Our church’s name is now Trinity Bible Chapel. This change reflects a few realities, not the least of which is that we are no longer part of the Harvest Bible Fellowship. In 2017, the Harvest Bible Fellowship ceased to exist. While we remain grateful for how God providentially used that fellowship over the last nine years of our church’s seventeen-year history, all things have their season. Harvest Bible Fellowship as well as our former name, which linked us to that fellowship, have now had their season. And thus, a new season begins.
We chose the name Trinity Bible Chapel for a few reasons. Allow me to explain.
Who we are and what we do is all because of God, who is Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each eternally distinct persons who are equally God. God is one. God is Trinity. God, the Trinity, created us. God, the Trinity, redeemed us. God, the Trinity, is founder and sustainer of this local church.
Further, the Trinitarian controversies occurred during the first few centuries after the Day of Pentecost. Through controversy and trial, God providentially guided the Church to preserve her orthodox confession of God and the Gospel. We are heirs of that ancient orthodoxy. As such, we seek to be faithful to orthodoxy by proclaiming and defending the Gospel in our own day, with the sure hope that in the end the truth of God always prevails.
We are a people of the Bible. It is the written Word of God, being understandable for the common man, inerrant, and authoritative. In the Bible, God has revealed Himself to us. We study the Bible. We learn the Bible. We trust the Bible. Why? Because the Bible tells us about our Saviour, Jesus the Friend of sinners. In it we learn about Him, about how He relates to us, and about what He expects of us. The Bible tells us that Jesus died for sinners because He loves sinners.
Further, the Protestant Reformation, which began in the sixteenth century, was a recovery of the Bible. The Medieval Church had largely buried the simple message of the Bible under layers of superstition. During the Reformation, God raised up men who called the Church back to the Bible, at the cost of their own comforts and even their own lives. We are heirs of the Protestant Reformation. As such, we want to always evaluate all things by the Bible lest we too unwittingly bury the truth in superstition like the much of the Medieval Church did.
We chose the word “chapel” to identify with the Dissenting churches of seventeenth century England. During that century, the state church required all congregations to conform to a set form of liturgy and teaching. Bound by conscience as conscience was bound by Scripture, thousands dissented from that imposition. They were Dissenters or Nonconformists. Being forced to separate from the state church many were jailed and persecuted. Their spiritual descendants were economically disadvantaged for generations. Being excluded from the official state church, they formed chapels.
In our day, we desire to uphold their convictional example. We ourselves being bound by conscience as conscience is bound by Scripture dissent from the popular non-Scriptural beliefs of our own day. By God’s grace, we will not conform to any standard that opposes Scripture, whether that standard comes from government, another religious body, or a combination of both. In that respect, we are Nonconformists. We are Dissenters. To communicate that commitment, we have chosen to call ourselves a “chapel.”
Trinity Bible Chapel is our name, and by that name we trace our spiritual lineage through ancient times back to the apostles. As Trinity Bible Chapel we root ourselves in a rich history, and we move into 2018 and beyond full of hope. We serve the God, who is Trinity, and who is covenentally faithful to us even as He is to Himself. We know Him to be faithful because the Bible tells us so, and the Bible is our central document even as it is at the center of our name. And we, likewise, want to remain covenentally faithful to Him by dissenting from and refusing to conform to any belief or practice that opposes His Word. In all of that, we uphold Jesus Christ as the only Saviour, we offer Him to a hell-bound world, and we rejoice in the salvation we share through His shed blood.
The new name reflects who we are now and truly who we’ve been for millennia. Thus we are the same church with a new name. We are Trinity Bible Chapel.