Yes, I am a Christian woman. I am a wife and a mom. But what “brand” of Christian? I am a protestant. This is for sure. I believe in the Trinity (three persons one God…not easy to comprehend but I can sort of get it…). I believe the basics that exclude me from being a “christian like” cult member, basically the creed that goes, “I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen” I believe I was chosen, partly because there is NO WAY in my family I would have chosen Christ on my own. No way. I believe my faith was given to me by God and not something I made or did on my own. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God though I do feel there was a time when I was converted or at least confirmed to be truly His. (I think I was 7, yes I prayed a prayer, but it was more a knowing I was His for sure, that’s it…and it was in a Nazarene church.) I do believe God does work in lives, He’s not hands off. It’s the Holy Spirit working in the heart of a believer, leading, comforting. However, it’s more in hindsight that it can be seen to be the Holy Spirit usually though I have had times I do feel Him working in my life in real time. I do believe there are things I am meant to do and these things do come about, but it’s not a purpose driven thing. I believe I am a sinner, saved by grace and through the mercy of our Lord because Jesus Christ died on the cross. The most important thing though is that He raised from the dead. I hope in this, I count on this. I believe He will come again and raise up all people from the dead in order to judge everyone. I believe I will be judged and found not guilty only because Christ paid the penalty and I am His. I used to believe in something like “pray this prayer” for salvation and now I don’t though I do think salvation can happen to a person during prayer. I do think there is an acceptance of the fact that one is in Christ, a repentance and a trusting in Christ, and this is where the praying can be. I believe we are baptised by the Holy Spirit when we are saved but that we should follow with water baptism. I am not offended by infant baptism, but I cannot see how that is something that should be done. The circumcision argument seems a little bit off to me. I believe in taking communion together in the body of Christ in rememberance of Him and of His body and His blood. I do not believe the elements change into His body and actual blood. I also am confused a bit about the Lutheran idea of presence.
I believe prayer is a time when we express our adoration of God, a time to confess sins, a time to thank God, and a time to make requests to Him (think ACTS). I believe we hear from God in His word. I do also believe we are to learn from others, but this is NOT God’s word. It is okay for me to seek older women (as a woman) or teachers to guide as older women and pastors are told specifically to teach a person like me. If they are getting their instruction from the bible, then I’m good learning from them. I do think God does want us in a church and with other believers so we can be held accountable, so we can learn from others. I wish to be in fellowship with other believers and have always sought this out. Worship…I believe we can worship with our actions and words, and with our attitude. However, I do believe I can fool myself into thinking I’m worshipping when I really am not. It’s hard for me at times to worship rightly.
Gifts are a confusing topic for me right now. I am tending to think that the Evangelical church has misused scripture when it comes to gifts, and so has the Charismatic church. Sure, we’re all made in a unique way. We each have personalities and propensities (did I say that right?). But, I do not believe a survey can show what God desires for me to do with my life. I am frustrated by being plugged into some fill in the dot thing and told I am a teacher, a prophet, and a discerner, then told a list of jobs I can do in the church (like you would do in high school with a guidance counselor). Annoying. I do think there are things God has given me since birth He intends for me to use. I also think circumstances mold us, and the things we are able to do at one time we may not be able to do later…but things we haven’t been able to do we might later. It’s not like we have this little treasure box we open and one day discover we are gifted as a pastor or as a good hostess. Did He ever command us to spend time sitting in a circle with others talking about a survey we did and talking about our special gifts as if God were some fairy godmother and we were sleeping beauty? Ugh.
That said, I believe for some reason I am critical of teachers and am skeptical at times when I need to be. I think this is only by God’s grace, and I have learned to follow a thread of information to find where it leads. I pick up on cues from a teacher (not right away unfortunately all the time). If something doesn’t sound right, I go searching. This I think is part of my makeup whether through circumstance or just the way God made me when He was forming me. My husband trusts me time and again when I say, “that teacher isn’t right.” I cannot always point to a scripture on that day, but give me time, I’ll figure it out somehow. I have been duped too, many times, but at some point I eventually see a red flag and I’m on it. Usually I am afraid to trust this at first, it takes time for me to actually stand up and say something is wrong until I feel I know for sure. I believe it is my duty to be discerning. So I think it’s important to study the bible.
The bible is also important to study in general so we know what God wants us to know, and so we can know Him. I believe that every teacher should be tested by the scriptures. I believe I should be tested there also, and I believe I am such a terrible sinner. Thank God He had men record the Good News and not just the law there!
Oh, I could probably ramble on and on about what I believe. What am I though? I mean, I read about Arminians, Calvinists…and then there’s the denomination. I am not at this time Lutheran though I am liking some Lutherans out there and how they really treasure the bible and the gospel…and go after false teachers. I like the serious Presbyterians out there. I just am not into that infant baptism thing and then the communion thing….in the way a Lutheran would be. I tend to like dunking for baptism too, though I’m not a stickler on it.
Am I confusing or wishy washy? Too far from the true teachings of the Bible? Am I in some terrible error? I pray God pulls me to Him always. It is so humiliating to be such an idiot and horrible and humbling to see how much I do not know, and what a sinner I am!
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