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Letter #188:Belief Statements

April 6, 2011

Dear belief statements,

Imagine your only purpose of being in a room of five people is for them to fire questions at you for 30 solid minutes about what you believe and why you believe it. If God is all-powerful, why is there evil in the world? How can Jesus be fully God and fully man? What historical facts validate the Bible? Do we have guardian angels? What’s the role of the church? How can I become a Christian? Intimidating right?!

A year ago today, I did just that. I walked into a room, stood before a panel of five leaders in the Kanakuk world and defended everything I believe to be truth concerning my faith for 30 minutes. Our second semester project while I was at the Kanakuk Institute entailed us writing you concerning 10 areas of Christianity: the Trinity; God the Father; God the Son; God the Spirit; the Bible; Man, Sin, Salvation; Angels, Satan, Demons; the Church; Christian Life and the last one was our choice. Basically, I wrote doctrinal statements that a church has for my own personal life. Every ‘claim’ I made about a topic had to be backed by at least two verses.

From January to April, we worked on a different topic each week. Some weeks came easier than others. Some weeks I was able to devote more time to doing research. Some weeks I spent more time than I dreamed imaginable on it because it was fascinating…Holy Spirit: 20+ hours easy. Over Christmas break, I had a realization that there was no way I was going to let the opportunity to do this project well slip by. On April 6, 2010, I couldn’t have been more thankful for that moment.

So, I began. I read a ton of Scripture before I ever thought about beginning to write my summation. I was shocked how many things we believe with no biblical basis. As I wrote you, I’d never been more convicted to speak truth. We cannot put our stamps of approval on statements with no biblical backing. I was reading things and my entire belief system was being changed, challenged or solidified along the way. Slowly, I was able to combine scriptural truth with my writing style compiling you.

I have never been more proud of an assignment, and I will likely never complete a task of such great value in my life again. Walking into a room of people I respect and leaders in my faith was intimidating. I was unbelievably nervous. I didn’t know enough Scripture. I was inadequate. But I kept reminding myself I wasn’t there to impress a panel. My purpose wasn’t to impress man. My goal was to communicate my beliefs…my audience was the Lord. If I couldn’t speak confidently in a room of believers about faith, how would I ever do it in my everyday life?

The firing of questions began, and I honestly don’t think I shut up for 30 minutes. I was able to contribute something and use Scripture for every question asked. I definitely have room to grow and improve, but I was handling questions with ease that prior to studying for this assignment would’ve caused me to cringe. After questioning ceased, I quietly stood, walked out of the room and was humbled by how much I had learned about the Lord, His character and my faith. A year ago today was possibly the single most affirming, eye-opening, beneficial, challenging and exciting 30 minutes of my life. You don’t have to attend the Kanakuk Institute to achieve this process, but I’d encourage every believer to define their beliefs by writing out you with Scripture backing it. My world was rocked through it, and I believe yours would be too.

Wishing this year’s students well and challenged to review my statements,

Thankful belief statement writer

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