Crossing Community Church
Positions of Clarity and Grace on Biblical Matters
Positions of Clarity and Grace on Biblical Matters
Thank you for seeking more information on what we believe at Crossing Community Church. Your desire to explore this is something we welcome. We are thankful for your interest in what the Bible has to say.
If you are looking for a more basic summary of our statement of faith, please click here.
The purpose of this page is to bring clarification to what the Bible teaches on several areas that are not outlined in a basic statement of faith. In some cases, churches shy away from being declarative on these issues because they don’t want to offend or give reason for a person to not want to visit their church. We tend to look at this from a different perspective. We desire to be refreshingly clear so people can come visit our church knowing we stand upon the foundation of God’s Word. We hope that our willingness to be clear and trust in God’s Word gives you even more reason to visit. In addition, we think it is very helpful for our staff, future staff, elders, and future elders to all be unified in what we believe the Bible speaks to these issues. We believe this promotes a healthy church.
Some of these issues are indeed challenging and differing opinions exist… As much as possible we are desiring to get away from opinion and to rely solely upon the scriptures to give us God’s direction. With that said, on some issues, grace in disputable matters is needed. That means that in some areas, and we will do our best to spell that out, people may trust in God’s Word and come to a differing conclusion. As much as possible we desire to agree and have oneness but in some areas we also have to be careful to not be dogmatic where scripture is less clear. With that said, in most instances this is not the case and God has made it clear to us.
There are several errors that take place in interpreting scripture that we would like to mention now to be on the lookout for when one is trying to develop a biblically derived position on a matter. Although there are a lot of ways people can misinterpret, we will list some of the more common ways this occurs.
Placing Opinion above Scripture
One thing that causes confusion in Biblical teaching bringing our opinion and conclusion to scripture rather than allowing the whole counsel of God’s word to help us derive its opinion and conclusion. As much as possible we should not have our preconceived notions trump or slant what we believe God’s Word says.
Seeking “a” scripture to support an opinion versus looking at the whole counsel of God’s Word.
Another problem that occurs is declaring a Biblical conclusion based on one scripture instead of the whole counsel of God’s Word. It is not being honest to the Bible to seek a scripture, especially out of context, and then declare from that scripture a conclusion on a doctrinal issue. Rather, each area of the Bible that refers to a specific topic area needs to be considered and they all need to be considered in proper context to get a proper meaning.
The creation of uncertain context in order to dismiss a scripture that does not fit one’s position.
Another concern is that people will dismiss a certain scripture that does not fit with their opinion or they dismiss it based on a contextual basis when we cannot be sure of the context.
The need to examine any opinion, including and especially online articles biblically.
There are many articles that can be found online and nearly any position can be found to support nearly any belief. Many of them are written from a specific perspective and may not do a good job of seeking what the whole counsel (examining what scripture says on any given topic not based on one or a few verses, but on many or even all scriptures on that given topic) of God’s word says. Some of the articles can sound good, especially if one does not know already the scripture that may dispute that position. It is important to consider other views with the most important consideration being what the whole counsel of God’s word speaks.
One of the challenges of looking at the whole counsel of God’s Word on a matter is that it is comprehensive and time consuming. Due to this, in many areas we have discovered well-researched biblical positions on these points of clarification. In these cases, the Elders of the church have decided to use and give credit to these well researched positions. In those cases, links are provided to these positions in which we are declaring agreement. In some cases, we are sharing something we agree with another organization, church or Pastor. This does not mean we are representing we agree (or don’t agree) in every area with that organization, church or Pastor but only in the specific position(s) shared. Many of the positions are being provided by gotquestions.org. Gotquestions.org has been a leader in this area for many years. Although we do not claim to agree with gotquestions.org in every area their answers tend to be Biblically derived and have been challenged, vetted and modified over the course of time to deliver well-reasoned biblical answers to questions.
Positions of Clarification
The following link does a great job of articulating our churches position on church government and elders. At Crossing Community we currently don’t have deacons as described in this article. We believe God’s Word teaches that churches are to be independent bodies lead by a plurality of Elders. In this case the lead pastor is an Elder and may lead the elder board, but the church is governed by a plurality of elders. We want our lead pastor to lead but to also be subject and accountable to the greater elder team. We do have other leaders who do assist the elders and at times attend elders meetings but are not yet elders.
Women in Ministry and Women Pastors/Preachers
Women share in the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and at church. Women are given spiritual gifts just as man. At Crossing Community Church we have women who serve as women’s ministry leaders, children’s ministers, worship leaders, women who preach and teach to other women and women whose counsel is sought on leadership and spiritual matters. Scripture, however, puts the authority and responsibility of the role of pastor or elder on men, therefore we adhere to the Bible’s teaching. Women may be asked to contribute to a Sunday service or other service with the pastor when the pastor would like to add a woman’s perspective to a specific topic.
See attached links for a great summary biblical position we agree with regarding women in ministry.
Perseverance of the Saints: Can one choose to deny Jesus after once accepting him?
The bible does not use the words one can “lose” one’s salvation. However, the Bible gives ample warning to not abandon one’s faith. Many strong words are given to persevere in faith to the end. It appears those frequent warnings, many by Jesus himself, give us a healthy fear to not fall away from God. When one loses their keys, they search diligently for them. Throwing your keys into the sea is not losing your keys. That is saying you don’t want the keys any longer. Denying Christ is not the same as “losing” one’s salvation. There is much to say on this topic and more than we can cover in a paragraph.
Below is a link to paper our Pastor wrote on the topic.
Election/Predestination and our choice in choosing Christ.
The Calvinism/Arminianism Debate.
At Crossing we believe in predestination and election but tend to lean toward a more Arminian view on these issues. Grace is needed in this area. gotquestions.org/Calvinism-vs-Arminianism
Is hell real?
Both heaven and hell are real and both are not temporary places. Jesus speaks about hell often. The belief in both heaven and hell increases our urgency to share the good news of Jesus to the world.
End times chronology including the rapture, tribulation and second coming of Christ.
As mentioned in the opening, some areas of scripture are harder to achieve clarity than others. End times prophecy is an area that is more difficult to discern. While acknowledging that fact the more one studies the topic, we believe a more proper view becomes clearer.
With grace we hold to the rapture of the church could happen at any moment. This is not a prediction about the timing but rather adhering to what the Bible teaches. That is why we must all be ready and come to faith in Jesus. We believe Jesus will take believers from the earth at the rapture prior to a seven-year tribulation. That seven-year tribulation will not be a pleasant time on earth. The last 3.5 years will be worse than the prior. The Anti-Christ will be revealed in this time and deceive many (but not believers who were already raptured). At the end of seven years Jesus Christ will return. This is called his second coming. At that time the bodies of believers who died before the rapture, and who went to heaven at the time of their death, will now have their spirit rejoined with a healthy version of their spiritual body. At his return Jesus will defeat the Anti-Christ and usher in the millennial Kingdom on earth. This will be a 1000-year period where believers in Christ will be present with Christ on earth. At the end of that one thousand years the devil will ultimately be defeated and thrown into the lake of fire. This will then begin what is known as eternity with Christ. Attached are some links to read more about this view and the scriptures that support it.
Here is an article to read more about the strengths and weakness of a pre-tribulation view. Although recognizing Christ is coming for his church is a very important matter and strengthens our conviction to follow Jesus now, we still do need to offer grace to one another on what is a complicated topic. gotquestions.org/pretribulationism
Is homosexuality a sin and what does the Bible say about homosexuality?
How does this relate to the issue of same sex marriage?
The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible lists many sins included but not limited to anger, rage, lust, murder, stealing, using the Lord’s name in vain, etc. In that way homosexuality is a sin like the other sins. However, what makes the homosexuality issue different in our current culture is the desire for people to call, what God calls sin, proper. In a sense the world is proclaiming God is wrong and that we know better and that we should redefine what God says. That is the bigger issue than simply the sin in itself. Imagine if we were to say stealing is proper and very acceptable. That would not make any sense. We have compassion for anyone who struggles with a same sex attraction. We believe surrendering to God and his guidance is the solution. God does not support marriage between people of the same gender. The Bible says that God created them male and female and that his desire is for a man and woman to come together in marriage as one flesh. As a result, Crossing Community Church elders have confirmed that our church pastors or building would not be used for performing a same gender marriage.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, becoming Born Again, Water Baptism, and gifts of the Spirit.
We believe that Holy Spirit is poured out richly on all who genuinely believe. All who genuinely believe should be water baptized. In the early church when people came to faith in Jesus they were, in many cases, immediately water baptized. Every believer in Christ should be water baptized and we encourage those who were water baptized as infants to prayerfully choose to be water baptized when they personally make a decision to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. We believe this is the best way to honor the Bible and also to give the believer the personal experience of making this faithful commitment to follow Jesus.
Holy Spirit baptism is real and happens when someone genuinely believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior. In most cases today, Holy Spirit Baptism comes separately from Water Baptism largely because today we tend to water baptize people after they come to saving faith. With that said, Holy Spirit baptism may come at the time of water baptism if that is the first genuine profession of faith. Holy Spirit baptism may also occur after water baptism. The reason someone may not receive the Holy Spirit through water baptism or even when they make a profession of faith can be at least two-fold. One reason is because it may not have been a true profession of faith. Another reason the Holy Spirit may come at a later date is because someone may not have been aware of the Holy Spirit. Later, if through teaching, discovery or even the prayerful guidance and laying on of hands a person may become aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a way they were previously unaware. In those instances, at times it can be hard to be certain as to whether the person was a true believer prior. This we are taught in the scriptures; a true believer has the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit is poured out on us richly. The Holy Spirit is the very mark of the fact that we are a true believer. When we have the Holy Spirit, we are also given gifts of the Holy Spirit. God has many gifts he gives and he gives to us the specific gift or gifts that he wills. We are to be eager for spiritual gifts from God but also should trust him to give them as he determines. Some people believe what may be called sign gifts such as speaking in tongues, healing, interpretation of tongues, works of miracles, and prophecy have ceased. At Crossing Community Church we believe God can do what he wants and that he is still able to have any gift manifested that is discussed in his Word. God is not limited. We also do not believe that everyone is supposed to have a specific spiritual gift. Specifically, in regards to the gift of tongues some Holy Spirit baptized believers have it and some do not. God can and does give whatever gifts he determines. In any case the speaking of tongues is not something for public show. Most who exercise this gift only do so as a private form of prayer. We need to be eager to serve God and should be open to whatever gift God desires to give us. The following article does a good job of talking about Continuationism and Cessationism. We do believe good brothers and sisters in Christ can hold to different views regarding sign gifts. Some people tend to get rather polar on their view one way or the other. At our church we lean toward a continuationist position. We are eager for God to work in us and through us but see ourselves as wise and cautious in this area.