Photo by jdurham on Morgue File.
For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.
This is a very special time of year for Christians. During this time of Lent, we reflect and meditate on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This season culminates in holy week, leading to the festive day of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. It is a time of year to pause and give reflection to the common beliefs we as believers share. It is a time to recommit, to refocus our lives to the call and Lordship of Christ.
Finding three things I believe as a Christian is not hard. I could list many things here in reference to that. But, in honor of the prompt, I will limit myself to three.
First and foremost, I believe in God. I am a theist. I believe that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe. I believe God has revealed himself as a trinity of persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. So then, not only am I a theist, but I am a Trinitarian theist. I believe the orthodox theology of the Trinity: three distinct persons, yet one. Or, as I have developed it: distinction, but not plurality; unity, but not singularity. I believe many things about God; for instance, he is creator, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, righteous, just, loving, gracious, merciful, patient . . . etc.
The second thing I would affirm is that Jesus Christ is the unique and only Son of God. I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, the incarnate second-person of the trinity. I believe, according to the orthodox teachings of the church, that Jesus is complete God and complete man: two natures, but one person. I believe Christ came to preach the kingdom of God and to be the Savior of the world. I believe he is the unique revelation of God to us. I believe in his perfect life, sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead.
The third thing I would affirm is connected to the first two, that is, I believe in the gospel message. I believe salvation comes through the name of Christ. I believe that God so loved the world that he gave his one and unique Son. I believe Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life (a unique life in that sense) and then gave his life vicariously for all who would believe. I believe that he was crucified for the sins of the world and took upon himself the divine judgment; so that, those who believe will be spared and forgiven. I believe he was buried and three days later rose from the dead. I affirm the reality of the resurrection, the reality of the message of Easter Sunday. I believe salvation comes by accepting Christ as Savior and Lord, by confessing we are sinners before a holy and just God and crying out to him, in Christ, for grace and forgiveness.
Yes, I know I actually sneaked in quite a few other beliefs in the list of three, but I could not avoid doing so. All these are intricately connected.
As for three things I do not believe; well, again there is quite a bit I could list here.
In connection with the above, I do not believe Jesus was just a good and wise man. I do not believe Jesus gave us this option. As C.S. Lewis said, and later echoed by Josh McDowell, when it comes to Jesus one only really has three options: either he was Lord, liar or lunatic. But, being a good, moral man is not an option. Some hold he was a revolutionary figure, or a philosophical sage or a prophet. While he may have been some of these things, these do not tell the whole story. No one can make the claims he did and be considered in such light. Again, based on the claims he made, he either is who he claimed to be, or he was delusional or a charlatan.
Now, for my last two things I do not believe, I will go a bit lighter. The second thing I do not believe is that vanilla is bland. To the point, if you have ever had natural vanilla bean, you know the real, fresh stuff, you will know it is quite flavorful and aromatic. Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors. I admit I am not a chocolate lover as so many seem to be. I can and do eat chocolate, but not often. I cannot eat chocolate that is, as I would say, too chocolate-y.
The third thing I do not believe is that the Cowboys are America’s team. I, a lifelong Steelers fan, take umbrage with anything related to the team with a star on their helmets. I actually heard the moniker America’s team was first offered to the Steelers, but the Rooneys turned down the offer. They preferred the more blue-collar mystique, not the flashy sort. Speaking of all this, I still have no idea who Neil O’donnell was throwing to in Super Bowl 30, those two passes Larry Brown intercepted. In general I was an O’donnell fan. But those two throws . . . what was he thinking? What was he looking at?
Okay, well, I guess I am done with my raves and rants.