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Statement of Faith


I believe that God is apparent.

There is a goodness in the universe that manifests itself in our feelings of fulfillment when we help one another and love one another and view the wonder of creation. It is the highest aim of humans to search to align themselves with this goodness.

Also, God describes the greater whole in which we all participate. By recognizing this wholeness we realize that nothing is truly good for us that is not also good for others.

God is always with us, and in a very literal sense, we are a part of God. But, God is more than us.

I believe the Bible is a record of God’s people struggling to stop missing the mark and to live a good life.

The Bible was written over thousands of years by many people. It is a complicated and diverse work. Nonetheless, it provides vital clues into how to behave and how to understand our role in the universe.

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is an individual of unmatched significance to my life.

Jesus Christ had a profound understanding of God’s desire for us. He recognized that any portion of religion that failed to serve the observer should be discarded. At the same time, he challenged adherents to go behind technical compliance with the law.

More than this, Jesus emanated compassion and acceptance in a way that transformed all those who followed him. He could not be defeated in his quest to transform God’s people, even in his execution.

Jesus of Nazareth, who lived two millenia ago, saved me from a life of mundane existence. He provided me with a path to find greater meaning and purpose. This is a confounding truth. And it is why I claim that Jesus Christ is my personal savior and son of the living God.

I believe that the Church must continually evolve to connect people to the truth of God.

The Christian Church is not stagnant. When the world was ruled by kings, the church at first resisted it, but then adopted a hierarchy as its polity. When democracy began to spread again, parts of the church adapted to that. When society was obsessed with substance, so was the church. As society is ruled by rational thought, so shall the chruch.

None of this is an indictment of the church. To the contrary, the church’s adaptability is an asset that allows it to continue to evolve and point its followers to greater truth.

The Church is a vehicle of human construction. As such, it can fail in its mission, as it has many times. Indeed, when it fails, people fall away and the church must evolve or die.

Other “churches” from other cultures similarly point people to the truth. If I were born in India, I would still need to find the highest truths, but Hinduism would have to lead me.

One can find truth without adherence to a religion. Particularly in matters such as learning kindness and empathy, as well as behavioral derivatives. However, I believe achieving a greater understanding of our world alone, without reference to greater leaders in this area would be as difficult as deriving Newton’s laws of motion without Newton.

Each of these should really read, “I now believe . . .” because I continue to search often to better understand myself and my world.

2 replies on “Statement of Faith”

Interesting. Clear you’ve put a lot of thought into it. Points for the Newton bit, that’s persuasive. Who you choose as your spiritual “Newton,” of course, is a matter all itself.

I’m still interested in the idea that God exists as an emergent phenomenon of human culture. Does your statement of faith rule that out?

Josh,

I think defining God as an emergent phenomenon of human cultural would not be in conflict with my statement of faith. I do think, I’m view God as more than that. I think the phenomenon of human culture is an important manifestation of God.

I’m struggling to avoid unnecessary metaphysics–which is nonetheless very interesting to me–and to focus on a meaningful understanding of God. And I think you are describing at least a component of God that has impact on our lives and should be capable of demonstrating objectively.

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