We are a Christian Church
That may seem self-evident or redundant, but it's what unite us to all other Christians in the world. What we mean is that we want to follow Jesus with all our hearts. But we do not give ourselves any credit for that desire. We are a community who recognize that we are, what the Bible calls, sinners. Having been created by God and in the image of God, we nevertheless have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
Every week in our worship we agree together that we are sinners who deserve nothing good from God. It sounds awful, but it is in fact liberating. It is liberating because Jesus came into this world to save sinners, to be a physician to those who are sick, a liberator or those in chains, a life giver to those who are dead in sin. Jesus lived, died, arose, and was exalted to deal a death blow to sin and death and forgive all those who trust in him.
We are not a Christian church because we are a moral or perfect people. We are not such people and we do not pretend to be. We are a Christian church because we believe that Jesus died for us, and we love him because he first loved us. Jesus is our light, life and hope in this life and the life to come.
We are a Reformed Church
Reformed is a word that is used in any number of contexts. When we say that we are a Reformed church what we mean is that we consider our roots to go back to the time of the Protestant Reformation and beyond. The Reformation was a recovery of biblical Christianity. The Reformation was an attempt to call the church away from man-made traditions and structures and back to a faith more rooted in the Bible itself. To put it another way, drawing on our church motto, the Reformation was an attempt to return the church to the ancient paths marked out by God in his Word.
From the earliest ages of the church there have been various attempts to summarize what the Bible says so that the church can have consensus about what it is to believe. These summaries are at various times called creeds, confessions and catechisms. At CTK we regularly confess our faith and teach from these creeds. In particular, we use the Apostles’ and Nicene Creed as our foundational statements regarding the Christian faith. We join our voices and hearts with churches across the millennia as we say these words. More particularly we teach according to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, which were among the many creeds developed throughout the time of the Reformation. We do not equate these creeds with the authority of the Bible, but we do profess them as accurately summarizing the message of the Bible.
In a world that has become skeptical of truth these ancient confessions provide a firm place to stand. If you are not familiar with the confessions, we invite you to read and study them. Being a confessional church is unusual for our day, but honestly, we love it!
We are a Presbyterian Church
Our full name is Christ the King Presbyterian Church. We are glad to be Presbyterian. It is a word from the Bible which means "elder." CTK is thus overseen by elders who are elected by the congregation. Those elders may be either “teaching” elders (pastors of the church who preach regularly and administer the sacraments) or “ruling” elders (laymen from within the congregation who care for the church), but in both cases their charge and goal is to shepherd the flock through Christ-like service.
We know that we live in an age that is skeptical of denominations for any number of reasons. We are nonetheless thankful to be part of Presbyterian Church in America. We are connected with churches around the country and most importantly with other churches in the Philadelphia area with whom we share fellowship, worship and youth ministries. But perhaps most importantly, being connected as Presbyterians provides us with a level of accountability to others. We are not on our own. We are part of a body of churches who together oversee our faith, teaching and practice. We were started by Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and thankful for our local partnership with churches from Coatesville to Harleysville and all points in between!