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Foundational DocumentsThe Cornerstone Beautiful Christian Community

The Cornerstone Beautiful Christian Community

A beautiful Christian community is one that reflects the beauty of God – as perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ – through the working of the Word and the Holy Spirit. We the people of Cornerstone University are committed to being this kind of community.

* Affirmed by Cornerstone University Board of Trustees on September 21, 2022.

The Beautiful Christian Community Statement

1. Our Commitment to Being a Beautiful Christian Community: A beautiful Christian community is one that reflects the beauty of God – as perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ – through the working of the Word and the Holy Spirit. We the people of Cornerstone University are committed to being this kind of community, one that loves God and one another, by continual reflection of Jesus Christ through the greatest Christian virtue – love. As a beautiful Christian community characterized by the beauty of divine love, the employees of Cornerstone University will love everyone regardless of distinctions of color, sex, race, ethnicity, ability, and socioeconomic status because God first loved us and because God has so loved the world. The dynamic of human diversity that reflects the beauty of God and his creative design provides the men and women of Cornerstone University with the opportunities to enrich one another with cross-cultural experiences and to rise above traditional barriers by developing unity and exercising Christ-centered love as a testimony to his transforming presence where we live and work. It is our hope that all who in good faith become part of the Cornerstone community will experience the welcoming, redemptive, and transforming love of Christ in their interactions with its fellow members.

Theological Foundations

2. Foundational Faith Commitments: Human beings were created in God’s image and intended to glorify him. We the people of Cornerstone University are committed to glorifying God in all things and submitting to God’s voice in Scripture, including the Great Commission, Cultural Mandate, and participation and service in our local churches. We have been given a great salvation. We are committed to respecting the image of God in all people whether redeemed or not and regardless of color, sex, race, ethnicity, ability, political views, socio-economic positions, religion, whether born or unborn, and whether near or far. We are also dedicated to challenge ourselves and our students to be conformed to the image of Christ, through the working of the Word and the Holy Spirit, and demonstrate that Christ, his Spirit, and the Bible are the most important bonds of true believers.

3. Unity in Diversity in the Old Testament: The Lord God created a diverse world of plant, animals, humans, and more. His intention for humans was for them to create God glorifying cultures as they filled the earth. But through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, they fell. Thereafter, fallen humanity’s prideful attempt to build a reputation and kingdom without God culminated in God’s actions at the Tower of Babel, where he confused humanity’s language, causing them to scatter. Later, God set apart Abraham, Sarah and their descendants to bring about a “holy” people – Israel – in whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. God loved Israel. And God also loved the whole world. Old Testament Israel was to be a light to other nations and to welcome all those willing to surrender to God’s ways.

4. Unity in Diversity in the New Testament: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – the Son of God and the Son of Man – loved his fellow Israelites and all others whom he healed, preached to, admonished, exhorted, and served during his earthly ministry. The New Testament Church has been called out by God to be a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation composed of a diverse group of peoples from every nation, tribe, people, and language unified within their diversity to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ. Diversity of race, culture, socio-economic position, and spiritual giftedness have been at times viewed as challenges, even problems, instead of gifts and opportunities through which to show the love of Christ to one another and the world, and opportunities to work as one, beautiful community who share one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. In addition, we see God’s concern for the different nations in the miracle at the Day of Pentecost, a momentary reversal of the forced separation through language at Babel. And in John’s Revelation, we witness people from all nations, tribes, and languages worshipping Christ together. God’s evident desire and design for unity in diversity reflects his Trinitarian nature: one God, three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— who are each fully God. Our God is the Beautiful Community.

5. Unity in Diversity Through Christ: In our fallen world, difference may be accompanied by misunderstanding, bias, unfairness, and injustice. This happens even in the church and Christian institutions. There is no reconciliation that will completely heal and rectify any relationship unless reconciliation of the broken relationship between the Creator and the created first occurs through the saving power of the Gospel. True relational reconciliation among people cannot fully occur without true reconciliation between people and God. Both can only occur through Christ, and the fruits of both are mutually reinforcing.

Comments and Commitments Regarding a Biblical Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

6. Diversity: There are wonderful kinds of diversity that are by God’s good design and intention and that are honoring to him. We are committed to championing and celebrating God’s good design and intended diversity, enriching one another’s walk with the Lord.

7. Equity: We all deserve love, respect, and dignity from each other as we each bear the image of God within us and as God has commanded that we love each other. As Christ followers, we will strive, in humility, to imitate Christ in every effort to bless others in need and to rectify unjust disparities.

8. Inclusion: We will be unified in our love of Christ and of each other. We will only celebrate and be inclusive of diversity that honors Jesus Christ, is faithful to the Scriptures, and embodies the calling of God upon us to be a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation that is composed of peoples from every nation, tribe, people, and language. We wish to include all into God’s Kingdom. Therefore, we proclaim and share the good news of Christ’s work and the opportunity God has afforded for faith and repentance. In Christ there are no distinctions that separate. With our diversity of gifts, we are committed to working together as one body and putting forth the fruit of the Spirit for God’s glory and one another’s benefit.

Overall Implications

9. Imaging God: We are committed to pursuing a beautiful Christian community and reflecting our God, who is the Beautiful Community. We commit ourselves to serving together in ways that will bear witness to his reign in our midst. We will seek to reflect his will and his ways through our words, actions, and attitudes so that our community will both express and experience the Kingdom blessings of righteousness, peace, and joy. We commit ourselves to learning and talking with one another.

10. Distinct but Not Separate: We will pursue peace by honoring one another regardless of our differences. In personal relationships, knowing that we ourselves are undeserving, we will extend gifts of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We will believe the best of others. We will speak of each other and treat one another in ways that Christ’s love and peace will characterize our relationships.

11. We Are One in the Lord: We will contribute to a spirit of joy on our campus by blessing one another with acts of mutual service and sacrifice and by extending love and consideration to all regardless of position or rank, so that we may flourish personally and professionally and that his joy may be full in our midst.

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