Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Personal Doctrine Part 1

A few weeks ago, I went on a fast. Mostly from film, television, junk food, and coffee. Instead, I listened to sermons, read the Bible, prayed, etc. I listen only to CCM (either KLove or my Pandora stations). I did research on some aspects of Christianity to figure out what I believe and I'm trying to come up with what my personal doctrine is to try to figure out what denomination I am. I've gone through lists of denominations to try to figure it out.

I know that I do not believe in:

  • The Pope. Yes, he may be a good man but there is no person on Earth who I believe is more important than another. I don't believe that he has the power to give any additional rules especially since the Bible itself forbids adding to its pages.
  • Infant baptism. I strongly prefer the idea of baptism by immersion (and that is how I was baptized but that's beside the point). I believe that baptism is meant for when you can decide for yourself that you want to follow G-d. Though there's no set age that I would put as the minimum for baptism, I am glad I was 16 when I was baptized. I was old enough that I understood what I was doing, what it meant. It  was entirely my own decision. Given my own life, I'd had time already to turn away from the faith a bit and to turn back. My walk since then may not have been perfect and there may have been times that I still ran from G-d but I do remember my baptism and I know that I have been washed clean by Him. A baby cannot make that decision to follow Christ and I would not keep my child from experiencing the overwhelming feeling that came over me when I came up out of the water for anything.
  • KJV only. What good is the Bible if you can't understand it?
I don't care about:
  • How the church is governed. What does it matter to me if there are two levels of authority (pastor and deacons) like in the Baptist church or if there are committees and organizations? Those who say that the Baptist model is the right one because that's what the Bible says, well in Biblical times they did have meetings to decide things (Acts 15) and they didn't have nearly as many believers! More believers, more people to help organize things. That makes plenty of sense to me. But I also have nothing against the two level scheme either. If it works, I don't care.
  • Style of worship. I personally prefer Koin style worship (CCM with a worship band) but I also enjoy hymns. I just have a difficult time focusing on G-d during hymns because my thoughts are on my singing technique and what are the next words.
So I'm going to try to write out (and support) my beliefs regarding who G-d is and what I understand my relationship with Him to be. The following list isn't going to be exhaustive of my beliefs nor is it meant to be binding. It's meant instead to help clarify for myself what I believe.

I believe the Bible is the inspired word of G-d in it's original form. I believe that though there may be some mistakes along the way of translation, that G-d would not let His word be harmed or misunderstood. I believe that we ought to read His word daily. I also believe that I fail at this call nearly daily.

I believe that G-d is three-in-one. He is at the same time Father, Spirit, and Jesus. They are all equally important, equal parts, and at the same time they are separate. Don't ask me how to explain this because I cannot. It's not something human minds can grasp.

I believe that G-d created the Heavens and the Earth. I believe that they radiate His glory. I believe that all things are subject to His will and that He is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient.
(My own picture from Osnabrueck 5 June 2012)

I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me. That it is only by the sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb that I can be made clean. That without His willing death I could not come before G-d. I believe that He truly was crucified, dead, and buried and on the third day He rose bodily again. I believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontious Pilate, crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell and after spending time here on Earth with His followers, He rose to the right hand of G-d where He sits and waits the day of Judgement. I believe He was fully G-d and fully man. He never sinned.

I believe the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers on the day of Pentecost and that ONE of the signs that He is present is the gift of tongues (which I believe is still available but NOT necessary). I believe that when we can't find the words to speak, that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

I believe baptism is an outward sign of an inward commitment. That it is meant to be done by immersion. If one truly believes but dies before they have a chance to be baptized, I do not believe they will be kept from heaven. The L-rd knows our hearts. I do believe that G-d meets us at certain points in our lives. The moment I prayed for Him to come into my heart, I felt Him touch me. The moment I came up from the water, I felt Him. I've felt Him when I take communion. But I've also felt Him taking a shower after a long day and sitting in Notre Dame praying silently.

I believe salvation is something we cannot earn. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves pure or to make ourselves more worthy of His forgiveness. Salvation is something we are given as a gift from our Father who loves us. It is only by accepting the sacrifice of Christ that we are saved from hell. If we don't have Christ, we don't have life either here or after our body dies.

I believe communion is important. It is a symbol of the sacrifice made for us. Note:SYMBOL. I do not believe that the bread becomes His body or that the wine becomes His blood. That my dear is cannibalism and that's frowned upon in most societies.

Though I do not see any Biblical proof of the day of worship switching, I don't see any reason why it's wrong to worship on Sunday. I do believe that we as humans were meant to take a day off. That's why we look forward to vacations, to weekends. We ought to take a day to worship, to relax. I do enjoy the Saturday services I've gone to but I'm not a stickler.


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