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Reload this page My Spiritual Beliefs

Since some have asked what I think about the unseen aspects of life, here it is. I would appreciate hearing from you whether or not you agree.

Scripture "...devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching." —1 Timothy 4:13

Scripture He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. Titus 1:9 (NRSV)


Topics this page:

  • Doctrinal Statements
  • The Apostle's Creed
  • Born Again?
  • Where I Stand
  • The Trinity
  • Not a Religion
  • Your comments???

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    'Creazione di Adamo' (Creation of Adam) from the Cistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo.

    Set screen The Apostle's Creed

      Summarizes the basic beliefs of Christians [including archaic words]

      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 Holy Ghost,
        born of the virgin Mary,
        suffered under Pontius Pilate,
        was crucified, dead, and buried;

      He descended into Hades [where the departed righteous go, not the place of eternal damnation];

      On the third day He rose again from the dead;

      He ascended into heaven; and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty;

      from thence He shall come to judge the quick [the living] and the dead.

      I believe in
        the Holy Spirit,
        the Christian ["catholic" as in universal] church,
        the communion of saints,
        the forgiveness ["remission"] of sins,
        the resurrection of the body ["flesh"],
        and life everlasting.


      This first appeared in the 6th century in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542), but prior versions can be traced back to 340 AD in a letter to Pope Julius I and even still further back to a circa 200 document containing the Roman baptismal liturgy.

      James Kiefer comments that this was written to counter Gnosticism.

      The Nicene Creed

      I 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 only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

      And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


      Scripture The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine... they will want teachers in accordance to their own desires ... turning away their ears from the truth, and turning aside to myths. —1 Timothy 4:13


    Set screen The Problem with Doctrinal Statements

    Set screen Some Questions

      First, let me ask you a few questions:

      1. Would you consider yourself to be a good person?
      2. Do you think you have kept the Ten Commandments?
      3. If God where to judge you by the Ten Commandments, do you think you would be innocent or guilty?
      4. Do you think you would go to heaven or hell?

      So here is where I stand among my Christian friends on controversial issues:

    1. Yes, I'm a “Born Again” believer. This label means belief in the creeds to the right. Here is where I stand on the differences in theological beliefs among denominations:

    2. I try to focus on making the best use of what I have rather than pouting about what I don't have.
      I don't ask God, as some do, to "take every infirmity away." I don't believe that God planned for everyone to have a physically abundant life all the time. (I believe John 10:10b refers to an abundant spiritual life.) Here is one instance how I don't take the Bible literally. Some diseases and problems are a gift to us as opportunities to help us get closer to God. (John 11:4) I have faith that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called to His purpose. I don't "claim" verses in the Bible for myself.

      I don't believe that every promise God made to the Isrealites apply to me or my church to "claim".

    3. I seek to live a pure life, but fail miserably.
      I know that my body is part of Christ's church. (Ephesians 5:30) This is because every born-again person is a spiritual "bride" of Christ. So I try to do what my Lord asks rather than obey my own lust. But I think it's wrong to have a sense of superiority about self-control, which is a gift of the holy spirit. When we fall into addictions, I think it helps to remember that Christ died on the cross for all my sins (past, present, and future). With grace comes freedom, since there is no need to rebel.

      Being a Christian is not a hobby as one would "try" yoga, meditation, or exercise equipment. It's a fact of life like gravity: appreciate it or ignore it, it still affects us.

      I don't believe in that one has to make Jesus "Lord" of our lives in order to be saved. But if godliness is not preeminent in our thoughts, something less is, and we have not completely repented. (Luke 13:3)

    4. Please don't call me "religious".
      I devote my time reading the Bible, listening to sermons, and listening to church music because I am grateful to God for giving the faith to believe an almost unbelievable story: that just believing in Christ being God is enough to get my "ticket punched" for an eternity in heaven rather than eternal hell.

      I believe that a professed Christian cannot lose salvation, but won't be invited to all the really cool parties in heaven hanging' with Job and Boaz. This is why I still need to work on an analysis of the 5 points of Calvinism vs. Armenianism.

      I don't believe that baptism by total immersion in water (getting "dunked") is required for salvation, but I do it as a matter of submission. Baptisms make for a good "Kodak moment". For me, being baptized in the Jordan river was a great reason for me to visit Isreal.

      And I don't feel speaking in tongues is evidence of salvation (as AOG do).

    5. I have a "Spiritual" (not "moralistic") viewpoint.
      I despise Christians who burn abortion clinics. God will judge and punish us all when the time comes.

      I also think that boycotts of businesses by Christians are bound to fail. Instead, why not pray wisdom for their leaders?

      As we shared together our feelings about the study groups, we realized that we were not meeting together each week for an intellectual exercise: some thing very real and significant was taking place.  We were coming to know that the Christian faith is not primarily an ethic; it is not the struggle to do good or be good, but an encounter with Christ, of which morality and ethical living are by-products. -- Harold R. Fray, Jr., “The Spirit Making New"

      Our battles are not about economics or morals, but the spiritual. ( Scripture Ephesians 6:12) Why are Christians trying to change the environment when the real problem is the heart?

    6. I didn't make the rules!
      I agree that "fundamentalist" Christians seem arrogant. Many bristle at anyone who says "this is the only way".

      One of the weirdest aspects is that the Bible says people are basically bad. “Totally depraved” is the term Calvin used.

      Even though preachers have to live to a higher standard, we should expect a few unscrupulous leaders (“wolves in sheep's clothing”) who claim to be ordained by God but do lustful, selfish acts. That's because they are human. That's why we need to analyze the Bible for ourselves. I believe that the Bible is a book unlike any other because it is God's way to communicate to us. I believe that there are phases to history. I think that the Bible is "complete" in that no other communication is needed from God because the Bible presents penalties for adding to it.

    7. I live as if I will be raptured but arrange my life as if I won't.
      I'm trying to live my life as if Christ will come at any time. I agree that hope of being raptured may tend to cause people to slack off on evangelism efforts. Instead, the rapture is an incentive to holy living and faithful service (Titus 2:11-14).

      I'm not sure about the "Rapture", so I make long term investments and charge purchases to credit cards hoping that someday maybe I won't be around when I have to pay my bills.

      Yeah, the Great Tribulation will be a real drag. I don't know whether Armageddon will involve nuclear weapons or not. (contrary to movies like Micheal and City of Angels) I want to be taken up to heaven not just because I think it's a better lifestyle, but because I want to be with Christ and enjoy heaven with my friend. This should be the case with any friendship based on true love.

      I believe that the Holocaust of WWII really happened. But I don't believe the Holocaust was a payback for the Jews' role in the crucifixion of Christ. I don't pretend to understand God's plan. But I know he has one. Maybe it's to strengthen His beloved to be capable of greater service during the coming troubles.

    8. The exact location of the next Temple and other theological controversies.
      I don't pour over news for signs of the times. "Watching" means checking on myself, not what Jews and Arabs are doing to each other. All that matters to me is that Christ had enough deity to pay for my sins.

      Frankly, I get my news from reading the joke pages. If something's important enough, someone will joke about it. The press will have some kind of "spin" on every story anyway, so why not take the funniest version first? Plus, I'll have an better time discussing current events.

    9. Miracles, Signs, and Wonders!
      I am skeptical about miracles because not all miracles are from God. (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10 warns "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

      Some miracles are the work of the devil, who will empower the Anti-Christ with the power to perform miracles.
      I don't think that God talks to me all the time.
      I don't worry about the "historicity" of evidence for Jesus.

    10. The Shroud of Turin, Angels, etc.
      Want to see God? Read the Bible. Do what it says. Then look in the mirror.
      I believe that the "church" exists in individual Christians, not in buildings or denominations.
      This is not because I'm into living "exactly" like early Christians.

    11. "Bible Codes" (Equidistant Letter Spacing)
      Don't you think it is more fruitful to spend time reading commentaries on the Bible text itselfanother page on this site rather than peripheral concepts? David Hunt's article on Bible Codes explains this issue well.

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    Set screen Systematic Theology: The Trinity

      One of the reasons I enjoy telling others about my faith is that people ask me questions. I learn most from answering questions because it forces me to do my homework.

      I don't feel that I have a confident grasp of the trinity. Lewis Sperry Chafer's book "Systematic Theology," which discuss doctrines in detail, calls the concept of a trinity

        "the greatest mystery of all revealed truth. ... Probably no doctrine of the Word of God is more far-reaching in its implications than that of the Trinity."

      This is such a difficult issue that I've heard Billy Graham, TD Jakes, and others have been criticized for explaining the Trinity as different "manifestations" like ice, water, and steam. Orthodox Christians say that this "modalism" is wrong because all three "persons" of the trinity are at work at the same time. Bible scholars say such thinking is "heretical" because it "creates God in their own image", and call it "Sebellianism" because this "heresay" was first identified by Sabellius (around 200 AD).

      The late Dr. Walter Martin points out (Walter Martin, Essential Christianity, Vision House, Santa Anna, 1975, p. 21):

        "No man can fully explain the Trinity, though in every age scholars have propounded theories and advanced hypotheses to explore this mysterious Biblical teaching. But despite the worthy efforts of these scholars, the Trinity is still largely incomprehensible to the mind of man."

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      Set screen Implied Concepts

      The “Godhead” is a difficult concept partly because the word "trinity" itself never appears in the Bible. Easton's Dictionary notes that the word is derived from either the Greek word "trias," first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183) or from the Latin word "trinitas," first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220).

      In the Old Testament, the "m" ending in the Hebrew word "Elohim" in Deut. 6:4, 1st Kings 8:60, Isaiah 44:6 and elsewhere refers to God in a plural form just as we add "s" to the word "car" to refer to several cars. But this plurality is more about intensification of majesty & creative power. Scripture Genesis 1:26 reads "And God said, Let us make man in our image."

      In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses quotes God as saying, "Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One." That "One" is translated from the Hebrew word "Echad", which means "united One".

      The doctrine of the trinity is implied in passages such as Scripture Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," This passage, called "The Great Commission," was among the last words spoken by Christ before he went up to heaven. Also, 1 John 5:7-8 (KJV) says "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
      And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

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    Set screen It's not a "religion"

      The word "religion" has a negative meaning to born-again Christians, who use the word "Religionists" to describe those who worship God because of duty or obligation.

      Unlike Catholics, most Christians in Protestant denominations focus less on religious ceremony and more on the message of the Bible.

      Unlike Buddhists, Christian gratefulness is based on what Jesus Christ did, not what we ourselves do. This is the essence of why Christianity is a "faith" rather than a religion.

      Christian faith is so dependent on what God does that faith itself is from God.

      Christian faith is based on belief that Jesus represents mankind as Adam (with Eve) represented mankind. By allowing himself to die on the cross despite having committed no sin, Jesus (because he is also God) somehow "paid" for the psychic "debt" that we and all our forefathers incurred.

      I personally don't understand why such a big deal was made with what Adam did and why I'm blamed for it. But my guess is it had to do with his rebellion toward God that Jesus, by his submission, justified. But I was nevertheless "born-again" when I recognized that Jesus hung on that cross partly for me individually.

      I found peace when I submitted to Jesus as my representative and caretaker of my future.

      You are reading this because God has given you a supernatural invitation to read or listen to the Bible and Bible-based preachers.

      So I look forward to talking with you now via email or in heavenly eternity.

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