What we believe
We don't subscribe to any creeds or make anyone memorize confessions to join the church. We simply adhere to the teachings of the Bible, doing our best to speak where it speaks and remain silent where it's silent. In matters of faith we're unified, but in matters of opinion we give members liberty, while in all things we exercise love. We're Christians only, but we would never suggest that we're the only Christians.
God the Father
We believe that God is the creator of all things and is active in his creation. He speaks, acts and moves according to his perfect will.
God the Son
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born by a virgin birth, that he lived a sinless life, died for the sins of the world, and rose from the grave.
God the Spirit
We believe that after Jesus left, he sent the Holy Spirit to come and live within the life of all Christians.
We believe the Bible is the authoritative word of God. It is what we preach and teach, and it is the basis for how we live.
We believe the church is made up of Christians, not a building. Christians belong to God, so it is his church. The purpose of the church is to bring people to God and get them connected in various ways.
Since we believe in the authority in the Bible, we believe that we are saved by the process seen throughout the book of Acts: hearing, believing, repenting, confessing, and being baptized.
What about baptism?
Baptism is mentioned many times throughout the New Testament, yet among many there remain questions about its role in the life of the Christian. At CSCC, we believe and teach what God's word, the Bible, teaches on all issues, including baptism. Here we will discuss just a part of what can be learned about baptism from the Bible.
How is it done?
The New Testament was originally written in Greek. In each instance in which baptism is mentioned in the context of being done to someone, the Greek word used is baptizo. Baptizo in Greek means to immerse, or to be completely surrounded by water. Therefore, in the original language, it would not have been read as, for instance, "be baptized," but as "be immersed." For this reason, CSCC practices baptism in only this way.
Why do we do it, and what does it accomplish?
We do it to be obedient to God. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus, in giving to his apostles what is known as the Great Commission, instructed them to go into all the world "…teaching and baptizing…." Thus, to be baptized is a command of our Lord himself. If we wish to be obedient to what he has commanded, baptism is not optional.
Several scriptures clearly point out what God does at the time of our baptism, linking it with the forgiveness of sins and God's promised gift of the Holy Spirit to Christians. This is extremely important, because in Romans 8:9 we read "…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Obviously, we need to know what God tells us in the Bible about receiving the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 2:38, not long after Jesus' death, Peter is preaching to a crowd in Jerusalem and has made them realize that Jesus truly was the Son of God and that they have played a role in his death. Full of sorrow, they ask Peter what they must do to get themselves out of this situation. His immediate response to them is "...repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." This is very clear: they must repent (change their ways) and be baptized. The result of this response on their part is that their sins will be forgiven and they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In another example from the Acts 19:1-6, Paul encounters some believers in Ephesus. After questioning them, Paul discovered that although they had previously believed, they had not yet received the gift of the Holy Spirit because they had not been baptized into the name of Jesus. He immediately baptized them, and they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 3:21 gives us a very clear idea of what God does for us in baptism. In the New American Standard version of the Bible, it says that "…baptism…is an appeal to God for a good conscience." So, in baptism, we call upon (appeal to) God to forgive our sins (cleanse us) so that we may have a good conscience before him. This is how Paul described his own baptism in Acts 22:16 when he was told to "…get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."
There are many other passages in the Bible that address this same issue, but these examples sufficiently show that baptism, in combination with faith and repentance, is a necessary, vital component of what is commanded in the Bible for salvation. It is a demonstration of our faith and is the time God has chosen to cleanse us of our sin and by his grace give us the gift of his promised Holy Spirit.
Where we came from
The history of CSCC
While driving some twelve miles to attend Boyd Christian Church, two Centralia families, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Lamb and Mr. and Mrs. Duane Garren, realized there was a vital need for a church after New Testament principles in the city where they lived and worked. Finally under the challenging preaching of Wayne Shaw at Boyd Christian Church, the decision was made to launch out on faith.
They began contacting people who were also driving some distance to attend a Restoration Movement church. They soon found 7 other families with great faith to add to theirs. These 9 families met several times in September and October of 1958 laying plans for the establishment of a congregation in Centralia. Their aim for this congregation was that it would seek to restore the principles of New Testament Christianity, using only the simplicity of the scriptures as a guide for faith and practice.
A letter dated October 6, 1958, was sent out to all in Centralia who might be interested, announcing that the Lutheran building and the adjoining house on Hickory Street had been purchased for $13,500, and they would meet for the first time on October 12, 1958. On that day Hickory Street Christian Church met with 56 at Bible study, 68 at the worship service and 62 at the evening service.
By the beginning of 1961, after a little over 2 years of existence, there were 138 members, Bible study attendance of 100-130 and worship attendance of 120-150. In 1985, Hickory Street Christian Church moved to the current location and became Calumet Street Christian Church. In 2003, a Family Life Center was added, which includes a conference room, kitchen, gymnasium, classrooms, and the church offices.