Along with our guiding principles and core beliefs affirmed in the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Heidelberg Catechism, this congregation affirms the beliefs of the historical Reformation in the Five Solas and the biblical Reformed doctrine known as Calvinism.


Scripture alone: The basic principle of the Reformation, this is the belief that Scripture alone is God’s inspired Word, authored by God alone. It is true, inerrant (without error), infallible (unable to have error), sufficient, and the final authority for the Church. (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:21)

Christ alone: Jesus Christ alone is God’s atoning sacrifice to save His people. It is by His blood shed, not any work of our own, that we are saved. (John 1:1; John 1:14; Romans 3:10; Romans 3:21-26)

Faith alone: We receive redemption through faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 2:15–3:14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9)

Grace alone: If the work of Christ is the basis of our standing before God, if we are justified by God not on the basis of our works but only through faith in the works of his Son, then it follows that our salvation is by grace and by grace alone. (Romans 9:16; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 13:48–50; Ephesians 2:8–10; Philippians 1:29–30; 2 Peter 1; John 6)

Glory to God alone: Recognizing the four truths above, our response as the sinful, redeemed creation is to offer Glory to God alone, the Creator. (Colossians 3:17, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 10:31)


Total Depravity: Each person is born stained with sin. Our bodies, minds, and wills are totally depraved and unable to do anything good on our own. Our natural inclination is to sin, not love God. We are incapable of keeping His law. Since we are still made in the Image of God, we do however have His characteristics such as the capacity to love, but sin has depraved us of the ability and will to do it on our own, making us spiritually dead. Nothing we do can save us from the wrath of the holy, righteous, just God. (Psalm 14, Romans 1, Romans 3, Romans 8, Ephesians 2)

Unconditional Election: Or “Sovereign Election.” Being spiritually dead, there is nothing we can do to reconcile ourselves to God and secure our own salvation. God’s rescuing of sinners is entirely His own election and decision. Scripture is clear that God saves us by the blood of Jesus according to His own grace, not on the condition of works or response to His grace. Thus, the election is unconditional. (Ephesians 1, Titus 3, Romans 8, 2 Timothy 1, Acts 13, Matthew 1, John 6, John 10)

Limited Atonement: Or “Definite Atonement.” Not everyone in this life will inherit the next life. Atonement is limited (and definite) to those who submit their lives to Jesus and forsake their sin; those elected by God. (Acts 13)

Irresistible Grace: Or “Effectual Calling.” Two calls need to be distinguished. With the outward call, the gospel is preached and a call to salvation is extended to everyone who hears the message. But this outward call will be resisted. It will not bring sinners to Christ because men by nature are dead in sin and enslaved by the devil. To bring sinners to salvation, the triune God must extend to them a special, inward, irresistible call in addition to the outward call contained in the gospel message. The electing Father is the great Inviter who does this calling. But the effectual call is also God’s living voice in Jesus Christ. (John 6, Romans 8, Isaiah 45, Acts 7, Ephesians 2)

Perseverance of the Saints: Once someone is saved, they will always be saved and can never become “unsaved.” Those saved will certainly continue to stumble and sin, but their salvation cannot be lost. Those who are among His saints will persevere. (John 5, John 10, Romans 8)


The Triune God: There is one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each equally deserving worship and obedience. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 4:35, Isaiah 45:5-7 & 11-12; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

God is at work: The scriptures teach us that God is relentlessly at work in the lives of His people. The Spirit that indwells us is convicting us of sin and driving us to Christ; Jesus is at work ruling and reigning as king, building His Church and interceding for us; The Father is at work sustaining all things and actively loving us as He draws us to Himself through His Son Jesus. This understanding gives us confidence to join God in the work He is already doing. (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:1, Revelation 1:1, John 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17, John 1:1, 16:12-15, Matthew 11:27, Revelation 1:1, 2 Corinthians 5:19, Matthew 1:21, John 4:42, Genesis 1:2, Job 26:13, Psalm 104:30, John 16:12-15, Ephesians 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21, John 3:6, Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2, Isaiah 61:1, Acts 10:38)

The Scripture: The Bible is our only infallible rule of faith and practice: God-breathed, and authoritative in our lives and in our Church. A high view of scripture is displayed as we seek to understand God’s Word through study and faithful preaching. So, instead of approaching scripture with the goal of interpreting it through our own lens of what is acceptable to us, we allow it to interpret and examine us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Gospel: The Gospel is “The Good News” of changed lives. It is the message of the person and work of Jesus Christ to reconcile us to the Father through His life, death and resurrection. We encourage our members to proclaim and apply the gospel boldly. (Romans 1:16, 10:14-17, 2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Fellowship: One of the primary purposes of the church is to encourage fellowship, partnership, and association within our congregation. We will stand arm and arm sharing encouragement, ideas, and resources as we serve God in our respective spheres of influence. We place a high value on encouraging each other to fellowship toward kingdom advancement. (Acts 2:42, Romans 12:10, Colossians 3:16)

Discipleship: The Great Commission commands us as Christ followers to make disciples, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them as Jesus taught. We urge ourselves to be disciples who make disciples. The natural response of a healthy vibrant faith is to see others come to know Jesus and to know Him more deeply. This work is accomplished as we reproduce new disciples, ministries, and churches; and as we encourage growth in grace in one another. (Matthew 28:16-20, 2 Timothy 2:1-2, Hebrews 3:12-14)

Mission: We believe that the call of all believers and all churches is to be on mission for the Gospel. We should be on mission and serve with our resources, prayers, and works, and to proclaim with great expectation the Gospel of Jesus Christ locally, nationally, and around the world. Also, we look for opportunities to partner together in missions. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:5, John 20:21, Acts 1:8)

Reformation: Recognizing that God is sovereign and glorious in Himself alone, Reformation is the ongoing theological renewal of biblical Christianity in our lives and in the church. We believe that this reformation is an ongoing process and therefore churches will at times in the course of their history need revitalization and renewal. We encourage our members to regularly examine their priorities and practices with the goal of being both rooted in the historic faith and able to understand their congregation and communities to ensure they are vibrant and winsome in our ministries. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:16-21, 2 Timothy 3:13-17)

The Image of God: The Bible clearly teaches that each human being is created in the image of God and has intrinsic dignity and value. This is the guiding principle for our views on the sanctity of life at every stage. (Genesis 1:26-27)


We affirm the Biblical principle of the sanctity of human life. We also understand the sensitivity of this issue and are filled with Christian love for those affected by abortions. Still, we are unashamedly pro-life. (Exodus 20:13, Isaiah 44:2, Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Matthew 5)

Adoption & Orphans
Scripture commands the Church to take care of the orphan. Aligning with the sanctity of human life, adoption and fostering of children found motherless and fatherless through death or abandonment is something Christians are called to do. (Psalm 68:5, James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 82:3, Deuteronomy 10:18)

We affirm that Scripture commands baptism, understanding that salvation is through Christ alone. (Genesis 9:9, Psalm 22:9-10, John 3, Acts 2:33-39, Galatians 3:26-29 1 Peter 3:19-22, Hebrews 9-10, Luke 18:15-16)

Belief in the Infallibility and Authority of Scripture
We believe that all Scripture is ‘God-breathed’; therefore, Scripture is holy, infallible, and our authority for life and faith. (2 Timothy 3:16, Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12-14, Romans 15:4, Matthew 4:4, John 1:1)

Our Church practices Confirmation and affirms the value of this historical tradition in discipling adolescents into membership of the local church. (Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, Deutoronomy 31:12-13, Genesis 18:19, 3 John 1:4)

Cross of Jesus and Blood Atonement of Christ
Necessary for salvation and taught with reverence, respect, and grateful hearts. (Colossians 1:15-23, Hebrews 9:11-28, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1, Matthew 26:28, Hebrews 13:11-15)

Church Planting
The Scripture is clear that we are to go and make disciples. Salem supports the planting of churches locally and globally. (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 16:18, Hebrews 10:25, Acts)

Emphasis on Missions
The Church is called to be on mission to spread the Good News locally and globally. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 5:19-20, Mark 16:15, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Isaiah 65)

Human Sexuality
The biblical guidelines for human sexuality: marriage as the union of one born biologically man and one born biologically woman, fidelity and holiness in marriage and chastity outside of marriage for the sake of the Kingdom. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:18-24, Matthew 19:4-6, Romans 1:18-27)

Inclusive Language
Biblical language clearly uses the masculine references to God (Father, Lord, He) and are affirmed. Modern documents, in language dealing with humans, are more inclusive. (1 John 3, Matthew 6, John 14:23, John 14:6, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Isaiah 9:6, Revelation 3:5)

Lord’s Supper
Salem practices open communion; those who believe Jesus is the only way to salvation and affirm their faith in Him are able to participate in the Lord’s Supper. (Matthew 26:26-30, Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 11:26)

Non-Christian Religions
Christ is the only Savior of the world. Religions or positions that teach Jesus Christ as a pathway to salvation, instead of the pathway to salvation teach a false gospel that leads to eternal separation from God called Hell. (John 14:6)

Two: Baptism and Lord’s Supper. (Matthew 3:13-17, 18:19-20, 26:26-30)

Widows & Single Parents
Jesus commands the Church to care for and attend the needs of widows, unmarried mothers or fathers, and their children. (Psalm 68:5, James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 82:3, Deuteronomy 10:18)

Local Church Polity
Our Church is independent and self-governing but part of the One, Holy, Catholic (Universal) Christian Church. The Consistory (Board of Trustees) acts on behalf of the Congregation on issues not specifically denied it by the Congregation, with Authority from God through the Congregation. (Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4, 1 Timothy 3:8-13)


Wording, verbage, and explanations include references from:
Evangelical Association of Reformed & Congregational Christian Churches
The Gospel Coalition
Ligonier Ministries
Reasonable Theology; Clayton Kraby
R.C. Sproul