This is a personal statement of faith. It expresses where I am in my journey now and is in no way perfect nor immutable. I will update it.
A reasoned but humble doctrine
I believe that God the Father gave us minds and that He expects us to use them. Yet we are flawed and limited and our understanding is flawed and limited. This is summarised in the idea of agnosis – our lack of knowledge.
Man is ignorant and the full truth is inherently unknowable to us. All that we think we know is faulty due to our own limitations. Our own best knowledge, doctrines, and understanding are forever flawed and full of error. We seek to embrace metanoia – a change in our thinking – freely confessing our ignorance and, in doing so, we allow our nature to be changed into the nature of Yeshua.
Therefore it is only wise and right that we carefully consider what we believe and why and that we are, at all time, prepared to reexamine our doctrines in light of the scriptures. Likewise, we should be able to give a full and frank account of why we believe.
No doctrine is beyond humble and reasoned examination.
I believe it is okay to not know something as only a proud man claims to know everything as God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. It is better to admit a lack of understanding or an ignorance of some doctrine than to pretend to have a complete grasp of the unknowable completeness of God.
I believe in God the Father the fullest example of love and righteousness. I believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God sent as a ransom for many. And I believe in the Holy Spirit promised to us by the prophet Joel and sent by Christ to be another a comforter and advocate.
I believe the Father is beyond our full understanding. I believe the father is a Loving God that can teach us to love mercy more than sacrifice, justice for all, and wisdom in all things. I believe He sent his Son for this reason to ransom us from sin.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was born of a virgin, taught wisely and without sin, was betrayed, murdered and yet rose again on the third day. In doing so, He completed The Law and ushered in an age of grace. It is my wish to learn to be more like Christ Jesus.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth that leads us unto all truth. I believe it is the role of the Holy Spirit to convince the world of sin and therefore I will not try to do that job instead as my efforts will be substandard.
I do not feel that I have sufficient wisdom to make a proclamation on the subject of the Trinity.
Pronouns for the Godhead
I tend towards mostly male pronouns as they are more familiar to me. I know in the Kingdom of Heaven that Jew and Greek, slave and free, and male and female all ultimately have no meaning. However in English, one has to use something and mostly male pronouns will do. I note, however, that scriptural texts sometimes use feminine forms for the Holy Spirit but I do not know how to reflect this in my own word choices. Suffice it to say my choice of pronouns is not intended to carry any additional information.
I believe that the Bible is the divine word (logos) of God, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Though a careful and considerate study of His word (logos), we can come to know the mind of Christ, at least in part.
While I do not feel I know enough to make a proclamation on biblical inerrancy, I fully believe that it is axiomatic (beyond question) that the Bible is good for doctrine and study. Therefore, all doctrine must be based on a sound reading of scripture.
Fulfilling all of God’s requirements
I believe in Jesus’ teaching that are two things that fulfil all of God’s requirements.
- The God with all my being.
- Love my neighbour as myself.
I do not know; I was not there. I know what the Bible says in Genesis but how to fully interpret that is beyond me. However, it is my belief that the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth, will lead me to the truth as I need it.
I do not have a statement of faith on the subject of the creation. Literal, metaphorical, or other changes nothing about God’s love for me. Therefore, I have only faith that the Father will guide me in understanding through His Spirit should He chose to.
Sin & Grace
I believe that sin is a word often misused by Christians. I believe, from my studies of scripture, that sin is the sum of all weaknesses, limitations, and shortcomings that we have. The Bible says “all have sinned” and with this understanding, I can see clearly that this is true.
I believe because it is written in the Bible, that we were slaves to sin. I believe because it is written in the Bible, that The Law is the power of sin. The Law is perfect but as we are not perfect we cannot help but commit offences under The Law. However, in Christ, we are no longer under The Law but under Grace.
I seek to not frustrate Gace but let Grace have her perfect way in me. I suspect that Grace may be a name of the Holy Spirit but that really is just speculation on my part.
I believe that the church is the body of Christ. I believe that all who are truly Christ’s disciples form the church even if they do not belong to a congregation. However, I suspect that there are those that belong to or even help run congregations that are not necessarily of the body. Jesus taught that the world will know us by our love for each other and we will be known by the fruit our lives produce.
Therefore if your life multiplies and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – then we are family. We do not have to agree on all matters of doctrine in order that this continue to be true.
I strongly suspect that we have misunderstood the passages that are often used to tell this narrative. Job and other books of scripture show us an accuser before the Father. Thankfully we have an advocate with the Father that makes intercession for us.
I do not have a statement of faith on the subject of this character because regardless of the truth, he/she/it is irrelevant to me so long as I remain in Christ.
I do not know for certain; I have never been there. This is an area of doctrine where I am still questioning what I believe. However, the Ransom theory of the atonement leaves open the possibility of restoration and the eventual salvation of all mankind. I do not have a statement of faith on the subject of hell but the way the doctrine is tub-thumped, compared to the way scripture dances around the issue, suggests that we have grossly oversimplified truth into a unique falsehood.
I believe that the church is far, far, far too obsessed with this subject given the relative brevity of writings on the topic in scripture. I fear that we generate more heat than light when we talk about it. I suspect that we shall find out that we have gotten the wrong end of the stick on more than a few points.
What I do know is that Romans says it is not for me to judge another man’s servant. Which I take to mean that these matters exist between the disciple and Father God alone and are, therefore, none of my business. My beliefs do not in anyway excuse me from the second greatest commandment to love without condition.
Because of this, I support same-gender marriage equality in the name of justice for those who are denied justice and because sin or the lack thereof is the business of the Holy Spirit and I am in no place to comment on how another may be directed by God.
On the other hand, being rude, mean, dismissive, predatory, cruel, unkind, unloving, hateful, aggressive, or unjust are not behaviours befitting a child of God. I will be vocal about speaking up for those that have no voice even if that means defending “the world” from my own family (Christians).