Statement Of Faith Essentials
We recognize that within Christianity there are genuine and sincere believers who have differing views on various doctrines. However, there is a unifying body of essential beliefs that virtually all-biblical, conservative Christians accept.
We believe the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s inspired and infallible Word. It is inerrant in the original manuscripts, and is the authority on all matters of life, belief, and practice of our faith.
We believe in one God, maker of heaven and earth, and eternally existent as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is pure, holy, all-powerful, full of love, and the source of truth.
We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life and in His miracles. His death on the cross was a substitute for mankind and paid for the sins of the world. He rose bodily from the grave, He ascended into heaven, and He will return to earth in power and glory.
We believe in the deity of the Holy Spirit, that His present work is to reveal Jesus Christ to people, to regenerate those who believe, and that he indwells Christians to enable them to live the kind of life that pleases the Lord.
We believe mankind was created in the image of God, and enjoyed an open relationship with God. That relationship was broken when Man voluntarily chose to live his life without regard to God’s will. Through Adam all people are born flawed by sin and are in need of being restored in relationship with God.
We believe that Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus. We believe God is the initiator of reconciliation with us. However, His holiness demands justice for the wrongs we have done. Unfortunately, our good works cannot undo the mistakes of our past. We are completely dependent on the grace of God to make us pure in His sight. Those who, by faith, accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who took our place, suffering the punishment of God’s justice against sin, can be saved by making a choice to turn from sin and turn to God, asking for forgiveness and to be saved from our sin. The Scriptures teach that those who place their faith in Jesus are made new and given new life in the same fashion that Jesus was given new life after His death, burial and resurrection.
We believe that the Church is the people of God, rather than a place of worship. We believe the body of Christ is made up of all believers of the church age; that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church; and that local churches are the practical expression of the Church. The Church is the gathering of those who have placed their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus as the only way to be right with God. Members of a local church voluntarily share their lives and faith with each other in unity and meet together for encouragement, worship, service, prayer, spiritual development, and to observe the ordinances of the Church (baptism by immersion and communion).
We believe in final judgement. Every person will stand before God in judgement. All those who have not turned from sin and to faith in Jesus will be eternally separated from God in the Lake of Fire. All demons and Satan will face a final judgement and will be eternally condemned in the Lake of Fire. All believers will be saved from the wrath of God by their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus as their substitution but will give an account for their works as God’s children. They will be rewarded for their works of eternal value and lose reward for those works of no eternal value.
Non-Essential, But Important To Us
Our ultimate goal is to obey the Lord and fulfill the mission He gave us of making disciples. We avoid the extreme of requiring everyone’s absolute agreement on every teaching position that Cross Creek Church holds because it unnecessarily separates some Christians from us who should be working with us in our mission. There are doctrines that shape us and frame the way we worship, teach, serve and give. There are godly people in our church family who may not agree with the details of the following statements but respect the position we’ve taken on these things. All we ask is that if God leads you to be a part of Cross Creek Church, you work in cooperation with us to serve our community and give them every opportunity to come to faith in Jesus.
We believe inerrancy applies to the original manuscripts of the Bible (This part is an essential). We believe that any version of the Bible based on the honest and solid scholarship is valuable. We reject that only one version is the inspired Bible in the English language.
We believe we have a responsibility to extend the “right hand of fellowship” to all believers in the body of Christ. This involves a love and appreciation for them as true brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not believe any denomination or association constitutes the official Church or churches. We believe a local church is any gathering of Christians who meet for the purpose of being a church. We believe a local church is the planned instrument of God to carry out the Great Commission. Therefore, we believe every believer should join a local church and it’s efforts in ministry. We believe our job is to be an effective church and to do our part to multiply new churches as God leads.
We believe baptism, by immersion, is the prescribed method the Lord gives for new believers to express their faith in Him and identification with his death, burial and resurrection. We do not believe any denomination or authorizing body has exclusive rights to baptism.
We practice “open” communion, which means we do not prevent people from taking communion with us. We “welcome” all believers to join with us in communion and request those who are unbelievers to not partake. We believe this best honors our responsibility to fellowship with all believers as members of the body of Christ and allows each individual to be responsible for his or her faith and actions.
We believe God calls some to serve His Church in vocational ministries of pastoring and various other ministries. We believe the Bible teaches that it is right and ethical for the church to financially support vocational ministers so their needs are met and so they may focus their attention upon the ministry. We also believe pastors are to be given respect and honor as they are given responsibility and authority for the spiritual well being of the Lord’s Church. We believe all Christians are “priests” and have direct access to God and do not need pastors to mediate for them with God. The role of pastors is to teach, lead, and equip the believer to do ministry.
We believe that the primary purpose of tithing (giving God his 10% of our income) is to live by faith, constantly remembering that our hope for the things we need is in God. It is an act of obedience, which constantly points our hearts toward the source of all our material blessings. We believe that the Apostle Paul defines tithing in the Church Age as the appropriate means of supporting pastors and ministers of the Gospel, as well as the ministry of the Church.
We believe God gives spiritual gifts or divinely empowered abilities to minister in the church. Each believer has gifts that are to be used and strengthened. The believer’s gifts are part of his or her calling to a life’s mission. God has a special calling on each believer’s life to do something for others, thereby advancing the overall plan of God.
We are not Charismatic or Pentecostal in theology or practice. We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the placing of the new believer into the Body of Christ, not a second work of Grace following salvation by which a person receives the Holy Spirit. We believe a person receives the Holy Spirit completely at salvation. We believe the filling of the Holy Spirit is the Christian’s allowing of the Holy Spirit to have control, not a filling in the sense of receiving the Spirit or part of the Spirit that was not there. We believe God’s revelation is complete in the Bible and reject the view of on-going revelation through tongues, or visions, or a gift of knowledge.
We hold a pre-tribulation and pre-millennial view of future events. This means we see a “rapture” or a taking of the church out of the world before the great Tribulation. We see the return of Christ to earth as occurring at the end of the Tribulation. At that time He will establish His earthly millennial kingdom.
We believe that salvation is by God’s grace, through faith, and cannot be achieved by any works of man. We believe that God foreknew that man would sin, yet God did not cause man to sin, in the same way that God foreknew that the Jewish leaders would kill Jesus Christ, yet God did not cause them to do so. Likewise, God can foreknow what men will do in response to His grace, whether or not they will receive “the grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2). We believe that the Scriptures teach that election is based on foreknowledge. By “election,” we mean that sovereign act of God in grace, whereby from all eternity He chose in Christ Jesus for Himself and for salvation, all those whom He foreknew would responds positively to His grace. Election is based upon grace and is truly “unconditional,” in the sense that it does not rest upon human effort. It is also based on foreknowledge of God and not on some arbitrary will. God foreknew what men would do in response to His grace, and He elected those whom He foreknew would respond positively.
We believe that the Bible does not prescribe a detailed form of church government but rather gives us several leadership principles, which we seek to practice. We believe that there are two “offices” in the church: Bishop (pastor) and Deacon. The Senior (lead) Pastor is the overseer of the ministry. He is the shepherd of God’s flock, and is held responsible and accountable by God to oversee the ministry. The office of Deacon is an office of servanthood. The Deacon is to assist the Pastor by helping serve the physical and spiritual needs of the church, thereby allowing the Pastor of focus on the ministries of prayer and the Word of God. We believe in a Pastor-led, rather than a deacon-led form of church government.
We believe that true believers and the true Church are not defined by denominational affiliations or associations. We believe that denominations and affiliations have value as long as they serve the mission of the Church. We freely associate with any churches or ministry organizations with whom we have enough agreement to cooperate in ministry. Currently we have active partnership agreements with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International and the Southern Baptist Convention. This association does not exert any control over our church polity or teaching.