizations to resolve personal disputes.

(Acts 4:19; 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 1:20-22; 5:23; I Timothy 2:1, 2. I Cor. 6:1-8, Eph. 4:31-32)
XXV. Of Excommunication and Penance
That person who by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from fellowship, and excommunicated, should be compassionately warned by the Faithful of the need to return to the orthodox faith, but otherwise not associated with (save they be family). Those who after heeding the warning choose to come to the Church with a contrite heart and in a spirit of repentance should be received once again by the bishop or presbyter.
XXVI. Of Tradition
It is not necessary that all traditions and ceremonies be the same in every church, since the Ancient Church was diverse in this area, and various traditions arose in different cultures. This said, no tradition can be held that defies Sacred Scripture or the witness of the Ancient Church. Furthermore, the only inviolable traditions of the Church are those known as Apostolic Tradition, which are attested to in the Patristic witness and supported by Sacred Scripture.
XXVII. Of Gender Roles
In the order of creation God has fitted man and woman for different functions. Man has been given a primary leadership role; woman is especially fitted for nurture and service. I believe that, in their relation to the Lord, men and women are equal, for in Christ there is neither male nor female. Being in Christ does not nullify our natural endowments, either in the home or in the church. The New Testament symbols of man’s headship are his short hair and uncovered head while praying or teaching, and the symbols of woman’s role are her naturally long hair and her veiled (covered) head. The acceptance by both men and women of the order of creation in no way limits their freedom in Christ but rather ensures their finding the respective role in which they can most fruitfully and happily serve the Lord. I believe that both Sacred Scripture and the writings of the Ancient Church witness to the practice of women wearing veils or head coverings in the congregation.

(Genesis 2:18-25; I Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28.)


XXVIII. Of Images and Art in the Church

God has strictly commanded us not to create images for use as false gods (i.e. the object of veneration). At the same time, God has also commanded the creation of images for use as aids in worship. The Ark of the Covenant with its cherubim is an example. Another example would be the curtains in the Tabernacle that held images of Cherubim before the Israelites. Clearly images are not evil in and of themselves, but have even been used by God to teach lessons and symbolize important spiritual concepts. Thus, in keeping with this precept, I believe that it is proper to adorn the churches and homes of the faithful with images depicting the life of Christ and the saints of the church whose examples help us on our own journey of faith. These images are not to be worshiped or venerated, nor are they to be viewed as somehow being more than what they are–artwork that help us to recall and express the majesty and awe of God, and the example of his saints. We should never offer incense before them, light candles before them, kneel to pray before them, nor in any way consider them anything other than visual reminders of the Gospel and the goal of personal holiness and sanctification.
XXIX. Of Music in Worship
God has approved of music in worship of Him. We find this in the Temple at Jerusalem, and in the Psalms of David. Music, when properly produced, is ordered, beautiful, uplifting, and causes us to muse on the things of God. It is proper that music and musical instruments be used in the Church to bring God honor, and glory, and praise; and that such music must reflect the order and beauty of God, the Creator of music. Thus music that is “classical”, and the use of the human voice accompanied by such music in either hymnody or plainsong are the preferred forms of musical worship.