Sunrise Church has as its foundation the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), a branch of the world wide Church that all Christians belong to. What’s in our name? Let’s start broadly and narrow it down.
Like all Christian churches, we believe that Jesus Christ is the only true God of the whole universe and the only one who can save humankind from their sinfulness. We follow him by prayer, worship, and the study of the Bible (both the Old Testament, and the New Testament) which we believe to be the very words of God given to mankind. We believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one God, in three persons, a mysterious thing Christians call the Trinity.
In the 1500’s, Christ-followers in Europe sought to reform the Christian Church (which was only Catholic at the time) from some errors in belief and practice by a focus on the centrality of the Bible as the authority for faith and life. Most all protestant branches of Christianity find their historic roots in this era called the Protestant Reformation. It was characterized by the emphasis that God is an all-powerful, sovereign God who freely offers salvation and forgiveness of sins not through any holy works we might do, but through faith in Jesus Christ who paid the debt for our sin by becoming a man like us. He lived a perfect life, died on a Roman cross, and then rose from the dead. Reformed churches believe that we should be constantly reforming our lives to come into better alignment with the teachings of God’s Word. We also believe that apart from the grace of God, and the operation of his Holy Spirit, we cannot and would not ever do this by ourselves. Reformed churches believe that all of life belongs to God and needs the redemption of his Kingdom, therefore, everywhere you find CRC churches you will likely also find Christian schools where we can learn about all disciplines in relation to our faith.
In North America
The Reformation began protestant churches all across Europe. They were called different things in different countries. Baptists, for example, came out of the Reformation in England. Presbyterians formed from the Reformation in Scotland. Many immigrated to the United States over time. Today there are thousands of branches (denominations) of the Christian Church in North America. The Christian Reformed Church group also has churches all around the world in over 30 countries. While we began in America in the early 1800’s with a group of immigrants from the Netherlands, we are today ethnically diverse.
- If you’d like to go even deeper in learning about the CRC beliefs, please feel free to visit our denominational website at www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs.