What I Believe
I believe that the Bible is the Word of God written by men through the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Bible is without error in the original languages and that God has preserved His Word until today and through translations. I will admit that sometimes meaning can be obscured by translations and that it is sometimes necessary to go back to the original language to truly understand what God is telling us. Some examples of this would be the rod and submission.
I take the Bible at face value. While I understand that parts of the Bible are allegory and symbolism, I believe that those parts are clearly marked. When the Bible says that something happened, I believe that it happened. This includes the entire book of Genesis. I have no problem believing that God made the universe in 6 days. He could have made it in one nanosecond had He had chosen to do so, but He chose to do it in 6 days. I do not believe that those days represent ages. That would require things to die before sin and death entered creation.
I believe that Science is man’s way of trying to understand what God has done. If science contradicts what God says, then science is wrong. Science is always changing, trying to make sense of God’s creation while leaving God out of it. The scientists were not there, they can only speculate. God was there and He told Moses what to write, therefore I believe it.
I believe in the Trinity. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We cannot really understand this, it is beyond us. We can kind of understand by thinking of H2O which can be seen as ice, water and steam. They are not each other but all are H2O. This helps, but it is not exactly the same. We can also think of how a man is mind, body and spirit. That helps, but is also not really the same. We have to understand that God made man, man did not make God. God is far superior to us and it is not necessary nor even reasonable to expect to understand Him. As a child cannot understand everything his parents do or say, so we must understand that we cannot comprehend God.
I believe that as God, Jesus has always been and always will be. I believe that Jesus was born into a human body in order to keep the Law and become the only suitable sacrifice to pay for our sins. In that way, He redeemed us. This means that He purchased our freedom. We were slaves to sin, doomed to spend eternity in Hell and He paid for our sins by dying for us. He died and 3 days later he resurrected Himself, proving that He is God. By believing this, we are saved. We are saved by believing, not by doing anything, because there is nothing we can do to save ourselves or to add to what Jesus did. We then belong to Him and we serve Him out of love and a sincere desire to please Him.
P.S. I found Glenn Chatfield’s Statement of Faith to be well written and I agree with it so I thought I’d share it also.
This is a pretty concise statement of faith. I don’t know if I could state it that simply. Also, what I believe expands as I come to know God better and understand more, even though, I agree that we can’t complerely understand Him. However, I believe He gives each of understanding of those things we really need to know. My relationship with God is specifically, tailored for me and I think it is the same for others who belong to Jesus. It makes me sad when believers argue about God, with our partial understanding of Him, and in judgement of each other. It seems to me that when believers focus on Jesus, we have unity and the divisions show up when we get off on theology. I’ve decided that my theology is Jesus, the way He lived, the truth He spoke, and the eternal life He alone, gives to those who believe in Him.
I also, have a fundamental background. As a Biblicist though, my personal study and my quest to understand how scripture interprets itself, has caused my personal understanding to expand and I no longer fit into that background. I haven’t really left what I believed before but it is more like moving from a primary understanding to that of higher education. I agree that it is important to look into the original language and also, at the culture so that we can come closer to understanding what the writers meant at the time they wrote it. The ‘rod’ represents discipline, which can never be physical punishment, alone, if it is used at all. There are many aspects to descipline. When a small child does something that threatens their life, like continuing to run out into the street or defy the authority that protects them, I think there is a place for spanking because it is good for the child to associate that dangerous activity with pain. However, it should be done correctly and should never cause any physical damage to the child and it should be a rare occurance. Older children shouldn’t be spanked because it isn’t necessary and only teaches them that hitting will get them their way. Spanking is traditional and people support spanking with the Bible. However, the way spanking is used by most supporters of corporal punishment isn’t good for children and it isn’t effective. Children need discipline and they need to be disciplined while also, being respected. Respect isn’t beat into children. That’s fear and when they are big enough to defend themselves, they will be angry and may even behave violently with their parents, in return for the treatment they’ve received. I also, see people who don’t believe in spanking deny their children any kind of discipline and such children are being raised to go to jail. Both types of parents are abusing their children. I think I got off track a little but it’s important for believers to not swallow traditional teachings whole but mine the scriptures for themselves and allow scripture and not the teachings of traditional religious leaders, teach us how God wants us to apply His wisdom. Scripture has never left we wanting when I have looked deeply there for answers in my personal life. Anyway, it makes me very sad when people use the Bible as a tool for abuse. I’m sad that it was used that way on you. I’m glad you’ve not let it turn you from God.
Thank you for responding. Of course, this does not convey every single thing I believe, you’re right, it is concise. 😉