As with any church, the list of beliefs of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church would be enormous. They would also vary slightly from person to person. Below is just a small snapshot of some of the beliefs of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. A longer explanation of our beliefs of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is recorded in our “Confession of Faith” which can be viewed on our denomination’s website.
Cumberland Presbyterians accept the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe that the Holy Scriptures comprise the 66 books of the Old and the New Testaments, and that the best rule of interpretation of Scripture is the comparison of Scripture with Scripture. This means that we do not depend upon a particular verse as literal proof of all beliefs and practices, but we do seek the whole teaching and spirit of the Bible as our guide. We do not limit ourselves to any one translation of the Bible but seek always for a deeper understanding of God’s word.
We believe in God as Creator and Caretaker; in Jesus Christ as divine Savior and Lord; and in the Holy Spirit as God present and at work everywhere in creation.
We believe the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a part of the Church of which Christ is the head and all believers in Christ are a part. We believe in cooperation with all who accept Jesus as Christ and Lord.
We believe that every person needs regeneration and must make a personal commitment of their life to Christ in order to be saved. We do not believe that any are saved or lost regardless of their own will. All infants dying in infancy and all persons who have never had the faculty of reason are regenerated and saved through Christ. God initiates salvation, sending the Holy Spirit to all persons, calling them to repentance and faith. They have a choice of acceptance or rejection.
Preservation of Believers
We believe that a person who is truly regenerated will not totally fall away from a state of grace, but will be preserved to everlasting life. In other words, “Once saved, always saved.” We do not believe that “good works” will save our souls, but are the result of a regenerated life.
We believe that there are only two sacraments of the church:
Water Baptism is a sign or symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and a seal of the Covenant of Grace. Because the Holy Spirit is always represented in the Scriptures as being poured out on the person, its renewal and cleansing is symbolized by pouring or sprinkling water upon the head of the one being baptized. We believe that infant children of Christians should be given the seal of the Covenant just as Hebrew children were in Old Testament days. Infant baptism is now that seal, and represents an act of faith on the part of the parents and the Church as the child is dedicated to the Lord. Infant baptism is not an evidence of salvation, but is an evidence of non-communicant church membership. Those who have been baptized in infancy must make a personal acceptance of Christ and accept the act of their baptism before sharing in the full fellowship of the Church. There is no saving power in water baptism, yet it is the duty of all believers not previously baptized to confess Christ in this solemn ordinance and to present their infant children for baptism.
The Lord’s Supper is the second sacrament of the church. The symbols used are bread and grape juice (wine can also be used). The elements remain, after consecration, literal bread and juice. Since it is the Lord’s Supper and not an ordinance of a particular church, all who acknowledge Jesus as Christ and who have faith to understand the significant of this sacrament are invited to partake this meal with us, regardless of their denominational affiliation.
The term Presbyterian in our name refers to our form of government. The term is taken from the Greek word “presbuteros,” which is usually translated “elder.” A Presbyterian church governs its congregation by both teaching elders (the pastor) and ruling elders (men and women elected by the congregation). Together they make up the “Session” and join with “Sessions” of other regional churches in their denomination forming a “Presbytery.” First Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a part of Murfreesboro Presbytery. Presbyteries are joined to form “Synods” which act as church courts of review. The “General Assembly” is the highest church court and meets yearly. (This is very similar to local and state governments that you are probably more familiar with.)