One of the first things that we ought to ask about a church is, “What do they believe and teach?” The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and said that the church is “a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Jude wrote elsewhere saying, “I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:4). These examples demonstrate the necessity for sound doctrine in the church and in the lives of God’s people.
As part of the PCA, Berean Presbyterian Church is a confessional church. This means our Elders, including any pastors, confess, believe, and teach one of the historic, reformed confessions articulated and written after the Protestant Reformation. Specifically, the PCA holds to The Westminster Standards. While it’s impossible to discuss every detail or application of some doctrine here, our confessions cover much ground. When we are asked, “What does the Bible teach?” The Westminster Standards help us give a clear and concise answer in the spirit of Scripture: “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God…” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
The Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith, Larger Catechism, & Shorter Catechism) were originally published in the 17th Century, and many consider them the gold standard of Reformed Theology. At its founding, the PCA adopted these documents as its standards, albeit with a slightly revised version of the Confession of Faith from the 18th Century with updated language regarding the relationship between Church and State. These documents never usurp the authority of the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, the Holy Scriptures; rather, while subordinate to Scripture, we believe these documents to be the correct and true exposition and summary of what Scripture teaches.
Berean (and the PCA broadly) have submitted themselves to the Book of Church Order (BCO). We are bound by our ordination oaths to abide by this document as we believe it is consistent with Scripture in its general principles. Like The Westminster Standards, the BCO never usurps the authority of Scripture, but while remaining a subordinate document, it helps us operate and govern according to Scripture.
Finally, as we are lower-case “c” catholic (meaning universal), we would affirm the historic ecumenical creeds which have undergirded the Church’s doctrinal confession for centuries concerning those matters which are essential for one to be considered truly Christian. These are the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Chalcedonian Definition.