Although no one has asked, I feel compelled (perhaps for my own benefit and reference) to write out some of the things I believe to be true. Comments are welcome:
I believe that I’m probably an evangelical by definition but I hope I never act like one.
I believe that the Church is the Elect and is not an institution or location.
I believe in an inerrant Scripture (we can argue about translations and church tradition) that is capable of speaking for itself, interpreting itself, and speaking to every issue.
I believe there is no timeline in the Scriptures for spiritual gifts. I believe that all the gifts are for today. I believe, however, human nature tends to swing too charismatic or too stoic (the “frozen chosen”) and the burden is on us to find the appropriate balance.
I believe that if the Church stopped building multi-million dollar buildings, paying mega-church pastors mega-sized salaries, combatted relativism, and invested our money in meeting the practical needs of others instead of bolstering what we call our “ministries;” we’d win over the hearts of the unchurched. Because our time and resources would be vested in our communities; we’d become so passionate about them that our love for our neighbors would win far more souls than any church service, outreach program, multi-media presentation, or under-sized missions budget ever could.
I believe the Church has been hijacked by pastor/teachers, we’ve ignored (in large part) the role of the other gifts (Eph 4:11) in Church leadership, and have made the mistake of setting up our churches like corporations (thanks to the 501 (c) 3 and our Roman statist heritage) instead of being communities living out “Kingdom spirituality.”
I believe the assembling of ourselves together as believers is primarily for the encouraging and equipping of each other – not for “gettin’ people saved.” In many cases, bringing new believers to church is a sure-fire way to ruin their potential as ambassadors for Christ.
I believe the Church is capable and responsible for the welfare of its community – not government. Government should supplement the Church’s benevolence, not supplant its role as caregiver to the broken, poor, and needy. Our ability to turn into pansies when the IRS threatens us for proclaiming truth, discussing issues, or teaching on the intersection of faith and public policy is one of our greatest areas of shame.
I believe that, since the Scriptures teach us to obey the laws of man, that a Republic like ours in America that is dependent on our engagement to function well turns out civic engagement into a spiritual necessity.
I believe one God-fearing man or woman can change the world, change culture, change public policy, or even a church. You never know if it’s you until you live your whole life pursuing the opportunity and never grow weary in the work.
I believe most doctrinal differences, although important, are far less important than choosing to work together to practice pure and undefiled religion (James 1).
I believe I spent too much time in Western Christendom and therefore stink at living a missional and relevant spiritual life. I am, however, working on it.