What I believe

I believe that what I think is true, but I could still be wrong.

 

       I don't mean to say that I change my mind often, but I am okay with being wrong because it gives me a chance to learn and get closer to the truth, and I want to acknowledge that I don't believe everything below 100%. I decided this is true from what I have studied and been exposed to. To say we don't decide what we believe is true is to say we don't have a choice in what we believe. On a scale from zero to ten, zero being I don't know of any reasonable alternatives, and ten means I would die for that belief. On some things, I am a two or a three. I am a five or six on most, and very few a ten. I also acknowledge that I could be wrong. I don't believe that I am. But I could be, and I try and remain aware of my own bias'.

 

Think to believe and believe in understanding.

 

        It is important to be thoughtful and intentional in what we believe. Blind faith can be dangerous. Although we start in ignorance in different degrees, we must learn and study so we grow our faith into understanding. To share and defend our faith, we must first understand it, which will also help keep us from believing lies. I believe it is possible to know the Bible is true, not just have faith. And when you know the Bible is true, it will give you a new desire to study it and understand it.

I am an Interdenominational Protestant Orthodox Christian. 
 
Interdenominational vs Non-Denominational 

 

       Non-Denominational is becoming more and more popular these days and is closely associated with Bible churches, which are, in turn, usually some form of reformed Southern Baptists. In a sense, Non-Denominational is becoming a denomination. I did not come up with the term though interdenominational. While attending Moody Bible Institute, I learned it, which uses an Interdenominational teaching style. They do not teach their own special views of doctrine or practice but teach different major accepted views and interpretations and stay grounded in the Bible. 

 

       I also think that Interdenominational focuses on the positive, what unites us and our shared focus on Jesus and loving each other and Jesus loves us. In contrast, Non-Denominational is more about focusing on what is not agreed on; or the difference of what is believed or how to run a church. I believe we should always try and focus on what unites us rather than what divides us. A member or follower of any Western Christian churches that are separate from the Roman Catholic Church and follow the Reformation principles, including the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches.

 

Protestant 

 

       This term is pretty well understood. The definition is "a member or follower of any Western Christian churches that are separate from the Roman Catholic Church and follow the Reformation principles, including the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches." There are, however, many aspects and traditions of Roman Catholicism that I respect.

  

Orthodox Christian

 

       There are a few different definitions, and the one I like that fits well with the context of what I am talking about is this: Conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early church. There are four primary creeds that I adhere to and are generally accepted; the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedonian Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.

   The Theology Program is a program of Christian Theology (the study of God) and Apologetics (defending the faith) created with all believers in mind. 

 

   60 hours of classroom teaching broken into 6 topics that will help you understand your own theology and why you believe it.

One of the first "We believe" of the Christian Church.

After a few things came up, the need to define a few points was needed. 

More intentionally defining the nature of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus.

 
Doctrinal Statement

 

Scriptures

       I believe that the Bible is not merely another book but is God's revelation to us of Himself. As such, I believe that "all scripture is God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16) and without error. Furthermore, I believe that the whole Bible is inspired, that "men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit " (2 Peter 1:21). Therefore, the scriptures are the only authoritative and final source of information from and about God.

       A Note on translations: I believe that the Bible we have today is trustworthy, even though translational differences arise. Some translations are easier for younger believers, and others are better for deep study, and all true translations are trustworthy. However, some books labeled The Bible are not full translations but paraphrasing. An example would be The message, which is an idiomatic translation.

 

God

       I believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and that these three are one God. They have the same nature, attributes, and perfections and are worthy of the same homage, confidence, and obedience.

 

Man

       I believe that man was created in the image of God, but through sin, he lost his spiritual life, his relationship with God. That condition has been passed down to all men and women so that no one has an eternal life of his own effort or desire.

 

Jesus Christ

       I believe that as foretold in the Old Testament, the Son of God was born of a virgin, receiving a human body and sinless human nature so that He could redeem the world. This God-man, Jesus Christ, voluntarily became the sacrificial Lamb, substituting His life for ours so that through His death, he might be our Savior. Then, having conquered sin and death, He rose from the grave, was seen by witnesses, and ascended into heaven.

 

Salvation

       I believe that salvation is only available through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. No one can enter into God's presence by any means other than faith that Christ's substitutionary death on the cross fully paid the penalty for sin. And that faith will bear fruit. "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."  James 2:17

 

Substitutionary Death of Christ

       I believe that the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe. Only such as receive Jesus Christ through faith are born of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Church

      I believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who, through personal faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is Head.

       I believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

 

Eschatology 

        I believe that the next event in God’s prophetic calendar is the Rapture of the Church when living and dead Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord and receive rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Following the Rapture, I believe a seven-year period of Tribulation will commence upon the earth, at which time God’s wrath will be poured out on humanity.

        I believe God’s millennial kingdom will be ushered in by Jesus Christ when He returns to the earth in power and glory to rule sovereignly over the world for a thousand years. The unsaved dead of all ages will be raised after the millennium to face the judgment of the Great White Throne and will be cast into the lake of fire where there will be eternal punishment.

       I believe the redeemed of all ages will exist in an eternal state of joy and bliss in the new heavens and a new earth where they will worship and serve God forever.

 

Dispensations

       I believe that God administers His purpose in the world through man under varying dispensations or stewardships, such as the period of Mosaic law, the present age of grace, and the future millennial kingdom.

         I believe that these dispensations span the entire history of humanity but that dispensations are not different ways of salvation. Rather, they are ways of life that test man's obedience to God’s revealed will during a particular time. It is necessary to observe the dispensational distinction to understand the Scriptures' teaching properly.

 

Soft-Cessationist

       I believe supernatural gifts (e.g., tongues and prophecy, healing) functioned only in the early church for the specific purpose of authenticating the apostles’ message and ceased as the church became founded and the apostles died out. 

       I believe that these gifts have ceased in the sense of a person being “gifted” with them. However, I  realize that God is sovereign and could choose to have a person exercise a supernatural phenomenon such as tongues or healing if He so willed. However, I believe this would be considered a miracle, not a spiritual gift.