Q: Is Veritas Church reformed?
A: It depends on what you mean by “reformed“.
Veritas church holds to “reformed theology”. By this, we mean that we largely agree with the theology that was recovered in the 16th and 17th centuries during the Protestant Reformation. We believe the reformers had it right, and recovered the theology of men like Augustine, the apostle Paul, and Jesus.
Before going forward, we should distinguish what we mean with the various words, terms, and buzzwords:
Capital “R” Reformed churches typically subscribe to one of a number of doctrinal statements collected into a systematic standard of beliefs. Good examples of this include the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the 1644 London Baptist Confession of Faith, the 1689 (or “Second”) London Baptist Confession of Faith, or the Savoy Declaration. The shorthand for “Reformed“ is “confessional”, because of the Confession the church may subscribe to.
Lower-case “r” reformed churches may not necessarily subscribe to one particular confession of faith. The shorthand for “reformed“ especially to avoid confusion in conversation is “Calvinistic”, but “Reformed” churches are also Calvinistic. In other words:
All Reformed and reformed churches are Calvinistic. Not all “reformed“ churches are “Reformed“. Does that sound confusing? We have sources at the bottom which we find helpful in distinguishing between the two.
Both Reformed and reformed churches are found to hold to the doctrines of grace, or the “Five Points of Calvinism”, being the following (though these may be stated in more or less words with more or less points):
Total Depravity – The inability of man to come to God in his natural state. Unless God calls a person to him, their inclination will be toward sin and faithlessness.
Unconditional Election – God’s choosing of people to save is not based on their merit or works. Stated another way, there is no action on one’s behalf which causes God to efficaciously call a man to repentance unto salvation.
Limited Atonement – Jesus’ death was precise and sufficient in its atonement for the elect. Jesus loses no one that he determines to save.
Irresistible Grace – Ultimately, when God determines to save people, he does so “efficaciously”, that is, God’s grace is a working grace and will not fail to save the elect. The Holy Spirit cannot be ultimately thwarted in saving the elect.
Perseverance (or Preservation) of the saints – Ultimately, the elect of God do not fall away from the Lord. God preserves the faith of the believer, and gives his Holy Spirit to maintain the perseverance of the saints, even in the midst of trials and tribulation.
This is also shorthand for “Calvinism”, but this is almost less than even a scratch in the surface.
So, is Veritas “Reformed“ or just “reformed“?
Veritas holds strong, but not full, agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. You might place us in the middle of “reformed” and “Reformed“. While not in our name (and we currently do not belong to an association, communion, or convention), you may consider Veritas to be a “Reformed Baptist” church, with a high regard for the Protestant Reformation tradition.
As Charles Spurgeon said, “reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity.”
If you’re new to reformed theology, here are some resources to help you learn more:
Veritas Church Elder Doctrinal Statement (full agreement required for eldership)