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Testimony - Delivered to '4.24' Service 3/07/2004 [.DOC]


 

Statement Of Faith

And Tentative Suppositions

  • The scriptures in the Bible manuscripts are the inspired, trustworthy, and inerrant revelation of God.

    [II Timothy 3:16]
     

  • God is the Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the Universe. He is all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present, externally existing as the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    [Genesis 1:1-31]
    [Psalm 33:6, 139:2, 7:10]
    [Matthew 28:19]
     

  • Every person has worth as a creation of God, each crafted with great love, but all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
     
    [Genesis 1:26]
    [Romans 3:23]
     

  • Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God who died for our sins and arose from the dead. He is both human and divine, two natures, wholly God and wholly man.

    [I Corinthians 15:1-8]
    [Colossians. 2:9]
    [I Timothy 3:16]
     

  • Forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life are available to those who trust Christ as Savior and follow Him as Lord. On Him our transgressions have been placed, and through Him we are restored.

    [John 3:16] [Isaiah 53:4-12]
     

  • If we don't like "how" a ministry is being done, I think we need to stop and reevaluate our relationship to it - maybe the same things should be or can be kept going, but we need to change "why" we do them.  Think "why" and not "how".  This isn't to say that change is bad, however.  [Added 6/28/2006]
     

  • God is about people who better and better seek to walk in His ways and devote themselves to prayer - God is not after the better plan or ministry philosophy.  Men concern themselves with the sharpening of plans and machinery of ministry. God has always concerned himself with the sharpening of people for His purposes by making them more like Him. [Added 6/28/2006]
     

  • The "Great Commission" should be more visible and audible in churches today.  This is the greatest mission statement a church could ever have. How can our churches be "missional" if we do not regularly remind ourselves what our mission was?  Could and shouldn't this be part of each service, just as offering or communion is? [Added 6/26/2006]
     

  • The church, a biblical community of believers, is a result of Christ’s emerging Kingdom; the Kingdom is not a result of the activities of the church. Often the institutional church focuses too much on church growth rather than desiring the Kingdom of God; such foundations are unsound. [Added  3/01/2005]
     

  • What is most relevant to the needs, desires, and perspective of the unredeemed world, and often missing from today’s churches, are the powerful teachings of Jesus Christ. [Added 3/01/2005]
     

  • A particular Lutheran Church I have experience with has its members kneel around an octagonal platform – they face each other and the pastor as they kneel and accept communion. This communicates a very different message than what I am accustomed to seeing – one of community, one of submission.

    I profoundly believe that ‘the medium is the message’ – the method of communication is fundamental to the way the contents of the message is understood. In many churches today, communion is performed ‘in remembrance of Christ’ through the passing of emblems, a very small wafer and a non-alcoholic grape juice. Believers are often invited to reflect, and as the tray is passed to them, they often consume the emblem or do so not long afterward. Eyes are often closed, heads are often bowed in prayer, a soft musical instrument plays. Though all in the church are experiencing this event, and most are partaking in the emblems, this is still a very individualistic experience, the implication is that the individual ‘does this in remembrance’ of Christ, rather than the community together.

    Communion, rather, is intended to be a replication of The Last Supper where the disciples ate with Jesus, facing each other, eating a meal. Together they were asked to ‘do this in remembrance’ of Christ. The experience of a meal at a table is fundamentally different than the passing of an emblem among rows of chairs. Is Christ to be remembered, as he lived, in a community, or as a ritual that commodifies the experience of remembrance? Perhaps communion was meant to be more than we have allowed it to be, perhaps it could be more lifelike, perhaps it could include more accountability, and perhaps it could be more joyful and celebratory; remembering Christ with people instead of merely in the presence of people. [Added 3/01/2005]


     

 
 
 

Copyright Chad A. Hart / Gagarin Report