As I was celebrating my 39th birthday over the weekend, I got to thinking about my core beliefs. Those ideas that I hold through which I view the world. I got to thinking about how the church creeds do such a great job of stating a core set of beliefs and how those core beliefs are the lens through which everything is viewed. So as I stand on the precipice of turning 40 next year, I decided to make my own list of core beliefs. My own personal creed if you like. My intention was for this to be a serious list, however, as I began brainstorming I found myself bouncing from deeply held beliefs to strong opinions and even to some lighthearted things. So I decided, instead of filtering the list, to just put it all out there. Both the serious and the not so serious. After all, that's a better picture of who I am and the lens through which I view the world is often a skewed mixture of both.
Keep in mind, these are in no particular order so the juxtaposition may seem odd at times, but that's me, an odd mixture of beliefs and viewpoints that don't always make sense and sometimes even contradict themselves. So here we go. You may want to get comfortable, it's a long list.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
I believe that I was born a sinner in need of God's forgiveness and that this gift of salvation is solely given to me because of His grace and that there is nothing I can do to earn it.
I believe the Bible is true as written in the original manuscripts and when interpreted in context.
I believe in the Trinity, however, I confess that I do not truly understand the concept.
I believe Bob Dylan is the greatest songwriter of the 20th century. I know he can't sing, but that's not the point.
I believe that mankind was created in God's image and that God created everything that exists. I believe creation took place over a very long period of time and thus don't hold to a literal 6 days of creation.
I believe that God has blessed each of us with certain talents and abilities and that He expects us to develop those talents and abilities through hard work and that we should use them to glorify Him.
I believe that everything we do, if truly done for the glory of God, is an act of worship.
I believe that sometimes you have to use strong language to get your point across.
I believe U2's Joshua Tree album is the most perfect album ever recorded.
I believe that the majority of politicians, Democrat and Republican, are only interested in looking out for themselves to get reelected and will say anything you want to hear to that end.
I believe our political system is broken.
I believe in term limits for all members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. I believe all elected and appointed officials should serve one 6-year term with no opportunity to be reelected. This includes the Supreme Court.
I believe the journey is often more important the the destination.
I believe that just because I don't understand something, it doesn't mean it's not true.
I believe that sports are a great metaphor for life.
I believe that God sometimes allows us to struggle through difficult times to bring us closer to Him.
I believe that previous statement can really suck sometimes when you're in the middle of it.
I believe Jesus will return someday as He promised to restore all things to the way they were intended to be from the beginning. However, I have a real issue with people who tell you they know exactly how the "end times" will play out. I believe those that draw up timelines using Revelation and current events are foolish and are primarily out to sell you something.
I believe abortion is the greatest genocide of our generation and find it unbelievable that intelligent and educated people can support it. I find it even harder to believe that some Christians support it.
I believe that it is the church's responsibility to care for the poor, not the government.
I believe that the so called "prosperity gospel" preachers (Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Joel Olsteen, Oral Roberts, etc.) have done more to harm the Christian cause than further the gospel.
I believe the old Van Halen with David Lee Roth is far better than Van Halen with Sammy Haggar. I'm just sayin'.
I believe in a small government and a free market.
I believe high taxes are destroying this country. Didn't we fight a war against Britain for the same thing? Except our taxes are even higher than theirs were. Now I sound like a Tea Party person.
I believe football is the greatest sport ever invented.
I believe that John Lennon was significantly more talented than Paul McCartney. I love the Beatles, but really, listen to their solo work and it's hard to argue.
I believe that the times I spent fishing with my grandfather were a taste of heaven on earth.
I believe that a long hike in the woods can restore your sanity.
I believe being a father is one of the greatest joys in life.
Finally, I believe that I have been truly blessed in life with a truly wonderful wife, amazing kids, and great friends and extended family.