COWBOY CHURCH OF COOPER CREEK
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. ESTABLISHING MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek is open to anyone who meets the following qualifications:
Candidates may join by affirming that they are baptized (immersed) believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, holding to the historic teachings of Christianity. Members joining by statement of faith that hold membership in another church are responsible for notifying their former church of their new membership in Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek.
Candidates accepting Christ as their Savior and requesting believer's baptism by immersion will be accepted as members upon baptism.
SECTION 2. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A person’s membership in the Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek may be terminated in one of the following ways:
If a member conducts himself in a manner which brings the name of Christ and the church into disrepute, or is found to be undermining church unity, it will be the responsibility of the elders under the guidance of the pastor to attempt to restore the member in a spirit of love according to the guidelines set forth in Matthew 18:15 -17. If the member fails to respond positively to these attempts, exclusion will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the church membership present and voting at a called church conference.
If a member requests erasure or offers proof of membership in a church of another denomination, the member’s name will be removed from the roll.
SECTION 3. RIGHTS OF MEMBER
Each active resident member present, 16 years of age and older, shall be entitled to one (1) vote on each matter submitted for a vote at any called church conference. The right of a member to vote shall cease upon the termination of his or her membership in the church. The right of a member to vote may be suspended if the member is involved in an unresolved elder intervention or if the member is no longer an active resident member. An active resident member is a member on the church roll who attends the church’s regular worship services at least 6 times in a 90-day period. Active resident members have the right to vote on the following matters: the call of the pastor, other professional ministerial staff, the annual church budget, indebtedness associated with land acquisition, building improvements, cumulative indebtedness for all other aspects of church business that exceeds 20% of the annual church budget, the disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the church, the merger or dissolution of the church, and any other matter submitted by the elders to the church for a vote.
ARTICLE II. MINISTERIAL LEADERSHIP
SECTION 1. PASTOR
Upon the pastor’s resignation or termination, a church conference will be called and the church will elect a pastor search team. This team will consist of no fewer than three and no more than eight active resident members. This team will seek out and evaluate prospective pastoral candidates until they achieve complete consensus on a single candidate. Potential candidates will not be presented to the congregation as a part of the pastor search process unless a call is being extended. When consensus is reached on a single candidate, the team will report to the elders who will set a time and date for the candidate to be received by the church. On that date, a church conference shall be called and after a full discussion, a vote will be taken by secret ballot. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of the active resident members of the church present and voting is required to extend a call. If a call is not extended by the church to the candidate, or if the candidate declines to accept, then the pastor search team will be disbanded and a new search team elected. This process will continue until a pastor is secured.
The pastor shall be the spiritual leader of the congregation. In that capacity, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, he shall preach and teach the word of God, lead the church in regular worship services, administer the ordinances of the church, serve as moderator at church conferences, provide leadership to the ministerial staff, serve as overall administrator of the church, work to implement the model of church structure and function laid out in this constitution and generally fulfill all his pastoral duties as set forth in Scripture.
The pastor’s duties with the church may be terminated by resignation, death, or dismissal. Such dismissal will require a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the members present and voting at a called business meeting. The moderator for such a meeting will be a neutral third party appointed by the elders.
SECTION 2. PROFESSIONAL MINISTERIAL STAFF
If it is determined by the pastor and or elders and confirmed by the leadership team that additional professional ministerial staff other than the pastor is needed for fulfilling the church’s mission, they may be employed by the church. After getting budget approval for the compensation package the personnel team will seek out candidates to fill the position, the top three candidates will be presented to the pastor. The pastor will make the final selection of the candidate that will be presented to the members for approval. A two-thirds (2/3) vote will be required to extend a call to the candidates.
Professional ministerial staff persons will have specific and written job descriptions as outlined by the pastor and or elders and or the personnel team.
The minister's duties with the church may be terminated by resignation, death, or dismissal. Dismissal can be made by the Pastor and or the elders and or the personnel team.
SECTION 3. LAY PASTORS
Lay pastors shall serve as:
They are directed by the pastor to help him carry out ministry duties. They are appointed and replaced by the pastor at his discretion.
Lay Pastors may be attached to one or more ministry teams, and they are resources to the team and act as a liaison between the team and the pastor.
Lay Pastors may be called on to participate in the worship service, (i.e. announcements, prayer requests, administering ordinances, assisting in baptism etc.). Lay Pastors may also be called upon to bring devotions, preach, pray or lead bible studies depending on their gifts, talents and spiritual maturity.
Lay Pastors help the pastor minister to the needs of the congregation in many ways, such as, visitation, meeting member's physical needs as well as the physical needs of the church.
Lay pastors shall be appointed as needed by the senior pastor. If there is no pastor, they may be appointed by the elders.
Lay pastors must be active resident members in good standing, be growing in the Lord and have an active daily relationship with Jesus, and qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Divorce alone is not grounds for disqualification.
Lay pastors will be appointed to a one year term, but may serve multiple terms by mutual consent of the senior pastor, the elders, and the lay pastor involved.
A Lay pastor may be removed before their term of office expires by death, resignation, or dismissal by the pastor. If there is no pastor, they may be dismissed by the elders.
SECTION 4. ELDERS
Elders shall serve to provide spiritual leadership and accountability to the church in accordance with scripture. They will provide a brotherhood of support and accountability for the pastor, assist the ministry teams with difficult issues, serve as arbiters in matters of conflict or church discipline, and in general provide spiritual leadership, guidance, and assistance wherever and whenever appropriate. The elder body shall be made up of three elders plus the pastor, who is the lead elder.
Elders model what it means to be Christ like. Elders are an example for the congregation of how to live a Christian life, this includes how to relate to other Christians, how to relate to non-believers, how to be a godly an active personal relationship with Jesus. Elders are to model servant leadership and step in wherever it is needed to help serve the body.
Elders must be committed to the Pastor. Elders act as a buffer between the Pastor and his critics; they also are an accountability group for the pastor, prayer partners for the pastor and friends of the pastor. Elders are to meet with the pastor on a consistent regular basis for consultation, prayer and fellowship.
The only time when the elders become a decision-making body is when (1) they are called on by the Pastor to help him make a decision, (2) when a ministry team cannot reach consensus on an issue or asks for the elders help, (3) when the functional structure does not exist or breaks down, (4) in matters of church discipline.
Elders do not have ongoing roles in the worship service and are not overly involved in the various ministry teams. Elders are not an oversight body for the finances, personnel or pastor unless it is determined that unbiblical, immoral or unethical behavior has occurred. They can be enlisted by the pastor, personnel team or the audit team if it is deemed necessary by any of these.
All discussions between the elders are strictly confidential; this includes not discussing elder issues with the spouses of elders or other church members. Breaking confidentiality is grounds for removal. Elders do not meet without all the elders present including the pastor if this is possible and absolutely never meet to discuss problems about the pastor or another elder without them present. The Pastor-Elder and Elder-Elder relationships must be 100% transparent.
God’s Word gives us specific qualifications, in 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:6-9 for men who are called to serve as leaders in our church. Below are the biblical and culturally relevant qualifications that apply to Elders in the Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek.
Verse 1 - Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.
Verse 2 – temperate & self-controlled…
Verse 2 – respectable…
Verse 2 – hospitable…
Verse 2 – able to teach…
Verse 3 – not given to drunkenness…
Verse 3 – not violent but gentle…
Verse 3 – not quarrelsome…
Verse 3 – not a lover of money…
Verse 4 – He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect…
Verse 6 – He must not be a recent convert…
Verse 7 – He must have a good reputation with outsiders…
Verse 9 – They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience…
Verse 10 – They must first be tested…
In accordance with Acts 14:23, the first slate of Elders will be appointed by the Pastor. Thereafter on or about January 1st of each year, the church will be asked to submit in writing the names of men to serve as elders. The elder body will appoint the new elder(s) from the list of nominees.
The first slate of appointed elders will have a one, two and three-year term. These first terms will be determined by lottery. Thereafter all terms will be three years and only one new elder is to be elected each year. After an elder has rotated off, he will be eligible to be a candidate for elder again if it is determined that he is still qualified.
Any active resident member of the church may bring a written scriptural reason for removal of an elder if they have two witnesses. Elders other than the Pastor may be removed from office by their own decision or by consensus decision of the other elders. Removal shall be based upon being spiritually unqualified, the inability to serve or as a result of the process laid out in Matthew 18:15-17 or failure to fulfill their commitments as an elder.
Elder vacancies can occur by death, resignation, or removal. When a vacancy occurs, the existing elders shall select an interim to fill the vacancy until the next appointment process occurs.
ARITICLE III 1963 BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE
ARTICLE IV TEAMS
SECTION 1 GENERAL MINISTRY TEAMS
Ministry teams shall be organized to carry out the specialized ministries of the church. Each ministry team shall have specific functions and responsibilities as assigned or approved by the pastor and/or elders.
Ministry teams will be made up of team representatives and team members. There will be no less than 4 no more than 10 team representatives and as many members as needed to carry out the mission of the ministry team. Team representatives are responsible for attending regularly scheduled ministry team meetings and reaching consensus on decisions. Teams will function by consensus, not majority vote. Teams must arrive at decisions that can be supported by each Team Representative. If consensus cannot be reached, the matter shall either be tabled or placed before the pastor and elders for a final decision.
Team members will have individual functions and responsibilities as assigned by the team representatives. A staff member or lay pastor will be assigned to each team to offer assistance and serve as a liaison between the team and the senior pastor and the team leader and will be responsible for ensuring that the team functions properly.
Ministry teams that have their own budget line must make a justified budget request to the Audit Team for the annual budget. The ministry team is responsible for staying within their budget and giving an account of all of their activities at the leadership team meetings. The teams make their own decisions about what they will do in their particular areas of ministry and they will choose how to allocate their budget dollars, however, all major decisions that could affect church direction or church sponsored activities should be brought before the leadership team before being implemented. Teams will hold firmly to the Mission Statement of the church and filter everything they do through this mission statement and each team will have its own Purpose Statement to help guide its direction.
Team representatives are members who represent the team in reaching consensus about decisions, team representatives must be: active resident members of the church in good standing, love the Lord and have a desire to see his kingdom grow, have credibility with other church members, have a passion for the mission of the team, be determined to make the team a top priority in their lives (this means that they are willing to rearrange their daily schedules or do whatever it takes to participate in team meetings and activities), and desire to use their talents and abilities to accomplish the team’s mission. Team members must be willing to practice biblical Christianity. Nonchurch members can be active on ministry teams but cannot be representatives that reach consensus on decisions.
General Ministry teams may be formed as needed by the pastor, elders, or by the Leadership Team.
Members of general ministry teams may be appointed by the pastor and/or elders, or be enlisted by a lay pastor or ministry team leader. The term of office for general ministry team members will be one year, but members may serve multiple terms by mutual consent of the team leader, lay pastor, and team member involved. All selections of team representatives must be approved by the Pastor.
If a team member causes conflict, fails to carry out his or her responsibility to the team including meeting participation, or otherwise hampers the work of the team, every effort should be made by the team leader and assigned staff person to rectify the issue in a positive redemptive manner. However, if the problem persists, a team member may be removed by the pastor and/or elders, or by consensus decision of the other team representatives.
SECTION 2 STANDING TEAMS
Standing teams shall be in place to assist in finding and providing the tangible resources necessary to effectively carry out the church’s ministries and business.
Standing ministry teams shall be composed of six members serving two year terms with (3) members rotating off each year. A staff member or lay pastor will be assigned to each team to offer assistance and serve as a liaison between the team and the senior pastor and elders. Each year, one member of the team shall be designated by the pastor, lay pastor or staff member to be team leader and will be responsible for ensuring that the team functions properly. Teams will function by consensus, not majority vote. This means that teams must arrive at decisions that can be supported by each member of the team. If consensus cannot be reached, the matter shall either be tabled or placed before the pastor and elders for a final decision.
Qualifications for standing ministry team members will be the same as those of general ministry team representatives. (Article IV. Section 1.)
The standing teams of the church shall be:
The Personnel Team will have 6 members and will be responsible to ensure that the church has adequate support staff to effectively carry out its ministries. They will seek out candidates to fill staff vacancies after a need is determined by the pastor, and or elders, and is directed by the leadership team, conduct periodic staff evaluations, make salary recommendations, and mediate church/staff disputes, terminate staff based on poor evaluations or as directed by the elders and or the leadership team.
The Facility Team will be made up of 6 members. This team is responsible to ensure that the church has adequate facilities to effectively carry out its ministries. They will oversee the care, maintenance, and use of all facilities and grounds except the arena. They will not oversee paid staff. Any concerns the facilities team may have with paid staff are to be taken to the personnel team and the personnel team will interact directly with paid staff. The Facility Team will also assist the pastor and elders with long range planning which will ensure that the church has adequate facilities to meet future needs.
The Audit Team is made up of no less than 3 no more than 7 members. They meet once a month to audit the financial records. They only verify and report. They have no decision-making authority about how money is spent. It is the Audit Team's responsibility to get budget requests from all of the various ministry teams and church administrators and put together an annual budget to be presented to the church for a vote. When putting together the budget the team will take into account projected church income based on history and realistic growth potential, church mission statement, church needs and priorities. A proposed budget will be presented at a monthly leadership team meeting for discussion. The leadership team must reach consensus on the budget before it is presented to the church for a vote. The budget will then be put up for a vote at a called business meeting where it will be voted on by the congregation. The budget can only be adopted by a 2/3 majority vote of the active members present at a church conference called for that purpose. The Audit Team may be enlisted by the Pastor and Elders to come up with some policies related to finances, these polices can only be adopted by a 2/3 majority vote of the active members present at a church conference called for that purpose.
The arena team shall be responsible for the oversight, care, maintenance, and use of the arena. They will work with the Leadership Team as well as other ministry teams to develop strategies and plan events that will utilize the arena to effectively reach the cowboy/western culture for Christ and provide the hub for family life in the church.
The Arena Team will be structured and function the same as a general ministry team as described in Article IV, Section 1, B. It may be determined that the arena team needs a separate checking account to handle incoming and outgoing funds. Any financial accounts are subject to the audit team and finance secretary and all financial activity is subject to the policies and procedures set forth by this church for the handling of finances. The qualifications for the arena team will be the same as for the general ministry teams as described in Article IV, Section 1, C.
The formation of the arena team will be the same as for a general ministry team as described in Article IV, Section 1, D.
The selection and term of office will be the same as for a general Ministry team as described in Article IV, Section 1, E.
Grounds for removal are the same as for a general ministry team as described in Article IV, Section 1, F.
Members of standing ministry teams may be appointed by the pastor and/or elders, or be enlisted by others who have been given that authority by the pastor and elders and do so under their supervision. The term of office for standing ministry team members will be two years with three members rotating off each year.
If a standing team member causes conflict, fails to carry out his or her responsibility to the team, or otherwise hampers the work of the team, every effort should be made by the team leader and assigned staff person to rectify the issue in a positive redemptive manner. However, if the problem persists, a team member may be removed by the pastor and/or elders, or by consensus decision of the other team members.
SECTION 3. LEADERSHIP TEAM
The Leadership Team will serve to provide a forum in which the various ministry teams can brainstorm, coordinate activities and events, share resources, and generally work together to enhance the overall effectiveness of the church’s ministries. It will be responsible for setting the church calendar and holding all ministry teams accountable to the church's mission statement, values and constitution. It will be responsible for making decisions that do not fall under specific ministry teams and decisions affecting church direction or involve multiple ministries. The leadership team may be used by the pastor to help him make decisions involving church direction or ministry.
The Leadership Team will consist of the team leaders from each ministry team, the pastor, the elders, the lay pastors, and staff. In addition, its meetings will generally be open to the participation and input of the entire church membership, however, the leadership team may meet in closed meetings but this cannot take the place of the monthly leadership team meeting which is open to the congregation. Leadership team meetings shall be moderated by the senior pastor or a person whom the senior pastor will designate.
The Leadership Team will meet as often as necessary to effectively plan and coordinate the activities and events of the church. At a minimum the leadership team will meet once every 2 months.
ARTICLE V. CORPORATE OFFICERS
SECTION 1. PRESIDENT
The senior pastor shall serve as the president and overall administrator of the corporation. He will serve as moderator at church conferences and be responsible for ensuring that the daily business affairs of the church are appropriately and effectively executed.
SECTION 2. TRUSTEES
Trustees shall sign the title to church property; all legal documents involving the ale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property; all notes and loan instruments; and such other legal documents as may require execution on behalf of the church.
The trustees will be the current elders.
SECTION 3. CLERK/SECRETARY
The Church Clerk shall serve as secretary of the corporation. The responsibilities of the clerk will be to keep the minutes of all church conferences, insure that a proper file of all members is maintained.
A volunteer may be appointed by the pastor and elders. A paid staff position can be filled by the Personnel Team. The Church Secretary shall serve as Church Clerk.
SECTION 4. VACANCIES
In the event a vacancy occurs in any corporate office; the elders shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term.
ARTICLE VI. CHURCH BUSINESS
SECTION 1. FINANCES
The fiscal year of the church will be on a calendar year basis beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31 of each year.
A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the Audit Team.
The Audit Team, in consultation with the pastor and ministry team leaders, shall prepare and submit a budget for congregational approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year as outlined in (Article IV, Sec 2, D, 3).
All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the church shall be signed by at least two people who have been designated by the Audit Team for that purpose. The pastor and or the pastor's spouse, an elder and or an elder's spouse or other relations of conflict of interest may not serve as check signers.
All funds of the church shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of the church in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as determined by the Audit Team.
SECTION 2. CHURCH CONFERENCES
There shall be one annual church conference called in January of each year to vote on the annual budget and other major decisions.
Any church conference other than the Annual Church conference must be called for a specific purpose. Church conferences may be called by the elders or by written petition of 25% of the active resident members presented to the elders, unless it is a conference to be called to vote on termination of the pastor; in this case refer to (Article II, Section 1, C). An active resident member is one who has attended the church’s regular worship services at least 6 times in the 90 days preceding the circulation of the petition and is currently on the membership role.
Notices of the time and place of all church conferences shall be given no later than the Sunday prior to such meetings by publication in the church newsletter or worship bulletin, or by public announcement at a regular Sunday morning worship service.
All church conferences shall be held on the premises of the church.
The active resident church members present at any duly called church conference shall constitute a quorum.
Voting by proxy at any church conference shall not be allowed or recognized.
All Ministry Teams, officers, and organizations of the church shall carry out the will of the church on any given matter, duly expressed by its vote.
The order of proceedings at church conferences shall be determined by the rules of practice contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised.
All business of the church shall be conducted in a manner that honors Christ and respects others. The church shall strive to seek the will of God by prayerful deliberation and common consensus.
SECTION 3. CONTRACTS
The Trustee’s shall execute and deliver any contract or instrument in the name of the church which may be authorized by the church to be so executed and delivered. In this connection, the church body as a whole shall be the ultimate authority for all actions taken by the church and no other person, organization or corporate officer shall have any authority to contract or otherwise bind the church without express authorization from the church body.
SECTION 4. BOOKS AND RECORDS
The church shall keep and maintain a complete and accurate record of all financial accounts, membership lists, and church conference minutes at its principle office. All books and records of the church may be inspected by any active resident member, or his agent or attorney, for any purpose at any reasonable time.
SECTION 5. PROHIBITION AGAINST SHARING IN CORPORATE EARNINGS
No member, officer, or person connected with the corporation, or any other private individual shall receive at any time any of the net earnings of pecuniary profit from the operations of the corporation, provided that this shall not prevent the payment to any such person of a reasonable compensation for services rendered to or for the corporation in effecting any of its purposes as shall be fixed by the church; and no such person or persons shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets upon the dissolution of the corporation. All members of the church shall be deemed to have expressly consented and agreed that upon such dissolution or winding up of the affairs of the corporation, whether voluntary or involuntary, the assets of the corporation, after all debts have been satisfied, then remaining in the hands of the officers of the church shall be distributed, transferred, conveyed, delivered, and paid over, in such amounts as the church may determine or as may be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction upon application of the church, exclusively to charitable, religious, or educational organizations which would then qualify under the provisions of Section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.
SECTION 6. EXEMPT ACTIVITIES
Notwithstanding any other provision of these by-laws, no member, officer, or representative of the corporation shall take any action or carry on any activity by or on behalf of the corporation not permitted to be taken or carried on by any organization exempt under Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended, or by any organization contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (C)(2) of such code and regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.
ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the active resident members present at a church conference called for that purpose. Amendments may be proposed by the elders or by written petition of 25% of the resident membership presented to the elders. Proposed amendments for church consideration shall be announced at the regular worship service and made available in written form to the congregation two weeks prior to the church conference in which they will be voted on. Amendments will be numbered, dated and attached to the original instrument.
Amendment I - Use of Buildings and Equipment
Added October 23, 2016
Use of Buildings and Equipment: The use of the buildings and equipment by the church shall be in accordance with the church calendar. Non-members and inactive members are not permitted to reserve church facilities for personal use except by approval by the Elder body.
The facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs, or advancing, advocating, or engaging in practices that conflict with the church’s faith or moral teachings found in the church’s constitution, bylaws, and amendments. Nor may facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed by the Elder body as inconsistent with, or contrary to the church’s faith or moral teachings. The Elder body is the final decision-maker on whether a person or group is allowed to use church facilities. This restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, the church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the church’s beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of the church’s faith and religious practice. See 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
Second, it is very important to the church that it presents a consistent message to the community, which the church staff and members conscientiously maintain as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To allow facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the church’s faith would have a severe negative impact on the message that the church strives to promote. It could also be a source of confusion and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the church is in agreement with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using church facilities.
Amendment II – ABORTION
Added October 23, 2016
We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of Holy Scripture, which is our inspired, infallible, and inerrant guide. (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Because Holy Scripture speaks to creation and human life, it is imperative that we correctly understand, articulate, and abide by what Holy Scripture teaches on this matter.
We believe that God has created mankind in His image (Imago Dei) and that human life begins at fertilization. God, in his infinite sovereignty, uniquely formed human beings and gave them a special dignity, personal freedom, and individual accountability among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God and to be good and faithful stewards of creation. God created each person’s inmost being, knitting each person together in his or her mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13). As God’s individualized and personal creation, each person is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14). God has ordained all the days of each person’s life before they came to be. (Psalm 139:16).
Based on Holy Scripture and the constant moral teaching of the universal Church, we believe:
Genesis 1:26-27 – Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 25:21-22 – Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
Exodus 20:13 – You shall not murder.
Psalm 22:9-10 – Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Psalm 139:13-16 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Isaiah 44:1-2 – This is what the Lord says: he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
Isaiah 49:5 – And now the Lord says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength.
Job 10:8-12 – Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 – The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “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.”
Luke 1:39-45 – Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
All of our members, employees, and volunteers must affirm and adhere to this Statement of Faith on Abortion to qualify for involvement with the ministry of this church. This is necessary to accomplish our religious mission, goals, and purpose. Behavior or counter-witnessing that does otherwise will impede and burden our integrity and religious mission, inviting scandal on this church.
This church believes that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and should seek redemption through confession, repentance, baptism, and faith in Jesus Christ. Consequently, church members must welcome and treat with respect, compassion, and sensitivity all who have endured the tragedy of abortion but are sincerely and resolutely committed to conform their behavior to this church’s Statement of Faith on Abortion.
Amendment III - MARRIAGE AND HUMAN SEXUALITY
October 23, 2016
We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of Holy Scripture, which is our infallible guide (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Since the Holy Bible does speak to the nature of human beings and their sexuality it is imperative that we correctly understand and articulate what the Bible teaches on these matters.
We are committed to the home and family as set forth in Holy Scripture. We believe God has ordained and created marriage to exist between one man and one woman, with absolute marital fidelity. The Bible sets forth specific home and family values, which include the distinct roles of husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and children. It is our firm conviction that we uphold the dignity of each individual as we embrace the unchanging and longstanding principles of scriptural truth.
Based on Holy Scripture, we believe:
“God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the leadership of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.”
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20
I Samuel 1:26-28
Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139: 13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 15-20; 6: 20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9
Matthew 5:31-32:18:2-5; 19:3-9
I Corinthians 7:1-16;
Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4;
I Timothy 5:8, 14;
2 Timothy 1:3-5;
I Peter 3:1-7.
The SBC Resolution on Biblical Sexuality and Public Policy
“WHEREAS, From the beginning, the Bible establishes the basis for sexuality by declaring that human beings are created in God’s image as “male and female” and that “a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh”; and
WHEREAS, Jesus answered questions about marriage by reaffirming this male/female and “one flesh” creation pattern for sexuality; and
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the SBC meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, June 23-24, 2009, reaffirm our historic and consistent support of the biblical definition of marriage as the exclusive union of a man and a woman.”
Section 2. Sexual Immorality
“In the Spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose …all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography … Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant for a lifetime … the channel of expression according to biblical standards.”
Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17
Matthew 5:13-16, 43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35
Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff; 10:21
Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25
John 15:12; 17:15
1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1
1 Thessalonians 3:12
Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8
Section 3. Sexual Identity
“Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation.”
Section 4. Sexual Redemption
Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek believes that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and should seek redemption through confession, repentance, baptism, and faith in Jesus Christ. Consequently, Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek members must welcome and treat with respect, compassion and sensitivity all who experience same-sex attractions or confess sexually immoral acts but are committed to resisting sexual temptations, refraining from sexual immorality, and conforming their behavior to Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek’s Statement of Faith.
I Corinthians 10:13
Section 5. Celibacy
Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek believes that Holy Scripture grants two life-enhancing options for human sexual behavior: (1) the conjugal “one flesh” marital union of one man and one woman, and (2) celibacy. Both are a gift from God, given as He wills for His glory and the good of those who receive and rejoice in His gift to them. Celibacy and faithful singleness is to be celebrated and affirmed within Cowboy Church of Cooper Creek.
Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18, 21-24;
1 Corinthians 7:1-8;
1 Corinthians 12:12-13;
1 Timothy 5:1-2
All of our members, employees, and volunteers must affirm and adhere to this Doctrinal and Religious Absolute statement on marriage and human sexuality to qualify for involvement with the ministry. This is necessary to accomplish our religious mission, goals and purpose. Behavior or counter-witnessing that does otherwise will impede and burden our integrity and religious mission. We believe that God’s grace can wipe the slate of guilt and sin, though the consequences are still incurred.