Statement of Faith

I’m in the process of applying for a new job (long story, maybe I’ll explain later.)  Anyways, one job I’m applying for wants a statement of faith.  Now, it’s been, oh, about five or six years since I’ve had to write one, so, I’m asking for your help.  Please provide feedback (positive and/or negative; I can take it) for the statement I’ve written.  Thanks in advance.

I have been active in church just about my whole life.  I was raised in the American Baptist Church.  My father was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and my mother in the Church of God.  I was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church and again as a teenager in the Baptist Church.  While attending the Baptist Church, I was active in the youth group as well as the life of the congregation.  I was introduced to the Lutheran tradition while I was in college and fell in love with the liturgy.  While I was in college, I attended church on an infrequent basis.

I started attending church on a regular basis shortly after a troubling time in my life.  I was having problems at work and had decided to find a church to call my own.  I picked out a Lutheran Church to attend on my next Sunday off.  On that Sunday, I awoke early and got ready.   After I finished getting ready, I sat down and promptly fell asleep.  Around the time I needed to leave, I heard a voice say, “Get up and go.”  The voice was loud enough to startle me awake and was out of place because I lived alone.  I jumped up and went to church like I planned and found a church home that day.  A few months later, I joined the Lutheran Church and began my journey to seminary.

I believe God, the Father almighty.  He is the creator of everything (Genesis 1:1)and mankind is created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27)  God’s creation was very good (Genesis 1:31) but through Adam and Eve, sin entered the world.  (Genesis 3)  Throughout all of salvation history, God has been at work in the world.  God saved Noah and his family from the waters of the flood.  God led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt.  God sent his prophets to call Israel to account when they sinned against Him.  God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for the sin of the world.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Mary conceived and gave birth to Jesus.  (Matthew 1:20, Luke 1:35)  Christ is, therefore, truly human and truly divine.  Being God made flesh, Christ was able to bear the sins of mankind on the cross.  Through his death and resurrection, Christ made the ultimate sacrifice and atoned for the sins of mankind.  In this act, Christ defeated death so that we might have the promise of eternal life.  Jesus Christ is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  (John 1:29)

I believe in the Holy Spirit.  At Christ’s baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove. (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32)  The Holy Spirit descended on the disciples on the day of Pentecost.  (Acts 2)  It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that we are given faith and are gifted to do the work of ministry.

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25 Replies to “Statement of Faith”

  1. I would start your SOF with the paragraph “I believe God…”, then spread your personal experiences throughout the remainder to give context for why you believe what you do and how you came to these realizations.

    Just some thoughts…

  2. Hi Joel, I’d remove the sentence: “Being God made flesh, Christ was able to bear the sins of mankind on the cross.” It’s true, but needed here.

    I would also rewrite this sentence: “Throughout all of salvation history, God has been at work in the world.” Maybe something like, “Since then, God has been at work revealing His salvation plan.”

    For the Holy Spirit section, you could simplify it further. Write something like, “Just as Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit for ministry, so too are Christians.” With the same scripture references. Then go on to describe more in detail what you believe the work of the Holy Spirit is … maybe even clarify your position on infilling, baptism of the Holy Spirit, etc.

    Having made those cuts, you could add something on the church, the Bible, and our eternal destiny.

  3. TO start with the first two paragraphs are not a statement of faith, they are part of your history. BEcause of changes in language you might want to say that God’s creation was perfect rather than “very good”. You have no mentioning of the parousia (2nd coming). No mention that CHrist’s perfection is granted to us, no mention of His ascension to heaven. Regarding the Holy Spirit, you have no mention of Him speaking through the prophets. I will stop here. Your statement of faith does not even cover the basic points of the Nicene creed. Now if you do not believe these things you certainly should not include them, but they are definitional to Christianity.

    I am reminded of Heidelberg #2
    “2. How many things are necessary for you to know, that in this comfort you may live and die happily?
    Three things: the first, how great my sin and misery is; the second, how I am redeemed from all my sins and misery; the third, how I am to be thankful to God for such redemption.”

    1. Thank you for pointing out some of the things I missed. That was why I posted it, to get more than one set of eyes on it.

      I especially liked you mentioning the Nicene Creed. I was using the Apostles’ Creed (thus why there was nothing regarding the Holy Spirit speaking through the prophets). But I think I like the Nicene Creed better.

      As for the Heidelberg Catechism…I’m not familiar with it…other than knowing what generally what it is.

          1. If you are Lutheran, you would NOT use the Heidelberg Catechism…don’t buy it, don’t use it, period. Use Luther’s Small Catechism and then the Large Catechism, and then the Book of Concord. Although RK makes a valid point on the Nicene Creed, he is not Lutheran and would not be equipped to lead you down the path of Lutheran Orthodoxy. I would avoid using this blog for ideas, find a seminary professor who can guide you in your readings.

  4. “I believe Christ came according to the scriptures, died, and rose again for the forgiveness of sins” – thats the only statement of faith you need to make.

    1. Note that this is for Craig –

      Geoff, while that might be a good personal statement, that is hardly enough to test someone’s critical thinking and self-evaluation for new jobs. 🙂

      Again, this is Craig’s post.

  5. Joel,

    There are plenty of other ways to evaluate someone’s critical thinking, and formulating a statement of faith is probably the least. Since you could pretty much copy someone else’s and change it around a bit.
    A “Christian” employer of any kind _should_ only need that one statement to affirm someone’s faith.

    If they want to analyse critical thinking, give the applicant “their” statement of faith and ask for a critical analysis of it in 500 words or less. That would be a better way…

    1. That’s all fine and dandy, Geoff, but since the question was not whether or not this is the best way to do something, but if the Statement was adequate, that might be the best thing to focus on. Further, we aren’t allowed to correct the employer by enforcing our own standards upon them. Craig, a friend, asked for help. That is the post of the post, I think.

  6. why are we not allowed to correct the employer? Surely it would show initiative? Its not enforcing _our_ standards but pointing out that by framing their requirements in such a way, they might be creating expectations and having expectations which can not be met by themselves or any employee, which is in itself, duplicitous and probably illegal.

    Secondly, they are not asking for a statement of faith, they are asking for a “statement of dogma”.
    I’d be telling them to shove it.

    I am currently looking for work myself and having to do similar things as Craig. Its just ridiculous quite frankly (it also explains why I am frustrated by it).

    1. You may be frustrated by it and I can understand that, but if one doesn’t even have the job yet, and is already attempting to correct the employer, one will most likely not get the job.

      As I said, Craig asked for help on his statement not on trying to direct the employer to align him or herself with your expectations.

      And yes, I am frustrated at my present situation, so I am trying to start my own business. Work for myself, you know?

      1. been working for myself.. waste of time.. and near impossible to get back in the work force…

        … but if one doesn’t even have the job yet, and is already attempting to correct the employer, one will most likely not get the job.

        The point being, why would you want to work for someone who, before you have even started, is making unrealistic demands and confused requests? Sure.. if you’re desperate.. but.. no thanks.. (and I am desperate, but no way I would.. I’ve rejected several employers already for that reason. I’m worth more than that).

        Anyway, thats it for me. Back to painting the kitchen

        1. Geoff,

          I don’t think a church or parachurch organization asking for a statement of faith from applicants to be an unrealistic demand.

  7. If your Church has a statement of faith, you could use that (assuming your beliefs are the same), and state that in your application. Make no apologies that you believe what your Church family believes.

    1. I am not certain the 6 forms of unity would fit on their application. 🙂 I might well state something like I ascribe to the following X with Y exceptions for these reasons.

        1. Not doing much of anything these days. Just coming back from an 8 month tour of the hellish parts of my mind. One of the things I really look forward to in the 2nd coming is not having to deal with my faulty brain and other organs 🙂

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