Note: You may download and print this Confession of Faith by clicking here.
Crosstown is a Christian evangelical church. We are committed to following Jesus Christ, and we believe the Bible is the primary source for knowing Jesus and following his lead. We are aware, however, that not all who make that claim agree on what the Bible teaches. So we feel it is necessary to make it clear what we believe about some of the major teachings of the Bible and the Christian faith.
While the following Confession of Faith is rather specific, we also want to make it clear that not everything we believe and proclaim at Crosstown is equally important. Those beliefs that unite us to the one body of Christ are in the end much more important than those which distinguish us from other traditions within the Christian faith. In an effort to differentiate between what we believe are the primary doctrines and what may be considered matters of secondary importance, we have arranged our Confession into three categories called (1) Christian Consensus; (2) Evangelical Essentials; and (3) Denominational Distinctives. A fourth category, Congregational Commitments is what makes up our Church Covenant.1
We understand that not all followers of Jesus arrive at the same conclusions on every theological issue at the same time. We do not want to withhold baptism or membership from those who have been genuinely converted to Christ but are still sincerely considering issues of secondary importance. Therefore, while all pastors and leaders at Crosstown are required to affirm the following Confession without reservation, we do not require our members to do so. Members sign our Church Covenant whereby they affirm the most basic tenants of the Christian faith and covenant to unite around this Confession of Faith by not being divisive to its teaching.
We affirm the statements of two ancient creeds which have historically united all Christians in the basics of the Christian faith.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth.2
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried;3 the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven; and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Five solas (the Latin word sola means “alone”) are five theological summaries that emerged from the Protestant Reformation distinguishing the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of that day. Together they constitute five pillars that unite all evangelical Christians to this day.
Sola Scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
We believe that Holy Scripture, consisting of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, is the verbally inspired Word of God. Scripture alone is completely authoritative and infallible in all that it teaches, being without error in the original writings. Scripture alone clearly teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin, is sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.
Solo Christo (“by Christ alone”)
We believe that the only mediator between God and men is the historical Jesus Christ. In Christ alone can we be saved from our sin and the wrath of God. Christ alone lived a sinless life, and his substitutionary death on a cross is the only remedy that can atone for our sins and bring us into a relationship with God as father rather than judge. There is no other means of salvation available but Christ alone. Where Christ’s substitutionary work is not declared and faith in Christ and his work is not solicited the gospel has not been preached.
Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”)
We believe that salvation from sin and the wrath of God is made possible by God’s free grace alone. None of us can contribute anything to our salvation. Apart from the kindness, goodness, mercy, and compassion of God we will never seek after him. Apart from the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit we will remain in bondage to our sin and rebellion against God.
Sola Fide (“by faith alone”)
We believe that we are justified before God through faith alone, without any mixture of or need for good works. Through faith alone God declares us righteous not because we actually are righteous but because Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. This faith is not our own human response but a supernatural work of regeneration that God does in us by the Holy Spirit and through grace.
Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”)
We believe that because salvation is entirely accomplished by God, all glory and honor belongs to him alone. Not even the good works done by human hands can make mankind worthy of glory and worship since it is God alone who redeems fallen sinners and sanctifies their good works. The greatest joy available to man is when our lives are centered on and submitted to God and lived for his glory alone.
Crosstown Church is a self-governing, independent church and so technically not a part of a denomination. However, our two primary affiliations with the Acts 29 Network and the Southern Baptist Convention distinguish us from other evangelical churches in several important ways.
In our theology, we are reformed
- We believe that God created man and woman in a state of sinless perfection with particular dignity as His image bearers on the earth but that our first parents sinned against God and that everyone since is a sinner by nature and choice. Sin has totally affected all of creation including marring human image and likeness so that all of our being is stained by sin (e.g. reasoning, desires, and emotions).
- We believe that because all people have sinned and separated themselves from the Holy God that he is obligated to save no one from the just deserved punishments of hell. We also believe that God in His unparalleled love and mercy has chosen to elect some people for salvation and that the salvation of the elect was predestined by God in eternity past.
- We believe that the salvation of the elect was accomplished by the sinless life, substitutionary atoning death, and literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ in place of His people for their sins and that this salvation by God’s grace alone, shows forth in the ongoing repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ that leads to good works.
- We believe that God’s saving grace is ultimately irresistible and that God does soften even the hardest heart and save the worst of sinners according to His will. We believe that the gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people so that all who believe may be saved through the preaching of God’s Word by the power of God’s Spirit.
- We believe that true Christians born again of God’s Spirit will be kept by God throughout their life, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love of God the Father through God the Son by God the Spirit, love of brothers and sisters in the church, and love of lost neighbors in the culture.
In our worship, we are gospel-centered
- We believe that God cannot be truly worshiped if the gospel is not the basis of both our private and corporate worship.
- We believe that God communicates grace to us in our corporate worship in the proclamation of his Word and in prayer as well as through the observance of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, since these are the appointed means for directing our faith to the teaching of the gospel.
- We believe that the proclamation of God’s Word should primarily be an exposition of the Scripture whereby the main point of a passage is the main point of the proclamation.
- We believe that baptism should be administered by immersion to all those who trust in Christ and who repent of their sins.
- We believe that communion should be received regularly by all those who trust in Christ and who repent of their sins.
In our calling, we are missional
- We believe that the church must be faithful to the content of unchanging Biblical doctrine (Jude 3).
- We believe that the church must be faithful to the continually changing context of the culture(s) in which she ministers (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
- We believe people are in the church to be trained to go out into their culture as effective missionaries.
- We believe that the mission of Jesus is to be carried out by planting churches.
- We believe in cooperating with other likeminded churches in working toward a common goal of sharing the gospel with every person on the planet.
In our leadership, we are complementarian
- We believe that God created both men and women in his image, so all humans possess equal value and dignity before God.
- We believe that as part of the created order, God has ordained a distinction in the roles that men and women are to serve in the home and in the church.
- We believe that husbands are to demonstrate loving, humble headship in the home, serving their wives with the kind of sacrificial love that Christ modeled on behalf of the Church while wives are to demonstrate intelligent, willing submission to their husbands.
- We believe that biblically qualified male pastors are to be the leaders of the local church and that every other office or ministry in the local church should be open to both biblically qualified men and women alike.
1 This four-fold designation is suggested by J.I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett in their book Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2010), 150. RETURN TO TOP
2 We have updated some of the archaic wording in both of the creeds. RETURN TO TOP
3 We have omitted the phrase “he descended into hell” because it does not appear in the earliest versions of the Creed and because its meaning is unclear. For a discussion about this phrase see Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 586-94. RETURN TO TOP