Christ Church's heritage is rooted in the truths of Scripture that were spotlighted during a period of history called the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. This does not mean we exclude certain parts of Scripture in preference of others. It means that we acknowledge that particular time in the history of God's church as being blessed with great clarity in the thinking of some men that God used in powerful ways to refocus the church on truths that had become neglected. God's truth is good for all time, and we celebrate that God provided brilliant minds and dedicated hearts in those who were willing even to sacrifice their own safety to stand against the culture of their day to assert His timeless truths. In fact, we were first known as Christ Reformed Church as a sign that we identified closely with the Reformers.
However, that was around 1903 and change occurs over time. So, through a number of changes, we ended up being called simply Christ Church, but we are Reformed. As a Reformed church, we look to three documents that emerged from the Reformation as guides to assist us in understanding how all the parts of the Bible fit together. These three documents are called The Three Forms of Unity and they are The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confession and The Canons of Dort.
In no way do these documents outrank or replace the Bible. Our sermons come from the Bible. But in teaching, using the Heidelberg Catechism, for instance, gives us a ready reference to understand the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, what sacraments are, etc. Using creeds and catechisms gives us a strong identity, provides useful tools for training children, guards against a church slipping away from the Bible's teaching as the culture changes, and provides ready tools to assist members in explaining to friends and neighbors their faith and what the Bible says.
We are aware that many people today are afraid of old documents and only desire what is new. They may say things like, "I only need the Bible." However, people who say such things generally produce groups of people who end up following a strong personality or falling prey to cultural trends that eventually end up overshadowing or clouding certain truths of the Bible. We have found that it is best to have an objective standard as a guide and not the latest popular teacher. There is plenty of evidence that from the earliest periods of church history catechisms and creeds were used. To ignore God's powerful working in the past can be a sign of arrogance as if we believe He is now only working through us and that those who came before us were in some way inferior. We need not reinvent the wheel. We need only to be faithful to what God had established in His Word. And we are blessed to benefit from the creeds and catechisms which help unfold that Word to us.