What Do You Believe?

faithTom Harpur is a journalist, TV host, and Canada’s best-known author on the topics of religion and spirituality.  He is an Anglican priest and Rhodes scholar who studied philosophy and theology at Oxford.  He has written a statement of faith—a “creed” as he calls it—that goes like this:

We believe, and put our trust in God, Creator and Sustainer of all things, from the farthest-flung galaxies to the most microscopic forms of life; God is above and around and within every one of us, and yet so far beyond us in transcendence that our minds cannot fathom the mystery and our only response is wonder and worship.  And we believe God sent Jesus, anointing him in the power of the Spirit, to declare by word and deed the gospel of personal and social liberation from the power of fear and all injustice and oppression.  Though he was cruelly and unjustly murdered, God raised him from death and God’s seal is set forever on Jesus’ message and ministry.  In him we know that God is love, and that forgiveness and acceptance are ours always.  In him we are called to realize God’s kingdom in our own lives and in the lives of others.  In him we are called to join with God in making all things new.  We believe God has granted to us and to all humanity the same Spirit that was in Jesus, creating community and empowering us to be like him.  We believe in a dimension of existence yet to come.  We seek to build God’s kingdom here, but we also look beyond to a day when wars will end and God’s New Jerusalem will be revealed.  We believe.  God help our unbelief.

There are things in this creed I would say differently, and some things I wouldn’t say at all, and other things that need to be said, but that is precisely Harpur’s point.  He says, “This ‘creed’ makes no claim whatever to be perfect.  No creed will be.  But it shows the direction in which I believe we could move.  I challenge readers to take the time to create a creed for themselves.  Discuss it and improve upon it with others.  Simplify!” (The Emerging Christian Way, p. 64).

Suppose you did that?  Suppose you tried to write down in a single paragraph what you believe.  You might not call it a creed (Baptists have “no creed but the Bible”), but you could work on a statement of belief as a theological exercise, as a way of nailing down in a few sentences what is most essential to your faith.  If it turns out well, and if you are willing to share, you could post it here by clicking on the word “comments” below. 

Thanks for reading, thinking, and believing,

Jim

4 thoughts on “What Do You Believe?

  1. I believe that our misssion in the world is to serve others, with our talents, time, understanding and compassion. Love the Lord and love towards the neighbor. God is love itself and life itself. God created all things in the universe, but He lives in you.

  2. I believe that Jeus Christ is my Lord and Saviour. I believe that we should love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul. And, that he loves me even when I don’t love myself. I know that without God I am nothing. And, it is because of him that I am where I am today.

  3. Hmmmmmmmm.

    To quote “The Great Communicator,” (uh, that would be Ronald Reagan…) “…there you go again…”

    Jim, you are asking us to THINK and DEFINE and PUT INTO WORDS what we BELIEVE.

    Hmmmmmmmm.

    Not an easy task.

    But that is what I like about you. You pose the questions, and leave the answers up to God and his movement within our hearts.

    My first instinctive reaction, based on my Methodist upbringing, is to recite the Apostles’ Creed, all of which is what I believe:

    I believe in God, the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth;

    and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord;
    who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
    and born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and buried.
    On the third day He rose again.
    He ascended into heaven,
    and sitteth at the right hand of the God, the Father Almighty.
    He will come again to judge the quick and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic (meaning universal) Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. AMEN.

    But now that I am a Baptist without a “creed” per se, all I can do is ponder your question.

    I believe God is and will be at work in the hearts of those that open their hearts to and for his working(s). It is humbling and amazing what God can do when we engage in the simple, but not always easy, act of following his lead.

    Thanks for asking. I will see if I can come up with a better answer. But then, there is the thought that, “…those who have the all the answers…probably don’t even know the questions yet…” So maybe I won’t come up with a better answer!

    Good blog, with a good question for us all to wrestle with.

  4. I’m still trying to figure out how to define myself with something that I can hold in my hand. I gave my precious little book of Robert Burn’s poetry to the baby Jesus, knowing He would understand how much I wanted to instill in all the children under my tutelage a love for the written word and for the gift of imagination. I can’t define what I believe in a brief paragraph; all I can say is, “Jesus is Lord” and I’m doing my best to follow His example.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s