Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Statement of Faith"

Having a sleepless night, I got up and sat down at my computer. I was surfing the web, just browsing blogs and church websites. I accidentally stumbled on a website for a congregation in Texas. The website was well designed and catchy. It had tabs for minister, location, staff, youth, contact us and one that said "statement of faith". I clicked my way through each one, impressed with the website's design and thoroughness. However, when I got to the last tab, "statement of faith"---I clicked on it and this is what it said:

Pretty powerful, isn't it? Now to be fair, perhaps they had a glitch in their computer or their website is still under construction. But, it really made me think about the void. I had never heard that term, "statement of faith" before and I started wondering what it was supposed to say. Left to my own, I began to think about my statement of faith. What would I say is my declaration of my faith? Or would I be at a loss and not say anything? I began to wonder if many of us would have to leave that tab blank. What do you think? What is your statement of faith?



Anonymous Kevin said...

statements of faith leave a bitter taste in my mouth. They are a means of causing disunity among the Body.

I have especially come to dislike them because of my background with Baptist who claim they have no creed, but require you follow the "Statement of Faith."

I also dislike it when the Bible is the first thing in the statement of faith, indicating its importance above the rest. I think Christ should always be first in those statements (if any statement at all) since He is the highest revelation of God, not the scriptures.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Neva, as always, very thought provoking post.

What is my statement of faith? Is it a well thought out declaration of identifying points, or is it a life of action? Too many times our declaration is nothing more than empty words.

James reminds us that a declared faith is empty, nothing, void (just like the blank page) if it is not accompanied by a life of action.

Perhaps this wasn't the point you were seeking to make, but it is definitely the one that hit me square in the face. As always, I appreciate your challenges.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Statement of faith.
Is that like a creed?
Or is that so folks visit they don't have to ask the right questions about their beliefs?

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read this post, I thought, "Oh Neva, you are opening a big can of worms". And obviously I was right. We have no other creed but Jesus and Him crucified and no other statement but the statement of a committed life.
I think however, that you were making a point about the "void"--the idea that there was nothing there as if the statement or the faith is empty. Please correct me if I am wrong, Neva. You do a great job on your blog, but everyone reads them through their own experiences, as is evidenced by the comments.

Interested Bystander

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a statement of faith is not necessarily a creed. I noticed various christian colleges and some groups of preachers have in recent years written out a list of things that they felt were important. it wasn't to exclude other things just to point out that they still held certain beliefs that others no longer held.

anyway, we have so many unwritten creeds, it is funny to make a big deal about written ones, IMO


7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that I didn't comment simply because I didn't know what to say. I am like you and have never heard this phraseology before.
But, I love you even if I don't get your post! :)

Love ya

7:21 PM  
Anonymous GJ said...

My statement of faith is:
I am a sinner and lost
God loved me enough to save me
Jesus is the way He did it.

Great post,

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, Neva
Too many people don't know what they believe and perhaps that is why too many people have a blank statement of faith. I liked this post, guess it didn't hit me weird.


9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you think everyone is afraid to comment on this post? Where are your regulars? Are they afraid to answer your question? Do they have a statement of faith? I am praying they just need to time to find the right words before they post their comments. Otherwise it is a very sad state we have found ourselves and our faith in.

10:01 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Great post sister.
What is my statement of faith?
I believe in the trinity (God, Holy Spirit, Jesus) are one.
I believe that God created the world.
I believe that God created man to worship him.
I believe that God gave man choice to do so.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. That he was crucified, burried, raised on the thrid day.
I believe we are saved by grace through faith, if you accept Jesus, confess, repent of your sins, put your faith in Jesus, put your faith into action by obedience (James 2:1-ff) part of that obedient faith is would include baptism (Acts 2:38). You can have eternal life.

Great post as always.

10:12 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I want to add, of course Jesus expects us to be disciples.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Sista Cala said...

A statement of faith can be as simple as saying, "I have faith". The important part any statement of faith would be to identify who the faith is in and what that person can do. Our church has a statement of faith that I believe and agree with. My simplified personal statement would be this:

I believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I believe the Bible is His word for mankind. I believe what the Bible says.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Neva - you did it again! :)

"Statement of Faith" is very common within the Evangelical Christian world, as referred to by Kevin. Not only the various Baptist Conventions and the Independents, but also Methodist, Presbyterian, etc., etc., etc. It's my understanding that the statement of faith is a tool whereby they first:

Declare unashamedly their belief in God; The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. That God created all. That man was created in His image. That man fell out of relationship with God through Sin. That Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth-lived a perfect life-left His commission for us to follow Him, and make other disciples that do the same-that He was crucified and died for sins of all mankind, was buried and according the scriptures, was raised on the third day. That He ascended into heaven from where He will return to take His Bride, the Church back to Heaven to life eternity in His sight. And yes, as Kevin said, the statement usually includes; the Bible is the inerrant Word of God in original manuscripts, given to us through the Holy Spirit and is our guide to know what God's will, commandments and judgments are for everyone. Whew!

In short, that is what is usually included in Statement of Faith of any given group, except of course, the CofCs. :)

What is my Statement of Faith?

Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. All else revolves and evolves from that statement, imho.

btw-I love the Bible. It is God's inspired Word to us, but I do not worship the Bible; only He who gives it to us.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

Statement of Faith is a statement that I like most am not really familiar with. To me, I think our statement of faith might be our life and the way the live it. Do people who just randomly see us every day see something different in us. I think the way we live, speak, act, etc. may be the biggest statement of our faith that we make. Way to make us think!

8:26 AM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

Statements of faith ... hmmm? Not sure about all that. But it got me to thinking. If I need some kind of statement of faith or personal mission statement I think I'll go with "Don't screw up!"

That ought to about cover it for me in this life. "Just don't screw up."

9:54 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Addendum to my Devil's Advocate role; ')

The written and published Statement of Faith is usually an identifying document for new people that are considering an individual congregation as possible church home. It is not a substitute for our "living statement of faith" - our lives and God's light shining through us, rather makes the Statement of Faith a sort of back up document; an "Exhibit A" if you wish, to our living statement.

Maybe because my life has been one of move from here to there, a Statement of Faith is not shocking nor over the line for me. In fact, they can be such a help in deciding if a congregation truly preaches/teaches/declares "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." Makes the church hunt shorter. You don't have to stick around to find out over Sunday after Sunday if this is a Bible based church or no and if not, then off to another bunch of Sundays at another congregation. :)

When you have moved as much as I have from city to city, and from country to country, the shorter you can make the search, the quicker you can get acquainted, begin to serve in a ministry before you have to move on to the next place. lol :)

10:28 AM  
Anonymous James said...

The question was asked, where are the regular readers? I am a somewhat regular but have been too busy to look at the blogs lately. Sorry for not touching base yesterday. I too see this as a hot button topic. It is not so much for me as it is for many who profess Christ.

Bear with me if this seems long. I have often been troubled by a book I read sometim back. The title was "Who is My Brother?" It had some constructive things to say. But the trouble has always been answering that question. We get comfortable in our little circle. Neva, you know me and my firm commitment to scripture. You know my heart better than anyone else that might read this excluding my wife. But, just because I see a certain thing in scripture does not mean everyone sees it the same.

'Statement's of Faith' could be exclusive, ie. you have to think like I do. I have read some on-line that said something to the effect of 'we believe in accepting people where they are. You may see things differently. That is ok. Those in leadership of our congregation must hold these views but all are welcome.'

To suggest that a congregtion or group of congregations does not have a creed (even if un-written)is ludicrous. the c of c has a creed. We might as well just stand up and say these are the things we believe.

Kevin, just a thought, the reason for the emphasis up front on the Bible is that is the only way we know the Lord. If we decided that our 'faith' is based on dreams or other than the examples and images presented in the Bible we follow another 'faith' not CHRISTianity.

THere are a great number of good comments here and Neva you did open a can of worms but it is one that needs to be opened. You can't fish without bait.


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Don said...

I think you could only have a statement about your faith if:

[1] You had faith
[2] You believed something and were willing to admit to it.

Yeah, I could make a statement about my faith. All this denominational talk about creeds is just a smoke screen that covers a multitude of inadequacies and left-wing vs/ right-wing fears.


5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I have never heard of this either, I am striving to let my life be my declaration of faith. I pray that my spiritual walk is enough evidence to all that I am a man of faith in God and therefore hold myself to a higher standard of behavior.


9:05 PM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

Neva -Haven't been by for a while Nice tosee you are still asking us to think..

Interestingly I went through this exercise last year. I became frustrated by repeating the "no creed but the Bible" mantra and yet being in a situation where everyone was working from a well known but undocumented "list" of this is what "we" in the "churches of Christ" believe. (a "de facto" creed with a thousand variations on a theme in the details of these lists.

I start with 2 statements

1. In English there is no "we" in believe -- we(Christians) are not the Borg -- we are individuals - we are thinking beings and we have to arrive at our own beliefs - no one can tell anyone else what they "have to" believe. So the purpose of a statement of faith is to find Christians that share enough of your beliefs that you can walk & work together in close fellowship without having to have a continnual discussion (which is often a euphemism for "fight") on "how are we going to do this or what do you think about that?" (I call it shared vision and shared values) (Think about any groupoof people you interact with - family, friends co-workers if there is nosense of a common setof "house rules" there will be chaos and the reall"mission"of the group will bethwarted. (unless of course its just a bunch of friends whose purpose is the argue over how to save the world!! :) :) --Hmm-maybe that's what we think the church is all about?

2. Acceptance of a "statement of faith" within a group of Christians should have no necessity of thinking this is the "only" list that identifies Christians - God is the judge of those who see it differently - and we surely shouldn't think we've got it nailed-- that we have understood perfectly 100% of the mind of God and his intent for us when he gave us the Bible-- to do so is to put God "in a box" of our creation rather than being a seeker of the infinite goodness of our God. A "statementoffaith is a summary of what we see as mostimportant in the scriptures --that if we are able to live by this "faith" we are confident of our relationship with God through Jesus (we are saved by grace through faith) and ultimately we still want to remain focussed on seeking God through study of all of the scriptures and integrating the results with the "faith statement" or adjusting it if we find we have missed something.

I have just finished an adult Bible studyclasson this topic and I am in the process of finalizing a writeup which I hope to post in my blog in the near future. (hope springs eternal ..so it may be a while!!)

Anyhow - Sorry for hogging so much of your space-- Keep on writing my friend -- you ask good questions and give even better answers.

God Bless

6:43 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

If our daily life is our only statement of faith, then maybe that in itself explains the lack of evangelism in the U.S.

How many of us parent by "example only"?

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought this was a great post and I got your point right off the bat. Good job, Neva.

Prayerfully that our statement of faith is never blank but rooted in Him and His will.


12:20 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

From time to time I pull up different churches that I have heard about and see if they have a website. Don has one that reveals where he has been working and it says something about him. I appreciate when they have a statement of faith because it lets me know quite a bit about them. It can be denominational but most of the churches I look at are trying to be nondenominational and are just trying to define themselves. Kathy is right, it is very helpful to someone.
There are United Churches of Christ around here that advertise accepting homosexual people and not having a problem with that - I do but if I didn't know that their belief was to let everyone in and not try to change sinful behaviors then I would have thought it was just another Church of Christ with an instrument instead of a very different group.
I think it is important to ask yourself what are the basics of your faith and be prepared to tell people. I may even post one as a page on my blog.
love ya,

2:18 PM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

p.s. Neva - Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment on my "Journey" -- bet you never knew that house cleaning could lead to an "epiphany!!! :) :)

God Bless

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it was a can of worms, Neva. I think this was just another great post. I am with Charlie, glad you are still asking us to THINK. Thinking is good! :)

Blessings In Christ

6:14 PM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

The HOME page has the word CREED to draw folks to a statement of faith and that has two separate links that tell even more.

:) Don :)

6:46 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Hey Don,

To which Kathy are you addressing? And to which Home page??

Guess I missed a paragraph since I'm not catching your post at all. :)
[but then, that's not at all unusual. lol]

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne Eller (Suzie) said...

Hey, you stopped by the Boomer Babes Rock site, and I'm one of the BB's. : ) I love your site, and especially this post. I'm reading a really great book right now called, "A Different Kind of Crazy". It's powerful and talks about this same subject.

I hope you stop by the Boomer Babes Rock site again. We love meeting new friends.


8:51 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

To the Kathy of The Preacher's Household :)

I didn't realize there were 2 Kathy(s) in the world.... just kidding.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...

Those old, very general slogans known among the Churches of Christ should have come with something in parentheses. Like this:

No book but the Bible (as we interpret it, although we'll say that we don't interpret, but merely read it).

No creed but Christ (as we understand Him and appropriate His authority to enforce our interpretations. See previous slogan).

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they were just being smart alecs and hoped you would stop by and blog about them :)

Hope youre well. Thanks for the prayers.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My statement of faith is


10:10 AM  
Blogger Monalea said...

Wow, it took me a few minutes to realize there was no 'statement of faith.' I'm still slow! Ha ha!

John 25:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

I suppose that if I wrote my statement of faith there would not be enough room in all the blog spots in the world......

Love you,

11:45 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

How interesting. I think that our statement of faith should always be Christ and His truth. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sorry I've been away so long. Hopefully, I'll be checking your blog out regularly, again. I really have missed it. At least now, I get to go back and read everything I've missed.
Keep up the good work.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

Your post really made me think. I will be back later to give you my statement of faith.


4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, are you alright? Havent seen a new post in awhile. I understand that "LIFE" gets busy but I am missing my daily dose of dancing.



12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Statement of faith started as a denominational thing but it is appropriate way of letting visitors know what we believe. The problem is most of us are not sure what "WE" believe. Our preacher once said he frequently gets phone calls asking "what do we believe about . . . " He finds it humorous, not sure God does?
Regardless, I agree with Don, you have to have a faith and be willing to say so in order to make a statement of faith-
Maybe it is time we stop bickering over words and get to the point of sharing our faith.


4:29 PM  
Blogger Larissa said...

That was so interesting. I was like, "I'm not seeing anything here. Must be my computer."

On another note, I'm glad you're coming. I wish you could stay longer. Maybe next time!

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, this one really hit a nerve, did't it? I found the blog humerous and full of irony. Did I miss something?

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this time I thought a statement of faith was the confession and baptism when we put on Christ.


10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with CW--I got the humor and irony but am surprised at the reactions of other commenters. Your point seemed to be the fact that there was no statement of faith, rather than what one is or who should have one or even where they came from.
I thought it was a great post.

7:51 AM  

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