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Our list of “non-negotiable” points are very few, and largely shared with most every other Christian tradition. Those relatively few points are:
- There is one God, who is a Trinity of Persons.
- The First Person of the Trinity, traditionally called “Father,” created all things at the beginning of time.
- Jesus Christ, the very human rabbi from 2000 years ago, was and is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, and our Savior.
- The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) are the revealed word of God, written by human beings under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who is the Third Person of the Trinity. The Bible contains all things necessary for salvation.
Certainly there is more to be said and more that can be believed about God and Jesus. Many denominations or even individual churches take very specific stances on issues or questions concerning things such as (for example) the nature of God or the method of salvation. For instance, we honor Mary as the Mother of God and she has a special place in our liturgical life, yet the emphasis in her veneration is a local parish tradition, not necessarily a tenant of the Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Church, is not bound together by a shared position on academic theological questions or by tests of doctrine. We are bound together by our love for God in Christ Jesus, by our shared traditions and experiences of God in the worship and the life of the community and by our mutual affection.