Monday, February 18, 2008

Faith Statement

I recently became a member of the church I've been attending here in LNJ. As part of that process I had to write my faith statement to be published in the newsletter for the church. The reason I thought I would post it here too is that it may just give you a bit of insight into why I posted as I did about the recent campus shooting. I realize that by posting this I just might give away my identity in case any of my blog readers happen to attend my church and receive the church newsletter. However, because of the kind of community this church is I don't really mind if they were to find out this blog is my blog. Why? Because they accept that we are all sinners struggling with our sins. I think they would understand my blog very much the same way some of my readers do.

So now that the very verbose preamble is over here is my faith statement as written for my church's newsletter:

The first thing you should know about me is that I always hate when people ask me for my faith statement. Why? I always feel like my statement isn’t going to be profound or glamorous or poignant or any of the other things that might make it interesting. Now as I get older I have come around to realizing that isn’t what makes a good faith statement anyway, and I don’t really see that there is any such thing as a bad faith statement. It just is what it is, just as I am who I am.

I grew up in an eclectic mix of churches as my parents sought to find the right one for them. I attended everything from United Methodist to Lutheran Missouri Synod to American Baptist and Southern Baptist. Through it all I ended up developing my own unique set of beliefs that I have never found duplicated in any church. In some areas, my beliefs are quite conservative while in others, ultra liberal and occasionally, but not often, I’ll head middle of the road. At the core of my beliefs is my personal relationship with God. God and I, we have this understanding. I talk to God almost constantly and try my best to listen for His guidance. Being human, I fail over and over to live up to God’s standards. Being God, He never fails to forgive me, chasten me and give me another chance.

I believe that my calling as a Christian is to stand up for the causes that Jesus would stand up for. When Jesus walked the earth He did not ignore injustice or inhumanity. He consistently called on people to stand up for that which is right and good and just. I feel that same commitment here at [insert church name here] in the people I have met here, and I believe that means that this is a good place for me to be, a good place from which I can serve God as He would have me serve.

This reminded me of a song that I love by Sierra, a Christian music group that is no longer together. I sang this at church several years ago because I believe it carries a message many of us churchgoers need to have repeated occasionally. I wish I could've found a video, but you'll just have to settle for the lyrics.

No Stone to Throw

Maggie lives on Second Street
Downtown by the river
She looks away from everyone she meets
They've got no time to give her
Because on her shoulder is a scarlet letter
And nobody told her she could do better

I've got no stone to throw
No axe to grind
I look at Maggie's life
And I see mine
I see somebody searchin' for somethin'
A little love and understanding
And the longer I know the Lord
The more I know
I've got no stone to throw

Maggie wears a cross of gold
But she don't know why
She says she tried religion once
But it made her cry
She's been to hell and back so many times
And she's done anything to survive

Maggie lives in every town
And people talk about her
'Cause it's easier to put her down
Than to care about her
But she has a Savior; He is her Judge
Oh, Maggie, you deserve to be loved

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