Archive for December, 2010

Statements of Faith

Recently, one of my students, a professed Christian, told me:

“I’m a Christian. I believe what they tell me.”

This was his “statement of faith.” In essence, he was saying, “I am a Christian, but the my leaders define what that is, so I can’t really say.” It was a remarkable statement, and completely meaningless.

After three straight days of interaction, I knew him well enough. His profession had no meaning because his words and actions did not square with it. Professions don’t define us, actions do.

I think that the only valid statement of faith is words and deeds caused by that faith. Ticking off a list of theological propositions which do not fuel your actions or interests is totally irrelevant. Ticking off a list which you contradict in life and action is even worse.

It’s not what you profess. It’s what you produce.

The Apostle John puts it simply in his first letter:

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.  1Jn 2:3-6

I think that most of us Christians forget that we are not in this for ourselves. We are followers of Christ. We do as He does. We say as He says. We are ourselves, but we do not represent ourselves.

We are in transition. We are being transformed. The process is “walking as He walked.” This biblical metaphor of “walking” means you practice what He did and live like Him. You can see from what John says above, it’s not optional. You either do it, or you are a fake.

There is no need for shame, but if you profess “Christianity” and find it difficult to explain you actions, you need to learn how to walk.