How we understand God; Our Beliefs
We have already said we don’t expect you to believe everything we do, nor try to behave the way we behave the moment you walk in. Our hope is that you simply feel that it is OK for you to be at the Cathedral: to spend time with us, and with God. Our belief is that after you spend some time at the Cathedral and begin sensing our desire for you to belong, you can then explore what we believe and seek to understand how we are trying to behave; and then you can decide.
Our Lord Jesus used this model; the words “come and see” are His. He invited people to come and follow, to see how He lived, to be drawn into His love, and over time to accept Him.
Having said all that, we do believe certain things about God. Please know that we recognize our beliefs are really statements of faith. Statements of what we believe and yet cannot see. What do we believe?
We believe in God! That God exists and that this God knows us and wants us to know Him in a deep way. Many people might say, “of course.”
The reality though today is that while many people in North America believe in a higher power, most do not believe that God really cares about them. We believe God cares about you.
We believe in that loving care because we believe God came to earth in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. That God walked this earth experiencing all we experience. Not only did He experience these things, but for those experiences that so often de-humanize us, He, Jesus, triumphed over them, including death.
We have a few more beliefs, not too many more. When you come to get to know us you will find that we are about a small number of beliefs that we hold as essential. We try not to have too many essentials.
Rather than go into these other statements of faith we encourage you to ponder the above idea of God. What if it is true? What if there is a God who loves you and desires for you to know Him? The possibility of knowing the Eternal God is worth exploring.
In this message we are presenting you with some ideas and offering an invitation. In life we are presented with all sorts of ideas and invitations; how do we know which ones are real? Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16). He is right! We all test whether or not what people and organizations say is true; we test it by what we see and experience.
A little honesty goes a long way. Let us tell you who we are trying to become; in other words we are not perfect and we make mistakes. We are trying to be people who are like Jesus. Jesus, when He was on earth, taught many things. We spend time trying to understand, but our thrust is beyond just understanding; we are trying to be like Him. He is a person of love. Not the sentimental love that so fills the airwaves, but the self-sacrificing love of one who laid down his life in order to give testimony to the world about God.
We are trying to be people of God, and we are all different. We are different genders, different races, different economic backgrounds and more. In the midst of our differences what unites us is Jesus.
- That while we are trying to be a community we realize we are going to have
differences of opinion.
- That while we are trying to love each other, we at times do the opposite.
- That while we want to welcome visitors, we at times fail.
The key is Jesus. If we can agree on who He is, what He did through the Cross and what this means for the world, then we have hope that we can work through our differences looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Our prayer is that what you will take away from us is that we are not perfect, we are trying to have the courage to admit it, and the faith to persevere not through our own power, but through faith in God.