What We Believe
As I have grown in my relationship with Christ, I have had ample opportunity to define and re-define what it is I believe about Christianity. Over the years, my list has become shorter rather than longer. It is not because I don’t hold strong beliefs in other area’s, because I do. I simply hold these views to be non-essential to the Christian faith. For too long, we have allowed our in-house theological disagreements over these non-essential matters to divide Christ’s body and dishonor Christ’s name.
It is no longer critical to me if one is an Arminian or a Calvinist, whether one believes in speaking in tongues or is against it, if one believes the rapture will take place before the tribulation, during it or at the end of it or how one might believe about any number of other issues. I view these as non-essentials to our faith. A healthy church and a grounded pastor will allow people the freedom to believe differently on these matters.
It has been a long road for me, but I have come back to the original statement of faith. The one the church hammered out in 325 and finalized in 381 AD. THE creed of the church: The Nicene Creed. All three branches of the historical church (Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant) affirm this to be the statement of faith. If one does not hold to this creed, they can not be called a Christian. Even though I can add other things that I passionately believe to be true about the Christian faith, this creed contains what I believe are essentials.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of
heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of
God, begotten of the Father before all ages;
Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten,
not created, of one essence with the Father
through Whom all things were made.
Who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate
of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered and was buried;
And He rose on the third day,
according to the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
And He will come again with glory to judge the living
and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life,
Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the
Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who
spoke through the prophets.
In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the age to come.