Beliefs and Affiliations

Beliefs and Affiliations

Crossroads is a member church of the Evangelical Covenant Church and we support the work and call of all Christians as they seek to live out lives of faith. Taking the call of Christ seriously we seek to love EVERYONE we come into contact with and live out the Good News in concrete actions in our world. Along with our Covenant brothers and sisters we affirm the following:
 
Our place in the worldwide Christian Church…
 
We are an apostolic church. We confess Jesus Christ and the
faith of the apostles as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. We believe
the authority of the Bible is supreme in all matters of faith, doctrine,
and conduct, and it is to be trusted. “Where is it written?” was and
is the Covenant’s touchstone of discussion with regard to faith and
practice.
 
We are a catholic church. The word catholic literally means universal.
This means we understand ourselves to be a part of the community
of believers that began with Jesus’s first followers, is alive
today, and will continue until Christ comes again.
 
We are a Reformation church. We stand in the mainstream
of a church renewal movement of the sixteenth century called the
Protestant Reformation. Especially important is the belief that we
are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, not by anything
that we can do. The Covenant Church is also shaped by Pietism, a
renewal movement that originated in seventeenth-century Europe
and emphasized the need for a life that is personally connected to
Jesus Christ, a reliance on the Holy Spirit, and a call to service in
the world.
 
We are an evangelical church. A series of religious awakenings
flowered in Europe and America during the nineteenth century
and provided rich soil for the early growth of the Covenant
Church with our passion for mission. Evangelicals historically have
been characterized by a strong insistence on biblical authority, the
absolute necessity of new birth, Christ’s mandate to evangelize the
world, the continuing need for education and formation in a Christian
context, and a responsibility for benevolence and the advancement
of social justice.
 
Our identity and call to serve Christ in the world…
 
For Covenant people, our essential beliefs are summed up in
what we call Covenant Affirmations:
 
We affirm the centrality of the word of God. We believe the
Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The
dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church
and the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us
to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every
level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our
church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy,
and justice.
 
 
We affirm the necessity of the new birth. The Apostle Paul
wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians
5:17, TNIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves
to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life.
It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love
and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning.
Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals
and communities of believers. God forms and transforms
us-and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms
the world.
 
 
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the
Church. The early Covenanters were known as “Mission Friends”-
people of shared faith who came together to carry out God’s mission
both far and near. Mission for them and for us includes evangelism,
Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice.
We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission
sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment
calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as
ourselves.
 
 
We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers. Membership
in the Covenant Church is by confession of personal faith
in Jesus Christ and is open to all believers. We observe baptism and
Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice
both infant and believer baptism. We believe in the priesthood of
all believers-that is, we all share in the ministry of the church. We
also affirm that God calls some men and women into professional,
full-time ministry. The church is not an institution, organization, or
building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate
in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the
New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to
be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all
are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
 
 
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The Covenant Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of
one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament
tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and
among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our
hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ
dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience
to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us
that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The
Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us
together as Christ’s body.
 
 
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ. The Apostle
Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians
5:1, TNIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests
itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private
gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and
the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from
the power of those things that on their own tend to divide. United
in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of
belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to
allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of
God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us
as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.
 
Conclusion…
Crossroads and The Evangelical Covenant Church is a pilgrim church. Until
Christ comes, we worship, serve, and witness so that the whole
earth may hear God’s voice, learn of God’s love, and experience
God’s joy.
 
For more information on worship at Crossroads click here:
for more information about the Covenant Church click here: