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Our Beliefs

The following comprises the Scriptural beliefs of the Cranfill Family:

 

Why are we an Independent Baptist church?

It is the intent of this church to function freely as a missionary, evangelistic, independent Baptist Church recognizing no ecclesiastical authority higher than the local assembly. Further, we will operate in a truly biblical, autonomous fashion.

 

The Holy Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbal and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are God's complete and divine revelation to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical and literal meaning. (2 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

 

Dispensationalism

We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation but are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations - the law, the church, and the kingdom - are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Genesis 1:28; 1 Corinthians 9:17; 2 Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24-25, 27; Revelation 20:2-6)

 

The Godhead

We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 14:10, 26; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

 

The Person and Work of Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2)

 

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)

We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly to do the work of the ministry. (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12)

 

The Total Depravity of Man

We believe that man was created in God's image and likeness, but in Adam's sin, the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19)

 

Salvation

We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that all sins, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, are forgivable. (Matthew 12:31-32; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:9)

 

The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers

We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1; 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:4-5)

We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)

 

The Church

We believe that the local church is a body of organized believers, the body and the espoused bride of Christ, solely made up of born-again persons who meet regularly for fellowship, worship, and Bible study. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27)

We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches are clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 12:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)

We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control. (Acts 12:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

We believe there are only two Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age:

Baptism by immersion - (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:34-38; 16:31-33)

The Lord's Supper - Bread and Cup (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

 

Separation

We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations and refrain from immodest and immoderate appearances, piercings, and bodily markings. (Leviticus 19:28; Romans 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)

 

The Second Advent of Christ

We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church before the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)

 

The Eternal State

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6; 12-13)

We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss, they await the first resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 2:4-6)

We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne of Judgment and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15)

 

Satan and Fallen Angels

We believe that Satan is a person. He was created perfect but sinned and became the arch-enemy of God and His creation. He is the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; He is the chief adversary of God's children. He seeks to keep man from the Lord, and when he cannot succeed in this, he seeks to weaken the testimony of Christians. He has at his command a great host of fallen angels and demons to carry out his purposes. He is not omnipotent and can be overcome by the power of God. His doom is sealed in the Lake of Fire forever and ever. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 13:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 12:10; 20:10)

 

The Doctrine of Last Things

We believe there will be a resurrection of all, first the just at the coming of Jesus Christ and finally the unjust after the millennium. The saints are raised to be forever with the Lord, and the unsaved will be confined for eternity in the Lake of Fire. We believe in the "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:13), which is the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior for His church at the rapture and His later return to the earth in power and glory with His saints to set up His Kingdom (the millennium). (John 13:1-3; Acts 1:9-11, Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-20; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 John 2:1-2, Revelation 20:1-15, Revelation 21:8)

 

Creation

We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and the Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11)

 

Civil Government

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in the respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-14)

 

Human Sexuality

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)

We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)

 

Family Relationships

We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them through consistent lifestyle examples and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18, 22:15; 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7)

 

Divorce and Remarriage

We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used by God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon. (Malachi 2:13-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)

 

Abortion

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, congenital disabilities, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

 

Euthanasia

We believe that the direct taking of innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Matthew 5:21; Acts 17:28)

 

Love

We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat of the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)

 

Lawsuits between Believers

We believe Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. However, we believe that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)

 

Missions

We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to our own country's foreign nations and other areas and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8)

 

Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving. Every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the church's support, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)

Our Testimonies

Taylor's Testimony of Salvation:

My testimony begins centered around the church, the Bible, and most importantly, Jesus Christ. I grew up hearing and learning bible story after Bible story through children's church, Sunday school, and other kid events. Even though I heard and believed that the Bible was the truth, I had never decided to accept Christ personally. Until one day, when discussing with my dad about Jesus and what he would look like, the fact that I had never accepted Jesus personally changed. It changed because my dad pulled over on the side of the road and walked me through the scriptures to know how I could know Him personally. At the end of him walking me through the scriptures, I knelt my head, and there I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me (Romans 10:13, Romans 10:9). That day it was no longer the gift of God that I knew about in my head only, but it became the gift of God that I knew about in the head and accepted it as my own in the heart. Then, not long after, I decided to follow the Lord in believers' baptism and follow the Lord. Things have not always been perfect, whether by choice or circumstances around me, but the Lord has always been faithful. He has allowed me the opportunity to learn, grow, and mature in my fellowship and relationship with Him.

Lynsey's Testimony of Salvation: 

I was saved at the young age of 4. I remember going to church and hearing accounts from the Bible, but I never fully grasped salvation. So, one night at home, I asked my parents how to be saved, and that night I accepted Christ as my Savior. Though I accepted Christ that night, I struggled with assurance some years later. One night at Bible School, our Associate Pastor at the time was talking about knowing for sure you are saved. For those years, I struggled, but that night I got assurance of my salvation so that today I know for sure that God died for my sins, and through His sacrifice, I can live with him forever. Shortly after that assurance, I got baptized at my home church, Lighthouse Baptist Church.

Our Call

In October 2010, a Missionary came to our home church for the yearly missions conference. In that missions conference, the one thing he focused on in his preaching and presenting was surrendering your life fully to the Lord. One night after the service, there was alter call, and it was centered around the very topic that he had focused on surrendering your life to Lord, whatever that you were saying, "Yes Lord," I want to your will for my life. So, during that alter call, I got up to go to the altar, and that night, I surrendered my will to the Lord, not knowing at all what that entailed for my future family and me to do. But, as time went on, the Lord continued to deal with me about being one of the laborers that go out of your Jerusalem into Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. I began to pray and seek counsel from the Word of God and other people about this calling that I felt the Lord was placing on my life at this time. Then one day the Lord gave me what would become my life verse Acts 1:8 where Jesus says, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." The Lord used this verse to confirm in my life the calling of missions, but now I was like, where Lord would you have me go to fulfill this calling, which brings us to 2016 where the Lord through my Youth Pastor would present the need in the inner-city of Chicago, IL. When he presented this need to the youth group, the Lord broke my heart for these people, but it was a call yet until sometime later where the Lord would confirm he was calling me there using Romans 10:14 where it says, "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" Now the Lord is opening the door for my family to fulfill this calling and present the gospel of the needy city of Chicago. Since then, he has allowed me to serve as Youth Director under Pastor Avery Varnadore at my church. I have been given several opportunities to grow in various areas of ministry, such as preaching, planning, outreach, and more.

Our Vision

Our vision is to plant a church in the inner-city of Chicago that can use its outreach to start other ministries and reproduce itself into other churches in the inner-city and around the world through training, developing, and helping other young couples that God calls to missions work. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to fulfill the Great Commission of reaching, baptizing, and discipling people in our sphere of influence so that can go forth in the world and fulfill the Great commission in their sphere of influence.

Our Goals

  • Plant a Church (City Life Baptist Church)

  • Reproduce into other churches (in Chicago & around the world.)

  • Rehab Ministries

  • Bible Training Classes

  • Internships for young man & women going into ministry

  • Christian School

  • Homeless Outreach

Personal Information

267 Meadowview Road

Lexington, NC 27295

taylorcranfill34@gmail.com

336-425-6651

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