SVS – My Articles of Faith

What Christian faith looks like to me (my perspective):

(a) Moral and concerned about personal reform 

(b) Communal and everyone is an equal 

(c) Hospitable and shares the concern of the people around them 

(d) Focus on love and cares about the success of relationships 

(e) At its centre is a Living God – that is focused on human welfare/success 

(f) Personal responsibility is a key component in growth 

(g) Accountability is a key component of a caring community 

(h) Sharing is a part of the community – for the benefit of all involved 

(i) If we enter a situation – we demand fairness for all parties involved – we choose peace – not sides 

(j) Consider others as much as your consider yourself in all relations

(k) Judge as if you are the one walking in their shoes 

***If I had an articles of faith to write – this might be it? Did I miss anything?

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14 thoughts on “SVS – My Articles of Faith

  1. All this talk with the Messianics go tme to thinking what I actually live by and believe – so I decided I would right a statement about my core belief set – also to jab at churches concerning their articles of faith and how I think they miss the boat as agents of change in society.

  2. Jason, thanks for what you said over at boldgrace. I know we don’t always agree, and it was kind of you to show love regardless.

    I like your list, but I still think you’re approaching the gospel from the wrong perspective. Certainly, the end effect is much the same, but the means is drastically different.

    One way brings change through studying and understanding Christ as an example of righteousness, and working to live up to that righteousness.

    Another way simply frees us from the need (and desire) to conform, and permits us incredible freedom from fear… which, in and of itself, transforms.

    Not saying one is right and one is wrong, but I’ve tried one way for most of my life, and failed miserably at it. But upon giving up, and letting go, something amazing happened. At the point that I began to trust Christ more than I trusted myself, my spirit broke free from the layer upon layer of coverings and baggage that I had added to myself (and were added to me by well-meaning people) all those years.

    Maybe it doesn’t work that way for everyone. Or maybe there is some necessary sequence of events (timing) that must take place for someone to come to that realization. Or maybe it is direct revelation from God. I don’t know what happened exactly, but being thrust into that awesome reality of FREEDOM and SAFETY (the two usually don’t exist together, typically it’s one or the other, but this is the miracle of God), is certainly the most fulfilling thing that has ever happened to me.

    Great peace to all.

  3. Bruce, I believe the path you have taken is a admirable one – I have never thought any differently about that. I just couldn’t believe what Jack and Eliyah were saying over there – I actually think their form of spirituality needs some serious help.

    I am by no means someone that is very strict with adherence to these rules – however I wrote them down because I fel I do abide by them. They are not meant to condemn people – but to direct people…and that’s how I see the teachings of Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John. I just don’t feel they are burdensome – then again I am not in a church structure trying to enforce them – so maybe I come from a different angle in some regards.

    But if I had to teach ideas – I would start with these one’s. All I want my faith to be is something that is helpful to people around me – not one that imprisons people…if faith imprisons – no faith is a better alternative. People that use the scriptures to imprison and belittle others – might not understand the Christian message – which is summed up in one word – love.

  4. Thanks for standing up for my “character”. I am a grandfather of four wonderful grandkids and that accusation really hurt for a short time. Then I realized just how in need of “something” that Jack is. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I appreciate you, brother.

  5. No probs Don, that was just such a step over the line I was immediately angered to have read it – it’s such a low and shameful thing for someone to even suggest. Frankly, I was insulted by that comment and if they cannot apologize for the use – I will keep on asking until they realize we all need to be humble.

  6. SocietyVs…can’t say I see anything wrong with your personal articles of faith. Would be nice to see more people like not only with Christ in their lives but those goals in their hearts. Gets me to thinking about where on your list…and in other areas as well…I may be falling short as well.

  7. “being thrust into that awesome reality of FREEDOM and SAFETY.” -Bruce D.

    umm… i don’t follow Christ because it’s the safe thing to do.. infact i see it as much the opposite. There’s nothing about Christ that is safe! loving you neighbor, frankly, is dangerous business. turning the other cheek stinks because my instinct is to WAIL on the opposition.

    as i’ve said before and will keep saying, Jesus’ God is a God of change… we shouldn’t be wearing nice hats and respectable clothes to church, we should be wearing crash helmets and body armor! if God answers our prayers, we’re going to be flung far from home and into places and experiences where our old methods of thinking will only hinder.

    these is the safety of grace… but other than that, following Christ will not protect me from getting cancer, getting hurt by my fellow brothers and sisters, or from any other ailment. i don’t mean to jump on you Bruce D, but only seek clarification and hopefully articulate more fully where i’m coming from.. and maybe you are too.

    peace!

  8. Hey SVS
    I cannot access your website from work any more so that counts for some of my silence.
    It has been blocked by our web filters for being too popular 🙂

    Anyway, I like the statement of faith. My favorite one is “(e) At its centre is a Living God – that is focused on human welfare/success ” I personally believe the same thing. A G-d that doesn’t care for human beings is not worth worshiping. A G-d who cares more for a book than people is not worth talking about.

    Lastly, I am thinking by accountability, you mean looking out for the future. We need to make judgments and policies today that will have positive lasting effects on the next generation.

  9. I’m glad you’re being honest with yourself. Now take it just one step further and realize that all that you described is what describes the Torah – that every single detail of the Torah is all about doing what you just mentioned. When you see that, then you will see the true value of Torah obedience is in living out what it is you just stated you believe.

  10. “Now take it just one step further and realize that all that you described is what describes the Torah – that every single detail of the Torah is all about doing what you just mentioned. When you see that, then you will see the true value of Torah obedience is in living out what it is you just stated you believe.” (Israel)

    I have no problem linking these ideas to values grasped from the teachings of Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John – and yes – they are based on Torah. My divide with you only has to do with rituals and customs – not with the core message ot what I would consider the ‘gospel’ (of the which I relate a bit of in my articles of faith).

    But what you tell me is that in order for any of this (my articles of faith) to make sense – I need to be circucmcised and follow the whole Jewish Law. My contention is this is not for the gentiles – or at the least – no one can be found saying that in those gentile communities nor giving adequate direction.

  11. Until you truly understand “why” God added what you believe to be superfluous, superficial ceremony, ornaments, and non-moral material to his Torah, then you will miss the fullness of these eternal things which God himself for his own incredible and often mysterious reasons took the time and effort to miraculously include them in his book. By dismissing what he included in his Torah, you dismiss that part of the Messiah who lives in and through you, since the entire Torah is about him. By diminishing the Torah, you diminish the Messiah.

  12. “By dismissing what he included in his Torah, you dismiss that part of the Messiah who lives in and through you, since the entire Torah is about him. By diminishing the Torah, you diminish the Messiah.” (Israel)

    It would be different if it were true – all these claims you make about diminishing the messiah and missing out on the fulness of faith – but it just ain’t.

    I have gained a lot in my life from keeping the teachings as I have them – without being circumcised or keeping Jewish festivals or customs – and my life has been greatly rewarded for taking in those ethics I see taught in scripture. I went from being poor and uneducated to being greatly educated and owning a home – all in 15 years of keeping these teachings and living by them. Now you can call that whatever you so please – and downplay that however you need to – but it’s a fact.

    It would seem to me God blesses the Gentiles as is – including myself – and not because we do the ‘Jewish thing’ – but because we do the ‘God thing’. I do my best – along with many others – to keep the spirit of the Torah – and are blessed quite clearly for it. The fact you think we need to become Jewish is some addition to the texts you think play towards reward – if that’s what you need for your faith to mean ‘something’ then have at it. Many of us see through that facade and now God accepts Gentiles as is.

    I am starting to believe that these special additions and claims to authority are actually more cultic in manner than they are spiritual. You seem to think everyone needs to become as you and your compadres in order to be completely ‘blessed’ – we all lack something special that your movement has.

    I am here to tell you – that is (a) false and (b) misinterpretation of the texts. I have come to see that you make people feel less than ‘complete’ for their lack of Jewish custom following and by virtue – are less than completely blessed. I am very blessed and have a very good life – and I thank God that I came into those teachings – and was taught and given the privelege to study them.

    Nothing but good has been happening me for 15 years since I began following them – and I mean nothing but good. I do not feel less than ‘complete’ – like something is lacking or I need more from them. No – you seem to think this should be happening because of the Messiah in ‘me’ – but fact is – there is no longing to become Jewish – but to respect Judaism only. And somehow I am missing out?

    I think your group is adding to the gospel ideas that make your group special – and you feel this has to happen to all of Christianity. There is no proof for such an idea – except through very loose logic and interpretation between the lines – until no matter what you read says something to defend your position. Paul can even deny the right of circumcision to certain people and this still doesn’t even move you. NO matter what is said to you – you will find excuse for it until only your belief is upheld and no others exist.

    Lastly, don’t ever tell me or make accusations without any merit based on some loose interpretations you hold to be true – and not based on my own testimony (or else you are lying about me). I have never downplayed the idea of the Messiah nor that it has less meaning to me than it does to you – I have diminished nothing concerning the person of Jesus. I will not stand idly by and let you lie about me – when I address you concerning the issues and not concerning what I ‘think’ you believe about something. I only ask you respect my viewpoint and we debate based on that – and not based some logic you think has to apply to me.

    If you want my respect – then you will also be one that is respectful.

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