Issues for Clarification
ASSIMILATION AND CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
The Scriptures reference the "church" in two ways: universal (Christ-followers all over the world) and local (a group of Christ-followers committed to gathering in a specific location under elder leadership). Letters were written to believers committed to local churches (Colossae, Ephesus, etc.) and elders were charged with shepherding the specific group entrusted to them (Acts 20:29-30; 1Pet. 5:2). Evidences of local church membership can be seen where a numerical count was taken of those that professed faith in Christ (Acts 2:37-47), where deacons were selected to address specific problems (Acts 6:1-6), where church discipline was practiced (1Cor. 5:1-12), where the use of spiritual gifts by members for ministry is encouraged (1Cor. 12) and where boundaries for benevolence were set (1Tim. 5:3-13). Crossroads Church places a high value on church membership because it enables the elders to know whom they are responsible to provide care, discipline and direction. It also helps the church be more organized and run more efficiently by defining who can be counted on and who is eligible for leadership positions. Being committed to a local covenant community provides the following benefits for believers:
- It identifies you as a genuine believer. (Rom. 12:5; Eph. 2:19) It provides a family to encourage your personal walk with Christ. (Heb. 10:24-25)
- It provides a place to use your spiritual gifts and be blessed by the gifts of others. (1Cor. 12:4-27)
- It provides a place to come under the spiritual protection of godly leaders. (Heb. 13:17; Acts 20:28-29)
- It provides a family to keep you accountable so you can grow. (Gal. 6:1-2; 1Th. 5:14)
Crossroads Church places a high value on church membership because it protects our unity, strengthens our culture and encourages healthier relationships.
SOVEREIGNTY, SALVATION AND SECURITY
The Scriptures teach two clear tension points regarding the process through which individuals are saved. On the one hand, it is God's divine decision to save a person (Jn. 6:37, 44, 65; Rom. 8:29-30; 9:11-18; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Eph. 1:4-6; 2:8-9; I Pet. 1:3). It is also God's kindness, forbearance and patience that lead a person to repentance (Rom. 2:4). On the other hand, the Scriptures also teach that each person is responsible to embrace or reject Jesus Christ as Savior and that God welcomes all who come to Him by faith apart from works (Mt. 22:1-14; Lk. 15:7; 20:9-18; Jn. 6:37; 7:37; Rom. 10:9-13; Acts 16:30-34; 17:30). Both of these two truths—God's sovereignty in salvation and man's decision to embrace Christ—are taught in the Scriptures. Their co-existence is a mystery and is completely understood only in the mind of our omniscient God. All glory for the salvation of every believer belongs to God alone (Rom. 3:21-31; Eph. 1:7-9; 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25).
Those who are truly born of God's Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (Mt. 13:13; Jn. 15:4-8; II Thess. 1:4; I Tim. 4:16; II Tim. 2:10-13; 1 Jn. 4:13; II John 9). God is faithful to those that are truly His own and empowers them to persevere in the faith (I Cor. 1:9; 10:13; II Cor. 1:21-22; I Jn. 2:19-20).
The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind and might (Deut. 6:5; Isa. 43:7; Mt. 22:37). All believing men, women and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence.
Worship glorifies God through adoration (Ps. 95:6), praise (Ps. 99:5), prayer (Dan. 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Neh. 12:46) and a complete yielding to Him (Rom. 12:1). Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Ex. 15:1-21; II Sam. 6:14-16; Ps. 5:7; Jn. 4:23-24; Rev. 4:11; 5:12).
Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:
- Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (Jn. 4:22-26; 12:32; Acts 4:12);
- Lead God's people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks in music and lyric (Neh. 12:45-46;Ps. 66:1-4; 95:1-2);
- Prepare hearts to hear the Lord speak through the proclamation of Scripture (Ps. 95:6-9; Acts 2:41-42; II Tim. 4:2)
- Learn fresh, contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the rich history of our faith (Deut. 32:7; Ps. 33:3; Isa. 46:8-9; Mt. 13:32, Eph. 5:19; Rev. 5:9)
- Pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Ex. 12; Deut. 17:1; Ps. 33:3, I Tim. 4:14-15; Heb. 11:4).
WOMEN IN MINISTRY
Crossroads Church affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (I Tim. 2:12; 3:1-2; Tit. 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.
CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT AND SIGN GIFTS
While we believe that the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, they indicate that use of the gifts vary according to the need that each gift meets. Crossroads Church does not encourage the use of "sign gifts." Instead, we seek to emphasize the more excellent way of love as well as zeal for the more edifying gifts (Eph. 4:11-12; Rom. 8:9-17; 12:4-8; I Cor. 12:4-5, 11-26; 31; 13:1-13; II Cor. 12:12; Gal. 5:22-26).
Crossroads Church is a non-charismatic, conservative, evangelical body that welcomes all who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and all who are seeking Him. Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body.
We believe that the Christian life is supernatural and that the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe that current displays of the gift of tongues distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20).
Current displays of the gift of tongues:
- Give unwarranted prominence to the gift, which is described in the New Testament as being only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12)
- Emphasize speaking in tongues as the primary manifestation of the Spirit's work in a person's life, while minimizing the Spirit's work in producing a holy life (II Cor. 3:17-18; II Tim. 1:9) and a life that displays the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)
- Often suggest that speaking in tongues is a required proof of being Spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in Christ, even though the Scriptures do not teach this.
Crossroads Church seeks to prevent the propagation of doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members to and adherents of Crossroads Church are not to propagate the teachings and emphases of the current charismatic movement.
Although we do not control personal, individual interactions with the Lord, the expression of tongues and other sign gifts are not to be overtly expressed at meetings that are under the organization and authority of Crossroads Church.
CREATION & EVOLUTION
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom and supreme authority. (Isa. 43:7; Ps. 19:1-2; Jer. 10:12; Rom. 1:20; Rev. 4:11). We deny the theory of evolution, which states that non-living substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures.
We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally, individually and as complete human beings (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7; 2:21-22; 1 Cor. 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God's gift of eternal life. (Rom. 5:18-19; 1 Cor. 15:21-22).