What Cumberland Presbyterians Believe
What is the primary belief associated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church?
"for God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16. this is "the gospel in miniature". It is true testimony to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world.It is the testimony of Cumberland Presbyterians from the outset of our origin.
What are some other core beliefs that distinguish Cumberland Presbyterians?
Cumberland Presbyterians believe that (1) there are no eternal reprobates,(2) Christ died not for a part only, but for all mankind,(3) all infants dying in infancy are saved through Christ and the sanctification of the Spirit; and (4) the Spirit of God operates on the world in such a manner as to have all person inexcusable.
What do Cumberland Presbyterians believe about scripture?
Cumberland Presbyterians believe the Bible is the word of God.It is an authoritative guide for matters of faith (belief) and practice (order). We also understand that it must be interpreted. Two people can read the same scripture and understand it differently.
The Bible is the means by which persons come to understand how God has been present with humanity since the beginning of time and is present in our world today.The Bible is not intended to be a book of science; instead, it is a book of faith.it is interpreted history, history interpreted by the faith community about the mighty works of God in the world.The Bible's significance is religious, not scientific. In the scriptures, we learn of God's faithfulness, constant love and eternal goodness.
Well,then,how do you help from reading it however it suits you best?
Self interested readings are a danger.That's why Cumberland Presbyterians always do two things when we interpret scripture.First, we pray for the guidance of the Holy spirit as we read.Second, we read scripture with other people who can help us see our blind spots.Sometimes those "other people" are scholars who've written commentaries on the scripture we're reading and sometimes they are people from other cultures and sometimes they are our christian brothers and sisters of other faith traditions.
Do Cumberland Presbyterians have some common beliefs?
Yes,first, we believe that God loves each of us.This is the starting point of faith.Some of our brothers and sisters in the faith will acknowledge this central fact of Christianity but then speak words that sound like hate.That won't do.god is a God of love.This makes sense of everything else.For instance, creation.God creates this world out of love.It is a good world.It is not a prison or a place to waste away a life waiting for heaven.It is our home-and the home of all God's creatures.We are to have dominion over it the way God has dominion over us.that is, we are to love it too.We also believe that God "so loved" the world that everyone in the world may be reconciled to God and others.
Incarnation is the word we use to describe God becoming a human in Jesus.It means "in the flesh".It's an act of love.Jesus was reconciling the world to God-because "God so loved the world".
You mean by paying the debt of our sin?
Yes.That's one way scripture talks about it.That's a legal/economic metaphor for what Jesus did.But there are others:overcoming the power of sin and death,paying a ransom,reconciling estranged parties, making sacrifice, restoring the fullness of humanity, and a host of others.Each way of speaking about it points at removing whatever separates us from God.In Jesus, God has taken the initiative to end that separation.That's love.That's how we should always talk about God.
Why do you baptize babies?
We baptize our children because we believe God chooses then before they can ever make a choice for God.When they come to an age4 where they can make conscious choices about faith, we ask those children to confirm their baptism by making the same vows their parents made for them when they were young.
What book do you recommend i read that contain the church's theology and belief system?
We Cumberland Presbyterians have produced a book which contains our collective understanding of scripture.It is called Confession of Faith Cumberland Presbyterians.In that book also you will find the church's constitution, rules of discipline, directory for worship, and rules of order.