“We cannot raise our esteem of Christ high enough. He is behond all value!“
~ Thomas Watson
Our distinctives help to convey the positions, practices, and personality of Cornerstone Bible Church. Every local church has distinctives, whether they choose to put them into print or not. We have chosen to articulate and publish our distinctives as a means of candidly informing visitors and potential church members where our church stands on important issues pertaining to church life. We believe this helps people to make a well-informed decision relative to choosing a church home.
1. Our High View of God
CBC exists for the primary purpose of knowing and glorifying God. We strive to know the one, true, holy God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. We want to grow in our reverence for God, our worship of God, our obedience to God, and our love for God. We agree with A.W. Tozer when he writes, “The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly un-worthy of thinking, worshipping men. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us.” To accomplish what God wants for CBC, we believe we must start and ﬁnish with a high view of God.
2. Our High View of Scripture
We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and totally sufﬁcient Word of God. We believe the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Although cultures and human philosophies change, God’s Word, His character, His commands, and man’s fallen nature never change. Therefore, we believe that the timeless Word of God is relevant and completely reliable for anything a person faces no matter where or when he lives. Because we embrace this high view of Scripture we seek to study and apply it faithfully in every facet of our ministry and church life.
3. A Changed Life
We believe that all those whom God has saved by grace through faith are new creatures in Christ and will demonstrate that new life by submission to Christ and obedience to God’s Word. All Christians still sin, sometimes horribly, and sometimes for extended periods without repentance. But a decreasing pattern of sin and an increasing pattern of holiness will characterize every genuine Christian’s life.
We believe Genesis is a straightforward, literal presentation of the historical events it describes. We teach, therefore, that God created everything in six literal, 24-hour days. We reject every form of theistic evolution.
5. Our Form of Church Government
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church, and that He mediates His rule in the Church through Biblically qualiﬁed elders. It is essential that the congregation afﬁrm only those men who aspire, qualify, and faithfully serve in the function of an elder. Elders are commanded to oversee, feed, and shepherd the ﬂock, and the congregation is commanded to submit to their loving leadership.
6. Our Commitment to Equip Ministers (You)
We are committed to discipling and equipping people to prepare them for ministry. Our ministries will only be as strong as the people who serve in them. We desire that every ministry position be ﬁlled by a growing disciple who is equipped, called, burdened, and committed to serve in that capacity. Following this pattern produces joyful, conﬁdent ministers, and more fruitful ministry. While it is the responsibility of every elder to shepherd the ﬂock, God calls each of us to minister to one another within the church family. In order to both give and receive personal care, we encourage our members to actively assimilate into the church through faithful attendance, discipleship groups, prayer meetings, classes, serving in ministry, and other body-life opportunities.
7. Our Commitment to Marriages and Families
Building strong Christian families is a priority at CBC. We believe in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, and that God hates divorce. We believe that parents are responsible for the consistent training, discipline, and protection of their children. Therefore, our ministries should assist parents as the primary disciplers of their children.
8. Our Intergenerational Mindset
At CBC we strive to cultivate an environment that mingles all ages together as much as possible. Age segregation within the Church is never seen in Scripture. While the popular trend is to segregate into peer groups, we firmly believe that greater maturity is fostered by blending mature saints with younger, immature believers. Therefore, we do not promote the formation of “youth groups.” We are equipping the whole Body of Christ, not cultivating a separate Christian youth culture. Similarly, any and all classes we might offer for younger children are intended to supplement and support the teaching they are receiving from their parents, or, in the case of children from unbelieving homes, to teach them the Gospel of Christ. The Church was never meant to be a substitute for spiritual instruction in the home. Therefore, we seek first and foremost to equip and encourage parents to be actively involved in the spiritual teaching, training, and discipleship of their sons and daughters from infancy on into adulthood.
9. Our Position on the Roles of Men and Women
The Scriptures teach that men and women are equally created in God’s image, and in relation to salvation and spiritual position in Christ, both genders are equal. Although equal, men and women have distinct roles in the home and Church as designed by God. In the home, the man is to provide loving headship and servant leadership. He is responsible to love, nurture, and protect his wife and children, providing for the spiritual and physical needs of his household. The priority for the woman is within her home. She is to submit to her husband, complementing and completing him, wholeheartedly serving the LORD alongside him, and training their children in the ways of God. (We do realize that singles and women without children in the home have more opportunity for employment and more extensive ministry. However, if married, a woman’s first priorities are still her husband and home, even after the children are grown). In the Church, men and women are to use their spiritual gifts in ministering to the Body according to Biblical design. One notable limitation is that women are not to teach men or have authority over men in the Church.
10. Our Commitment to Biblical Counseling
We believe that all of the answers to man’s problems are found in the Person of Jesus Christ and His Word. Therefore, Jesus Christ is central in all counseling. We believe in the total sufficiency of the Bible in dealing with every problem. Our trust is not in the philosophies of men, but in the power of the Holy Spirit (the “Counselor”) in using Scripture to both save and sanctify sinners. Therefore, counselees are exhorted to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, take personal responsibility for their problems, and commit to obeying Biblical patterns/commandments in their thoughts, words, and behavior.
11. Our Worship Philosophy
Our goal in our worship services is to glorify God, not to entertain people. We believe that acceptable worship to God comes from an obedient life and a pure heart. Our desire is to direct people’s focus toward God, rather than observing a performance. In order to guard the purity of our worship we invite only spiritually mature and qualiﬁed individuals to lead in our services. We believe that a variety of instruments and both traditional and contemporary songs can be utilized to the glory of God. However, we only use hymns, choruses, and songs that are doctrinally sound in their lyrics. We encourage all members of our congregation to exercise Biblical deference in regard to issues of personal taste and preference in worship.
12. Our Perspective on Church Growth
We do not embrace the modern church growth movement that tends to assess growth in terms of attendance numbers, budgets, and buildings rather than the development of spiritual maturity and fruit. We believe a church is growing when its members are increasing in their knowledge of God, personal holiness, and obedience to Biblical mandates. Evangelism is not the primary goal of our worship services. While we warmly welcome visitors and unbelievers, our focus is on pleasing God as a Church Body. We gather on Sunday for worship and ediﬁcation, and we scatter during the week to evangelize.
13. Our Practice of Church Discipline
The local church has the dual responsibilities of encouraging virtue and repressing vice. Jesus Christ commanded the Church to discipline itself following a speciﬁc pattern (Matt. 18:15-20). Discipline should be a normal practice that begins with the loving confrontation of sin, and that first step is primarily the responsibility of the individual believers in the Body (not necessarily the leadership) toward one another. The goal of church discipline is the purity of the Church and the restoration of the sinning believer.