Question:

Hello,

My question to you today is concerning a creed that a church I've been attending quotes during every service, and I would like to know your thoughts on it.

I have recently come to terms with my abusive use of alcohol and the demeaning and shameful things I allowed myself to do under it's influence. My eyes have been opened to how unintentionally I've been living my life. So now I'm working on changing that, to live a life intentionally in Christ, read and study the Bible and find a church to be with like-minded people.

From what I understand God likes us to pray from our hearts and not to repeat the same prayer over and over again, so by repeating this creed with the church am I just going against what God warns us about with vain repetition? If so then is this church not a good church to follow?

Here is the creed in which the church says:

I am deeply loved and graced by God. His life is a gift to me. My life, well lived, is my gift to Him. I am determined to live the life I could never deserve from the place of His grace. My faith is audacious, My spirit relentless. I will not be deterred, I will not quit until Jesus is fully honored and a hurting world has heard the good news. If not me, then who? If not here, then where? If not now, then when? I am deeply loved and graced by God.

Thank you for take time to read this e-mail


Answer:

Jesus said, "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words" (Matthew 6:7). It means not to say over and over the same things, perhaps in different words, that adds no meaning to what you are saying. There is an example, found in I Kings 18:26, "So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, "O Baal, hear us!"" The chant did them no good.

A creed repeated each day becomes just a set of words that people say, often with thinking about them or meaning the words.

While the poem is pretty, it isn't biblical. "Audacious" does mean "bold" but it is boldness in a reckless or disrespectful way. That should not describe the Christian's faith. I went through the church's statement of faith and find that it doesn't accept Paul's statement that the miraculous gifts would end: "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away" (I Corinthians 13:8-10). See What Kind of Tongues Are Meant in I Corinthians 12? for more information. The church teaches that salvation comes at the point of repentance, despite what Peter said in I Peter 3:21. See What Saves a Person? for more information.

Given this and what you correctly noted, I could not recommend the group for someone striving to be obedient to God and His teachings.