In my last post, I introduced you to the Personal Theology Statement and challenged you to write one for yourself. I’m going to put myself at great personal risk and share mine here. Please . . . I don’t intend to create a theological battle. I’m not trying to convince you that my theology is “right.” I’m just sharing my mind and heart on some key questions about life, God, and eternity as of today. And one other note, I didn’t explicitly include the Gospel, because the life, death, resurrection, and teachings of Jesus are non-negotiable for the Jesus-follower. This theology statement assumes that and goes from there. Okay, here goes . . .
Why are you here? Why do you exist?
I believe we are here to expand the circle of love and grace from the Trinity. God invites us to join His union of perfect love with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We each add something unique to the union because we are all unique sons and daughters of the Father.
Who (or what) does God look like to you?
God has a pleasant, subtle smile on His face. He’s not amused. He just loves me and welcomes me whenever I turn my attention to Him.
Where did you come from?
God created me. Just like He used Mary to bring Jesus into the world, He used Nick and Luke, my mom and dad, to bring me. But God is my perfect Father, and I am His adopted son. I am not an accident . . . I am additive to the world.
What do you believe about God’s involvement in your everyday life?
God does not engineer circumstances to teach or test me. He uses circumstances of life to mentor me toward being like Jesus. He gives me the freedom to do whatever. Sometimes he nudges me . . . leads me to pay attention to something. Generally, it’s up to me to ask Him for guidance. “What would You have me know?” “What would You have me do with what You’ve shown me?” His answers are almost always about matters of the heart, and almost always about immediate things . . . like, right now! He has given me guardrails through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Some, like not drinking alcohol, might be unique to me.
God rarely intervenes in circumstances. When He does, it’s for His purposes. Trying to connect His actions with prayer is a mystery . . . one that He’s told me to leave alone. I pray because He calls me to do it. It’s an obedience thing.
Does prayer work and if so, how?
God always hears my prayers. And they always register with Him, even if I pray after an event already happened. Because He is timeless, when I pray is irrelevant in a sense. When I want to hear from Him, I have to humble myself and ask. He rarely interrupts me. When He speaks, it’s usually to . . .
- lead me to love others
- help me see my sin
- help me avoid danger
- affirm my faith and identity and His love for me
- share insight about life, relationships, Himself, or His Word
What do you believe happens when you die?
I believe it’s like you never stop living. You “walk” into another room and there He is. Also present are all the people you love (who followed Jesus). Because God is timeless, there is no waiting for your saved loved ones to show up.
What do you believe about heaven and hell? Are they real? What are they like?
Heaven is being present with God all the time. It is true peace, love, and joy. All the pleasures of earth, but without sin or death. All immediate, again because of the timelessness of God.
Hell is real. It is separation from God and everything and everyone He made. Eternal loneliness. It’s the “not God” place. Solitary confinement in the dark with no way to die and no way to escape.
Prayer: Father, I lay out these beliefs before you. Show me error if it’s there. Affirm Your Truth and give me peace in my soul as I live out my days. In your Son’s beautiful name, I pray. Amen.