For a couple of years, I have been meaning to write out a personal creed – my “Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective“, if you will. I even started outlining a document about ten years ago. As I recall, I got about a paragraph into a rough draft. Oh, well.
But a funny thing started happening recently. I started refining (in the back of my mind) my belief statement, and it has gotten progressively more focused and concise. Ironically, the more concise my statement, the more challenging I found it to be. Living faithfully is hard.
My thoughts crystalized this past Sunday, as I was flipping through a recent issue of Christianity Today. The cover story was entitled, “The Mind under Grace: Why a Heady Dose of Doctrine Is Crucial for Spiritual Formation“. I read that and said to myself: “I don’t think I agree with that.” And so, in light of those thoughts, I present my creed:
I believe in love, lived out in the context of community.
That’s it. I could expand and expound on that, of course. (And I do all the time on this blog.) But really, I’m starting to think that everything else can (and should) be interpreted in light of that statement. I think that when the “heady dose of doctrine” becomes crucial to being faithful, we risk spending too much time arguing and too little time doing (the “lived out” part of my creed).
However, in case you are skeptical, I’ll conclude with two questions that help me:
1) What is love?
2) What is my community?
If you need a “heady dose of doctrine”, just dwell on those for a while.