Our Subordinate Standards:
The Reformed Confessions
When asked, “What does the Bible teach?” or “How do you interpret it?” we respond with a unified voice by referring to the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed church which summarize the truths of Scripture.
Our statement of faith includes the Apostle’s Creed as well as the historic confession of the churches of the Reformation. We affirm and teach that system of doctrine which is set forth in the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession , the Heidelberg Catechism , and the Canons of Dort . These three doctrinal statements, born of the Protestant Reformation, define what it means to be “reformed .” The Consitution of our denomination states,
Article 177. The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession of Faith, and the Canons of Dort are received as authoritative expressions of the truths taught in the Holy Scriptures, and are acknowledged to be the subordinate standards of doctrine in the Reformed Church in the United States. (RCUS Constitution, Part IV. Doctrine and Worship, Section 1, Doctrine)
Heidelberg Catechism A German Reformed catechism published in 1563. It was written by Casper Olevianus and Zacharias Ursinus to define the protestant religion and to bridge the divisons among Lutheran, Calvinist, and Zwinglian believers. It is divided into three parts that parallel the path to salvation: man's guilt and misery, redemption through Christ, and thankfulness.
The Canons of Dort The Canons were compiled in 1618-1619 at the Synod of Dort, an ecumenical church council, to refute errors and clarify scripture's teaching about salvation.
Belgic Confession of Faith Written primarily by Frenchman Guy DeBres in 1561, the Confession distinguishes the Reformed Faith from divergent views such as the Roman Catholic tradition and the Anabaptist view.