While I really liked the idea of the Twitter of Faith, I think my Presbytery might think that was a little bit short, so below is what I am planning on presenting as my Statement of Faith. I’d love to hear any feedback that you might give, especially constructive feedback. My context is a fairly small Presbytery (18 churches) in southern, rural Idaho. I basically took my previous Statement of Faith and made some changes to it. If any of you have gone through the Ordination process before, I’d be especially interested in things you think I left out (and maybe really need to put in) or issues/questions that you could see arising from my Statement.
While I enjoy so many people from my Presbytery in Idaho, I am so looking forward to being done with this process of jumping through the hoops. I go before Presbytery on Saturday, December 6 in Idaho Falls, ID. sometime between 10 and 3pm (MST). Your prayers are appreciated. I do believe that this is really an “evolving” Statement of Faith – I don’t believe these types of statements are meant to be considered static. So, this is my Statement of Faith, as of November 2008. To read my Statement of Faith, continue below.
Statement of Faith
In the beginning, before the dawn of time, God began to create. Out of love, God created the cosmos, our world and humanity. God declared all of God’s creation to be good and thus humans were given the opportunity and command to love and care for God’s creation. Humanity quickly turned from God and desired to seek their own ways. And thus the story of redemption and reconciliation began: humanity would both follow and turn away from God and God would be an ever-present companion, full of compassion, mercy and justice.
As the story continued, it became clear that our world was broken and torn apart by sin. In order to reconcile a broken world to Godself, God took on human flesh and broke into human history in the person of Jesus, who brought salvation and liberation to humanity. Jesus became human, told stories, touched outcasts, challenged assumptions, loved sinners, gave hope, and turned the world upside down. In the end, he gave his life on the cross, and through that sacrificial act, gave humanity the gift of salvation, redemption and hope. But death did not have the last word; the last word belongs to God and it is a word of life. Jesus was resurrected and we are given the promise of eternal and abundant life.
God continues to reveal Godself to us through the continual presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us into truth, renews and sustains us, prays for us, and gives peace. The Spirit is also a wild and unpredictable wind surpassing the ability of humanity to contain or control. As we wrestle with God’s word to us in the Scriptures, the Spirit teaches, guides, and opens up truth. As we wrestle with God’s words in the Scriptures in community, and as we acknowledge the Bible consists of the words of men, we trust that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and believe them to be the unique witness to Jesus, the Word of God incarnate.
The Church is the place where messy, broken and struggling people of God come together to bear witness to the truth and power of the Gospel. The Church’s call is to discern where God is at work in the world, and join in that mission. When we participate in God’s mission, when we partner with God, we bring about the kingdom of God in the here-and-now – the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in Heaven. We are nourished for this mission through the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; through our baptism, we become a part of the body of Christ and through the Lord’s Super, we are continually strengthened and nourished by the body and blood of Christ through the Spirit, remembering the salvific demonstration of God’s love through the cross.
The realities of the perversion of God’s goodness in this world are all too real. Yet, as we are actively involved in this world, in this creation, we continue to look forward to the fully-realized Kingdom of God that we believe, in faith, will come one day – the new earth and the new heaven. But until that day comes, we are called to love God the Creator, to seek to follow the way of Jesus the Redeemer and to be attentive to all the movements of the Spirit the Sustainer.