Statement of Faith DOCTRINAL STATEMENT OF FAITH Introduction to the Concept of the Doctrinal Statements Collapse CROSS & Culture, LLC believes that it is necessary for any entity bearing the name and motivation of Jesus Christ to clearly and definitively declare where they stand on Christianity’s foundational issues. Not only does this measure help those who might engage with the entity, but it also clarifies the purpose and goals of the entity itself. The Church is replete with a history of creating doctrinal statements to ward off clear error and facsimile attempts of watering down critical theology. Thus, in the tradition of those before us, CROSS & Culture, LLC wishes to lay out its own doctrinal positions on that which makes us protestant and evangelical. We wish to declare, for those who would learn from this service, where we stand, upfront, regarding that which is contained in the holy faith. The Holy Scriptures Expand CROSS & Culture affirms the sixty-six standard books of the Old and New Testament, as written in the original languages, to be the infallible and accurate Word of God, and therefore an able rule for Christians and The Church. We furthermore affirm that English translations of the original text, translated under Formal Equivalence (FE) principles, are more faithful recreations of the original text. Though not perfect in their rendition, these translations, as rendered through the FE principle, are highly accurate and lose no substantive doctrine in transmission. Therefore, they are suitable for individual and corporate Christian use as a rule of life and discipline and the revelation of God’s holy and perfect will. The Holy Trinity Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that the Godhead consists of God The Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 Jn 5:6-9; Eph 1:11). The Father is He who plans the work of Christian salvation (Gen 3:15; Jn 6:29, 37, 39-40). Jesus is the Son who carries out the activity required for Christian salvation (Jn 6:38; Heb 10:10, 14). According to the Father’s plan for Christian salvation, the Holy Spirit is He who applies the work of Christ (Jn 3:8). Each of these, though separate, is of one substance, equal in power and eternity. The Father is of none. The Son eternally is begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Creation Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that God created the Earth in six literal days, according to the Scriptures, resting on the seventh day (Gen 1). We further confirm that God created ex nihilo through the power of His Word in conjunction with the Godhead. In the creation, God was initially pleased with the finished work of His hands. The Scriptures describe Earth, moon, sun, skies, man, and animal as the works of God’s hands, of which, He was pleased. We further reject evolution as the means of which or by which God created the Earth. We also reject so-called “old Earth” doctrines as promulgated by secular science efforts. However, we do not axiomatically deny the concepts and veracity of science, in general, out-of-hand. General Revelation and Reason Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that through the General Revelation of creation, God is made known both as Creator and Judge, through the evidence of the law both written on man’s heart and illustrated through nature. We further confirm that each man is given, though dead in sin and trespass, reason and such a light as to know there is a Creator. Though that light is not enough to save him, God often uses that communicable attribute to draw man to faith, should God give him a new heart. No man shall be saved by knowledge, intellect, or reason. However, each man, sharing the communicable attribute with God, is without excuse regarding the existence of his Creator and the reality of His Creator’s law. The Fall of Man and the World Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that in the beginning, God created man in His image and without sin. Man is, in the creation, made with complete and total free will. In the exercise of man’s will, he is deceived by the serpent in the Garden and falls thereby. In this fall, man forfeits the perfect image of God, peace with God; peace with creation; and peace with his kind. From this fall, man will find new avenues of idolatry, strife, envy, and war through the inclination of now dead spiritual senses. All that comes after him will naturally enter into existence in the same fallen and spiritually dead faculties through Adam’s fall. Christ as Mediator Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that there is one mediator between God and men, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5). The second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, is the mediator of a “new” covenant (Heb 9:15) built upon God’s promise to Adam in the Garden, in which an Intercessory was promised to crush the head of the serpent. As Mediator, Christ goes between God and man, executing terms under which our enmity with God (Rom 5:10) can be put to rest, and the elect of God may be reconciled to Him. The terms of reconciliation are drawn from God’s decree, and Christ agrees to carry out that which is necessary for our salvation. Nothing less than the death of Christ would be required to satisfy the terms of God’s covenant. Repentance and Salvation Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that repentance is the act of genuine contrition of the heart and mind, understanding the offenses committed against God and His holy law, sensing the need for forgiveness from God (2 Cor 7:10-11). True repentance is a change of mind that directs the Christian toward the will of God and life (though imperfect) of righteousness. This change emanates from the heart and is born of God. CROSS & Culture equally affirms that salvation is entirely the work of God (monergism). According to the desire and will of God, the Holy Spirit goes where He pleases in regenerating the soul of those whom God desires to obtain life. A new heart is given to the Christian through regeneration, and from this gift, belief is born. Justification Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that justification results from the atonement of Jesus Christ via His death, burial, and resurrection on the cross and the Father’s acceptance of that atonement. In justification, the Christian experiences the resolution of his sin with God through the sacrifice of Christ and is made right with God again. Being born into sin due to Adam’s fall, man is separated from God. This separation is the result of his relationship to Adam and his own sin. Through the mediatory work of Jesus Christ, upon the regeneration of the man, Christ’s finished work is applied by the Holy Spirit, and the man is made right with God, in time and space (as we know it). Adoption Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that man is adopted into God’s family (Rom. 6:10-11), raised in faith by Christ’s death. This adoption is testified in both the Spirit of the child of God and the Spirit of God, Himself. The adoption as sons and daughters of God gives us the right to an inheritance, earned by Christ, that is of untold riches and the kingdom of Heaven. This adoption connects us to God and grants us the promise that we shall be like Him one day, for we will see Him just as He is (1 Jn 3:1-2). Further, this adoption separates us from the world and makes us its enemy while in this life. While we may live in a temperamental harmony in the world (due to common affairs, such as employment, activity, politics, etc.), we will ultimately hold beliefs and convictions that will divide us from all who do not name the name of Christ. Sanctification Expand CROSS & Culture affirms a generally synergistic sanctification process. Affirming the sole work of God in salvation, we equally recognize the plan and work of God to mature the Christian (Php 1:6) while equally affirming that the Christian is called to submit to the Spirit, rather than what remains in his flesh and of the old man (Rom 7). In sanctification, the Christian is continually brought to bear the image of Christ. This growth looks different in each believer due to where they began and the strength of the sin that remains; nevertheless, a spirit of repentance characterizes sanctification over time. This means that while Christians may not appear to grow to some, there may be growth, as the inward man is first affected, then the outward man. Sanctification is an assurance of salvation to the believer and evidence of salvation to the Church. Assurance and Evidence of Faith Expand CROSS & Culture affirms both the concept of assurance and evidence of faith. Assurance of faith belongs to the individual believer. The works God prescribes and the gifts given by God should be exercised in the context of a local Church, among faithful members, and biblically literate teachers. The assurance of a believer is the evidence to the Church that you have been born again. Each plays a part in the growth and maintenance of the Christian’s life. Christians should examine their own life (2 Cor 13:5) to determine if they are in the faith. In doing so, they will be useful to the kingdom of God and the Church (2 Peter 1:8). The Christian Life Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that the Christian life is a victorious one. While experiencing the remains of sin and the flesh, the Christian life has at its root the Holy Spirit at work in the believer’s mind and heart. This Spirit works to convince us of sin and truth and abide with us as a Helper to progress God’s promise to change us towards His own image (John 14:16-17; Philippians 1:6). CROSS & Culture further affirms that the true mark of the Christian Life is not sinlessness, but rather a recognition of, contrition over, and repentance from sin. Finally, CROSS & Culture affirms that the Christian who has been redeemed and given new life is commanded to pursue truth, reason, and knowledge of both God and the world around Him. Christians have no excuse for living as primarily emotional beings, shunning doctrine, theology, faith, reason, or philosophy. We are called to refute the cognitive biases and deceit presented in the world, acting as salt and light to clarify and preserve good in our time and space. The Civil Magistrate Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that each man is to be subject to the governing authorities (Rom 13:1). The subjection of man to the Civil Magistrate is in as far as that Civil Magistrate does not reject, defy, defame, or derail the word of God. The work of the Civil Magistrate is to exact true justice and punish evildoers (Rom 13:3-4). Should the Magistrate pursue power past his given duty and authority, it is within the Christian right to stand for truth and righteousness (Eph 5:6-16). The Visible Church Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that the visible Church consists of believers and unbelievers, as no man can examine another man’s soul. At times, even the best Churches under Heaven will have a mixture of believers and unbelievers. However, we further affirm that authentic Christian lives will bear fruit evident and apparent, though different from person to person. The Last Things Expand CROSS & Culture affirms that Christ shall visibly return one day to call His Saints into glory and be with Him forever. Ultimately, all things and creations shall be subjected to God. We equally affirm that Hell is a real and genuine place that has been reserved for Satan and his angels (Matt 25:41). It is a place of torture and suffering and will be thrown into the Lake of Fire upon the imminent return of Christ (Rev 20:14). The Christian will be in the presence of Christ for all eternity, being welcomed into the land prepared for them through the cleansing achieved through Christ.