“Reformulating Thoughts” Addendum – Statement of Faith

April 27, 2010

Friends and folks I know that seek to be ordained ministers in traditions similar but other than my own often have to produce a “statement of faith” in preparation  for ordination. The ones I’ve seen always mirror the Nicene Creed in many ways but are also personalized to the individual. Even though my goals lie in teaching World Religion and involvement in various social and non-profit opportunities, I began to ponder what I would say were I expected to produce such a thing. As an Episcopalian, even were I to seek ordination, many churches would likely be fine with the things I came up with, but not all. As for other traditions, I’m not sure. I guess anyone reading can comment as to if they think their particular denomination or location would accept something like this! I enjoyed doing this though, it made me focus on what it is I do believe in the structure and language of most of my fellow Christians.

I believe in One God: God that was First Cause and God that continues to be, running through all of creation. I believe God created all through scientific and natural laws, which God created as well.  I call the aspect of God that runs through all Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is what activates the image of God that already exists in all of us when we allow it into us; Holy Spirit allows us to bring the good of God out of us and into the world where it can transform other people and situations. I believe that some of us are more open and receptive to Spirit; the prime example to me of one who was so open to Spirit that the line between the humanity of that person and the divinity of God blurred into One is Jesus Christ.

I believe I am to follow Jesus and live as he taught. In Jesus I found my entry-point to the wholeness and trueness of One God and as such I have a responsibility to seek Justice, love mercy, and walk in kindness. I am to seek Christ in the heart of the poor, the homeless, the outcast, the rejected, and the unloved—I am to spread the love of God to all I interact with and I am to seek to transform this world into a more just and fair world in whatever ways that I can.

I believe the Bible is a human attempt at understanding God and the meaning of life in relationship with God. I believe that in certain moments of private reflection and meditation and in communal readings scripture from the Bible can become the Word of God when they touch our soul and awaken in us a deeper love for God and neighbor and stronger thirst for justice. Although I believe other texts from other traditions can become the Word of God for those respective traditions, as one with roots in Christianity I most often find that Word in the Hebrew and Christian testaments.

I believe that sin occurs when we act in ways that damage our relationship with God or neighbor. I believe these actions occur in us all, but that we all can be forgiven and redeemed from them daily as we try to follow more closely in the ways of love for God and neighbor.

I believe we live in a broken world but we must live as if it can be restored, redeemed, and renewed and that we must live so as to make this world as it ought to be—I believe the Church can be the primary institution in bringing about this global, temporal yet eternal, transformation and salvation. I believe our personal salvation occurs when we place our faith and trust in a proper place and we thus are free from the chains of greed, apathy, failure, pain, death, and sin so that we can move forward with acts of mercy.

I believe the Christian faith best exemplifies for me the way to live—personally and communally, but I do not discount other ways for other people whose roots are in their own traditions. I believe that as we move deeper into the 21st century, we must all—Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, and Atheist—find ways to work together for the betterment of all humankind. We must have respect for our differences, security for our individualism, and love for each other and ourselves.

Here are links to other entries I’ve posted that expound on how I hold my personal beliefs in relation to some key Christian concepts. One that is missing but is in the works is on Communion/Mass/The Eucharist, something I feel strongly towards but need to explore further as to what it means for my type of faith.

The Trinity

 https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/reformulating-thoughts-on-the-trinity/

Prayer:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/prayers-and-an-earthquake/

Scripture:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/drastically-different-themes-same-source/

The Christian Life:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/as-serious-as-we-wanna-be/

Prophets:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/definition-of-a-prophet/

Hell:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/she-said-i-want-some-of-that-hellfire-and-brimstone-stuff/

Church:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/why-church-why-christianity-marcus-borgs-heart-of-christianity/

and

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/the-church-as-it-could-be-social-justice-hub/

Salvation:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/salvation/

God (theism):

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/theistic-interpretations/

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2 Responses to ““Reformulating Thoughts” Addendum – Statement of Faith”

  1. Beau Brown said

    You’re clearly a heretic, and therefore deserve…elevation as a saint. Haha, this was really good. I especially like Jesus as an entry-point. That’s good stuff!

  2. […] like salvation and even posted my own reformulation of the main articles typically contained in a statement of faith, and I realize my ideas and opinions take on a much more pluralistic view of things so much of […]

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