Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A statement of faith - what do you say?

This was taken from the statement of faith of a fast growing church attended mainly by young people. The church is in my city ...

We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the 'new birth' we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.

Off hand this looks ok but I suspect, some may take issue on the way this is stated. What do you think? Give me some comments. I'll put mine last.

9 comments:

TKls2myhrt said...

The statement is fooling, but I think this is just "good old" works-righteousness in action and it is a very sad and deceitful burden to put onto young people.

The statement leaves out God's Holy Spirit. Scripture is clear that only through the Holy Spirit is faith created when God's Word is proclaimed. The Holy Spirit draws us to repent, believe and submit. We can do none of it ourselves. Jesus already did the work required for our salvation; there is nothing for us to do. What's more, God loves us so much He even provided the means to create saving faith in us, although we, sadly, can choose to reject the Holy Spirit's draw. God's forgiveness is not something that demands any work on our part that the Holy Spirit has not already begun in us.

Thanks for the good exercise in examining a church's teachings.

L P Cruz said...

Hi TK,

I agree with you. This has made the a subtle shift in turning the Gospel into a proposition. It focuses on the response which in the first place is the Work of the Holy Spirit. The most important point missing is the work of Christ. This is not mentioned in the statement. This is very very brief that it can reshaped in a type of "spiritual works" occuring inside the person thereby he looks at his response rather than on what Jesus has done. In otherwords, it can be 'faith in one's repentance and belief' that mistakenly brings assurance.

God bless you,

Lito

once a catholic said...

These statements are like vision and identification for those who want others to know what they are about. Like them or not, they're characteristics they want to be known by. And much like people's personalities, we can like them or not. The main thing is Jesus is the same (yesterday, now and forever) as is the forgiveness Jesus offers to everyone (like it or not, take it or leave it, one's choice, Jesus does not impose). And yes, young people need Jesus, "now" more than ever, specially "now".
I am reminded of Samuel's call as a young apprentice to Eli (1 Sam 3). Note Eli and his household no longer make a good picture of what the Lord really looks for in this era. So it was young Samuel, not old Eli, whom the Lord chose to speak to. I see God speaking to young people today and why should older people begrudge that? And if God chooses His people by his own revelation, whether young or old, statements made to signify people's response should not be judged by mere people. Leave room for God himself to make that judgment. Aaah, religion - so many divide even Christendom, yet there is but one Lord and his name is Jesus.

L P Cruz said...

The issue is not do people need Jesus, we all do - young or old. The issue is the Gospel and its purity, because to get this wrong is to get all things wrong and place one's trust to something inside us not on someone who did it all from top to bottom. It is finished - Jesus says.

If the young people are going to be presented with a message that they can accept or reject - at least give them the proper message, not a proposal. When faith becomes a work - our young people will not be helped come the time a crisis of faith happens.

Bob Waters said...

But once a catholic... that one Jesus says certain things, and denies others.

The issue is not people's personalities. The question is not "statements made to signify people's response." The question is whether people are saying what Jesus says, or teaching lies in His name.

Your position does not espouse "the one Jesus." It espouses no Jesus. To be blunt, it deprives both Christ and Christianity of any and all content. And the statement to which we are responding in this thread is not a person's response to revelation. It is a misrepresentation of the objective content of that revelation.

The symbol of the Faith is a cross, not a smiley face! Jesus specifically denied that He came so that people could "just get along." Not peace, He said... but a sword. To not be for Him is to be against Him. To fail to gather is to scatter- and to ask who we are to judge when people misrepresent what has been revealed to all of us in the plain sense of Scripture is to deny Him in favor of shallow warm fuzzies.

once a catholic said...

Mark 1:14-15 tells us how Jesus started his work or mission or purpose on earth:
Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
I read their statement of faith:
We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the 'new birth' we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.
as their response to the good news proclaimed by Jesus. As I have little information regarding what does go on in their church, I trust they are truthful to their statement. I do not read them preaching works, I do read them preaching anything other than what they say in that statement. I cannot know much about a movie by just reading its title or its synopsis on a cover, but I would just read and understand by the words they use that they're possibly true (apart from the media hype, of course). So I do not pre-judge a book by its cover. Jesus knew the hearts of people, because he had the father's heart. I pray for people to have what Jesus had: His father's heart. All we do in the name of religion are all but "filthy rags" after all. I know about the "double-edged sword" in Hebrews, but I have more concern on my personal relationship with my Saviour that makes the double-edged sword more real to me firstly. After all, Jesus words in Luke 6:41 and Matthew 7:4-5 warn me: How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

So you can read me in whatever way you like; but my confidence in my Jesus, in His grace and mercy, in His love for me that took Him to the cross for me (yes, selfish me) remains to be seen in my faith and my heart and if need be my works as well (James did say faith without works is dead). This is my main concern. And my hope.
I end with a prayer as Jesus prayed, "that they may be one, Father".

L P Cruz said...

Once a catholic,

Well you see false teaching could sound friendly, kind, nice and warmly fuzzy. There is such a thing and it can lead people astray and finally lost.

Not everyone out there who preaches 'Jesus' or carries the bible should be believed. Theology is important because it is how we think about God and we can get pretty messed up when we are not given the Word of God rightly divided.

Anonymous said...

There are many different pentecostals. It is a shame that some follow signs when Jesus said these signs shall follow. We need to focus on Jesus and not worry about bashing others. Let us look to Jesus, no one else can save your soul. If there be any bitterness, let it not defile many. It is easy to get cought up in anger towards another if there is lack of understanding. Jesus said, forgive them for they know not wht they do. Do you really think you got it together? Don't answer that. Let us move on in edification of one another. Esteeming another above ourself.

L P Cruz said...

Hello,

I agree with you but which Jesus should we look up to? I have been a promoter of false doctrine and also a receipient of false doctrine too and those that taught me where sincere loving people who had not intent of deceiving me. The result of these teachings put my soul into danger and peril. I and those who taught me loved Jesus but I still suffered because of those teachings.

Should I not say something so that those may not experience the anguish I found myself in?

Do you believe there is such a thing as a false doctrine within Christianity?