I was baptized Presbyterian as an infant, but was raised in a (mostly) secular fashion. When I was 23, Christ drew me (back) to himself (I am 47 now, so that was 24 years ago). Since then, I have attended a variety of churches; probably the most important theological distinctives in my belief system are:
1. I believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible word of God. As the Bible declares that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, I tend to put stock in Ecumenical -- "Church-wide" -- councils, and especially in the Nicene Creed.
2. I believe that the Christ/church marriage is real, with a future, but also a present, fulfillment. Christ purchased the Church -- us -- to be his wife, and our blessed destiny is to know him as we are known.
3. I seek to harmonize the Western and Eastern understandings of salvation. Accordingly, while I affirm that we are saved by grace through faith, I hold that God's grace not only forgives and cleanses, but also transforms, and that this Divine transformation is essential to us becoming the wife that Christ will be pleased to spend eternity with.
4. I am a predestinarian, and believe that because God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will I can have confidence that he will work out everything for my good (even though it might not seem like it in the short term).
5. Applying Points 1-4 leads me to conclude that God blesses us through ordained means, including, among other things, the Bible, prayer and fasting, and sacraments. Holy Communion (the Lord's Supper) is central to my spirituality, as I consider it to be, for the present time, the life-creating marital act that reaffirms our union with Christ our Husband, who, as he loves us, fills us with his fullness, thereby imparting to us his Divine nature.
I presently am, as of last year, a member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, because it is one of only two churches that I know of within easy walking distance that has weekly Communion (the other is St. Peter's Catholic Church, where I could not permissibly receive Communion unless I became Catholic, which I am not inclined to do at present). While I do not really see myself as "Episcopalian," and am aware that the national Episcopal Church has serious problems, I like my local, Bible believing parish with its "kneel at the altar rail" approach to Communion and its friendly, non-judgmental congregation (I am divorced, and display a somewhat quirky expressiveness during worship; both of those things could give me trouble within a less tolerant church).
That may be more than you wanted to know, Steadfast, but there you have it. I am working on a long paper dealing with many of the themes above which, Lord willing, should be finished by the Independence Day weekend; I will be posting an online version on the Agape' Forum. In the meantime, reading the items I mentioned in my previous post will support and flesh out some of the summarized points listed above. God bless, Liberty patriot.
A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand
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