Explanation to Statement of Faith
All Christians are called to defend the truth which God has entrusted to his people (Jude 1:3). This truth is found in the old and new testaments of His Holy Word, the Bible. Many well-educated and godly people have offered supplemental and practical ways to understand and practice God's inspired truth via sermons, books, articles, classes, seminars and the like. However, the words of these people cannot stand alone. They must be compared to the authoritative and unchanging truth which is found in the Bible. The Bible is the final authority of truth and if human interpretation is in conflict with the Word of God, we at Cross Connections must defend the authority of the Bible to the best of our ability.
Beliefs Accepted by Member Churches and Workers at Cross Connections:
- One God: The only true God is the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons in one divine being.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14
- God’s Word: The Bible is the holy, inspired word of God and is the sole, infallible standard for Christian faith and practice.
All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17
- Relevance of scripture: What the Bible teaches is relevant for our times. It is a living word that speaks to our present reality and present needs.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
- Salvation: God has made provision for our salvation in the physical death and physical resurrection of His only Son Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
- Salvation is through Christ alone: Our Lord Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God's love for us and His plan for our salvation.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
- Confession and Forgiveness: God's forgiveness is unconditionally ours because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
- The Church: The true Church consists of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and who serve Him in spirit and in truth. The church is the fellowship of all believers.
There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6
- Sharing the Gospel: Every Christian is called to proclaim in word and deed the saving message of our Lord Jesus Christ and to ...love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
- All Life is Sacred: Human life from conception to the end of life is created by God.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
- Serving Others: We are called to passionately follow Jesus through the Holy Spirit and respond by serving all in need, especially those with few options and opportunities.
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Matthew 25:40b
- Marriage: Christian marriage is the joining of a man and a woman who commit themselves to each other in a lifelong union with Christ at the center.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
- Family: God has made us all members of His family in Christ. As members of God’s family, we have been charged to love and care for one another. While families take many forms those responsible for the care of children must train them in living according to God’s word.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household Ephesians, 2:19
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
- New Life in Christ: God is the author of change in sending His Son to save the world, and through His Spirit working through the Word, we believe that lives are transformed into the likeness of Christ.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Primary stances of Cross Connections that will be helpful in giving and receiving guidance among Christians
- Living Together Outside of Marriage and Premarital Sex: Premarital counseling is a very important part of the ministry of Cross Connections. An unmarried couple who lives together as husband and wife or has a sexual relationship outside of marriage is sinning by violating the sixth commandment. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4) This is as true for eighty year olds as it is for eighteen year olds. Cross Connections counselors will work with couples to help them honor God in their relationships. Couples who recognize and repent of their sin need to hear God's comforting promise of forgiveness. (John 8:11)
- Divorce: Marriage was ordained by God to be an exclusive lifelong union between a man and a woman. Divorce is a breaking of God's will and a severing of what God designed to be a permanent commitment. (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:1-12) Cross Connections will make every effort to guide troubled marriages toward reconciliation. (I Corinthians 7:10) Cross Connections does, however, recognize that divorce is common in our society – even among Christians - and will minister to those impacted by it.
- Remarriage: Cross Connections considers premarital counseling vital for those considering marriage following a divorce because subsequent divorces are much more common among these couples. There is nothing in the Bible that forbids remarriage following the death of a spouse; however, it does speak to remarriage following divorce. We believe that wherever Scripture allows divorce, remarriage is also allowed. (I Corinthians 7:10-15; Mark 10:1-12; Romans 7:1-3) When the divorce does not have Biblical grounds, with repentance and God's forgiveness, there is freedom to remarry. Cross Connections counselors will work with clients and their pastors toward reconciliation with God in Christ.
- Abortion & Euthanasia: God is the creator of life and therefore only He chooses the time of conception and the time of death. God views unborn babies as living human beings from the time of conception. (Ecclesiastes 3:2; Job 14:5) When humans choose to abort a child or end a life by euthanasia it is in violation of the fifth commandment. However, those who repent of these sins need to know that the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for them and that there is, in Him, full and free forgiveness. (Romans 5:6-11)
- Homosexuality: Cross Connections resists the reaction of persecution and ostracism, recognizing that same gender attraction may have its roots in past suffering. As God's people we follow the example of Christ in loving all, including those who practice homosexual behavior. Homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s design for his people and as such, is sin. As is true for anyone who persists in any sin without repentance, the person who persists in homosexual behavior without repentance separates himself from God. As always, God's promise of forgiveness in Christ Jesus is available for those who repent. Counselors will work with individuals in counseling who are experiencing/struggling with unwanted same gender attraction. (I Corinthians 6:9-11; Genesis 2:18)
- Mental Health Disorders: Some symptoms which are the focus of counseling may be the result of mental illness. Often, mental illness is biological in nature and symptoms may respond best to a combination of medication and counseling. Cross Connections counselors will work with clients to coordinate their care with other care providers. Cross Connections believes that mental illness, although the result of a fallen world, is not caused by an individual's sin, unrepentance, or sinful lifestyle. While mental illness itself is not a sin, the individual may, as a result of mental illness, engage in sinful thoughts or behaviors for which there is forgiveness in Christ. (II Corinthians 1:3-5; Hebrews 12:12-15)
- Addiction: It is Cross Connections' stance that addictions can have a genetic component and also result from misguided attempts to cope with life stressors. Cross Connections recognizes the value of addiction recovery support groups and will continually encourage addicted individuals to become active in these groups. (Ephesians 6:12; Galatians 5:1 and 13)
- Order of Priority in Families: Every person in a God-centered home – whether married or single - is first and foremost under the authority of God. In the marriage relationship both husband and wife are called to submit to each other by honoring Christ's example of submission to his father's will. (Ephesians 5:21) Children are to honor their parents by obedience as Christ honored the will of his own father. (Ephesians 6:2-4)
- Biblical Sexuality and Gender Identity: Cross Connections affirms God’s good creation of mankind in His image as male and female (Genesis 1: 27) and His plan for monogamous, one flesh (sexual) union between them in life-long marriage (Genesis 2: 23-25, Matthew 19: 4-6, Ephesians 5: 31) or living in a state of single chastity. We believe that while feelings may, at least partly, describe “how you are”, they do not define “who you are”. God call us to live out our lives faithfully within His calling and gift of our gender, even when social traits, talents, and interests may differ from societal stereotypes. Yet we recognize that in a fallen world, sin impacts us chromosomally, anatomically, and socially. We reject the condemnation and shaming of those struggling with confusion about their “gender identity” and seek to partner with all people struggling with the many aspects of sexual brokenness from the foundation provided in God’s Word in a Gospel-centered way. This enables us to respect and promote the fostering of every individual’s humanity to its fullest design with the hope of present growth and eventually, in the resurrection, realized perfection.
Resources: Statements, in part, taken from
- "Christian Counseling Covenant" of The Lutheran Counseling Center, Burnsville, MN at www.lutherancounseling.com
- Unchanging Truth in Changing Times by Dr. A. L. Barry
- Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible by Jay Adams
- Lutheran Social Services of Indiana's Statement of Faith
- Bible references from the New International Version
- “Gender as Calling: The Gospel and Gender Identity” Crown and Covenant 2017