Sunday, December 17, 2017

 Third Congregational Church    

Established 1773  

 94 Miner Street, Middletown, CT 06457  

860-632-0733  

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 Third Congregational Church    

Established 1773  

 94 Miner Street, Middletown, CT 06457  

860-632-0733  

Facebook 

Directions - Mapquest

Westfield Community Carnival Westfield Community Carnival Westfield Community Carnival

What Does a Congregationalist Believe


Congregationalists accept the Bible as a sufficient rule in matters of faith and practice. They seek to base their doctrine, their conduct, and their church government, upon Scriptural foundations. What then is the content of Congregational faith and practice and how does it harmonize with the Bible?

As adherents to the historic Christian faith, Congregationalists subscribe to the tenets of the Apostles' Creed. The congregational movement was inspired and shaped by the Protestant Reformation. As Protestants, Congregationalists have also subscribed to the traditional doctrinal statements and confessions that have defined Protestant Christianity.

The great central text of Congregationalism is Matthew 18:18-20, in which Christ says to the early Church:

Truly, I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.

From this passage we draw several principles of faith which distinguish Congregationalists from many other Christian churches. These are:

THE DIRECT HEADSHIP OF CHRIST OVER THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE COMPLETENESS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCHES

THE DIRECT HEADSHIP OF CHRIST OVER THE LOCAL CHURCH is affirmed in Matthew 18:20. Even the smallest gathering of saints in a particular locality is blessed by the presence of Christ. The promise of Jesus that "where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them," is an assurance that the worship, work and ministry of the local church does not depend on the authority of 'any outside ecclesiastical councils, but is derived from Jesus himself. Christ is the guiding head over every local congregation.

THE COMPLETENESS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH is based upon Christ's words to the Church; "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 18:18) This means that God has given to the local Church every power necessary for its spiritual functions. The local Church does not need the authority or a pope or general council or any body external to itself in order to do the Lord's work.
 
THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
Congregationalism is that system of church organization which recognizes the equal rights of all believers, the independence and autonomy of the local church, and the association of the Churches through voluntary organizations devised for fellowship and cooperation. Self-government under God is the distinct witness of churches of the congregational order. It is worth remembering that the most popular polity in the United States is congregational. In practical terms, Autonomy means that a local Church is free from the dictates or decisions of outside ecclesiastical councils.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCHES
In the New Testament we find the Churches associated with one another as equals. The early Churches lived together in an atmosphere of mutual love, not in a relationship of dominance and submission. Congregationalists, following their example, have companied together in regional and national associations because they have wanted to, not because they have been forced to.

Any organization which claims to be congregational in polity will therefore have these four marks, clearly stated and visibly practiced:

   1. It will specifically honor the Headship of Christ in each local gathered Church;
   2. It will exalt the spiritual completeness of each local Church;
   3. It will acknowledge, respect, and defend the autonomy of each local Church;
   4. And it will recognize Christian fellowship, not ecclesiastical law, as the tie that binds our Churches together
.

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What Does a Congregationalist Believe


Congregationalists accept the Bible as a sufficient rule in matters of faith and practice. They seek to base their doctrine, their conduct, and their church government, upon Scriptural foundations. What then is the content of Congregational faith and practice and how does it harmonize with the Bible?

As adherents to the historic Christian faith, Congregationalists subscribe to the tenets of the Apostles' Creed. The congregational movement was inspired and shaped by the Protestant Reformation. As Protestants, Congregationalists have also subscribed to the traditional doctrinal statements and confessions that have defined Protestant Christianity.

The great central text of Congregationalism is Matthew 18:18-20, in which Christ says to the early Church:

Truly, I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.

From this passage we draw several principles of faith which distinguish Congregationalists from many other Christian churches. These are:

THE DIRECT HEADSHIP OF CHRIST OVER THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE COMPLETENESS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCHES

THE DIRECT HEADSHIP OF CHRIST OVER THE LOCAL CHURCH is affirmed in Matthew 18:20. Even the smallest gathering of saints in a particular locality is blessed by the presence of Christ. The promise of Jesus that "where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them," is an assurance that the worship, work and ministry of the local church does not depend on the authority of 'any outside ecclesiastical councils, but is derived from Jesus himself. Christ is the guiding head over every local congregation.

THE COMPLETENESS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH is based upon Christ's words to the Church; "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 18:18) This means that God has given to the local Church every power necessary for its spiritual functions. The local Church does not need the authority or a pope or general council or any body external to itself in order to do the Lord's work.
 
THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
Congregationalism is that system of church organization which recognizes the equal rights of all believers, the independence and autonomy of the local church, and the association of the Churches through voluntary organizations devised for fellowship and cooperation. Self-government under God is the distinct witness of churches of the congregational order. It is worth remembering that the most popular polity in the United States is congregational. In practical terms, Autonomy means that a local Church is free from the dictates or decisions of outside ecclesiastical councils.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CHURCHES
In the New Testament we find the Churches associated with one another as equals. The early Churches lived together in an atmosphere of mutual love, not in a relationship of dominance and submission. Congregationalists, following their example, have companied together in regional and national associations because they have wanted to, not because they have been forced to.

Any organization which claims to be congregational in polity will therefore have these four marks, clearly stated and visibly practiced:

   1. It will specifically honor the Headship of Christ in each local gathered Church;
   2. It will exalt the spiritual completeness of each local Church;
   3. It will acknowledge, respect, and defend the autonomy of each local Church;
   4. And it will recognize Christian fellowship, not ecclesiastical law, as the tie that binds our Churches together
.

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Third Congregational Church - 94 Miner Street Middletown, CT 06457 - 860-632-0733 

Third Congregational Church - 94 Miner Street Middletown, CT 06457 - 860-632-0733 

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