What do we believe?

When exploring a new faith community, a natural question might be to ask what that faith community believes. But we are also trying to ask an equally, yet often ignored question, what do faith communities do?  One writer in the New Testament puts it this way, “I will show you my faith by what I do”.

 

This is what we would like to strive to do. We want to find ways to feed the poor, heal the sick, and to love the marginalized. We want to love our neighbors in these ways as well as by wrestling with the hard questions of our modern world; like how do we love our neighbors in how we interact with global systems and economies and how do we treat environmental concerns that effect our neighbors all over the globe? These are just some of the hard questions we don't think we can ignore if we really love those we share the world with.

 

We don’t claim to have all the right answers in how best to deal with these problems, whether they are on a global scale or in our own neighborhood. But we do believe that as followers of Jesus we should put ourselves in the middle of it and find ways to make the world around us better, even if it is in just small ways. After all, Jesus said the Kingdom of heaven was like a mustard seed, the smallest seed they knew of, but when this small thing was planted, it was able to grow and fill the whole garden so that the birds of the air could come and find rest in its branches. So we simply want to do small things in faith that God can make it count for so much more.

 

If you are still looking for a statement of belief, we affirm historical Christianity as expressed by some of first statements of belief in church history, like the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. These statements speak to who the church believes Jesus to be and are held by virtually every Christian tradition throughout history from Catholic to Protestant and everything in between.


Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen


Faith in Action

We affirm these kinds of creedal statements as our own, as well as our agreed statement of belief we share through our affiliation with the Church of the Nazarene But we do not want to fool ourselves into thinking that our faith begins and ends with just what we think about God.  Perhaps faith really starts to take hold of us when we begin to explore what God thinks about us. We believe in a God that met us where we live, became one of us, and found solidarity in our very humanity even if it meant he also had to share in the reality and consequences of human injustice, sin, suffering and death. We believe this is the story Jesus asks us to follow him in. So perhaps loving your fellow human being as yourself, finding solidarity in our shared humanity with everyone, says more about what you think about God than any belief statement we might create.