Statement of Faith[fulness]

by MW Cook

I was a bit of a punk in Bible college. If you knew me well during that time you’d probably agree. I was high on theology, I think. My drug of choice was Calvinism mixed with a bias against anything popular. Not so good, looking back.

Whenever I was introduced to a new ministry or organization I would look it up in order to decide whether I liked it or not. How would I make that choice? Was it by looking at what they did? Was it by finding out how they had made a difference in the world? No, of course not. It was by checking out their statement of faith. The closer it was to what I had already decided was true (I had all of theology figured out back then) the better I liked it.

I look back at all that and I realize I was looking at the wrong things. I wonder, now, how I could have possibly thought that a statement of faith would have been able to tell me anything useful about a group or person. Isn’t a life of faithfulness better than being right about the inner working of the Trinity? So I had an idea. Instead of making a statement of faith for our lives, why don’t we make our lives statements of faithfulness?

A Statement of Faithfulness:

  • We will be born again from above and strive to be filled with the Spirit, as he was filled with the Spirit (John 3:5-8).
  • We will live a life of service, as he lived a life of service (Matthew 20:28).
  • We will lay down our lives to benefit others, as he laid down his life to benefit others (Mark 10:45).
  • We will love God with every fiber of our being, as he loved God (Matthew 22:37).
  • We will love our neighbours in the same measure and fervency as we love ourselves, as he loved his neighbours (Matthew 22:39).
  • We will live out the Sermon on the Mount, as he lived out his own preaching (Matthew 5-7).
  • We will shun religion, as he shunned religion (Matthew 12:1-8).
  • We will salt (preserve) the world, as he salted the world (Matthew 5:13).
  • We will identify with the scum and outcasts of society, as he identified with the scum and outcasts (Luke 7:34).
  • We will agree that anyone not against us is for us, just as he said (Mark 9:40).
  • We will forgive all and hold grudges against none, just as he forgave while being murdered (Luke 23:34).
  • We will assume suffering is normative, just as he assumed it to be normative (John 15:20).
  • We will live simply, just as he lived simply (Matthew 8:20).
  • We will rejoice with the rejoicers and weep with the weepers, just as he was also empathetic (John 11:35).
  • We will make disciples, not converts, just as he made disciples (Matthew 23:15).
  • We will refuse to commercialize or politicize this lifestyle, as Jesus also refused (John 6:15).
  • We will turn no one away, as he turned away no one (John 6:37).
  • We will pray long and hard, as he prayed long and hard (Luke 6:12).
  • After praying, we will serve long and hard, as he served long and hard.
  • We will take and make opportunities to attack injustice and hypocrisy and make things better, as he also did (Luke 11:37-38).
  • We will be Spirit-filled and wild, as he was Spirit-filled and wild (John 3:8).
  • We will make no apologies and will not conform to what the world or what religion demands of us, just as he refused to conform.
  • Instead of working hard to find the right words to explain what we believe, I want to work hard to live out what I believe.