I've written a lot about my view of Christianity and about my views on evangelism, homosexuality, literature, and politics.
Because of views I've expressed (some of them contradictory when comparing recent blog posts with older ones), I've been accused of not being a Christian, or at least not being "Christian enough".
So, since it's an issue, let me clarify. Here, in a nutshell, is what I believe:
When I was young, a teenager, I claimed to be a Christian. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. Looking back now, I know that I truly didn't understand what being a Christian meant. I think I "played" Christian because I couldn't find an identity of my own.
During that time I was part of our local church (very small town Nebraska) which was United Methodist. Much of what would become the basis of my adult beliefs and practices as a Christian I learned there. One thing the church practiced that my current church doesn't is the recitation of "creeds". As part of almost every service we would recite a creed. The hymnal we used had them printed in the front. There were quite a few, but they all basically said the same thing.
Creeds, generally speaking, aren't "Biblical". They were written 300 or more years later than the events described in the New Testament. But they are useful. They describe the beliefs of the church in a very simple, memorable form.
To make my point, I will use a creed. This is what I believe:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
In one Holy, catholic, and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Should I pick it apart? No. Not going to do that. This is the Nicene creed, one of, if the, earliest "extra biblical" creeds of the early church. It pretty much sums up what the Bible says about who God is and what Christians believe. It doesn't talk about politics, literature, or homosexuality. There's no mention of denominations, speaking in tongues, or how to treat (or mistreat) others. It's just the very simple, very plain statement of belief.
And, in my opinion, very beautiful.