Confession

We had to write a ‘confession’ or statement of beliefs for one of my classes. This is what I have. Feedback is welcome. 🙂

Personal Statement of Faith of 2011

Though I am still a growing and learning Christian, I offer a confession that is meant to be firm, but accommodate changes and evolving personal theology. This statement, according to my current convictions, is meant to be neither closed nor absolutely permanent.

God

As described in Scripture, God acts omnisciently and omnipotently. In respecting tradition and how God chooses to reveal Himself in Scripture, masculine speech can be used to describe God. However, as the creator of all, God does not explicitly have a gender. God continues to order the world and directly reveals Himself to people, as He chooses, through the Holy Spirit. [Psalm 139; Isaiah 40:13-15, 28; Matthew 6:9-14; Mark 10:27; Romans 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:17]

Bible

The Bible acts as God’s Message for all people for all time. The canon is currently closed with 66 books. While other books may be helpful, such as some deuterocanonical books, the Council of Nicaea closed the canon in 325 AD. All stories, ideas, and themes can be useful for teaching as the Holy Spirit leads. Each person, as empowered by the Holy Spirit, is equipped to interpret Scripture for themself. [Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Psalm 119:9,11,105,130]

Salvation

Salvation is made possible through and only by the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and lived as both fully human and fully divine. He also fulfilled all prophecy necessary to be called The Messiah. Any and all redemptive suffering was completed by Jesus Christ during His physical presence on earth.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven… [From the Nicene Creed]

Once a true encounter with God occurs, the person should acknowledge their desire to live for God’s purposes and by God’s ways as revealed through the Bible. At this point of genuine conversion, where there is confession of sin, contrite repentance, and acknowledgement that Jesus is Lord, the Holy Spirit will continue to work by giving the Fruit of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control over time. [Galatians 5:22-25]

Communion, The Lord’s Supper, should be observed as often as voted on by the local church. It should serve as a symbolic memorial or commemoration of Jesus Christ’s redemptive sacrifice. Communion should be received by all baptized Christians in good standing with their local church. [John 5:26; Romans 3:16-17,27-28; Romans 10: 9-13; Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 3:13; Luke 22:15-20; Colossians 1:14-15,19-20]

The Church

The Church was established by Jesus Christ and serves as the community of believers from all times and places. Each local church has its own autonomy, but should be part of a larger convention and/or association. The local church should work to care for all members through age-appropriate spiritual support, Biblical teaching and leadership, missions and evangelistic training, community building, and holistic wellness.

All local church members are expected to have faithful participation, find a way to become involved, and tithe appropriately. All local church members also submit to local church discipline. Church discipline should serve as an accountability measure for proper Christian conduct and be enacted by a church council or board of elders with co-operation by the pastoral staff. The local church should work to care for all people in their larger community context by evangelistic outreach, charity work, holistic wellness, and appropriate random acts of kindness. [Colossians 1:18; Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Titus 2:1-6,15; Colossians 2:19; Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1-6]

Leadership

All Christians who sense a vocational call should discern and pursue that calling. Those who feel called by God through the Holy Spirit to vocational Christian ministry should especially discern and pursue their calling through further theological education and be filled with the Holy Spirit. All Christians called to vocational Christian ministry have an equal calling regardless of the type of work, current marital status, sex, nationality, race, or other similar factor. As a result of the beliefs of priesthood of the believer, autonomy of each local church, and the Holy Spirit’s presence in all Christians, leadership should not operate in a hierarchical format. All leaders in The Church should not only be above reproach, but take appropriate measures to also appear above reproach.

Lay and vocational church leaders should work together in The Church and share teaching responsibilities as gifted and moved by the Holy Spirit through mutual servant leadership. The leadership of each local church should be comprised of pastoral staff, whether full time, part time, or bi-vocational, and lay church members as a part of a church council, deacon body, board of elders, or similar group. Lay leaders should be chosen as a result of congregational nomination, high moral standing, and faithfulness to the church without regard to current marital status, sex, nationality, race, or other similar factor. [Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 2:5; Titus 2:2-8; Galatians 3:26-28; James 4:17; Galatians 6:1-2; Hebrews 13:16-17; Mark 9:35]

Baptism

After conversion and baptism, each Christian has the right to vote at local business meetings and participate on committees. Baptism serves as a non-redemptive symbol of conversion for all who believe that Jesus Christ is the redemptive Messiah and desire to know God personally. Only a baptism made willingly by a confirmed believer should be considered as a valid statement of faith by the local and global church bodies. Baptism by immersion is desirable because of the visual symbolism of being buried and then raised. Baptism by sprinkling or other methods are acceptable as well because the symbolism of new life and purity take precedence over method. [Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:19; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-5; Ephesians 4:5-6; Colossians 2:12-14]

Social Justice & Missions

Mission and evangelistic opportunities should serve each person and society holistically. In response to Jesus’ command to love our neighbor, an appropriate response would be to actively seek out how to meet neighbors’ physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and other needs in long term, efficient, nurturing, and genuinely beneficial ways. Efforts should be made to intentionally present the Gospel through lifestyle, words, strategic presentation, and appropriate translation. All people should have a copy of the Bible in a translation they can most simply understand. [Mark 12:29-31 Hebrews 13:16; Romans 10:13-17; Romans 12:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-16; James 2:13-17]

Creation

As stewards of what God has created, Christians are called to take care of what God has given. All of creation has value because God created it and should be treated with respect. Efforts should be made by each Christian to appropriately care for all of creation including but not limited to other people, animals of all types, vegetation, marine life, and unseen creation such as air and atmosphere according to their Holy Spirit prompted convictions. [Genesis 1:31; Psalm 19:1-4; Colossians 1:16-17; Jeremiah 32:17; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Isaiah 44:24; Hebrews 11:3; James 1:17-18]

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Laurieanne
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 16:54:51

    Your confession is quite organized and well-presented, weighty. No shame on this portion of your paper. L.

    Reply

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