Confessional Documents

As Presbyterians, we follow the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Westminster was originally written in 1646 by the Westminster Assembly to be the confession of the Church of England. Over time it has been updated and modified until reaching its current form. The Westminster was first adopted as the official doctrine of the Presbyterian church in 1729 at the Synod of Philadelphia. At that time (and still for many Presbyterian churches) ministers were required to declare their approval and conformity to the Westminster. All Presbyterian churches acknowledge the Adopting Act of 1729 which permits "scruples" for those who differ with the Westminster on certain points. Most Presbyterian Churches, like ours, adhere to a modern english version of the 1789 revision. You can click this link to view the Westminster Confession.

To help promote Christian education, and prevent error in belief, the Westminster Catechism (also called the Westminster Longer Catechism) was written to help with the process of becoming a member of the Christian faith. The Catechism is composed as a series of questions and the corresponding correct answers. Traditionally, new or aspiring members of the church would memorize all the questions and answers over the course of 1-3 years. This process of learning and memorization is called "catechesis". Few people and even fewer churches require such intense memorization, however, the Westminster Catechism stands as the historic standard for learning correct Christian doctrine and for learning the basics of Christian apologetics. You can click this link to view the Westminster Longer Catechism.

Because children posess a shorter attention span, and have a reduced ability to learn nuanced concepts regarding the Christian faith, a shorter catechsim was developed. The Westminster Shorter Catechsim, originally written to catechise children, has become the standard for both adult and children's Christian education. The questions are simpler and the answers more succinct. Also, the Westminster Shorter Catechism is more frequently accompanied by lists of scruptural proofs than the older and longer Westminster Longer Catechsim. You can click this link to view the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

These three documents, the Confession and both Cateshisms, represent the most traditional and orthodox version of the Presbyterian Church's doctrines. Each church enjoys free expression of character in how much it adheres to these documents. There is frequently great diversity from one congregation to the next even within the same denomination.

We at Faith Presbyterian Church enjoy a great diversity of opinion in our congregation regarding the subtlties of the Westminster documents. We have many members who prefer the Heidelberg, 2nd London Baptist, or other confessions. But, with this diversity of opinion we hold dear to our hearts a shared love for Christ, and His bride the Church.

If you would like more information about these or any other confessional documents, please feel free to write, email, or simply stop by during office hours or during the week.

Westminster Confession of Faith

Westminster Longer Catechsim

Westminster Shorter Catechism