(This is the abridged version. See the unabridged version here.)
This Statement of Faith is a consensus reached after several years of discussion. It should be seen as a confession, showing how the teachings of the Scriptures are currently interpreted and understood by the congregations of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference.
These are the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith as they have been discerned in the Scriptures. While this statement reflects convictions inherited from the Anabaptist-Mennonite theology of the 16th-century Reformation, the Bible has been regarded as the final authority on what is to be believed.
This statement has been designed to create clarity, to give direction and to provide the basis for fellowship and working together. Because of the confessional nature of this statement, it will be normal to continue to reflect on the accuracy with which it reflects the teachings of the Scriptures.
1. The Bible
We believe that the Bible, is the Word of God. It is inspired by God and is without error in all that it teaches. It is the final authority in matters of belief and conduct. (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
We believe in only one God. He exists and reveals himself in three persons. God the Fatherof all believers and in a special way, of Jesus Christ. God the Son; fully God and fully human, without sin and the atonement for us. God the Holy Spirit; comforter, guide and equipper of believers. All persons in this trinity are fully and equally God (Matt. 6:9, 2 Pet. 3:18, John 14:16).
3. The Creation
We believe that God created the world, as revealed in the Bible, and that nothing exists apart from what God has made. (Gen. 1–2).
4. The Dignity of Human Beings
We believe that God created human beings in his own image and that every human life is sacred and must be protected (Gen. 1:26-27).
5. The Fall of the Human Race
We believe our first parents, by choice brought the whole human race into sin and separation from God, resulting in death and corrupting our relationships with God, each other and creation (Rom. 3:23).
We believe that Satan is a real spirit being who opposes God and seeks to destroy humankind (Matt. 4:1-11).
We believe that since Jesus Christ has atoned for all sin by His death, all people may now be saved by grace through their faith in Him (Eph. 2:1–10).
We believe that our relationship to Jesus Christ is to be an unconditional commitment to a total life of discipleship (1 Pet. 2:13–14).
9. The Life of Peace
We believe we are called to walk in the steps of the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace. We may not participate in or support anything that will violate this life of peace but should be peace makers and ministers of reconciliation (Matt. 5).
10. The Church
We believe all who have experienced new life in Christ belong to his body, the church. As a body, we are called to share the love of God (1 Cor. 12).
11. The Ordinances
We believe Christ has given us two ordinances: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper—and that these should be observed by the church as symbolic reminders of spiritual truths (Matt. 28:18–20, 1 Cor. 11:17-34).
12. The Resurrection
We believe Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and that all people will be raised as well, either to life or to condemnation (John 5:29).
13. The Return and Final Triumph of Christ
We believe that Jesus will return at the end of the age. He will judge the living and the dead, triumph over Satan, bring rulers and powers into subjection and destroy death itself (1 Cor. 15:24)