A Statement of Faith
My son is celebrating his confirmation this weekend. (He and the 3 other young adults actually joined the church 2 Sundays ago, but the official celebration is the 20th). One of the things he and his fellow confirmands (yes, that's a word) had to do was write a statement of faith. That was NOT something I had to do when I was confirmed. (Actually I don't think I really had to do anything...which upon reflection is not a good thing.) His statement was brief, but clear and well thought out.
All of which got me to thinking...I SHOULD write my own statement of faith. I had to think about it for a LONG time before I could commit anything to paper (or blog, as the case may be). The truth is that while I believe myself to be a good Christian/human being and try to stay faithful to God's Word (as I hear/understand it), I DO have trust issues. Even trusting in the Lord can be challenge for me. My husband has even said, for a "religious" person, you don't always have a great deal of faith. He's right. It's something I need to work on.
With that said, I do have strong beliefs and convictions.
I believe the Bible is the word of God, as written down and interpreted by man. The words tell us the story, but it is up to each of us to interpret that story. (And I'm the first to admit that I HAVE NOT read the entire book cover to cover.) My understanding of God's words may be different from yours and that is okay. For example, I do believe that God created this world. Do I think it happened in 7 days? Well certainly not in 7 days as I know them, but that does not negate the fact that what I conceive of as God created this world/universe. God's word needs to be interpreted individually, but it should NOT be twisted to fit our own specific human wants. God's word is for ALL.
I believe in the 10 commandments. They exist for good reason; we NEED laws. Humanity needs to follow these commandments in order to survive. (And I think we've seen plenty of chaos and horrible results when they are not followed; whether on a personal or global level.) The commandments keep us safe and give us much needed boundaries.
I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Following these teachings, in word AND deed make me a better person and make this world a better place. Although I may not be able to change the world by acting in a Christ-like way, I can certainly change and improve MY world. And I believe that by acting in such a way can impact my world and THE world in ways that I might not ever know. Each deed or action that I do that follows the "golden rule" (as it were) can only make the world a better place, while also improving myself. It is my belief that what we learn we are obligated to do and pass on. So we shouldn't just read Matthew 25 31-40; we should ACT on it.
I believe God is a parent; forgiving our sins/errors/mistakes. We are human and we all, no matter who we are, make mistakes/sins. It is part of our humanity. However, like a parent, God expects us to LEARN from them and "sin no more." (As a parent, this makes me reflect on the question "Is God disappointed in us as we continually make the same mistakes over and over again? Or is it something that God expects with the presumption that someday humanity will learn?)
Finally, I believe that as God said (or at least as George Burns as God said in the film directed by Carl Reiner and written by Larry Gelbart): "I gave you a world and everything in it. It's all up to you." We have been given a beautiful gift. We have the opportunity to do wonderful things with this gift. Each of us, no matter how "low" or privileged can make a difference. What we do each and every day; each and every second, impacts the universe. Good or bad; it's what WE make of it. We as human being have the choice to do "good" or not; to make this world a better place or not. God HAS given us each our own unique talents; it is up to us as to how we use them. As I believe this, I chose to try to make this world a better place. Truth be told, I don't always succeed. But I try, hope and have faith (yes, FAITH!) that what I do in this lifetime will benefit our world and our universe.
Is that all that I believe? No...my beliefs evolve and change as I do I. But these are the basic tenets of my life...and for now...that is enough.